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Bob Curnow’s L.A. Big Band
It may have been California-based jazzer Hersh Hamel who remarked that the “West Coast sound” is merely a reflection of the overall feel and pace of California lifestyles. It’s important to keep his thesis in mind when listening to Bob Curnow’s L.A. Big Band work its way through Pat Metheny/Lyle Mays perennials like “Letter From Home” and “Always and Forever.” The edgeless textures in these titles are a perfect match for the ensemble’s generally soft sound. And it should come as no surprise that the most emotionally consistent performances on The Music of Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays appear on titles like “If I Could” and the moody but romantic “In Her Family,” both of which capture the heartland-tinged sensibility that marked the work of Metheny’s mid- to late-’70s bands.