For Your Consideration: East West – Music for Big Bands

Michael Zilber: East West - Music for Big Bands, For Your Grammy  Consideration

For Your Consideration

Reviews + Recognition

8 weeks in JazzWeek’s Top 50 Charts

East West – Music for Big Bands embraces multiplicity. It’s not either/or, it’s and/also. It’s beauty AND burn, intense swing AND sweet balladry, all united under Zilber’s commanding and ever expanding creative purview. The truth is that Michael Zilber can’t be defined by a simple geographic duality.

Andrew Gilbert – KQED and San Jose Mercury News

Michael Zilber’s resumé is rich and varied, deserving much wider recognition. The juxtaposition between east and west is reflected by the choice of material, which aims at leveraging “more of a sense of urgency with the New York band and more of a feeling of contemplation and space with the Bay Area band.” The results are captivating, with a more hard-swinging approach prevailing with the former and a more lyrical one with the latter. Each ensemble is of the highest quality, both in interpreting Zilber’s arrangements and in the solo department.

Marco Cangiano – NYC Jazz Record

On his first-ever big-band enterprise, Michael Zilber leads world-class ensembles in New York City and San Francisco, which speaks volumes about his artistry and gravitas. Zilber not only plays saxophone on both bands, he composed eight of the fourteen numbers and arranged all of them. Zilber proves to be an admirable big-band writer, framing charts that are both contemporary and accessible. In other words, even as he explores new byways, Zilber never strays from the basics: melody, harmony and rhythm.

Jack Bowers – All About Jazz

His compositions, of which there are eight here, are strikingly original, while his arrangements are very much of today yet remain accessible to listeners. When arranging the compositions of others, he seeks and finds stylistic originality.

Bruce Crowther – Jazz Journal (UK)

A top CD of 2019 — WDET Detroit


The Bands

(Numbers indicate tracks soloed on)

New York (Tracks 1-7)

Bruce Williamson – alto (3, 4)
Todd Bashore – alto (1, 4, 5)
Michael Zilber – tenor (1, 2, 4, 7)
Tommy Morimoto – tenor (7)
Jay Rattman – baritone

Frank Greene – trumpet
Alex Norris – trumpet (5)
Freddie Hendrix – trumpet (1)
Chris Rogers – trumpet (2)
Doug Beavers – trombone 1 (2, 3)
Alan Ferber – trombone 2 (5)
Beserat Tafesse – trombone 3
Max Seigel – bass trombone

Mike Holober – piano (4, 5, 6)
John Benitez – bass (3)
Marko Marcinko – drums (1, 3, 5)

San Francisco (Tracks 8-14)

Sheldon Brown – alto (11)
Larry Delacruz – alto (13)
Michael Zilber – tenor (8, 11, 12)
Dann Zinn – tenor (13)
Rob Sudduth – baritone

Erik Andrews – trumpet
Mike Olmos – trumpet (12)
Max Miller-Moran – trumpet (8)
Erik Jekabson – trumpet (9)
Doug Beavers – trombone
Jeff Cressman – trombone
Jon Hatamiya – trombone (11)
Rich Lee – bass trombone

John R Burr – piano (8)
Dan Feiszli – bass (10)
Jeff Marrs – drums (13)
Jeff Masanari – guitar (13)
Joe Bagale – vocals (9)

Production Credits

Produced by Michael Zilber

Recorded by:
New York: Aaron Nevezie at The Bunker Studios on March 27, 2018
San Francisco: Jeff Cressman at The Union on August 9, 2018

Mixing by:
New York: Dan Feiszli in El Cerrito, CA
San Francisco: Jeff Cressman in San Francisco, CA

Mastered by Jeremy Goody, Megasonic Sound, Oakland, CA

Photos by Scott Chernis, Dionne Perez
Cover Design & Layout by John Bishop