Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Barefoot Dances and Other Visions is a seven-part suite composed in 2014 for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band. Each piece expresses a different kind of fantasy. We performed it live in two concerts in Frankfurt February ’14, then recorded it in the studio in September of that year.

When I wrote this music I had been working with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band for about six years, so I knew the players quite well. The suite was written so that every one of the band’s soloists is placed in a framework that would be both familiar and challenging. Each piece features a pair of soloists, playing individually, sometimes together. Several of the pieces begin with a chamber-sized group, “in front of the curtain”. Then the curtain rises to reveal the whole band, having assumed yet another formation.

Bob’s Here imagines the return of composer/trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, who died in 2011. Black Snow conjures up the vision of a normally tranquil scene, still tranquil but rendered improbably dark. Barefoot Dances are just that, something I’ve never actually done in my life. A Glimmer of Hope tries its best to be optimistic, a difficult task these days. Redman Rides Again imagines the return of the arranger/reedman Don Redman. Among other things he was known for writing fantastic clarinet trios. This piece features a real clarinet trio, and a second “trio” formed by Oliver Leicht and his harmonized clarinet. Falling Upwards: try as I may, I still find it impossible. The Cosmic Hodge-Podge offers a vision of the cosmos where galaxies are replaced by blocks of sound; super novas become solo explosions; and a single black hole emerges at the end, emitting just a smidgen of light.     Jim McNeely


Barefoot Dances and Other Visions Jim McNeely and the
Frankfurt Radio Big Band
UPC #: 820428-301721

Catalog #: 301721
RELEASE DATE: January 31, 2018 

01. Bob ́s Here – 10:16
Christian Jaksjö, valve trombone Martin Scales, guitar

02. Black Snow – 10:20
Martin Auer, flugelhorn

03. Barefoot Dances – 6:51
Günter Bollmann, trombone

Heinz-Dieter Sauerborn, soprano saxophone
04. A Glimmer of Hope – 8:01
Rainer Heute, baritone saxophone Manfred Honetschläger, bass trombone

05. Redman Rides Again – 8:45 Axel Schlosser, flugle horn
Oliver Leicht, clarinet
06. Falling Upwards – 7:59 Peter Reiter, piano
Steffen Weber, tenor saxophone Jean Paul Höchstädter, drums
07. The Cosmic Hodge-Podge – 12:25 Thomas Heidepriem, bass
Tony Lakatos, tenor saxophone Axel Schlosser, trumpet 

Recorded: September 9 to 12 2014, Hörfunkstudio II, Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main
Mixed: July 2015, Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main
Mastered: October 2017, Hessischer Rundfunk, Frankfurt am Main
Produced by Olaf Stötzler
Recording Producer (Recording/Editing/Mixing/Mastering): Axel Gutzler Recording Engineer: Michael Wayszak

Cover Art: Terry Lamacchia,
Cover Art Photography: David Corrigan, Package Design: Valerie Trucchia,

This project has been supported by a generous grant from the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program 

CONTACT: Thomas Bellino 917 699 5339