Big bands have been making some of the most interesting and pleasurable music in jazz today. If you haven’t heard of them already, these groups are worth your attention: John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Orrin Evans’s Captain Black Big Band and Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra.
There is also a new big band album from the pianist Ezra Weiss, “Our Path to This Moment,” which may not sit in the same elevated ranks as the groups listed above. But it is as refined a statement as any jazz musician, recording for the first time with an orchestra, could make.
Weiss, who is based in Portland, Ore., has recorded with big bands before — as on “Get Happy,” his 2007 release — but never as a big band proper. He’s an experienced arranger and composer; it only makes sense that he should put out such an album now.