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Modern swing

The Brunt
The Brunt
By Either/Orchestra

Accurate Records: 1994

This review first appeared in the September 30, 1994 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

The Either/Orchestra plays big band music for the '90s. The quirky 10-piece combo from Massachusetts eschews Glen Miller charts for a more contemporary sound; rather than looking back for inspiration, the Either/Orchestra continually presses forward.

Make no mistake: These guys can flat-out swing. But they swing in a contemporary vein, and do so while pushing into that territory between jazz and experimental music, much as Stan Kenton did for an earlier generation.

And they do all this from two different angles: innovative original compositions and challenging arrangements of jazz standards – including Ellington's "Blues for New Orleans" and Mal Waldron's "Hard Talk" on this newest disc. And the band's members understand that being experimental and bold need not be anarchic or dissonant. Listen to their soul-tinged, smokey cover of Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay" and you'll grasp what the Either/Orchestra is all about.