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Maria Schneider, nature poet of jazz / The Boston Globe

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Listening to Frank Kimbrough's piano solo midway through the Maria Schneider Orchestra's latest album, you'd be excused for picturing wind blowing through a field of wheat. For writers of instrumental music, subject matter is as likely as not personal, internal, or abstract; it's "about" music as much as anything. Think Bach's "The Art of the Fugue" or Charles Mingus's "Folk Forms, No. 1."

But multiple Grammy winner Schneider's music unabashedly takes in and pays tribute to the physical world. So Kimbrough is evoking a real place in the wavelike figures of "The Thompson Fields" - specifically the unspoiled stretch of the Great Plains near Schneider's hometown of Windom, Minn.