5

University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band: Home: The Columbia, MO Sessions, Vol. 1

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band: Home: The Columbia, MO Sessions, Vol. 1 An observation worth repeating: college jazz ensembles keep getting better and better. And that's a good thing. Furthermore, they no longer reside for the most part in larger cities on the east or west coasts, but are emerging more often in such mid-sized hamlets as, say, Columbia, MO, better known for jump shots and touchdowns than high notes and fascinatin' rhythms. That's where the University of Missouri ensemble makes its home, and a handsome abode it is, as exemplified on its latest album, Home, subtitled "The Columbia, MO Sessions, Vol. 1."

Not only do these young men and women—from half a dozen states and as far away as Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia—play with maturity and finesse, they also write extremely well. Seven of the dozen numbers on this admirable two-CD set were composed by students, and none is less than persuasive. Disc 1 closes with two striking examples: guitarist Michael Strasbaugh's high-spirited flag-waver, "Orange County," and the picturesque tone poem "Away from Home," written by the group's pianist, Lily Tan—she's the one from Kuala Lumpur. The ensemble is so dexterous, in fact, that the review has advanced this far without any mention of its celebrated guests, trumpeter Byron Stripling and saxophonist Bob Sheppard, each of whom solos—marvelously—on seven numbers.

Other student compositions are by trumpeter Lexie Signor ("At Dawn of Day," "Happily Ever After"), trombonist David Witter ("Never Saw, Close Hummingbird Friend"), trumpeter Meredith Hammer ("Groob") and Ben Colagiovanni (the irrepressible "6th Street Swing," which opens Disc 2). The ensemble's director, Arthur White, wrote the shuffling "Bump and Grind" and rhythmic "Sabor a Mi," Peter Erskine "Cats and Kitttens," Joe Locke "Signing," James Carter the happy-go-lucky finale, "Frisco Follies." Tan is showcased superbly (with Sheppard and Stripling) on "6th Street Swing," as is vibraphonist Nathan Smith on "Signing." For his part, White supplies virile tenor solos on "Signing" and "Bump and Grind." Most charts are straight-ahead, with the fanciful "Hummingbird" the lone exception. Signor, Hammer, Witter and Tan are efficient soloists, as are alto Dylan Roebuck, tenors Chad Tucker and Michael Neu, baritone Dillon Dains, trumpeter Jason Mathews, trombonist Andrew Meyer and bassist Sam Copeland.

In sum, a solidly impressive session by yet another up-and-coming undergraduate ensemble. Thumbs up.


Track Listing: Disc 1 — Bump and Grind; At Dawn of Day; Groob; Cats and Kittens; Orange County; Away from Home. Disc 2 — 6th Street Swing; Never Saw, Close Hummingbird Friend; Happily Ever After; Sabor a Mi; Signing; Frisco Follies.

Personnel: Arthur White: director, saxophone; Lexie Signor: trumpet; Jason Mathews: trumpet; Meredith Hammer: trumpet; Nassim Benchaabane: alto sax; Dylan Roebuck: alto sax; Chad Tucker: tenor sax; Michael New: tenor sax; Dillon Dains: baritone sax; David Witter: trombone; Andrew Brown: trombone; Andrew Meyer: trombone; Sam Reed: bass trombone; Lily tan: piano; Paulo Oliveira: guitar; Michael Strausbaugh: guitar; Sam Copeland: bass; Ryan Freeman: drums; Nathan Smith: vibes, percussion. Special guests — Byron Stripling: trumpet; Bob Sheppard: tenor, soprano sax.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Mizzou Jazz | Style: Big Band


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Of the Tree" CD/LP/Track Review Of the Tree
by Dave Wayne
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "High Noon" CD/LP/Track Review High Noon
by Anthony Shaw
Published: September 10, 2016
Read "1954" CD/LP/Track Review 1954
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Need to Bring Out Love" CD/LP/Track Review Need to Bring Out Love
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 5, 2016
Read "Wolf Valley" CD/LP/Track Review Wolf Valley
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!