Watch a video for the Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra’s interpretation of Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma”
By DownBeatIJul 31, 2020
Trombonist-composer Mike Fahie, a prolific conductor and in-demand sideman on the New York scene, takes his dual passion for jazz and classical music seriously. Urban), a new recording by Fahie’s steadfast ensemble, due out August 28 on Greenleaf Music, was born from a singular notion: the marriage of classical and jazz idioms. Fahie’s arrangements celebrate the cross-pollination of these two styles, merging them into one cohesive sound.
Urban) represents over 200 years of musical invention, interpreted through a jazz lens and incorporating subtle nuances of blues, rock and soul in its seven tracks, all well-known works from the classical repertoire.
The album features a tender interpretation of “Nessun Dorma” – one of the most famous arias ever written – from Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot. Fahie’s arrangement features tenor saxophonist Chet Doxas and brings harmonic intrigue and thoughtful dynamics to Puccini’s masterpiece, calling on the sounds of the night to enhance its beautiful melody.
The track is featured as a single below, accompanied by a live video of Fahie creating a watercolor of fireworks exploding over a glittering cityscape.
“I was challenged to make my own videos during the coronavirus lockdown, so I started to think of things I could do at home,” Fahie said. “During that extended period, I learned to paint, and one of the things I love to do is watch painters work. I thought to myself, why not turn my new hobby into a music video? “Nessun Dorma” means “no one should sleep”, and it’s a victorious song. What is majestic and victorious at night? Fireworks! Once I decided that, I wanted to time the appearance of the fireworks with the glorious final chorus. And now it has ended with a double meaning, as fireworks and “no one has to sleep” have been a major theme in recent months. Sometimes art works like that.
Appearing alongside Fahie on Urban) is a wind section composed of saxophonists Aaron Irwin, Anton Denner, Chet Doxas, Quinsin Nachoff and Carl Maraghi; trumpeters Brian Pareschi, David Smith, Sam Hoyt and Brad Mason; and trombonists Matthew McDonald, Nick Grinder, Daniel Linden and Jennifer Wharton. Guitarist Jeff Miles, pianist Randy Ingram, bassist Pedro Giraudo and drummer Jeff Davis make up the rhythm section of the ensemble. Comic
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