Toronto saxophonist Kirk MacDonald is doing a fine job of maintaining the modern big band tradition. His last recording Deep Shadows was a 2012 JUNO nominee and he’s followed it with another performance by his Jazz Orchestra, Family Suite for Large Ensemble (Addo AJR013). Here trombonist Terry Promane has taken on the challenge of arranging MacDonald’s 2008 quartet album Family Suite for an 18-piece band, emphasizing brass lustre with five trumpets and four trombones. Promane successfully adopts MacDonald’s complex original lines to the weightier textures, burnishing them with greater emotional depth, and MacDonald the soloist is clearly inspired anew. The quality of the writing is emphasized by the performances of an all-star band that includes alto saxophonist P.J. Perry, guitarist Lorne Lofsky and trumpeter Kevin Turcotte.
Written by Stuart Broomer for WholeNote Magazine (link to original review)