Music Mondays: because life’s better with a soundtrack.

I’m going to say something that may sound anachronistic; you may not even believe me:

I discovered an incredible new big band last week.


“What?!” you say. “Big bands went the way of the buffalo half a century ago!”

Well, friend, you’re mistaken.

There are some incredible musicians redefining the meaning of what it is to be a big band as well as some great ensembles carry the torch of groups like Basie’s and Ellington’s. My teacher and former employer, Chuck Owen and his Jazz Surge are an incredible group of musicians. Darcy James Argue (yep, that’s his name) is a brilliant tunesmith. John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble (with the incomparable Theo Bleckmann, husband to the one and only Preston Bailey) created the most transcendent musical environment I’ve ever had the chance to experience by way of the Irish Blessing.

It’s all there, man. This music is still alive.

So, last week I was made hip to the work of a recent grad at Indiana University (one of the best jazz programs in America) by way of his senior recital. Check out the video in the header of this post.

And now here I am, listening to Mitch Shiner‘s debut album, FLY! and it is absolutely slaying me! I’ve literally had to stop typing five times to take in the ebullience of this album. It’s just plain freaking fun!

Do yourself a favor and spin this one front to back. It’s a trip and full of a ton of little musical surprises.

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