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Greg Yasinitsky: Yazz Band: New Normal (album review by Christa V.)

Yasinitsky is a saxophonist, composer, and arranger from the Pacific Northwest who created this group (Yazz Band) to showcase his original big band compositions. Made up of fellow improvisors and long-time collaborators, the band is a powerhouse of sound and technique. The title New Normal refers to the pandemic and how meeting together for large ensembles just wasn't possible. The songs are a mix of ensemble tracks recorded pre-pandemic with recordings done in isolation from distant parts of the globe. The resulting songs are a dynamic creation that showcase what makes big band music so fun to listen to. The opening track, "G.P.", is smooth yet energetic, making it an ideal opener. "Blues for Brecker" is up-beat and jazzy, guaranteed to make you want to move. The title track is smooth and tight as well, with great solos as well as ensemble work. This is definitely an excellent example of big band work, despite the challenges that came with the production. Favorite tracks: 1, 3, 5

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