Great American Music Ensemble

Doug Richards is a respected composer/arranger you have never heard of. A tribute CD, Bugles over Zagreb: the Music of Doug Richards, was released by Rex Richardson in 2014. This was before Richards ever recorded under his own name. Richards formed The Great American Music Ensemble in the mid-80s. He toured through the ’90s and recorded It’s All In The Game in 2001. It was not recorded because of lack of label interest. Rene Marie, Joe Kennedy, Jr., and Jon Faddis were all soloists. Touring jazz big bands are a thing of the distant past, it’s true. People like Ellington, Basie and Kenton were unable to afford the expense. Today, Wynton Marsalis is a smart man who conducts with his orchestra and instead of touring the country, prefers to be at Lincoln Center in Manhattan, so people come to him, rather than the other direction. It’s All In The Game, a super-sized gumbo with righteous proportions. GAME does more than just create classic charts. GAME explodes classic charts. It explodes them. A swing classic such as “In The Mood”, which Glenn Miller Orchestra brought to cities across the country during his reign as the most-sold recording artist (1939-1943), is apparently injected with meth. He comes out frenetic and speed-zip bug-eyed wild. The same spirit infuses Gershwin (“Clap Your Hands”) and Cole Porter (“Stardust”) with the same sensibility. Doug Richards is content to make great music behind-the scenes (watch the embedded video to see his world music conducting). Do you want big band action? There are many instruments that can be used to get your attention: clarinet (13), clarinet (7), bassoon (2) and flute (2). Imagine touring with 13 saxophones. from

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