There are so many words that can be used to describe this latest album from John Fedchock’s New York Big Band but the ones that I am going to use are: stylish, sophisticated and traditional.

It is an album that features big and bold sounds such as those heard on ‘You and the Night and the Music’ or ‘Havana’. Both have a party-like vibe to them, a true celebration of music.

The performances from all of the musicians involved are extremely precise and controlled, with only one performance going slightly overboard with enthusiasm (‘Havana’). It could also be said that some of the tracks could have been shortened slightly such as ‘Ojos de Rojo’ which feels slightly overindulgent.

However, for the most part there are a lot positives to be said about the album. It oozes in style and sophistication thanks to songs such as ‘Hair of the Dog’ and ‘Just Squeeze Me’ but there are more thoughtful and poignant moments such as on ‘For Heaven’s Sake’.

Having being together for over twenty years, it is no wonder that all of the performances are so polished and enjoyable to listen to, but I can’t help but feel that occasionally they can come across as too polished with no room for a bit of spontaneity which is where the album is at its best.

There is plenty of variety and expression on all of the tracks that makes this album enjoyable to listen to and appreciate. But it is the album closer ‘Tne Thirty 30’ that truly leaves you with a smile on your face thanks to its quirky and playful nature.

‘Like it is’ is bold and confident in the way in which it doesn’t hold anything back, yet it is clear that each performance has been carefully thought out and planned. It is one of the most joyful albums that I have heard so far this year.

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