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“Composer-arranger Brian Krock earned accolades when he released the self-titled debut by his hypermodern large ensemble, Big Heart Machine, in 2018. Pareidolia is the tendency toward perceiving patterns in random shapes, like someone seeing animal shapes in the clouds. Krock explores this idea on “Pareidoliac” with a succession of sonic events, some purely textural and others accreting into a groove. The piece features a succession of extended techniques by trumpeter Kenny Warren, and an Eastern-influenced flute solo by Anna Webber.” (Nate Chinen, WBGO)


“The suspenseful, layered music can sound like migration in motion or a wisp of twisting smoke. And if you’re looking for musical-historical references, there are plenty — from progressive metal to Carnatic music to late-20th-century Western classical.” (Giovanni Russonello, New York Times)

“Assembling a big band to perform creative modern jazz is probably a steeper mountain to climb, but he not only did it with aplomb for the band’s 2018 self-titled debut, he’s getting ready to do it again.  Live at the Jazz Gallery serves notice that the Big Heart Machine is an ongoing concern and also not some mere studio creation.” (S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews) 

“Perhaps you’ve heard about a new big-band resurgence in New York. Near the center of that wave is this 18-piece ensemble led by a Midwestern-born multireedist and composer named Brian Krock. [Tamalpais] conveys the high-octane composition and pinpoint calibration that distinguish their album.” (Nate Chinen, WBGO)

“ ‘Once you realize what a huge challenge it is to make those projects happen, you become really dedicated to helping other people,’ said Brian Krock, an alto saxophonist and bandleader who this year released a strong debut album (produced by Mr. Argue) introducing Big Heart Machine, his 18-piece ensemble. It plays muscly, warped original music, informed by metal, serialism and the jazz avant-garde, as well as more classic big-band influences like Bob Brookmeyer.” (New York Times)

“The music is thick with backstories and portents, and all the depth and context the current moment requires.” (Best Jazz on Bandcamp)

“The invigorated 18-piece orchestra negotiated Krock’s vibrant twists and turns with playful ease as the lush horn harmonies of classical and jazz converged with frenzied rhythms, avant-synthesizer stretches, idiosyncratic dissonances, pop grooves and blistering guitar blasts.” (Downbeat)

“Saxophonist Brian Krock writes arrangements for his kaleidoscopic new Big Heart Machine that transform backgrounds into foregrounds and vice versa.” (Village Voice)

“Every bit as adventurous and cognizant of a world beyond jazz as the work of Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society.” (Phil Freeman, Stereogum)

“Krock’s sumptuous arrangements apply the sound, timbre, and improvisational ethos of a big band to tricky, multipartite compositions that breathlessly wend their way through shifting landscapes that are sometimes ethereal, sometimes muscular, but always rigorously plotted.” (Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader)

“One hell of a debut.” (

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