Friday, April 29, 2011

HSU Jazz Orchestra’s Self-Generated Jazz

HSU Jazz Orchestra takes original tunes and arrangements to Fulkerson Recital Hall for their spring showcase on Friday, April 29. Add the improvisation called for in another tune, and it’s a singular evening in the jazz tradition of “you had to be there.”

For example, “Moten Swing” was the signature tune for Kansas City bandleader Benny Moten in the 1930s. “The version that we play,” said HSU Music professor and orchestra director Dan Aldag, “is a postmodern pastiche of a 1950s Count Basie arrangement, free jazz and ‘You're Driving Me Crazy’, the 1930 pop song whose chord progression ‘Moten Swing’ is based on. All of that was worked out in rehearsals by the band.”

“Seduction in 6/8” is an original composition by Jazz Orchestra pianist Aber Miller and HSU alum Nola Pierce. “The band created the arrangement we’ll be playing,” Aldag said. “It features vocalist Amanda Lake, who also plays violin and banjo on other tunes.”

In rehearsal the orchestra also worked out some refinements to the Jerome Kern tune “All The Things You Are,” which was arranged by Jazz Orchestra trumpeter Ari Davie. The Music Department’s newly acquired Hammond organ will debut in jazz composer Bobby Previte’s “Smack Dab,” with an arrangement by Dan Aldag.

"Finally", composed by jazz pianist Jim McNeely, features two of the band's graduating seniors, guitarist Charlie Sleep and drummer John Thomas. “While we're playing it as McNeely wrote it,” Aldag added, “what he wrote includes some indeterminate passages for the full band that consequently sound different each time we play the piece.”

HSU Jazz Orchestra performs on Friday April 29 at 8 p.m. at 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 Music Department.

 Note: Some calendar announcements reflect an earlier plan to move this concert to the Depot. Due to unforeseen circumstances  this concert is at Fulkerson Recital Hall on April 29, as originally scheduled. 

Media: Humboldt State Now, Tri-City Weekly, Arcata Eye

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