All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

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...

5

UNT One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2014

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Another year, another anthology of stellar big-band jazz from the University of North Texas' flagship ensemble, the One O'Clock Lab Band, which carries on a tradition of annual recordings that was begun more than four decades ago. It's a custom that has not only served the university well but has produced a long and unbroken series of splendid large-ensemble albums, and Lab 2014 is clearly no exception to that rule.

To declare that Lab 2014 is superior is not to overplay one's hand; on the contrary, every track serves only to reinforce such an appraisal. To begin with, any band that leads with a barroom piano and down-home blues in place of the usual curtain-raising flag-waver brandishes its audacity and self-assurance from the outset. The flag-waver arrives next, Keith Karns' animated salute to "Brookmeyer," which paints a lovely and loving portrait of the late great valve trombonist / composer. Then it's off to the Caribbean for pianist Gabriel Evens' rhythmically charming "Master Aruba," followed by Drew Zaremba's gorgeous arrangement of the Jerome Kern / Johnny Mercer standard "I'm Old Fashioned," further enriched by Zaremba's soulful alto solo.

Fusion takes its not-universally-pleasing turn on Branson Garner's fractious "Wholesome Recreational Activity," which precedes the (mostly) lyrical "A Father's Love" (composed by Aaron Hedstrom, earnest tenor solos by Niels Rosendahl and Mark Hartsuch), Zaremba's sparkling arrangement of Dave Brubeck's sunny "Cassandra" and UNT faculty member Rich DeRosa's pensive "Mixed Emotions" (solos by guitarist Horace Bray and flugel Stuart Mack). The band wraps things up with current director Steve Wiest's lively treatment of the Cole Porter standard "I Love You," scored originally for trumpeter Maynard Ferguson's dynamic ensemble. Baritone Brian Handeland solos (as he does on flute on "Master Aruba") alongside trumpeter Mack, drummer Nolan Byrd and percussionist Lupe Barrera. Pianist Evens, who composed "Aruba," is the nominal "Gabe" on Zaremba's opening "Blues for Gabe," on which he solos with bassist Jack Helsley, while Hahn (soprano), Rosendahl and Bryd share solo space on "Brookmeyer," Handeland, Byrd, Barrera and trumpeter Ally Hany on "Aruba." Hartsuch, Byrd and trombonist Joakim Toftgard are out front on "Recreational Activity," Zaremba, Hahn, Hany, Toftgard and Byrd on "Cassandra."

There is only one knock on the One O'Clock Band—usually offered by those who simply must find fault with something —and that is that the group is "too academic" and therefore doesn't "swing." The proper response to that can be summed up in one word: preposterous. Lab 2014 should lay that fiction to rest once and for all while proving again that when it comes to university-level Jazz Studies programs, UNT simply has no peer.

Track Listing: Blues for Gabe; Brookmeyer; Master Aruba; I’m Old Fashioned; Wholesome Recreational Activity; A Father’s Love; Cassandra; Mixed Emotions; I Love You.

Personnel: Steve Wiest: director; Jake Boldman: trumpet; Andy Cresap: trumpet; Ransom Miller: trumpet; Ally Hany: trumpet; Stuart Mack: trumpet; Drew Zaremba, Alex Hahn, Mark Hartsuch, Niels Rosendahl, Brian Handeland: saxophones; Zach Steele: trombone; Joakim Toftgard: trombone; Julie Gray: trombone; Colby Norton: trombone; Jan Gauer: bass trombone; Gabriel Evens: piano; Horace Bray: guitar; Jack Helsley: bass; Nolan Byrd: drums; Lupe Barrera: percussion.

Title: Lab 2014 | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Unt Jazz

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The High Road

The High Road

Blujazz Productions
2016

buy
Lab 2014

Lab 2014

Unt Jazz
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Parrots Paradise" CD/LP/Track Review Parrots Paradise
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 8, 2017
Read "Zero" CD/LP/Track Review Zero
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 16, 2018
Read "Lucus" CD/LP/Track Review Lucus
by Don Phipps
Published: January 25, 2018
Read "Monochrome" CD/LP/Track Review Monochrome
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 16, 2018
Read "Time Remembered: Standards and Other Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Time Remembered: Standards and Other Songs
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 24, 2018
Read "Hybrid" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrid
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 28, 2017