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Impressions: Jazz Construction Kits | Music Tech Magazine

Rating: 9/10 Back to Impressions: Jazz Construction Kits product details

Although some composers and arrangers have mastered the skill of reproducing the sounds of an orchestra using massive samples libraries, the same can't be said for jazz. The freeform rhythms, instrumental nuances and intricate interplay between instruments is all but impossible to program with any degree of authenticity.

Impressions: Jazz Construction Kits is the latest undertaking from the prolific California-based company Big Fish Audio and features a collection of jazz masters performing material inspired by the likes of Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and John Coltrane.

The dual-layer DVD contains 1.85GB of 24-bit audio loops plus 1.6GB of multitrack drum recordings. The 454 original music loops come in both ACID WAV and Apple Loops formats and are divided into 62 folders. Although this may initially sound like a lot, the pack is actually made up of 12 complete songs ranging from 62 to 185bpm, which have been divided into sections for easier navigation. Many different jazz styles are covered, from lazy and melancholy through modern and more abstract to jazz-funk and Latin jazz grooves. Each song features a different combination of drums, electric and upright bass, piano, electric guitar, saxophone, clarinet, flute and trombone, with some scat vocals for good measure.

As we've come to expect from Big Fish Audio, both the performances and the recording quality are totally flawless, with each instrument perfectly mixed and ready to drop into a project. From the gentle tinkles of the ivories to the lightning-fast guitar solos, the whole pack brims with musicality. As a bonus, the pack also includes multitrack drum files from each session, which opens up a wide range of mixing possibilities. That said, given the erratic nature of the rhythms, these grooves may not be quite as usable as those on the earlier release Vintage RnB.

The only downside of this pack is the slightly confusing way in which a few of the songs have been divided, with different section lengths and some lacking outro parts. That said, this is a superb collection of world-class jazz riffs that would prove invaluable to film composers of modern producers writing Cinematic Orchestra or Jazzanova-style beats.

Verdict: An invaluable collection of flawlessly executed, authentic-sounding jazz grooves. Nice!

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