2019 JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR: GROUP | Andrew Rathbun Large Ensemble | | The JUNO Awards

Saxophonist, composer, bandleader and Toronto native Andrew Rathbun has achieved a rare depth of lyricism and compositional intelligence in 20 years as a recording artist. Ben Ratliff described Rathbun as “an industrious saxophonist and imaginative composer-arranger” in the New York Times. Voted as a “Rising Star” in the 2018 Downbeat Critics Poll, he has documented his stirring original music with an array of extraordinary lineups, featuring such greats as Jeff Hirshfield, Billy Hart, George Garzone, Phil Markowitz, Tom Rainey and Bill Stewart. “Rathbun’s lines dance and glide,” writes David Whiteis of JazzTimes, “reflecting both childlike wonder and well-honed artistry.”

He has written for the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra, the Brussels Jazz Orchestra, the Metropole Orkest and the David Liebman Big Band. Sculptures featured trumpet legend Kenny Wheeler in a set that “cloak[s] subtle avant-garde proclivities in soft light and open air” (JazzTimes). Upon hearing 2014’s Numbers & Letters the New Yorker declared Rathbun “a crafty saxophonist and composer whose ambitious work over the past decade has eluded the wider recognition it deserves.” Atwood Suites, Rathbun’s jazz-orchestra project was summarized in Jazziz Magazine as, “On the basis of this CD alone, Rathbun deserves to be ranked among today’s top arranger- composers.”