Jazz Under the Stars
Nevertheless, Albuquerque’s premier big band put on its game face and swung from the heels, sailing through a delightful set that included two numbers by Gordon Goodwin (“Count Bubba,” “There’s the Rub”), Golson’s poignant “I Remember Clifford” (featuring trumpeter Bruce Dalby), Sammy Nestico’s loping “Hay Burner,” Tom Kubis’s saucy “Samba Dees Godda Do It,” the Basie / Joe Williams classic “All Right, Okay, You Win,” Pat Metheny’s lovely “Always and Forever” and Ulman’s clever send-up of “Georgia Brown” entitled “Dig That Sweet Clifford Brown.” The AJO, comprised mostly of Jazz educators, is strong in every section and boasts a number of engaging soloists including trombonist Ulman, trumpeter Brad Dubbs and tenor saxophonist Lee Taylor. The rhythm section is firmly anchored by bassist John Blackburn and drummer Andy Poling. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised by the AJO’s proficiency, as there is a wealth of musical talent in almost every good-sized city in the country, and Albuquerque has a population of more than half a million. Not only is the orchestra a good one, but the indefatigable Ulman is doing his utmost to promote Jazz in the high schools and middle schools through the Jazz Workshop‘s various programs, which bodes well for the future.
The Centrum Bud Shank Workshop
In closing, a word or two about the annual Centrum Bud Shank Jazz Workshop, to be held July 25-August 1 in Port Townsend, WA. The Workshop, which has been offered each year for more than twenty, provides a week of intensive study and interaction with internationally renowned Jazz artists including artistic director / alto saxophone legend Bud Shank. Participants come from across the U.S. as well as from Canada, Europe and the Far East. And it’s no wonder. Here are some of the world-class musicians who’ll be serving as instructors: George Cables, Marc Seales and Bill Mays, piano; Pete Christlieb, tenor sax; John Clayton and Chuck Deardorf, bass; Ron Escheté, guitar; Ingrid Jensen, trumpet; Nancy King, vocals; Joe LaBarbera and Gary Hobbs, drums; Bill Ramsay and Gary Smulyan, baritone sax; Kim Richmond, alto sax; Jiggs Whigham, trombone; and last but not least, the great Bob Florence, arranging. If you can’t learn from those teachers, you’d best think about pursuing some other line of work.
And that’s it for now. Until next time, keep swingin’!
New and Noteworthy
1. Rob McConnell Tentet, Music of the Twenties (Justin Time)
2. Riverside Community College, Upside Out (Sea Breeze Vista)
3. Don Scaletta and the Jazz Project, Salutes Stan Kenton (Ars Nova)
4. National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazz in Film (Silva Screen)
5. Klüvers Big Band, Reflections (Music Mecca)
6. Mark Masters Jazz Ensemble, One Day with Lee (Capri)
7. University of Colorado, ‘Round Midnight (UCJE)
8. University of North Texas One O’Clock Band, Lab 2003 (NT Jazz)
9. Bob Brookmeyer New Art Orchestra, Get Well Soon (Challenge)
10. University of North Florida, Through His Eyes (UNF)
11. George Gee Orchestra, Swingin’ at Swing City Zurich (Zort Music)
12. Janne Ersson Big Band, Live at the Stockholm Jazz Festival (Sittel)
13. Cal State University Long Beach, Studio One (CSULB)
14. Kit McClure Band, The Sweethearts Project (RedHot Records)
15. Howard University Jazz Ensemble, HUJE ‘03 (HUJE)