If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
The Cal State–Northridge A’ Band has earned a number of awards for its proficiency, and here’s a thumbnail sketch of why that is so. New director Matt Harris clothes the ensemble in a broad array of musical garments from ballad to burner, straight–ahead to on–the–edge, and it wears each of them quite well. Equally well–dressed are the band’s three guest artists, percussionist Brian Kilgore and saxophonists Pete Christlieb and Rob Lockart, with the flame–throwing Christlieb especially inspired on Rob McConnell’s swinging arrangement of “Just Friends.” Harris, a well–known composer / arranger and former sideman in bands led by Buddy Rich and Maynard Ferguson, gives the ensemble scant opportunity to relax, placing on its music stands such demanding charts as Vince Mendoza’s “Sketches #8,” Clare Fischer’s “Guarabe,” Bob Brookmeyer’s “Nasty Dance” and his own compositions, “Inside Out” and “Los Brujos,” each of which is dispatched with few missteps, and none that any but the sharpest ear could detect. The two ballads, “Body and Soul” and “Blame It on My Youth,” feature vocalist Lisa Hamilton whose plaintive delivery embellishes their melodramatic story lines. Lockart sits in on “Sketches #8,” Kilgore gives his nimble hands a workout on “Los Brujos” and “Guarabe.” After the A’ Band completes its eight numbers, the smaller combos (two trios, a quartet) move onstage for the last three, spreading their wings and soaring on Monk’s “I Mean You,” Nat Adderley’s “Blues for Daddy–O” and “Pair of Eleven’s” by CSUN trumpeter Shawn Gaston. There are dandy solos along the way by Gaston, soprano saxophonist Chad Bloom (“I Mean You”), trumpeter John Goldman and pianist Lisa Harriton (“Daddy–O”). The A’ Band also boasts a number of credible soloists including Gaston (“Guarabe,” “Inside Out”), Bloom (tenor on “Nasty Dance”), baritone Brandon Hagewood (“Guarabe”), alto Warren Fordham (“Guarabe”), alto Paul Pate and pianist Jamieson Trotter (“Just Friends”). A cogent, well–shaped album in which CSUN’s A’ Band does nothing to tarnish its impressive reputation.
Contact:Matt Harris, CSU–Northridge Music Department, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330–8314; e–mail [email protected]
Track Listing: Los Brujos; Sketches #8; Body and Soul; Just Friends; Guarabe; Inside Out; Blame It on My Youth; Nasty Dance; I Mean You; One for Daddy
I love jazz because there are so many styles and ways to interpret the music--so much room for creativity.
I was first exposed to jazz at a very young age, listening to great artists such as Nat King Cole and Lena Horne.