Thursday, May 01, 2008

From the 30s to Now with the AM Jazz Band

The AM Jazz Band plays jazz classics from a broad span of jazz history in their concert on Thursday, May 1 in Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata.

“The oldest tune will be performed with the newest arrangement,” said Dan Aldag, HSU Assistant Professor and director of the student ensemble. It’s Duke Ellington’s early 1930s composition, “In A Sentimental Mood,” as arranged by contemporary composer and jazz musician, Mark Taylor.

“Two of the tunes were written by great bass players,” Aldag noted. They are “Blues in the Closet” by Oscar Pettiford and “Jelly Roll” by Charles Mingus. A compatriot of Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Pettiford played in bands led by Duke Ellington and Woody Herman before leading his own bands and becoming a pioneer of bebop in the 1950s. As a player, bandleader and composer, Mingus was a noted innovator, especially in the 1960s. He often wrote for mid-sized jazz ensembles like the AM Jazz Band, earning the reputation as the heir to Duke Ellington. His tune is a tribute to a jazz pioneer of an earlier age, Jelly Roll Morton.

“Red Clay” was written by trumpet player Freddie Hubbard in the 1970s, and is one of the standards of the jazz fusion era. Though many know the song “Oye Como Va” from the 1970s Santana recording, the Cuban timbalero and band leader, Tito Puente wrote and recorded it in 1963. “The arrangement that the AM Jazz Band plays hews closely to the Latin jazz style of Puente's original recording,” Aldag said.

The program is rounded out by "Bone Talk,"which features the entire trombone section.

Tickets for the AM Jazz Band concert on Thursday, May 1 are $7 general, $3 students and seniors, from HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the Fulkerson Recital Hall door. HSU students free with ID. Produced by HSU Department of Music, Dan Aldag directing.

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