The Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra – It’s About Time (ENG review)

Constant Dreamer Records - Available
Jazz Funk
The Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra - It’s About Time

Another album that will fill your heart with sunshine, a dazzling jazz funk as we love it with brass bursting from all sides. It must be said that Chris McDonald has been a key figure on the Nashville music scene for over 40 years. After moving to Nashville as a trombonist in 1982, he quickly became the go-to arranger for pop brass. Shortly thereafter, he was sought after for string and orchestral arrangements, as well as for big bands, both for artists and his own group. This brass expert is probably the best in the genre, with an orchestra sized to his measure, putting on a show on stage larger than the Himalayas. “It’s About Time” is the latest album by the Chris McDonald Jazz Orchestra on Constant Dreamer Records. “It’s About Time” is a contemporary jazz odyssey composed of original compositions by Chris McDonald, along with unique arrangements of two covers. The album features an all-star big band with many special guest soloists. Produced by Chris McDonald and Dan Rudin, recorded at Dan Rudin Recording and Production in Nashville, TN.

An album of this kind requires great expertise to be realized in this way, and it must be said that in terms of arrangements, Chris McDonald is an expert. He has worked for Carrie Underwood, Thomas Rhett, Amy Grant, Kirk Franklin, Willie Nelson, Sara Evans, Ricardo Arjona, Luis Fonsi, and many others. His arrangements have been recorded by orchestras all over the world and have literally been heard by billions of people.

On this album, you will hear more than 25 extraordinary musicians and guests, including Danny Gottlieb on drums, Dennis Chambers on drums, Jordan Perlson on drums, Keith Carlock on drums, James Pankow on trombone, Joel Frahm on tenor sax, Nando Lauria on vocals, and Wendy Moten on vocals, adding to the long list of artists. Only one track on this album is not signed by Chris McDonald; it is the first track of the album (by J. Anderson and S. Howe), which is hardly noticeable as Chris McDonald’s arrangements are predominant at every level on each track. This is, therefore, a grandiose album, in cinemascope format, joyful, inventive, pleasing, swinging from all sides, which can give you excellent moments, especially if you have an excellent Hi-Fi system to enjoy the breathtaking mix of this album, which certainly deserves to be included in our “Essential” albums.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, June 26th 2024

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