20 is the fourth independently released album from the Toronto Jazz Orchestra (TJO). Recorded in May, 2017 at Revolution Recording in Toronto, it showcases the composition and arranging work of TJO Artistic Director Josh Grossman. 20 is a celebration of both the TJO’s 20th anniversary, and of Grossman’s evolution as an Artistic Director, composer, and arranger.
The seven original compositions and one arrangement featured on 20 were all written by Grossman between 2009 and 2016, with the most recent work (Georgie and Rose) completed specifically for this recording. The album's repertoire reflects in part the range of musical influences that inform Grossman’s approach to programming and composing: traditional big band swing, funk, rock, hip hop, samba, and free jazz.
• Georgie and Rose, a pseudo-samba dedicated to Grossman's kids
• Brad’s Prudence, an arrangement of Dear Prudence, based on Brad Mehldau’s performance of the tune
• 4 PN, a four-movement suite inspired by Phil Nimmons, loosely based on his Atlantic Suite (and other Nimmons compositions), and written in celebration of his 90th birthday
• Reflection, a ballad inspired in part by the passing of Grossman's grandfather, but more generally by any life event which gives us pause
• The Blob, a funk/rock tune which aims to capture the excitement and trepidation of becoming a parent
The production team for 20 features some of the most respected personnel in Toronto. JUNO Award-winning bassist Roberto Occhipinti, who has served as a personal mentor of Grossman's for many years, is the album’s Producer; JUNO Award-winning John “Beetle” Bailey engineered and mixed; Peter Letros, former Chief Mastering Engineer at Sony Music Canada, handled the mastering.
The Toronto Jazz Orchestra has established itself as one of Toronto’s most exciting and important big bands, performing repertoire and undertaking special projects not tackled elsewhere. With its 20th anniversary coming this fall - and nearly ten years since the ensemble’s last studio recording - the time is right for 20.
official website: http://www.thetjo.com/
Marty's review: The TJO is not your average big band but more of an expanded jazz ensemble. With the music covering several genres of contemporary sounds and traditional jazz arrangements, this album is a treasure of delights that excites and surprises with each unfolding composition. Full credits to the production team and all players involved. Jazz with grooves and creative delivery.