Throughout the decades following the swing era, big bands appeared regularly in ballrooms, concert halls, and jazz clubs. Recording and broadcast studios mediated the sounds. During the 1990s, big band activity in New York mushroomed as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Mingus Big Band, and bands led by composers such as Maria Schneider gained international recognition. The relegation of big bands to the past is so complete that big band music has its own category, separate from jazz, in the statistics collected by the record industry and reflected in the layout of the bins in many record stores. This chapter discusses individuality and blend; jazz and gender; composition, arranging, and improvisation; and the categories of big bands.
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