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At the forefront of Brooklyn’s burgeoning big band scene, the Japanese-born composer Asuka Kakitani has attracted some of New York’s finest jazz artists with her adventurous, melodically charged charts. After several years of regular performances around New York City, the dynamically supple 18-piece Asuka Kakitani Jazz Orchestra makes a stunning debut with Bloom, due out January 26 on Nineteen-Eight Records.
Outside of Lincoln Center, virtually all jazz orchestras exist as a labor of love. Kakitani has fostered the necessary dedication among her peers with writing so bright, vivid and personal that it inspires some of New York’s leading improvisers to wondrously expressive heights. Prominently featured among the album’s stellar cast are saxophonist John O’Gallagher, trombonist Jacob Garchik, guitarist Pete McCann, pianist Mike Eckroth, drummer Mark Ferber, and Portuguese-born vocalist Sara Serpa,...
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-Dan Morgenstern (jazz historian, author, former editor of DownBeat, Director of the Institute of Jazz at Rutgers University)