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ClassicsOnline Home » UMO JAZZ ORCHESTRA: Transit People
So who are the Transit People? The answer is: the musicians of course. People going places. People on the move, in transit from one town, country and hotel, to another. Just like the UMO Jazz Orchestra.
The Finnish big band jazz institution also never stays very long with one set of repertoire. They are always seeking new challenges, and constantly taking on music requiring more and more demands in performance. Luckily, with the band's technical and musical command of so many different styles, it is able to cope with whatever music is put in front of it. Transit People is such a session.
Recorded in year 2000 while the band celebrated its 25th anniversary, Transit People consists of dramatic interesting music written by its various members, plus two re-arranged classic compositions - John Coltrane's Naima and Mongo Santamaria's Afro-Blue. Densely textured and musically confident, with fascinating arrangements that support some stellar soloists, UMO stands up to any orchestra in any country with what they are producing now. This is the band's second international release on Naxos Jazz following their 1997's self-titled debut.
UMO was founded in 1975 by a group of Finnish jazz artists (thus year 2000 marked their 25th anniversary). During its existence it has been home for some of the finest Finnish jazz musicians and in Finland it acts as something of a practical jazz academy. It has toured to the United States, Canada, Italy and Germany, and played with jazz greats and stars from vocalist Natalie Cole to Manhattan Transfer to Dizzy Gillespie. In fact, when the late bebop legend visited Finland as a soloist with UMO he said the orchestra was one of the best he had ever heard.
Jazz conductors including Thad Jones, Gil Evans, Benny Carter and Bob Brookmeyer have also publicly expressed recognition of the orchestra's high standard. The late Mercer Ellington was so taken with the UMO sound that he gave the orchestra many of his band's original arrangements.
With Transit People, UMO is now ready to show the rest of the world how great they are.
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UMO JAZZ ORCHESTRA: Transit People