178

University of Nevada-Las Vegas Jazz Ensemble: Coloring Outside the Lines

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The third recording by the uncommonly proficient UNLV Jazz Ensemble, and first under its new director, Rocky Winslow, gives an indication of the direction in which the program is moving. All but one of the eight selections were either written or arranged by students; the exception is Kenny Wheeler’s breezy toe–tapper, “Miold Man,” scored by pianist Stefan Karlsson who teaches arranging to the others and provides a splendid example here of how to lock a big band in an admirably kicking groove. UNLV, which seems always to have drawn topnotch players into its orbit, unveils some bright young composer/arrangers on Outside the Lines, especially pianist Rachel Eckroth who wrote the captivating opener, “Poem,” and arranged the finale, Keith Jarrett’s irrepressible “Bop Be.” By way of comparison, picture a Maria Schneider or Carla Bley who can swing (okay, they sometimes do, but I’m trying to make a point here). Eckroth is also a perceptive soloist, as she shows on “Miold Man,” “Bop Be” and trumpeter Chris Ecklund’s “Crane Child” (a Latin–style tone poem on which his warm flugel shares the solo space). Trombonist Nathan Tanouye wrote the charming Jazz waltz “Just Dreaming,” tenor saxophonist Doug Wright the episodic “Inkling,” fellow tenor Matt Taylor the dark–hued “Whistle While You Weep,” and trombonist Dave Philippus charted Wayne Shorter’s remarkably descriptive “Schizophrenia.” Each of them is a capable soloist as well, with Tanouye heard on “Poem” and “Dreaming,” Wright on “Schizophrenia” and “Inkling,” Taylor on “Schizophrenia,” “Miold Man” and “Dreaming,” Philippus on “Whistle While You Weep” (another Philippus, alto saxophonist Dan, solos on “Poem”). The ensemble is tight and focused, and while not everything works precisely as well as its author may have intended (excerpts from the actual scores are sprinkled throughout the informative liner notes), there are many worthwhile moments, the most agreeable of which, to these ears, are embodied! in Eckroth’s enterprising charts, Tanouye’s “Just Dreaming” and Karlsson’s first–class arrangement of “Miold Man.” The UNLV program is indeed moving forward; those who choose to tag along will find the journey more than worthwhile.

Track listing: Poem; Schizophrenia; Miold Man; Inkling; Crane Child; Just Dreaming; Whistle While You Weep; Bop Be (64:41).

Personnel:

Dan Philippus, Rob Stone, Doug Wright, Matt Taylor, Steve Dawson, saxes; Tom DeLibero, Tom Ehlen, Jason Colby, Chris Chapman, Danny Pass, Chris Ecklund, trumpets; Dave Philippus, Nathan Tanouye, Kres Franzen, Ben Nollola, Dan Uhrich, trombones; Rachel Eckroth, piano; Rich Taylor, guitar; Kevin Thomas, bass; Chris Benham, drums; Orlando Santos, percussion.

Contact: Troppe Note Publishing, P.O. Box 374, Lomita, CA 90717.

| Record Label: TNC Recordings | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Araminta" CD/LP/Track Review Araminta
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Prospect" CD/LP/Track Review Prospect
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Swallowed by the New" CD/LP/Track Review Swallowed by the New
by Doug Collette
Published: November 5, 2016
Read "Isn't Life Grand" CD/LP/Track Review Isn't Life Grand
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 29, 2016
Read "The New Breed" CD/LP/Track Review The New Breed
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 4, 2016
Read "The LA EP" CD/LP/Track Review The LA EP
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 27, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!