From raunchy, driving rock to lush Gil Evans-like colors; from infectious swing to haunting ballads; and from impish humor to fluid latin rhythms, this cd will give you the ultimate in jazz big band pleasure.
Reviews from CDBaby.com customers:
Big Band Hipness!!! Reviewer: S. Marsh “Ride the Night Beast” is an excellent CD by Ladd McIntosh and his L.A. Big Band. This CD features an exciting program of Ladd’s original compositions. This is a modern, contemporary big band with a very 'hip' sound. Ladd has developed his own original and recognizable style as a jazz big band composer/arranger. Ladd’s compositions are all very intriguing and exciting. His music incorporates exotic, unpredictable melodies that are full of pleasant surprises. The grooves are grounded in swinging intensity, earthy funk, and exhilarating Latin styles. Ladd’s orchestrations highlight a full range of instrumental colors: Muted brass, flutes, soprano sax, clarinets, and many different percussion instruments are heard throughout. Brass section punctuations hit hard and funky. The melodies of “The Rugged Coast” unfold their beauty gradually. Before long, a gentle Latin groove appears, then we hear a wonderful alto sax solo by Fred Selden. One can envision the Northern California coastline which inspired this piece. The title track is a Big Band funk fest, with a sly nod to the great Tower of Power band. This CD was dedicated to the late Grant Wolf - a very influential music educator, and a close friend of Ladd. (Ladd’s drummer Dick Weller was a student of G. Wolf) “The Last Suite Mesa” very effectively captures several aspects of Grant’s musical personality. “Goodbye Grant” is a deeply felt, affecting tribute. Jon Crosse plays the very lovely soprano sax on this movement. The other three movements of this Suite are fun, buoyant, and joyful celebrations of Grant’s life. “Guru’ is another memorable McIntosh composition. The piece opens as mysteriously as the title would imply. Eventually the tempo surges forward and saxophonists Kurt McGettrick and Glenn Garrett both wail on their solos. Later, a rhythmic motif is used for collective improvisation as it builds throughout the entire band. “Suite Mesa Two” opens with another of Ladd’s exotic melodies played over a loping samba groove. The flute/soprano sax lead is complimented by the brass section, then an terrific syncopated line played by the bari sax and the trombones sets up smokin’ solos by Glen Garrett on alto sax, and Geoff Stradling on electric piano. The 2nd movement features the seductive alto sax of Fred Selden. Beautiful and alluring! The 3rd movement is up-tempo and exciting. Ladd’s great sense of musical humor on display here. Newcomers and seasoned jazz fans alike will find much to enjoy within this CD. Check out the audio samples here to taste the variety of Ladd’s music. Buy it.
Outstanding Reviewer: MNFUNK Sometimes it seems like "big band" and "innovation" don't belong in the same sentence. They do here. Ladd McIntosh, one of the great living big band writers/arrangers, serves up a beautiful CD of his original works with A+++ players realizing his vision. This CD will be enjoyable to musically-naive and will prove exciting to the musically experienced. What are you waiting for?