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Maria Schneider Orchestra - The Thompson Fields / New York Times review

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Welcome to Maria Schneider's brand new recording project "The Thompson Fields"!

There's a grand naturalist compulsion in Maria Schneider's writing for large ensemble, and it has led her toward a more potent expression of her art. "The Thompson Fields," the first album since 2007 to feature her namesake orchestra, teems with observant references to the pastoral world: prairies, exotic bird plumage, the dark gyre of a funnel cloud, the flutter of monarch butterflies.

Ms. Schneider, a composer and orchestrator of extravagant insight, has made these kinds of connections for a while. And as a conceptual device, it's not a new story in jazz: Duke Ellington set a precedent for capturing the rhythms of life that Wynton Marsalis has diligently adapted to his own uses. But Ms. Schneider has her own trademark way of using timbre and harmony to bring a tactile presence to the dimensions of sound - and more impressively, of applying the same tools to illuminate emotional terrain.

READ THE FULL New York Times REVIEW