New & Old Treasures by Maria Schneider
She devoted much of the rest of the set to very early pieces, including an upbeat number she wrote for the (now-defunct) Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and an arrangement of the ballad standard “My Ideal” that she said she wrote in college. It was lush and gorgeous, in a Thad Jones sort of vibe, but also propulsive, with a flugelhorn solo by Tony Kadleck that sent shivers: so creamy I thought at first it was a flute, but also sinuous and fluent in its serpentine turns and twists, not at all “smooth” or schmaltzy.
A musician-composer that I went with said afterwards that Maria never makes a false move when it comes to voicings in the horn sections. True.
Scoop: Sometime this fall (it’s not clear exactly when), at Le Poisson Rouge, the eclectic club in Greenwich Village, the Kronos Quartet will play a string quartet that they commissioned her to write. They premiered it earlier this year at Duke. I heard them rehearse a movement of it in a practice room at Carnegie Hall a few weeks before then. It sounded terrific: not a scaled-down Maria Schneider orchestral piece but a full-blown string quartet, in the idiom of the genre, yet distinctively hers: alive with inventive rhythms and Technicolor harmonies.