08/09/08Rick Wald 16/NYC Play That Thing

“The listener is never quite sure where the next turn is going to lead, but we
are taken there by a great band and through the improvisational genius of
great players." Jazz Improv Vol.8, no.2

07/02/08Rick Wald 16/NYC Play That Thing

This unconventional big band may not have the name recognition of some other
ensembles, but it offers as rich and engaging an experience as you’re likely to find anywhere....a multigenerational platoon of soloists takes the music in strikingly
personal new directions, each putting their own stamp on the whole.

Jazz Times (August 2008)

07/02/08Rick Wald 16/NYC Play That Thing

....I can do no better than recap the appraisal of Castaneda's Dreams, wherein I wrote that it is “recommended to anyone who appreciates a contemporary big band with charisma and a cutting edge. Recording quality is first-class, playing time as generous as it comes.....Play That Thing is comparable in every respect.

All About Jazz/Jack Bowers (May 2008)

07/01/08Rick Wald 16/NYC Play That Thing

Programming an intoxicating mix of standards and original compositions, he pulls out all the stops on Play That Thing....Given the first-rate musicianship, it all adds up to is a disc that can (and should) be atop the "must buy" list of jazz fans anywhere.

Soundstage.com/John Crossett (July 2008)

03/31/07Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

".....In the liner notes, Wald says that he believes that self produced and distributed recordings will “become more prevalent" in this internet age. I hope that he is correct, because it would be very unfortunate if great art like Castaneda’s Dreams, were kept from the jazz public because some corporate exec, that we’ve never heard of, turned 16/NYC down because he had never heard of Rick Wald. Castaneda’s Dreams is outstanding and highly recommended."

Jazz Improv’s New York Guide (March 2007)
Curtis Davenport

03/01/07Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

"....Wald's writing is loaded with tricky twists and turns, carefully skewed harmonies and mood shifts ranging from quiet contemplation to aggressive, bluesy stabs. But the veteran players handle it all with deceptive ease, crafting deliciously rich, vibrant ensemble passages....."


01/01/07Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

Composer/arranger/saxophonist Rick Wald presides over another forward looking ensemble, delving into seven of his weighty and provocative themes with help from an all-star group of New York-area musicians.....The ensemble is crisp and well-rehearsed, the Kooshian/Jackson/Brillinger rhythm section exemplary...."

Jack Bowers
Cadence Magazine

11/01/06Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

".....16/NYC is his long overdue recording debut as a big band leader, an impressive selfproduced effort that features Wald's arrangements and compositions. The allocation of solo space is pretty democratic, with 14 of the 16 sidemen all getting at least one solo. Wald sits in on "Over," taking a fine spot on alto. The writing is at times slightly reminiscent of Bill Holman's but Wald's charts are quite original, modern, complex and swinging, helping to define the modern mainstream of 21st century big band writing. Fans of modern big bands should go out of their way to acquire this excellent effort."

Scott Yanow
All Music Guide

08/06/06Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

...."Wald has hit upon a big-band sound that flies in the face of accepted recording technique. By panning the band across the soundstage -- as opposed to setting it up section by section -- he is able to create an interplay among instruments that eludes most regularly arranged albums. Listen to any of the tracks on this disc to hear why I am so impressed, and why this disc is so enjoyable. Wald, like Evans, uses the entire tonal palate given him by the 16 musical voices, so you never know what is coming next. Toss in music that is both catchy and evocative and you have a recipe for a listening treat."

John Crossett

08/05/06Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams


Len Dobbins
Montreal Mirror

08/03/06Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

“Castaneda’s Dreams is recommended to anyone who appreciates a contemporary big band with charisma and a cutting edge. The recording quality is first-class, the playing time as generous as it comes. A neat and handsome package."

Jack Bowers
All About Jazz

07/31/06Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

....."With its own distinct voice, but in the tradition of latter day masters like Thad Jones, Oliver Nelson and Charles Mingus, and with a nod to Duke Ellington, altoist, composer and arranger Rick Wald has assembled 16 musicians to produce a large ensemble tour de force. This is some serious music, but not at all difficult to listen to. The soloists of this all-star and soon to be all-star cast, including Gary Smulyan, Lou Marini, Chip Jackson, Valery Ponomerev and more, are simply outstanding....Exquisitely recorded – live with no overdubs – and beautifully written, this is one not to miss."

Ed Trefzger
Jazz Week

07/01/06Rick Wald 16/NYC Castaneda's Dreams

“A fine, enjoyable CD of big band jazz, featuring a band that can be both powerful and gentle and which is peopled with accomplished soloists…. In short, any admirer of modern big band music is warmly encouraged to take a listen to Rick Wald’s excellent band. I feel sure that it will be widely enjoyed by those who hear it....."

Glyn Pursglove
Music Web UK

06/01/96Rick Wald Aural Hieroglyphics

"....This disc is a revelation. His exhaustive scope and distinctive point of view is a breath of fresh air.....His talent literally jumps right off the cd at you....Ditto his bandmates. Few musicians today can claim such originality via composing and playing. The result is truly inventive music. The tunes are excellent, the group interplay is constant, its excellent jazz by any reasonable definition."

Tim Price
Saxophone Journal