St. Louis Musicians Unite

Yay Jeff Riley Jazz Suite! Most downloaded songs in St. Louis for 2012!!!! Also the second most played track, Reggae Soul! Congrats to ALL JSO musicians, past and present :) Special thanks to the lineup that recorded the CD: Joshua Quinlan, Shane Jonas, Steven Kortyka, Kimberly Dawson, John Lake, Brian Newman, Joel Michael Timm, Alejandro CastaƱo, Annie Booth, Patrick McDevitt, Far'n'Away Studios and Airshow Mastering in Boulder. Nice work!!!!!!

John McBeath

by:John McBeath
From:The Australian
January 21, 201212:00AM

THE Jeff Riley Jazz Suite is a project begun a decade ago in the US by the eponymous saxophonist.

It's a 10-piece "little big band" that, apart from performing original music around swing, funk and reggae styles, also supports music education for underprivileged children. The opener, T for Tyka, uses an interesting format, a 12-tone row: a melody that uses all 12 chromatic notes before any are repeated, and begins with a short vocal welcoming lyric from Kimberly Dawson. After that the instruments take over in swinging big band mode with a powerful brass section of four, plus three reeds, from which the leader emerges with a swing-era alto solo. The nostalgia is preserved with a Louie Bellson-style drum solo preceding a tenor-led final chorus. The tempo drops a little for Mvmt II, another swing piece featuring the strong trombone of Joel Timm. Reggae Soul, despite weak lyrics from the two vocalists, uses a smart rhythmic drive from electric bass and drums, while another reggae-based track, Time Shuttle, opening with an electric bass riff, is more dynamically interesting with a lift-off trumpet solo from John Lake and big chords driving the ensemble. Swing beats the singing on this album - most lyrics are mundane - which is really one for the big band era aficionado.

LABEL: Independent
RATING: 3 stars

Ivan Nossa

Ivan Nossa's review of the CD

Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Reggae Soul
CD Review: It is with pleasure that i review this album. First of all because it is good music, secondly because this album supports music education for under-privileged children. Portions of the proceeds from every CD sale will go to this worthy cause.

Jeff Riley from Ohio is the soul of this project, he is also a gifted saxophonist. About ten years ago he started this idea that he is also planning to expand in the future. This group is like an adventure that never cease to surprise. It began in Cincinnati and later grew coast to coast. The old songs don't change but the way they are played does because every time it is like an old family reunion and everybody involved contributes with his own style. On the other hand new songs keep coming in.

This album is a collection of what happens during these musical meetings. It is really enjoyable and colorful music played with passion and professionalism. It is jazz with a soul and a tick of swing. I would like to recommend this CD to everyone who loves exciting jazz music.

Saint Louis Musicians Unite

Check out this press for the Jazz Suite Orchestra AND the St. Louis Big Band's performance this Friday at the Casa Loma Ballroom.