Jazz Returns to Network Television
UNM's Jazz Band 1 capped its festival with an evening performance at the Lobo Theatre with guest artists Scott Whitfield on trombone, Chip McNeill on tenor and soprano sax, and Reggie Thomas on piano. Whitfield, as you may know, leads his own Scott Whitfield Jazz Orchestras East and West, and has recorded with both. McNeill, an associate professor and chairman of Jazz Studies at the University of Illinois, has recorded with a number of groups large and small, and is a former member of Maynard Ferguson's Big Bop Nouveau. Thomas, who has recorded prolifically with a number of Jazz artists from Eddie Daniels and Slide Hampton to Nicholas Payton and Clark Terry, is a professor of Jazz Studies at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. They helped guide the UNM band through an exciting program that included "Take the 'A' Train, "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, "Mood Indigo, "Stardust, "Come Rain or Come Shine, Mike Tomaro's "Del Corazon and two by Whitfield, "Till Next Time and "S.S.T.
I was only able to stay for the first half of Flutology's program, which consisted of Dizzy Gillespie's "Be Bop, Lee Morgan's "Ceora, Denny Zeitlin's "Quiet Now and a Wess original, "Equal Parts, based on John Coltrane's "Giant Steps. Hofmann, Ryerson and Wess were ably supported by pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Tony Dumas and drummer Sherman Ferguson.
Saxophone legend Bud Shank was in town the following day, April 17, to check things out before bringing his long-running Jazz Workshop to UNM in mid-July, and seemed pleased with what he saw. He arrived on the same day as the NM Jazz Workshop's Spring Jazz Party, featuring the Workshop's middle school honor band, adult big band, adult Jazz chorus, and high school honor bands I and II. Bud will be leading his own big band at the Neophonic Impressions event in L.A., and it will be recorded by Graham Carter for later release on his Jazzed Media label.
The world bade farewell to another celebrated Jazz musician last month when Danish bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen died in Copenhagen at the relatively young age of 58. NHOP, as he was commonly known, was recognized as one of the world's leading bassists for more than thirty years, since he joined the Oscar Peterson Trio in 1973. "In reality, says Cim Meyer, editor of the Danish music magazine Jazz Special, "he was Denmark's best-known musician regardless of the genre. Orsted Pedersen appeared on hundreds of records (including more than fifty with Peterson), recording with such giants as Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Toots Thielemans, Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Count Basie, Lee Konitz, Kenny Drew Sr., Brew Moore, Ella Fitzgerald and Martial Solal, among others. From 1964-82, he was a member of the acclaimed Danish Radio Big Band (now the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra). In 1991, NHOP was awarded the Nordic Council Music Prize, one of many awards garnered during his distinguished career.
And as this is being written, news has arrived of the passing of another great musician, trumpeter Benny Bailey, an American who spent much of his career in Europe including a dozen years with the legendary Clarke-Boland Big Band. Bailey was 79. Like NHOP, he'll be greatly missed.
And that's it for now. Until next time, keep swingin'!
New and Noteworthy
- Spokane Jazz Orchestra, It's About Time (SJO)
- Galen Jeter and Dallas' Original Jazz Orchestra, Big 30 (JazzMark)
- Rodger Fox Big Band, A Rare Connection (T-Bone)
- Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, WJO (WJO)
- Sherisse Rogers's Project Uprising, Sleight of Hand (no label)
- Cal State Los Angeles Jazz Ensemble, The Unlikely Event (CSLA)
- Kevin Mahogany Big Band (Mahogany Jazz)
- Phil Woods & the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra, Groovin' to Marty Paich (Jazzed Media)
- Chris Walden Big Band, Home of My Heart (Origin)
- City Rhythm Orchestra / Joey DeFrancesco, Vibrant Tones (Limehouse Records)
- NewYorkestra Big Band, Urban Soundscapes (Sea Breeze)
- Pratt Brothers Big Band, 16 Men & a Chick Singer Swingin' (Consolidated Artists)
- McGill University Jazz Ensemble, Ostinatocious (FMJ Records)
- Sammy Nestico, A Portrait of Sammy (Fenwood Music)
- Craig Raymond / Next Generation Big Band, Let's Dance Band Stand (Alanna)