United Women´s Orchestra
United Women´s Orchestra
This sets them apart from the mainstream thrust of the present Jazz scene even more than the fact that everyone involved happens to be female, a circumstance more interesting than important. More meaningful is the fact that all of the members are European (by birth or choice), and Europe has been a haven for the most adventurous of American Jazz musicians, dating all the way back to Sidney Bechet, providing a deeper appreciation and understanding than the more narrow-visioned and conservative audiences on my side of the Atlantic.” George Lane, GMN (Global Music Network) “Any expectation you may have about an all woman band failing to produce the impact of the usual male-dominated group, you can forget right now. The music is original, composed and arranged by the co-leaders Hazel Leach and Christina Fuchs. The concept seems to radiate from the personal experiences of the writers interpreted musically.
Although the band’s configuration is traditional, the writing is not and the listener can expect the envelope to be stretched and his musical beliefs to be be challenged. If you can think about George Gruntz and perhaps Brookmeyer in advanced mode, you will be fairly close to the impact of this ensemble. For the most part, the unexpected turns of the writing are not too sharp and many outstanding lyrical moments soften the overall drama of the music. The performance often devolves to ‘small group’ and you are tempted to think of the rest of the ensemble as just another voice in that small group.
The experience is of extreme emotions from the dramatic to the sublime and beautiful. This remarkable ensemble would probably be a culture shock for most traditional listeners, but for those who live at the cutting edge, there is plenty to marvel at. These are muscular meaningful performances by musicians of extreme ability”… (John Killoch, August 2000. “Mainly Big Bands”) …Exploding any lingering stereotypes about Europeans and women as second-class jazz citizens, Hazel Leach and Christina Fuchs’ modernist orchestra of 18 musicians handles original repertoire with self-possession. The forward-looking music, much more than a conduit for able soloists, impresses most for the muted glow of the interestingly-voiced brass and low-register reeds.
The resulting soft pastel colors give the arrangements an alluring emotional ambiguity… (Downbeat USA 1/97) ….The UWO is not the first all-women’s bigband, but it is the first to find a distinctive sound..comparable to the new sound of Maria Schneider….. Hamburger Morgenpost 11/96 ……Women in jazz are still rather the exception than the rule- especially an all-women bigband which plays original music written by its’ two leaders. In particular, the explosive compositions of Hazel Leach , with their funky influences, set themselves apart from the traditional bigband patterns.. (Ruhr Nachrichten 5/95) Credits : Hazel Leach Read more on Last.fm.
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