Tapestries for Small Orchestra

Tapestries for Small Orchestra is an album by American jazz trumpeter Bill Dixon, which was recorded in 2008 and released on Firehouse 12 Records. The triple disc set includes two audio CDs of specially commissioned original music plus a documentary film featuring interviews and session footage.[1] The small orchestra is a nine-piece group with personnel drawn, for the most part, from the large ensemble that recorded 17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur a year before.

Tapestries for Small Orchestra
Studio album by
RecordedJuly 8–10, 2008
StudioFirehouse 12, New Haven
LabelFirehouse 12
ProducerBill Dixon
Bill Dixon chronology
17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
Tapestries for Small Orchestra


Professional ratings
Review scores
Down Beat[2]

The Down Beat review by Bill Shoemaker states "Tapestries for Small Orchestra is the most persuasive, comprehensive case for Bill Dixon’s iconic status since November 1981 and perhaps even his 1966 landmark orchestra album, Intents and Purposes.[2]

The All About Jazz review by John Sharpe states "Each track is a treasure trove of cohesive detail executed to wonderful effect. While full explication is beyond the scope of this review, this is essential listening for anyone interested in the state of contemporary jazz orchestration."[3]

In a review for the BBC Bill Tilland claims "The music defies classification and is sometimes ‘difficult’, but Dixon’s academic sensibilities are clearly energised by a soulful, passionate aesthetic."[4] The JazzTimes review by Chris Kelsey states "Dixon takes full advantage of the sound-making possibilities inherent in the grouping, and his manner of combining tonal shapes parallels his visual art."[5]

Track listing

All compositions by Bill Dixon

Disc One:

  1. "Motorcycle '66: Reflections & Ruminations" - 13:30
  2. "Slivers: Sand Dance for Sophia" - 9:20
  3. "Phrygian II" - 16:04
  4. "Adagio: Slow Mauve Scribblings" - 17:30

Disc Two:

  1. "Allusions I" - 9:08
  2. "Tapestries" - 12:29
  3. "Durations of Permanence" - 14:45
  4. "Innocenenza" - 16:02



  1. Tapestries for Small Orchestra Archived 2014-10-20 at the Wayback Machine at Firehouse 12
  2. Shoemaker, Bill. Tapestries for Small Orchestra review. Down Beat February 10: page 56. Print.
  3. Sharpe, John. Tapestries for Small Orchestra review at All About Jazz
  4. Tilland, Bill. Tapestries for Small Orchestra review at BBC
  5. Kelsey, Chris. Tapestries for Small Orchestra review at JazzTimes
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