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'The Thompson Fields' Mixes Prairie Dreaming With A Big-Band Beat / NPR: Fresh Air

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NPR: Fresh Air Segment

With The Thompson Fields, composer, arranger and bandleader Maria Schneider celebrates a long-awaited reunion with her vaunted jazz orchestra, a homecoming nearly a decade in the making.  Featuring eight new original works by the leader, The Thompson Fields makes brilliant use of Schneider's 18-piece jazz orchestra, a long-standing ensemble that spotlights such first rank players as Donny McCaslin, Rich Perry, Frank Kimbrough and Lage Lund.  The performances reveal an ever-deepening relationship between Schneider and her musicians, many of whom she has worked with over a quarter of a century.  The album follows a momentous year that found Schneider's recent album Winter Morning Walks garnering three wins in the classical category of the 2014 GRAMMY Awards, making her one of the rare musicians to win GRAMMYs in both the jazz and classical categories. The CD is powered by ArtistShare andavailable exclusively at MariaSchneider.com.

NPR: Fres Air Music Critic Kevin Whitehead says that while Schneider can do grandeur, "once in awhile, the majesty gets a little too purple."            

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW