Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra
farewell

(ORENDA 0008)

Digital: $9.99 | CD: $!4.99

“The gifted Los Angeles tenor saxophonist may have assembled a 23-piece band of fairly traditional instrumentation, but he is a composer and arranger who dares to imagine…  Seldom resorting to the full blast of massed horns, he prefers to draw out shifting patterns of colours, textures and dynamics, using structures that sometimes dare to reach beyond the hackneyed head-solos-head format.  Improvising becomes a conceptual part of the pieces.”
—John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald

Jon Armstrong: Composer, Conductor, Tenor Saxophone Soloist
Woodwinds: Gavin Templeton, Phil O’Connor, Brian Walsh, Andrew Conrad, Erin Armstrong
Trumpets: Michael Steever, Daniel Rosenboom, Barbara Laronga, Josh Aguiar, Clinton Patterson
Low Brass: George McMullen, Ryan Dragon, Joey Sellers, Paul Rivera, Stefan Kac
Rhythm: Gary Fukashima, Randy Gloss, Chris Payne, David Tranchina, Alexander Noice, Trevor Anderies, Andrew Lessman



“Debut release from composer and saxophonist Armstrong, and featuring a bevy of strong players from the L.A. scene. Easily the most exciting aspect of this recording is the ebb and flow transitions between rich veins of rhythmic activity and the most delicate solos from the wind section. One of the albums where the ensemble doesn’t play it straight with straight-ahead music, creating a sense of something different in the midst of everything familiar. Amongst the ensemble, some familiar names to this column like Trevor Anderies, Daniel Rosenboom, Gary Fukushima, and Andrew Lessman. Plenty of big sounds on this recording, but often delivered with a patience that really draws out the emotional impact for all kinds of dividends.”
—Dave Sumner, Wondering Sound

“Jon Armstrong’s new jazz orchestra album Farewell offers something new but clearly built off of what had come before him… …Jon’s work does not strictly adhere to genre formula(s) and the entire album is all the more better for it. It stands up to repeated listenings. It has substance but is never so forward thinking as to turn off the more casual listener.”
—Maxwell Chandler, Our Man On The Coast 

“Composer/arranger Armstrong delights in rubbing the orchestral textures against one another, and he gives his soloists great latitude. Each of the five tunes begins simply, and once Armstrong has ascertained that the listener’s seatbelt is securely fastened, the flight begins. It is a thrilling ride, passing through exuberant harmonies and changes in direction and altitude that are as unexpected as they are inevitable. From the Scots march of the opener, “Ardnave,” to the ghostly “Dream Has No Friend,” which sounds like program music for a psychic adventure, to the elegiac finale of the
title track, Armstrong and friends carry the listener through five satisfying musical narratives that quicken the heart and brain.”
—Mel Minter, Musically Speaking



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