Nobody Does it Better: The CCM Jazz Orchestra as James Bond – Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Directed by Scott Belck


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Bringing a college big band from Cincinnati together with a notorious downtown New York composer-arranger-trumpeter to perform expanded and decidedly tweaked renditions of John Barry’s sumptuous soundtrack music for several James Bond movies may seem like an audacious over-reach on the surface. But that was precisely what Scott Belck had in mind when the musical director for the College-Conservatory of Music Jazz Orchestra first contacted Sex Mob’s ringleader, trumpeter-composer-arranger Steven Bernstein about this unlikely collaboration. Bernstein, who has previously arranged large ensembles for Portugal’s Orchestra de Jazz Matosinhos (OJM), Arturo O’Farril’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and for Robert Altman’s 1996 movie Kansas City, explained his modus operandi for Nobody Does It Better. “I tend to write very physical, demanding arrangements. I try to get that kind of intensity that I like. And the thing is, these guys are young, and they know extreme music — trumpet parts that are really high and trombone parts that are really low…all these extreme things that are super physical that as you get older become harder to play. But young guys love to tackle that stuff.” ¬†Things did indeed happen on this unlikely collaboration between jazz renegade Bernstein and Belck’s pro-sounding college big band. And the results are scintillating. Nobody Does It Better is throbbing with energy and brimming with the sound of surprise. (from the liner notes by Bill Milkowski)