193

The Hoover High School Studio Jazz Orchestra and Jump Swing Band: Jazz in 1999

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Hoover High School Studio Jazz Orchestra and Jump Swing Band: Jazz in 1999 The Hoover High School Downbeat Combo from Glendale, CA, one of four groups represented on this CD from ’99, performed in January with several other high–school ensembles at the 27th annual Conference of the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) in New Orleans, LA. Director Greg Kupka says in the liner notes that Hoover has won nine Down Beat magazine awards in the last three years including six in ’99, which certainly speaks well for the music program there. The Downbeat Combo, a quartet consisting of guitar, bass guitar, violin and drums, is heard on three numbers — “Sock’s Groove,” “Grand Central” and “Gotta Match?” The school’s Jump Swing Band plays the first four selections, and returns later for “Mr. Pinstripe Suit.” The Studio Jazz Orchestra follows with a trio of tunes (“The 1st Circle,” “In a Sentimental Mood,” “Final Truth”) and the Horn Combo (a sextet whose horns number two, trombone and tenor sax) performs “I’m Gonna Go Fishin’” and “Black Orpheus.” Taking them from the top, the Jump Swing Band is enthusiastic but decidedly ragged, sounding like the high–school ensemble it is, especially on Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing” but elsewhere as well. Swing is fine, and I’m happy it is making a comeback of sorts, but the Jump Band’s recap won’t do much to further the cause. The Jazz Studio Orchestra fares slightly better on Pat Metheny’s “1st Circle,” Ellington’s “Sentimental Mood,” Jean–Luc Ponty’s “Final Truth” and its encore, the theme from Mission: Impossible, but again, leaves no doubt that this is a high–school ensemble. The Downbeat Combo benefits enormously from the presence of a “ringer” (as does the Studio Orchestra on “Final Truth”), director Kupka himself, whose limber violin provides much of the session’s flash and fire. He’s outstanding on every number, pushing his young charges onward and upward and helping to make the combo’s appearances consistently rewarding. Chick Corea’s “Gotta Match?” would challenge almost any fiddler, but Kupka easily navigates its choppy waters. The Horn Combo (with Johnny Di Gregorio on trombone, Sonja Thoms on tenor sax) gives a good account of itself on Shorty Rogers’ “Gonna Go Fishin’” and Luis Bonfa’s “Black Orpheus.” This is a dandy snapshot of Jazz at Hoover High in ’99, and we hope that Kupka and his enterprising students continue along their award–winning path in the years to come.

Track listing: Jumpin’; Sing, Sing, Sing; Jump, Jive ’n Wail; Get the Funk; The 1st Circle; In a Sentimental Mood; Final Truth; Sock’s Groove; Grand Central; Gotta Match?; I’m Gonna Go Fishin’; Black Orpheus; Mr. Pinstripe Suit; Mission Impossible (70:37).


Personnel:

Studio Jazz Orchestra and Jump Swing Band

Title: Jazz in 1999 | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: HHS


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Trail Magic" CD/LP/Track Review Trail Magic
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 19, 2017
Read "Live at PafA" CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey" CD/LP/Track Review Louisiana Soul Revival Featuring Doug Duffey
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Möbius Strip" CD/LP/Track Review Möbius Strip
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Pigs & Fairies" CD/LP/Track Review Pigs & Fairies
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Alameda Gardens" CD/LP/Track Review Alameda Gardens
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 22, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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