Review at Something Else!
by Ross Boissoneau
January 18, 2021
If standard, occasionally swinging big band is indeed your forte, check out The Third Quarter by the Len Pierro Jazz Orchestra. Woodwind artist Pierro doesn’t even perform on his own recording. Instead, he has written and/or arranged all the material and produced the disc, while enlisting a large ensemble of eight saxes, six trumpets and five trombones, plus rhythm.
Each of the 11 tunes feature at least one soloist; many feature two or more. Heck, the title track includes four. The moods vary, but the quality doesn’t, as each song slips into the next. “As We Know It” features woodwinds and muted trumpets, while the following “In Earnest” is a more uptempo, jaunty tune, with punchy trumpets even when they’re again muted. “No More, No Less” bears some resemblance to “Our Love Is Here to Stay.”
If what you’re looking for is straight ahead big band music without a lot of frills, but with some exemplary playing, you’re in the right place.