“…she’s Maria Schneider on steroids…” -Harvey Siders, Jazz Times/ Clairvoyance – Ayn Inserto’s DOWN A RABBIT HOLE exhibits her continued exploration and adventures for the modern big band. Featuring jazz greats John Fedchock, Sean Jones, and George Garzone, Ayn’s new album tells a new story with each carefully composed piece. Her compositional design allows the genuine expression of the soloists to shine, while maintaining the style and sound of this large ensemble that is uniquely Ayn’s. Ayn’s exceptional ability to collaborate is illustrated in her thoughtful arrangements. In her compositions, her visionary melodic and harmonic concepts are executed with precision by her long-established band that loves and understands her music. The energy, creativity, and craft of Ayn’s DOWN A RABBIT HOLE is simply magical and inspiring.
Ayn Inserto, conductor/composer/arranger
Guests: John Fedchock, trombone; George Garzone, tenor sax; Sean Jones, trumpet
Allan Chase, soprano/alto sax; Rick Stone, alto sax/flute/clarinet; Kelly Roberge, tenor sax/clarinet; Mark Zaleski, tenor sax/clarinet; Kathy Olson, bari sax/bass clarinet
Trumpets: Jeff Claassen, Bijon Watson, Dan Rosenthal, Matthew Small
Trombones: Randy Pingrey, Chris Gagne, Garo Saraydarian; Bass Trombone: Jennifer Wharton
Eric Hofbauer, guitar; Jason Yeager, piano; Sean Farias, bass; Austin McMahon, drums
Mike Tomasiak, tenor sax on track 5; Jerry Sabatini, trumpet, on track 5; Jamie Kember, bass trombone, on track 5.
Down a Rabbit Hole (Summit – 732) conjures up the kind of madcap adventures experienced by Alice in her trip to Wonderland. The AYN INSERTO JAZZ ORCHESTRA takes the listener into the world of musical imagination that is possessed by the leader of this impressive contemporary big band. Inserto employs 17 musicians to bring her concepts to life, and they are splendid players indeed. To augment the band, Inserto has three masters of their instruments, trumpeter Sean Jones, trombonist John Fedchock and tenor saxophonist George Garzone as featured soloists. There are seven selections, each of which is distinctive, although two pieces, “Ze Teach” and “And Me” comprise a two part suite inspired by her studies with Bob Brookmeyer and her evolution as a first-rate composer/arranger on her own. This is listening music that reveals new joys each time it is revisited.-Jersey Jazz
All three take turns on the fun and Monkish “Three and Me” that has the sections bouncing back and forth, while Jones is velvety on “BJ’s Tune.” Austin McMahon’s drums and high hat lead the charge for Garzone’s thick sax on the title track and coaxes his cymbals around the relaxed strut of “Mister and Dudley” for Fedchock. The ringer here is an elegiac take of the Michael Jackson hit “I’ll Be There” that features a gorgeous intro by pianist Jason Yeager. This is an album filled with rich and toe tapping ideas.”
-George W. Harris, JazzWeekly.com
-Chris Spector, MIDWEST RECORD