JazzTimes Review: Strength in Numbers

By Scott Albin, 07/08/14

Strength In Numbers– The Pete McGuinness Jazz Orchestra

Pete McGuinness - Strength in Numbers

After Pete McGuinness’ last album, Voice Like a Horn, showcased the trombonist, composer, and arranger’s Chet Baker-styled vocals, he returns for the second time on CD to the jazz orchestra he formed back in 2006. McGuinness studied with Bob Brookmeyer and Manny Albam at the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop and has performed in big bands such as those led by Lionel Hampton, Jimmy Heath, and Maria Schneider, but while Brookmeyer is a main influence, his arrangements are wide-ranging in terms of intent and impact. He has been fortunate to retain nearly intact over the years the musicians in his New York-based orchestra, enabling him to write charts with their sounds and personalities in mind, and many of the selections on this recording have been refined and enriched through their repeated performance. McGuinness earned a 2008 Grammy nomination for his arrangement of “Smile” from the First Flight big band album, and it would be no surprise if certain tracks from Strength In Numbers receive Grammy consideration as well. Continue reading “JazzTimes Review: Strength in Numbers”