Variety is the Spice of Jazz
An all-string trio with a twist, a groove sextet and a bop quartet are this year’s HSU Jazz Combos, performing a mix of classics and original tunes on Friday, November 14 in the Fulkerson Recital Hall.
As usual, the three combos are the best of this year’s players, each group named after the day of the week they usually practice.
The Tuesday Trio is Drew McGowan, violin; Michael See, guitar; and Josh Boronkay, bass. “They have an unusual all-strings, drummer-less lineup that is often associated with the great Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and so-called ‘gypsy jazz’, but they’re a little different,” said Dan Aldag, HSU music professor and “coach” of the combos. “They play bebop tunes like Dizzy Gillespie's ‘A Night In Tunisia’ and Oscar Pettiford's ‘Tricotism’. They’re also playing an as-yet untitled original by their guitarist, Michael See. The trio has developed a number of different ways to compensate for the drums usually associated with modern jazz.”
The Wednesday Sextet is Ari Davie, trumpet; Brian Jones, alto sax; Leo Echazábel, tenor sax and bass clarinet; Charlie Sleep, guitar; Cullen Miller, bass; and Gabriel Ben-Shalom, drums. “Their music is frequently groove-oriented, with elements of both '50s/'60s hard bop and today's groove or acid jazz,” Aldag said. The sextet performs Clifford Brown's "Sandu", Joe Zawinul's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy", Freddie Hubbard's "Red Clay" and Pat Metheny's "Midwestern Night's Dream"—“each imaginatively rearranged by the sextet.”
The Friday Quartet is Isaac Williams, tenor sax; Aber Miller, piano; Michael Dieter, bass and Abraham Chase-Muhammad, drums. They play in a contemporary post-bop style and will be performing ‘Joshua’ (made famous by Miles Davis), "Swinging At The Haven" (by Ellis Marsalis), Nirvana's "In Bloom", and a new tune by the group's pianist Aber Miller, called "Requiem Pacifique".
The HSU Jazz Combos perform on Friday, November 14 at 8 p.m. in the Fulkerson Recital Hall on the HSU campus in Arcata. Tickets are $7 general, $3 students/seniors, from the HSU Ticket Office (826-3928) or at the door. Free to HSU students with ID.
Media: Arcata Eye, Humboldt State Now.