Artist: Jeremy Levy Jazz Orchestra
Album: The Planets: Reimagined
Label: OA2 Records
Reviewed by Christopher Burnett
Jeremy Levy is a Los Angeles based musician and composer who has worked in nearly every medium. As a composer, he has most recently written music for “Magic, the Gathering,” “Star Wars: Battlefront (I and II),” and “Star Wars: The Old Republic – Knights of the Fallen Empire.”
He also works as an orchestrator, writing scores for film, television, and video games with portfolio examples like “Frozen 2,” “Trolls,” “Hotel Transylvania 3,” “Minions,” and “The Peanuts Movie,” among others. Mr. Levy’s arranging commissions include writing for the National Symphony Orchestra, The Metropole Orkest, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Originally from Hannibal, Missouri, he completed his undergraduate work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and earned a master’s degree in composition from the University of Miami before engaging his prolific career on the west coast where he co-leads ensembles and works with many of the top studio musicians of today.
Attending a concert performance of the original Gustav Holst orchestral suite by The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Mr. Levy says he was inspired to undertake a jazz adaptation of the famous work as his debut recording as a principal band leader. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the recording was realized and subsequently released worldwide on OA2 Records.
The Planets: Reimagined is a superbly done project on all accounts with stellar creativity and craftsmanship highlighting the writing and fine performances by the musicians. These creatively conceived jazz variations on the well-known classic movements by Holst are artfully done and listening fun. Outstanding indeed.— Jazz Artistry Now
1. MARS – 7:21
2. VENUS – 5:50
3. MERCURY – 3:38
4. JUPITER – 7:40
5. SATURN – 9:24
6. URANUS – 5:39
7. NEPTUNE – 7:32
Jeremy Levy, arranger & conductor
Alex Budman, alto, soprano, solo (3)
Kevin Garren, alto
Jeff Driskill, tenor
Glen Berger, tenor
Tom Luer, tenor solo (6)
Ken Fisher, bari, bass clarinet
Michael Stever, solo (5)
Andy Martin, solo (1)
Steve Hughes, bass
Andrew Synowiec, guitars
Andy Langham, piano
David Hughes, bass
Jame Tate, drums
Brian Kilgore, percussion
Listen and purchase a copy online.
The Jazz Artistry Now review of The Planets: Reimagined was written by Christopher Burnett. Mr. Burnett is a professional jazz artist, noted composer, and an award-winning staff writer and reporter who has written columns and feature articles for All About Jazz, newspapers, journals, and military publications over a period of several decades. He is one of our Jazz Artistry Now founding editors and a voting member of the esteemed Jazz Journalists Association.