In the summer of 2013, The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO), under the leadership of founder/director Tommy Smith, toured in the U.S.A. and Canada for the first time. They paused for a moment in New York City to record with some of America’s most admired jazz musicians.
Special guests: Mike Stern, Kurt Elling, Bill Evans, David Liebman, Randy Brecker, Joe Locke, Clarence Penn, Donny Mccaslin, Alyn Cosker, David Kikoski, Joel Frahm, Michael Dease
American Adventure is the result of sessions that took place over two hot days in June inside Avatar, one of New York City’s most iconic recording studios. This latest chapter in the SNJO story explores musical narratives provided by some of the most adventurous composers, soloists and arrangers in contemporary jazz.
American Adventure also underscores the generational transections that radiated from the innovations set by Miles Davis and were proliferated by disciples, David Liebman and Bill Evans. A clear path is delineated through the compositions of Shorter, Coltrane, Corea, Miller, Beirach, and Mingus to the young voices of these present-day players. The meeting is certainly historic for the SNJO, but it is historical too because it deals with the very fabric of contemporary jazz.
Tommy Smith, reflecting on their achievements, said, “Throughout our North American adventure, we formed new friendships and played some magnificent music inspired by tremendous audiences. Personally, I was proud to be leading such an exceptional group of musicians through nine concerts and two very memorable days at Avatar, supported by all our gracious and inspirational guests.”