85

The Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2001

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Howard University Jazz Ensemble: HUJE 2001 Another year, another marvelous CD by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, continuing a tradition that began in 1976, one year after the ensemble was established by Fred Irby III who remains its director. As usual, Irby draws inspiration from a broad variety of sources with compositions by Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter and Billy Strayhorn rubbing shoulders with others by Cole Porter, Victor Young, Jimmy Van Heusen, Al Jarreau, Nzinga Howard and the Rev. James Cleveland. Carrying forward a more recent custom, there are reprises from albums recorded in 1979 (William Murray’s “You’ll Hear About Me Soon”) and ’84 (Lamont Van Hook’s “Love Is Where You Are”). HUJE 2001 opens with a soulful ballad, Cleveland’s “For God So Loved the World,” wonderfully performed by the ensemble and flugel soloist Aaron Broadus (who’s equally engaging on Joe Wright’s even–tempered arrangement of Young’s “Beautiful Love”). Wright also scored Monk’s elliptical “Trinkle Tinkle” (whose galvanizing solos are by alto Patricia Zárate and drummer McClenty Hunter Jr.) and Van Heusen’s “Nancy (with the Laughing Face),” which places Zárate squarely in the spotlight, this time with bassist Hamilton Hayes (who arranged “For God So Loved the World”). Mike Crotty arranged Jarreau’s rhythmically sunny “Mornin’” and Strayhorn’s haunting “Chelsea Bridge,” the last including earnest statements by trumpeter Charles Washington and tenor Don Caggins Jr. The three–part medley of Wayne Shorter tunes, arranged by Brian Lewis, features alto Charles Medearis on “Witch Hunt,” tenor Joseph Bernard Whitney III on “Infant Eyes,” Washington and trombonist Mark Williams on “Black Nile.” Medearis and Washington burn rubber on “It’s All Right with Me,” and the 2001 ensemble ends on a high note with Bill Holman’s sumptuous arrangement of Monk’s “Ruby My Dear” (clear–headed solos courtesy of Washington and Zárate). While I’ve never been an ardent admirer of tradition, here’s an annual ceremony that I hope will continue for many years to come.

Contact: www.huje@howard.edu; www.jazz@howard.edu


Track Listing: For God So Loved the World; Trinkle Tinkle; Mornin’; African Sunrise; Chelsea Bridge; Beautiful Love; Nancy; Shorter Story (Witch Hunt / Infant Eyes / Black Nile); It’s All Right with Me; Ruby My Dear; Love Is Where You Are; You’ll Hear About Me Soon (67:05).

Personnel: Fred Irby III, music director; Jerrell Hollis Whitaker, alto, soprano sax; Nikia Boston, Charles Medearis, Patricia Z

Title: HUJE 2001 | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: HUJE


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read I Believe In You CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Morning Sun CD/LP/Track Review Morning Sun
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 18, 2017
Read The Conscience CD/LP/Track Review The Conscience
by John Sharpe
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Harlem CD/LP/Track Review Harlem
by James Nadal
Published: August 18, 2017
Read Open Book CD/LP/Track Review Open Book
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Stolen Moments CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "East West Daydreams" CD/LP/Track Review East West Daydreams
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017
Read "Stripped" CD/LP/Track Review Stripped
by James Nadal
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Horizonte" CD/LP/Track Review Horizonte
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "Harmonies" CD/LP/Track Review Harmonies
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.