Don Sebesky – Giant Box (1973/2013) DSF DSD64

Don Sebesky – Giant Box (1973/2013)
DSF Stereo DSD64/2.82MHz | Time – 59:32 minutes | 2,35 GB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: e-Onkyo | Booklet, Front Cover | © CTI Records

This may have been Creed Taylor’s most ambitious single project. As the cash was flowing in the wake of Deodato’s massive “2001” hit, Taylor rounded up almost every headliner on CTI’s roster, had house-arranger Don Sebesky write big-thinking charts for them, and gave Sebesky top billing and two LPs of space. Two decades later, the lineup reads almost like a gathering of the gods — Freddie Hubbard, Randy Brecker, Hubert Laws, Paul Desmond, Joe Farrell, Grover Washington, Jr., Milt Jackson, George Benson, Bob James, Ron Carter, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Airto Moreira, Jackie Cain and Roy Kral, all on one album. Thankfully the musicmaking lives up to the billing. Everything that gave CTI its distinctive sound and identity is here — the classical adaptations (Stravinsky’s Firebird is merged shotgun-style with John McLaughlin’s “Birds of Fire”), elaborate orchestrations and structuring, pop-tune covers, plenty of room for the star soloists to stretch out in a combo format. The stars all come out to shine; Desmond sounds especially inspired in a shimmering “Song to a Seagull” and Hubbard and Washington burn furiously on the appropriately-titled “Free as a Bird.” And Sebesky was given a flyer to experiment; hence the wild extended swarms of freeform strings on “Firebird” and Laws’ fancy Echoplexed winds on “Fly.” The two original LPs were gathered in a classical-style box, complete with a booklet of photos and an interview with Sebesky, but the austere CBS CD reissue condenses everything onto a generic single disc. However less ostentatious, Giant Box still ranks as a sensational coup and a reminder of how potent CTI was at its peak.


1 Firebird / Birds Of Fire 13:56
2 Song To A Seagull 5:50
3 Free As A Bird 8:13
4 Psalm 150 8:11
5 Vocalise 5:40
6 Fly / Circles 9:49
7 Semi-Tough 7:53

Don Sebesky, electric piano, organ, clavinet, accordion, arranger, conductor
Freddie Hubbard, trumpet
Grover Washington, Jr., alto saxophone
George Benson, electric guitar
Airto Moreira, percussion
Milt Jackson, vibraphone
Jackie Cain, Roy Kral, vocals
Paul Desmond, alto saxophone
Hubert Laws, soprano saxophone, flute
Joe Farrell, soprano saxophone
Ron Carter, bass, electric bass, piccolo bass
Bob James, organ
Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, drums
Randy Brecker, Alan Rubin, Joe Shepley, trumpet, flugelhorn
Garnett Brown, trombone
Wayne Andre, Warren Covington, trombone, baritone horn
Paul Faulise, Alan Raph, bass trombone, baritone horn
Jim Buffington, Earl Chapin, French horn
Tony Price, tuba
Walt Levinsky, tenor saxophone, clarinet
Phil Bodner, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute, piccolo
George Marge, soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet, flute, oboe, English horn
Romeo Penque, soprano saxophone, clarinet, flute, piccolo, oboe, English horn
Rubens Bassini, conga
Dave Friedman, Phil Kraus, Ralph MacDonald, Airto Moreira, percussion
Alfred Brown, Harry Cykman, Max Ellen, Paul Gershman, Harry Glickman, Emanuel Green, Harold Kohon, Charles Libove, Harry Lookofsky, Joe Malin, David Nadien, Gene Orloff, Elliot Rosoff, Irving Spice, violin
Seymour Barab, Charles McCracken, George Ricci, Alan Shulman, cello
Homer Mensch, bass
Margaret Ross, harp
Lani Groves, Carl Caldwell, Tasha Thomas, vocals

Recorded: April 9, 17 and 18, 1973 at Van Gelder Studio, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey


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