Saturday, May 09, 2015

Jazz Orchestra: Program Notes

"The Jazz Orchestra program on Saturday, May 9 will include a number of pieces composed or arranged by current and former HSU students and a native of Arcata.

 Current Jazz Orchestra members Kyle McInnis (alto sax) and Ryan Woempner (bass) composed "Party On Endor" and "Fire Crayon Drawing," respectively. The band's baritone saxophonist Lauren Strella arranged Herbie Hancock's "Butterfly" and will sing on it. Recent HSU grad Dan Fair has two pieces on the concert, his composition "Amazonia" and his arrangement of "Summer Song," composed by Cliff Alexis for steelband.

"Rhetoric Machine" was composed by Arcata-born-and-raised Nathan Parker Smith, who now leads his own band (the Nathan Parker Smith Large Ensemble) in New York City. "Rhetoric Machine" comes from Smith's first album, Not Dark Yet, released last fall.

 The rest of the program consists of "Roman Notes" by John LaBarbera, a feature for alto saxophonist McInnis, two tunes associated with different periods of Miles Davis's career, "Joshua" (from the early 60s) and "Tutu" (from the mid-80s). The former was composed by Victor Feldman and arranged by Mark Taylor, and the latter composed by Marcus Miller and arranged by Michael Philip Mossman. Mossman also wrote the new arrangement of Sonny Rollins' classic calypso tune, "St. Thomas."

Valve trombonist Juan Tizol composed "Perdido" for Duke Ellington, and Ellington wrote the first arrangement of it. In the early 1960s, Ellington asked Gerald Wilson to write a new arrangement of the tune, and that is the version we will play."
--Dan Aldag

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