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The Astonishing Maria Schneider / WRTI Radio - ICON Magazine

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The most harmonious and beautiful jazz orchestral music of the year comes from Maria Schneider, an emotionally affecting composer, arranger, and bandleader, whose work is astonishing in its capacity to emotionally connect with this listener. The Thompson Fields, her first recorded work in eight years, reunites her with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, her exemplary 18-piece ensemble, with triumphant solo turns by saxophonists Donny McCaslin, pianist Frank Kimbrough, guitarist Lage Lund, and Gary Versace on accordion.

The album's title comes from a family farm in southwest Minnesota in an area where Schneider grew up and returns to for inspiration. The music evokes those amber waves of grain-soft, modulated brass passages, acoustic guitar fills (Lund), and, without a string section, a satisfying fullness with bassist Jay Anderson's solos.

READ THE FULL WRTI: Philadelphia POST OF July Edition - ICON Magazine