All About Jazz

Home » Articles » New York Beat

2

Collegiate Jazz at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Nick Catalano By

Sign in to view read count
For the better part of a decade I've escorted my jazz class at Pace University on trips to Dizzy's to see the Manhattan School of Music Concert Jazz Band perform. The series was forged by veteran jazz academic Justin DiCioccio whose leadership and programming has prompted a rarely noticed success of Collegiate jazz bands across the country. Since DiCioccio's pioneering efforts schools such as Juilliard, Purchase, and Temple have organized similar groups and also appeared at Dizzy's.

DiCioccio's formula—building an evening of big band jazz around the repertoire of a noted composer, arranger, or musician i.e. Sammy Nestico and Dave Liebman—was enormously successful and has inspired talented musicians to undertake jazz studies at universities across the country. Sadly, he has left MSM and his colorful, dynamic, professorial presence will be sorely missed.

On Monday March 27 the band was led by Jim McNeely who orchestrated the band's performance around a series of compositions he had written in Europe a few years ago. A noted pianist/composer/arranger who has played with Stan Getz, Phil Woods and other legends, McNeely has been conductor of the HR Big Band in Frankfurt, Germany and it was in this connection that his composition inspired by the painter Paul Klee was premiered. The music was languorous and harmonically intriguing, as has often been the case with McNeely's writing. Sporadically, there were exciting up tempo spurts featuring the remarkable soloing ability of the students.

In addition to his Grammy award success with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, McNeely has spent years in Europe conducting the noted Danish Radio Big band and appearing with the Metropole Orchestra (Netherlands) and Stockholm Jazz Orchestra (Sweden). Hopefully, his European-inspired writing will continue to be featured in MSM concerts and, perhaps, be programmed into the repertoires of the other university jazz groups. And, it will be important for Lincoln Center Jazz to promote more Collegiate jazz as it is one of America's most notable contributions to the arts in recent years.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Ernie Banks

Ernie Banks

Jim McNeely
Boneyard

CD/LP/Track Review
New York Beat
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
A Single Sky: Dave Douglas with Jim McNeely and the Frankfurt Radio Big...

A Single Sky: Dave...

Greenleaf Music
2009

buy
Boneyard

Boneyard

Origin Records
2008

buy
Boneyard

Boneyard

Origin Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Cecil Taylor: Courage in Creation New York Beat
Cecil Taylor: Courage in Creation
by Nick Catalano
Published: May 3, 2018
Read Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's New York Beat
Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 29, 2018
Read African-American Music: A retrospective at Jazz at Lincoln Center New York Beat
African-American Music: A retrospective at Jazz at Lincoln...
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 9, 2018
Read Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center New York Beat
Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard New York Beat
Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim New York Beat
John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017
Read "Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center" New York Beat Jelly Roll Morton Front and (Lincoln) Center
by Nick Catalano
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard" New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's" New York Beat Bobby Sanabria & Band at Dizzy's
by Nick Catalano
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "Cecil Taylor: Courage in Creation" New York Beat Cecil Taylor: Courage in Creation
by Nick Catalano
Published: May 3, 2018
Read "John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim" New York Beat John Pizzarelli Celebrates Sinatra-Jobim
by Nick Catalano
Published: July 21, 2017