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Maria Schneider - The Thompson Fields / Audiophile Audition review

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You don't listen to CDs from the Maria Schneider. You "experience" them. Much like the orchestral jazz of Bob Brookmeyer, it is hard to categorize Maria's intense, sublime compositions. A close enough description is that they are a hybrid bridging classical, world folk, and jazz. Their beauty to me combines Aaron Copland's classical Americana with the best of big band jazz.

It has been a long wait since the last ArtistShare release from Maria – eight years. Maria has chosen fan funding for her releases, and with the time needed to produce music of this caliber, she retains full control over the creative process, which also involves funding for a 18-piece jazz orchestra. Some members of  her orchestra have worked with her for over two decades.

The theme of The Thompson Fields is her love and appreciation for her childhood home in rural southwest Minnesota. Inspired by the landscape and the flora and fauna of the area, Maria composed the eight tracks on this CD. An added bonus to the exquisite music is the 70 page book that holds the CD. There are gorgeous photographs of the farm area, as well as Audubon paintings of the native birds. Maria gives extensive descriptions of each track and her inspiration for the music within.

Personell Includes: (Maria Schneider – composer/conductor; Steve Wilson – alto, soprano, clarinet, flute, alto flute; Dave Pietro – alto, soprano, clarinet, flute, alto flute, bass flute, piccolo; Rich Perry – tenor sax; Donny McCaslin – tenor, clarinet; flute; Scott Robinson – baritone, bass clarinet, alto clarinet, clarinet; Tony Kadlock – trumpet, flugelhorn; Greg Gisbert – trumpet, flugelhorn; Augie Haas – trumpet, flugelhorn; Mike Rodriquez – trumpet, flugelhorn; Keith O'Quinn – trombone; Ryan Keberle – trombone; Marshall Gilkes – trombone; George Flynn – bass trombone; Gary Versace – accordion; Lage Lund – guitar; Frank Kimbrough – piano; Jay Anderson – bass; Clarence Penn – drums; Rogerio Boccato – percussion on "Lembranca")

READ THE FULL Audiophile Audition REVIEW