Brent Fisher OrchestraPictures at an Exhibition Clavo Records

Request Digital Assets

PICTURES is arranged by Brent Fischer like the original work, with ten movements and five interludes totaling over forty minutes of music. The CD offers an engaging booklet filled with quotable material about the back story plus how art, science and math intersect here. There are also curated photo exhibitions plus three bonus tracks: additional studio takes featuring different soloists. In his liner notes, Fischer states “These are not sequels or alternate mixes. They are equals to the other takes…While the arrangements and some key themes may be similar to the other versions, the rhythm section interpretations and solos are completely different.”

More than a century ago, Mussorgsky was inspired by a friend’s art exhibit when he wrote the original suite for piano. Today social media technologies allow everyone to express themselves by posting pictures. “Just as the original work was meant to be paired with paintings as an added artistic layer, so I have created this adaptation to be paired with other art”, says the arranger who now adds his current yet timeless creation to popularized versions of the classic by Ravel, Allyn Ferguson, Emerson Lake & Palmer and Isao Tomita. This album is the next step for the Brent Fischer Orchestra after successful albums in collaboration with other artists including D’Angelo, Elvis Costello and The Roots.

In his arrangement, Fischer preserves the essence of the original masterpiece and adds elements of orchestral rock, funk and blues while staying firmly within the modern jazz idiom. How is this possible?

Fischer explains in his liner notes: “Rhythmically speaking, the one item that distinguishes jazz is the use of the laid back or swung upbeat. Jazz is still jazz without these 8th note upbeats, but in that respect it has even more in common with these other styles…By doubling the rhythmic value of Mussorgsky’s melodies, most of them would not contain 8th notes anymore and so would still sound the same as the original even as some of my favorite jazz musicians on the planet were swinging hard around them…Those 8th notes that remained in some movements could be treated in a Latin context and again keep their original character. In this way, I am focusing on the similarities between these styles while retaining the freedom to accentuate their differences when it was idiomatically befitting.”

PICTURES is produced by Brent Fischer for Clavo Records and was recorded at Village Studios all in one day this summer with engineer Matt Brownlie. “We had played the material for a while so it was time to memorialize it in its pure form” states Fischer.

To engage fans, Fischer invites listeners to curate and share their own exhibitions on social media as they enjoy the album. “Let your imagination run wild according to how the music moves you. Pair it with art, food or your favorite collection of beverages. The sky is the limit, or maybe not if you pair it with your favorite celestial bodies!” says Fischer.

Industry Quotes:

“Brent Fischer has created something that is at once challenging, accessible and, above all, innovative with his album Pictures At An Exhibition.  It’s a work of extraordinary breadth and is a reflection of a talent that is unfettered and truly on the cutting edge.” 
Bob Merlis, Former Senior VP at Warner Bros., legendary publicist

Brent Fischer has created a new, fresh classical / jazz blend with beautiful chords over infectious rhythms. 
   —Roseanna Vitro, Grammy-Nominated Jazz Vocalist/Producer

“From the first to last note, Pictures… is a glorious masterpiece of the finest musicianship…the art of music in a beautiful showcase of the craftsmanship that is Brent Fischer’s passionate leadership and his orchestration prowess.”
Laura Dickinson, Grammy®-winning Vocalist, Arranger

“Adapting a beloved piece of orchestral music to jazz orchestra is tricky business. But, Brent Fischer has found a perfect blend of the original Mussorgsky and his own unique style of writing. Fantastic music, with or without knowledge of the original.”
Jeremy Levy, Grammy®-nominated Composer, Arranger

“I always look forward to hearing Brent’s arrangements because they take me on a journey and lead me to undiscovered places. On “Pictures at an Exhibition”, Brent has reconstructed the colors of the classic original in such a way as to create a delicate yet powerful musical canvas reminiscent of the brilliance of Gil Evans, being warm and full without being overpowering. It’s harmonically graceful.” —Starr Parodi, Keyboardist Composer Arranger “

Brent Fischer has created another brilliant album with his very unique take on PICTURES at an Exhibition. His creativity is boundless in the way he freshens the original composition…by bringing in elements of not only classical styling, but also jazz, romantic, rock, and funk elements. A very fascinating work that is fun to listen to. Bravo!”
Laura Sullivan, Grammy® Awarded Composer and Billboard Top 10 Recording Artist

“I just finished listening to all 18 tracks and I have to say it is absolutely gorgeous!! The music is complex…arrangements are beautiful and cinematic. All of the musicians played their hearts out and every track is exquisite…a masterpiece!!” Denise Donatelli, Grammy®-nominated Jazz Vocalist

“Brent Fischer and his Orchestra have picked up where Maurice Ravel left off”
John Finbury, Grammy®-nominated Composer, Arranger

“We LOVE it!  Who knew there was still more to discover in “Pictures at an Exhibition”?  Takes a very creative mind and unbelievable musicianship to re-arrange this iconic piece.  This arrangement is wholly respectful of the original, and wholly original!”
Julie and Steve Bernstein, Emmy-winning film and tv composers

“The Brent Fischer Orchestra once again presents the highest quality of precision playing and deft arranging, dripping in harmony and ensemble richness.  Brent has kept the legacy of his father Clare alive, and it’s great to know the Fischer sound is alive and well for this generation, and ones to come.”
Jeff Babko, Keyboardist and Music Director for Jimmy Kimmel Show

“Outstanding Outing! Sound, Mix, Colors, Textures, Orchestration, Ensemble Work and Soloists all Wonderful!( Chicks-Contrast, WOW! )So many of my Favorite LA Musicians!A Beautiful Oral Painting! What a Meaningful Musical Story!”
Justin DiCioccio– Jazz Artist (Performer-Conductor-Clinician-Pedagogue),Drummer, Dean/Chair Emeritus, Jazz Arts Program, Manhattan School of Music, New York

“In his Pictures Brent Fischer fuses elements of multiple genres, creates unusual woodwind textures with bass sax, piccolo and alto clarinet,  and presents a modern and uniquely expressive interpretation. Then there are the harmonies which you can’t find elsewhere – all truly carrying on the Clare Fischer tradition.”  — Scott Healy, Grammy®-nominated Producer, Composer, Arranger

“The Brent Fischer Orchestra presents a very beautiful take on the pieces of Modest Mussorgsky…truly an exhibition of pictures. Every piece presents a story…This is combined with the forces of the greatest studio musicians in LA who perform this wonderful, intriguing music in an outstanding way…connected directly with the roots of the West Coast Jazz era, but at the same time shows the progressiveness of the current West Coast Jazz scene.”
West Coast Jazz Hour

“Brent Fischer ably translates Pictures into a new big band aesthetic…skillful craftsmanship with musical credibility…non-classical adaptations have surfaced over the years…but none has been as effective at retaining the character of the original within the framework of a jazz environment.”
Don Heckman—Legendary Music Journalist/Critic