The art of jazz arranging has been around for 100 years, and the Zurich Jazz Orchestra will explore some of the most interesting and important arrangements written for big band in this first century of the art form’s development – a kind of best-of program as a retrospective of the season’s theme «The Art of Arranging».
Our musical journey begins with Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson in the 1920s and continues with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Claude Thornhill and other greats of the swing and big band era of the 1930s and 40s. The innovations of the post-war big bands of Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and Count Basie lead us to Thad Jones/Mel Lewis, Buddy Rich and other important big bands of the 1960s and 70s. Influential arrangers such as Bob Brookmeyer, Gil Evans, Jim McNeely, Bill Holman, Carla Bley, Billy Strayhorn as well as George Gruntz and Mathias Rüegg will be in the spotlight and show where this art form has developed over the past 50 years.
The often underestimated art form of arranging and presenting is a hobbyhorse of Ed Partyka: “‘The art of arranging’ is a subject that is very close to my heart. Although I compose music, I see myself first and foremost as an arranger. Arranging is the part of writing music that I enjoy the most and that I find the most interesting, whereas composing has always been extremely tedious, hard work for me. When I write new music, I often only get through the composing part by visualizing the reward I’ll get when I can finally arrange this new music for jazz orchestra.” You can hear more about this in our podcast: