Darrell Katz and The JCA Orchestra: Live At The BPC

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The JCA (Jazz Composers Alliance) Orchestra: Live At The BPC – (Peter Gamble, Jazz Journal), 01/2021:

This is no outfit set out to swing constantly, despite a ability to do so, for there are numerous rhythmic twists and turns over an hour of music that sets out to offer challenge without alienation.

One Mighty Showstopper After Another on the JCA Orchestra’s Latest Live Album – (delarue, New York Music Daily), 03/2021:

The JCA Orchestra are the Boston counterpart to Miho Hazama’s rotating cast of big band jazz talent, whose home until the lockdown was the Jazz Gallery. But the JCA Orchestra have been championing the work of lesser-known composers since before Hazama was born. These days the Jazz Gallery has been repurposed as a web tv studio – temporarily, let’s hope – and the JCA Orchestra are on ice, at least for the time being. But they have a brilliant, wildly diverse and entertaining new album, Live at the BPC streaming at Spotify.

The JCA Orchestra: Live At The BPC – (Jerome Wilson, All About Jazz), 01/2021:

The JCA Orchestra has been an important part of the Boston jazz scene since it formed in 1985. Several of its recordings are dominated by the compositions of its leader, Darrell Katz, but this live concert from the Berklee Performance Center features works by several orchestra members other than Katz and gives a fuller picture of the orchestra’s range.

The JCA at the BPC (It’s a Boston Thing) – (Lynn René Bayley, Art Music Lounge), 09/2020:

The album consists of six pieces, two written by violinist Mimi Rabson, two by David Harris, and one each by Bob Pilkington and Darrell Katz. The opener, Romanople, has an arresting 12/8 beat and the kind of Middle Eastern melodic line that one associates with Rabih Abou-Khalil…at least until the 2:10 mark, when we suddenly shift over to a sort of Middle Eastern polka, complete with tuba playing the bass line, which them turns into Klezmer with Phil Scarff playing the clarinet…followed in turn by a slow, free jazz interlude. One thing you’ve got to say for the JCA, they are one wildly eclectic bunch. And I love it!