Tag Archives: Big Band

Bob Florence Dies

Legendary Big Band arranger, composer, pianist, and Finale user Bob Florence died today.
From: ALEX ILES <XXXXXX@earthlink.net>
Date: May 15, 2008 6:51:24 PM CDT
Subject: [Trombone-l] Bob Florence

I am very sad to report the passing of pianist, composer, arranger
and bandleader Bob Florence. He died this afternoon after a long
illness. He was a brilliant and dedicated musician who never stopped
searching for ways to express emotions through music.

Those who knew him and his music have lost a great friend.

Best wishes,

Alex Iles”

Bob was a great guy, and I had numerous emails back and forth with him about notation and what not. He was also one of my favorite big band arrangers, with tunes like BBC and Carmello’s By The Freeway. He will be missed.
UPDATE: All About Jazz has an article about Bob’s untimely passing.
UPDATERemoved some guy’s posts about Bob who was impersonating someone else. So, if some of the comments reference it, you know why.

Altiverb

I have had the pleasure the last few week to work on mixing a big band that I play in. We recorded 20 something tracks at a concert, and I was able to obtain the Pro Tools session, and set off to salvage the recording session. We recorded twice, and supposedly the second session was better, so, they have been mixing that in the studio. However, the vocalist who performs with us did way better the first session. It was a good way to get your feet wet with Pro Tools, and the whole mixing thing. I’ve always wanted to do a big project like this.

After some cutting, balancing, EQing, etc, etc, I had a fairly good mix happening, but it really lacked something. That something was a good reverb. I was using D-Verb, Pro Tools reverb. Not really all the great. Ozone 3 has a great reverb that I have been using (LOVE Ozone 3) on stuff, but it didn’t seem to do the job. What they were using in the studio was Altiverb, an amazing convolution reverb program.

I’m not going to do an in depth review of it, but what I will say is that this program made everything sound better. The right space, and the right amount made all my mixes finally work and pass the test with various band members. It adds that quality to sound that……it is not easily put into works. It’s the gel, it’s the glue, it’s the stuff. The right reverb just makes it work, and Altiverb is that sort of reverb. True, it was a lot of money, but it makes everything sound better. Even midi mockups sound more realistic now.

Highly recommended. 9.5 out of 10. .5 deducted for the use of iLok, which I’m beginning to hate.

Best Recorded Big Band Albums

As frequent readers of Jazz-Sax.Com will know, I won a pretty awesome M-Audio package. I really did not have the “horse power” to use it until my G4 PowerMac decided to die. Followed by my G4 Cube (though that was probably more me messing around with it than it just dying on it’s own accord. IE: It was apart and being messed with). Anyhow, I invested in a new MacPro 2.88 Dual QuadCore computer. Whoa. Fast!

Anyhow, a big band I play in is in the process of recording a demo. We’ve had two concert recordings. The first, according to the engineer, didn’t come out so clean, and would require a lot of work. The second came out way better. I was able to obtain the ProTools session from the first recordings, and have been using ProTools M-Powered to clean it up and what not.

Now, the question is actually two questions. What is the best studio recording of a Big Band, and what is the best live recording of a big band? For the former, I’d have to say Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Albums are amazingly well done. For the latter, I think the one that sticks out in my mind is Frank Sinatra and Count Basie – Sinatra at the Sands.

Opinions?

Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band Play-Along Series

This is pure gold. 10 songs, playing with the Gordon Goodwin band. The solos are written out. The chart is there. Everything. You get a small clip of the band playing the tune (full band), and then you get the band minus your part and the solos. It’s the actual recording. Hunting Wabbits, yes, it’s the same as the recording. If you listen hard, you can hear a very faint bleed in from the solos.

You need to get this. You need to get both the Alto and the Tenor versions as the written solos are not the same in both books (IE: the solo for Swingin for the Fences is in the Alto book, but not in the Tenor. The solo for Jazz Police is in the Tenor book, but not the Alto).

On a scale of 10, I give this series of books a 12. No, a 14. Hell, ok, 15. It’s good stuff. Very good stuff.

Update: 02/17 21:49 GMT by E :You can get the book via Aebersold, or J.W. Pepper