Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quick Trip, Long Jaunt: Double the Jazz with HSU Jazz Combos Weekend

It’s double the music in two evenings of HSU Jazz Combos: instead of the usual three groups playing for a single night, this time there are six student combos playing completely different shows over two nights.

A quartet, a trio and a New Orleans-style band perform on Saturday, April 17, and on Sunday night a quintet, another quartet and trio, all in Fulkerson Recital Hall. "We had too much talent for just three combos this year," said director Dan Aldag. "So we've got six."

The largest ensemble is featured Saturday night: Slippery Society plays traditional tunes (with vocals) in old school New Orleans style, including Bessie Smith’s “Me and My Gin,” “Tin Roof Blues,” “Buddy Bolden’s Blues” and “Just A Closer Walk With Thee.” They break the pattern a little with a tune by the 70s funk band War, paying tribute to the legendary comic book and 1950s TV hero, the Cisco Kid.

Slippery Society consists of Ari Davie on trumpet, Stephanie Douglas on clarinet, Talon Nansel on trombone, Amanda Lake on banjo and vocals, Elizabeth Cruz on tuba and Brett Huska on drums and vocals.

Freshly Picked Cake, a quartet of piano (Aber Miller), tenor sax (Isaac Williams), bass (Sam Roberts) and drums (Jonathan Kipp), performs Saturday. Their set includes a Joe Henderson tune and two originals by Miller, “Meth Bed” and “Asparagus in Rain.”

Also playing Saturday, a trio comprised of Joel Bettencourt on piano, Danny Gaon on bass and Yanaki Lopez on drums, performs “Dusty McNugget” by contemporary pianist and composer Brad Mehldau, as well as other tunes including an original by pianist Bettencourt, called “Quick Trip, Long Jaunt.”

Sunday night, the Old Spice quartet plays “Gdansk” by multiple Grammy winner Paquito D’Rivera, the Cuban-born reed player and composer, as well as the ever-popular “(It Don’t Mean A Thing) If It Ain’t Got That Swing” by Duke Ellington. Old Spice is Clayton Bennett on guitar, Bryce Pierce on bass, Dylan Williams on drums and Avetis Chalaganyan on percussion.

Also Sunday, a trio comprised of Colin Gaddie on guitar, Byron Richards on bass and Sam Kaplan-Good on drums plays a set that includes two funky tunes: “Boozer” by jazz guitarist and composer John Scofield, and “Tune 88” by pianist and composer Jeff Lorber.

A quintet of tenor sax (Leo Echazábal), guitar (Charlie Sleep), piano (Rachel Hrdina), bass (Tyler Machado) and drums (Gabriel Ben-Shalom) performs an original group composition called “Exiguous.” Their set also includes “Road Song” by the classic jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery.

HSU Jazz Combos perform on Saturday April 17 and Sunday, April 18 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. Directed by Dan Aldag, produced by the HSU Department of Music.

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