A charter member of the three-time Grammy Award winning, internationally acclaimed group Snarky Puppy, voted Jazz Group of the Year in the 2017 DownBeat Readers Poll, keyboardist Bill Laurance has also been operating outside the confines of that wildly popular genre-bending jazz and funk collective.
Recorded in front of an enthusiastic audience at the Philharmonie concert hall in Cologne, Germany, and powered by the renowned 18-piece WDR Big Band under the direction of principal conductor Bob Mintzer (renowned tenor saxophonist, longtime member of the Yellowjackets and leader of his own Grammy-winning Bob Mintzer Big Band), this adventurous outing finds Laurance re-imagining previously recorded works on a much grander scale. "I always imagined these compositions to be played by an orchestra, and it's a rare opportunity to have your music realized with a large ensemble of this caliber," said Laurance.
In some ways an extension of Snarky Puppy's orchestral collaboration with the Netherlands Metropole Orkest on 2015's Grammy-winning Sylva (Best Contemporary Instrumental Album). Cinematic in nature with surprises around every turn of the page, Live at the Philharmonie Cologne is easily Laurance's most adventurous outing to date. As the U.K.'s Jazz Journal put it: "If jazz is to continue to appeal to future generations then it needs people like Bill Laurance to renew it's relevance."
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