Fragments is highly charged contemporary big band jazz encompassing a variety of tempos, styles and moods, from the exuberant swing of “The Shining Path” to the greasy Chicago blues of “Sleazy Rider.” The title cut is a multi-movement suite that runs the gamut of emotional expression from melancholy to cooking Miles Davis-like funk; from up-tempo swing to raging walls of sound. Other tunes on this live-in-the-studio recording offer tasty swing, a powerful memorial to a lost friend, and a unique (and rather irreverent) take on Ornette Coleman’s classic “Ramblin’.”
Cadence magazine described Fragments as “an adventurous big-band session in the manner of Sauter-Finegan, Gil Evans or, more recently, Maria Schneider and others who traverse the entire spectrum of orchestral possibilities.”
Highlights of this recording include the intense solo work from tenor saxophonist Lynn Baker, Nate Wooley’s sly, understated trumpet, and Glenn Bonney’s exuberant trombone solos. Lead trumpet Dana Heitman (of the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies) is a commanding presence in the powerful brass section, and drummer Jason Palmer anchors the rhythm.
Jim Olsen has been a professional composer/arranger and performer for over 30 years. His jazz compositions and arrangements have been performed and recorded by (among others) trumpeters Bobby Shew and Jim Rotondi, saxophonist Dick Oatts, the Eastman School of Music, Kansas University, University of Denver, Indiana University and Oregon jazz ensembles.
His extensive catalog of non-jazz compositions includes several highly-acclaimed works for percussion ensemble, concertos for saxophone and trumpet, a wide variety of chamber pieces and the score for "Exit Dying," a made-for-television movie.