Saturday, December 13, 2014

Jazz Orchestra Concert: Director's Notes

Notes by Jazz Orchestra Director Dan Aldag:

The Jazz Orchestra is playing original works by two student composers: "Schnell!", by alto saxophonist Kyle McInnis and "Fire Crayon Drawing" by bassist Ryan Woempner.

Recent HSU grad Dan Fair wrote for us an arrangement of "Summer Song" by the Trinidadian composer and steel pan player Cliff Alexis, who composed the piece for steelband.

"Black Hole Sun" was a hit for the seminal grunge band Soundgarden in 1994, but arranger James Miley radically reworked it into a contemporary jazz piece.

 The great jazz composer Bill Holman was inspired to write "Press One" by the seemingly endless phone trees too often encountered when calling a business. It's not strictly programmatic, but the basic elements of the piece were clearly inspired by various facets of the phone tree experience.

Because we're lucky enough to have two baritone saxophonists in the band this semester, we're able to perform two charts from Gerry Mulligan's Concert Jazz Band of the early 1960s. "Sweet and Slow" is an Al Cohn arrangement and will feature Lauren Strella. "Little Rock Getaway" was first arranged by Cohn, and then Mulligan revised it. Our performance will feature Tyler Martin.

"Song With Orange" is a Charles Mingus tune. We're playing the arrangement that John Stubblefield wrote for the Mingus Big Band. "Nice 'n' Easy" comes from the Count Basie library of the early 1960s.

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