Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

199

University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One: Destination Unknown

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
This is the fourteenth album in my library by the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One—and the fourth under director Chris Merz, who succeeded the legendary Bob Washut nearly five years ago. As always, the repertoire is eclectic, touching a number of bases from Ellington/Strayhorn, Fletcher Henderson and Cole Porter to Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and such contemporary standouts as Kim Richmond and Jim McNeely. There are two fresh compositions by Merz, another ("Beautiful in Blue ) by ensemble member Kyle Novak.

The UNI band has long been numbered among the nation's finest, and there's nothing here to amend that appraisal. This is a senior-laden group, and their leadership is indispensable. It's a pleasure to hear how the band really digs in to bring out the best in the vintage tunes—Henderson's carefree "Wrappin' It Up and Ellington/Strayhorn's fluttering "Blue Bird of Delhi, which I'd never heard before—as well as the bop-era classics by Shorter ("Adam's Apple, arranged by Merz) and Davis ("Nardis, arranged by Richmond).

Having said that, the ensemble is equally at home with such contemporary fare as Richmond's intricate "Passages and McNeely's quirky "Sticks (the latter showcasing Joel Nagel's muted trombone). Explicit highlights include Jeff Holmes' swinging treatment of Porter's "What Is This Thing Called Love and Merz's buoyant original, "Koobism (which may have been written for one of the band's loyal supporters, Bob Koob). Nagel, alto Dave Oline and trumpeter Caleb Shreves solo on "Love, alto Jen Nebraska, pianist Kent Goodroad and drummer Dave Tiede on "Koobism. Others heard to good advantage include trumpeters Brandon Lewis, Noah Alvarado and Brooke Stevens; tenor Jeff Guntren, clarinetist Novak and trombonist Anthony Williams. Tyler Kalina's vibraphone lends charming color on Merz's Bob Mintzer-like "All Smiles. The sound quality is excellent, as is the 71:25 playing time.

If there were any lingering doubts that Merz could keep the UNI program at the top of the heap, they should have been erased by now. I don't know what he'll do when these talented young students have graduated, but so far, so good. Jazz Band One has produced a quartet of albums under his guidance, and every one has been a winner. I've a hunch that he and the band will find a way to keep the streak intact.


Track Listing: Passages; All Smiles; Bluebird of Delhi; Koobism; Wrappin

Personnel: Chris Merz: director; Brandon Lewis, Caleb Shreves, Maryann Hinman, Noah Alvarado, Brooke Stevens: trumpet, flugelhorn; Jen Nebraska: alto, soprano sax, flute; Dave Oline: alto, soprano sax, flute, clarinet; Jeff Guntren, Kyle Novak: tenor sax, clarinet; Ryan Middagh: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Anthony Williams, Joel Nagel, Andrew Fletcher, Dan McCurley: trombone; Kent Goodroad: piano; Jason Shadrick, Travis Stevick: guitar; Tyler Kalina (2): vibraphone; Eric Krieger: bass; Dave Tiede: drums, triangle.

Title: Destination Unknown | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Vista


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Shadow Work CD/LP/Track Review Shadow Work
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Veterans of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review Veterans of Jazz
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Ariel CD/LP/Track Review Ariel
by Paul Rauch
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Fukushima CD/LP/Track Review Fukushima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 22, 2017
Read Dedication CD/LP/Track Review Dedication
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 21, 2017
Read Surface of Inscription CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "2468 West Grand Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review 2468 West Grand Boulevard
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the Stone: Megaloprepus Caerulatus
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Seaside" CD/LP/Track Review Seaside
by John Eyles
Published: January 30, 2017
Read "No Parking Any Time" CD/LP/Track Review No Parking Any Time
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 12, 2017
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor