Jazz- Modern big band

Was going to post at Jazz Recommendations but thought better make a new thread... Any suggestions for good contemporary (let's say last 20 or so years) big band material? Economics make this an increasingly rare format, but there must be some good stuff out there. I read about Maria Schneider in the Dec. Sterophile; maybe I should try her. I have and enjoy Gil Evans sessions at Sweet Basil. I suppose Thad Jones and Mel Lewis still have their orchestra going. I used to really dig the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin big band; Akiyoshi must still be doing her thing. I haven't been paying attention for a while and don't have anything in big band, besides the Evans, from the 80's or 90's. What should I be aware of?
Bob Mintzer, Don Sebesky, for more straight ahead stuff check out Rob McConnell. If you can find it, check out Ed Palermo Big Band Plays Frank Zappa. Enjoy.
The Bob Florence Limited Edition is one of the best big bands recording today. I second the Rob McConnell & The Boss Brass. Bob Curnow's L.A. Big Band is another good group. Sadly, Mel Lewis & Thadd Jones have both passed on, but their recordings are among the best. Happy listening.
Check out the Bill Holman Band "View from the side" cd. It's an XRCD cd that is superb sounding: Big,brassy, and dynamic. Highly recommended! Also might want to check out a cd titled "Big Band Basie" from Reference recordings. Ken
Mingus Big Band! Hands down, the most organic, most passionate, most musical (esp when led by Steve Slagle). Mingus is one of the greatest composer's as well as band leaders of last century.Huge songbook, so many alumni of mingus in the band. Sue is great in how she support's em. Can't miss. Bob Minzter's collective is hit/miss. Mingus is THE source! The recording's (esp Live) are supperb, both soundstage wise(audiophile terms apply), and in terms of the RIGHT spirit!
If you want to hear some of the most adventurous and dynamic big-band music recorded in the past 20 years, you need to pick up a few of the CD's on the Black Saint / Soul Note label done in the 1980's by the David Murray Octet and band. Amazing stuff. Carla Bley also did some great stuff during the past 15 years or so. If you have not listened to the various recordings by Sun Ra's Arkestra, this is a good time to do so, since a number of his hard-to-find recordings have recently been re-mastered and released again. Last, check out the Charles Mingus Big Band, which has been doing some very tasty, challenging work.
Although it is not pure "big band," sometimes that partial big band touch is just enough....try "Lyle Lovett and his Large Band." Have a Large Time, Charlie
check out Arturo Sandoval's Hot House disc. i think he may have done another with that big band. it's latin stuff. great IMO but YMMV.
kid creole and the coconuts did some real interesting stuff a few years back. on the more recent side, i like squirrel nut zippers and the brian setzer orchestra. not quite classic big band jazz but enjoyable nonetheless.
Gatemouth Brown, Big Band Texas style. Foot taping roadhouse style.
Maria Scneider is probably the newest and best on the scene. How about Claus Ogerman
This is great. Some of the suggestions make me go, duh, what’s the matter with me—I knew that. But I’ve lost touch, and the ideas don’t come as fluidly as they used to. ….. I didn’t know Jones & Lewis are gone – see what I mean. Mingus Big Band – knew of Sue Mingus’ project but have not taken the time to plug in – must rectify that ASAP. ….. sdcampbell, is that David Murray with octet plus other pieces? I like(d) Carla Bley a lot, back in the day when I was more current; that’s a good tip. I have some Sun Ra and saw his Arkestra a couple times – space is still the place. ….. People always come up with unexpected angles! I like Latin stuff – I should check out Hot House. (Triggered a fond memory of some Dizzy Gillespie with Afro-Cuban bands.) Kid Creole & the Coconut?--makes me chuckle. Cornfed, I agree – they were so cool. It's a good practice to sing “I’m a Wonderful Thing, Baby” to your wife now and then. Can this Ed Palermo make Zappa swing? ... I’ve taken note of everyone’s suggestions. Thank you all very much.
Seems like you folks have a pretty good handle on the US big band scene (Mingus BB, Maria Scneider, etal.) so I'd like to suggest something from our European friends. From Holland there's Pierre Dorge and New Jungle Orchestra - a wonderful group that's been together since the mid 1980's. From Vienna there's the Vienna Art Orchestra, another long lived ensemble. And from England there's Brotherhood of Breath. Germany brings us Klaus Konig and Italy has The Italian Insatible Orchestra. Plus there are quite a few more, if you're interested just drop me an email.
Jayboard: The David Murray recordings from the '80's on Black Saint / Soul Note featured both his octet and his big band. If you are a relatively experienced jazz listener with a sense of adventure, you should find the Murray recordings a lot of fun. One of the posts above mentioned some European bands, and I thought I'd add to the list: check out the Willem Breuker Collectif - fun, zany stuff. Another band that I had some fun with is The Microseptic Septet, which is sort of an American version of the Brueker Collectif.
Try some of the Brian Setzer cd's.
Bill Holman Band 'Brilliant Corners", the music of Thelonious Monk. JVCXR-0028-2.