By Dustin Krcatovich | Published January 2020
The big band has been a relative rarity in jazz for the past half-century or so. This isn’t a surprise, given the prohibitive costs of recording and performing with a large ensemble. Still, there’s plenty of work left to be done in the format, as Basel, Switzerland-based bandleader and saxophonist Sarah Chaksad ably demonstrates. Tabriz takes its name from a city in Iran—the country where Chaksad’s father was born—while borrowing some traditional motifs to incorporate and invoking ancient melodic inputs. Chaksad has shown herself to work well in small groups, but the orchestral setting here really suits her. Tabriz simply feels expansive in a way that small groups just don’t.
Tabriz: Dreamcatcher; Tabriz; Home; Mehamn; It’s Too Late; The Flower; Song Of A Lark; Thankful.
Personnel: Sarah Chaksad, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Andreas Böhlen, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute; Pepe Auer, alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Cédric Gschwind, tenor saxophone, flute; Fabian Willmann, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet; Hildegunn Øiseth, trumpet, goat horn; Charles Wagner, Jonas Winterhalter, Octave Moritz, trumpet; Lukas Wyss, Lukas Briggen, Paco Andrea, trombone; Thomas Lüscher, piano; Valentin Hebel, Wolfgang Muthspiel (2), guitar; Julie Fahrer, vocals; Sebastian Gieck, bass; Eva Klesse, drums.