The New England Jazz Ensemble was founded in 1991 by trumpeter Mike Jones; Walt Gwardyak, pianist and composer/arranger, has been the music director from the beginning. The 16-piece big band has a loyal following and sells its music through on-line CD sales and downloads far and wide.

Its latest release is Gwardyak’s 2018 arrangement of “Peter and the Wolf,” the first new big-band re-imagination of Sergei Prokofiev’s masterpiece in more than 50 years. It is also the first to have an original libretto: in this case, a “hip” narrative written and delivered by Giacomo Gates. This “telling” features various instruments and sections to represent the various characters in the story. Between Gates’ fantastic narration and the band’s outstanding musicianship, the result is clever and highly-entertaining work of creation.

Tracks: Peter and The Wolf, Serge’s Birds, Power Serge, Waltzin’with Wolves, Wolves.