Between the small combo and the big band there exists the little big band. Eight to 10 musicians provide composers and arrangers a palate of instrumental color and voices to explore and combine in non-traditional fashion. Among notable examples are the Miles Davis Nonet with music by Gil Evans, John Lewis, and Gerry Mulligan. Later examples include The Dave Pell Octet, the Marty Paich Dektet, Gerry Mulligan Tentette, Phil Woods Little Big Band and others. Oliver Groenewald's NewNet is a nine-piece ensemble that continues the tradition here in the Pacific Northwest.
This edition of the NewNet has played only a few concerts so far, including the Orcas Island Jazz Festival and an Art of Jazz Concert at the Seattle Art Museum this month. The Art of Jazz concert was recorded for Jazz Northwest and highlights will air Sunday, September 18 at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KNKX. Included are original arrangements by Oliver Groenewald of his compositions as well as music by Horace Silver, Lee Morgan and a pair of standards.
Oliver Groenewald was born in Germany and began his career there. He played and recorded with the NDR Big Band and made two albums in Germany with an earlier version of the NewNet, and arranged an album for singer Mark Murphy. He studied trumpet with Art Farmer in Austria, and arranging with Chuck Israels at Western Washington University and trumpet with Willie Thomas in the U.S. He now lives on Orcas Island and formed the present group with some of the top Seattle jazz players. The NewNet includes Brad Allison, Oliver Groenewald, Dan Marcus, Jay Thomas, Travis Raney, Pete Gallio, John Hansen, Paul Gabrielson and Adam Kessler.
The Art of Jazz series is presented by Earshot Jazz and the Seattle Art Museum on the second Thursday of each month from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, and admission is free. Next in the series is The Kareem Kandi Band on October 13. Jazz Northwest airs every Sunday at 2 PM Pacific on 88.5 KNKX and streams at knkx.org. The program is recorded and produced by Jim Wilke exclusively for KNKX. After broadcast, programs are archived and may be streamed on demand at jazznw.org.