Brass, Bows and BeatsJAZZ MAFIA

Brass, Bows and Beats

Doggedly blurring boundaries between genres, Jazz Mafia’s music seems a bundle of contradictions. After all, reconciling an entire jazz orchestra and a small army of musical virtuosos with hip-hop rhythms, rappers, singers and MCs would appear tough enough in the studio, but particularly unwieldy in concert. So it’s impressive that on the aptly named live disc Brass, Bows and Beats, this extraordinary ensemble fearlessly veers from one style to another, often in the course of a single selection. It also finds songs such as “Sweet Memory” and “Community 2.0” balancing freewheeling improvisation with lush orchestrated arrangements. Composer, conductor and arranger Adam Theis pulls these disparate elements together and somehow keeps it all cohesive.

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