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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble 1: In the Pocket

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Those who argue that young people are learning jazz “by the numbers” and can’t possibly grasp its subtler nuances should listen to this mind-blowing album by Dallas,Texas' Booker T. Washington HSPVA Jazz Combo 1, showcasing incarnations of the sextet from 2001 and ’02. Granted, this isn’t your average garden-variety Jazz Studies program (simply listing its awards would require another page); nevertheless, it does offer proof that high school students (some of them, at least) can not only grasp the fundamentals of the music but use that foundation to build a sturdy framework within which to liberate their own creative impulses. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts: 20th Anniversary

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Three brief observations: first, Houston's Booker T. Washington High School has one of the more impressive Jazz ensembles we've heard at that level; second, far too much of its three-disc 20th anniversary chronicle is given over to vocal groups and various smaller combos or else devoted to funky arrangements that haven't weathered the passage of time; and third, good as these young players are, they are easily overshadowed (in '86-87) by one of their own (and the school's best-known alumnus), trumpeter Roy Hargrove, for whom the rest of them are simply no match. (On such tunes as Miles Davis' “Tune ...



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