111

The Liberace Jazztet: On the Verge

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Liberace Jazztet, based at Northern Illinois University, is so named because it was formed in 2001 as a result of a grant from the Liberace Foundation for the Performing and Creative Arts. The Jazztet is comprised of junior, senior and graduate students at the NIU School of Music who are designated "Liberace Scholars. When this album was recorded in December '02, the members of the group were trumpeter Danny Campbell, tenor saxophonist Doug Stone, guitarist Josh Suhrheinrich, bassist Alex Austin and drummer Marcus Evans.

The young scholars must be encouraged to write as well as play, as all but one of the ten selections on On the Verge—the Victor Scherzinger/Johnny Mercer standard "I Remember You —were composed by members of the Jazztet: three by Stone, two by Austin and Suhrheinrich, one each by Evans and Campbell. The overall ambiance calls to mind a rather laid-back incarnation of the Blue Note/Prestige era of earnest boppers—or perhaps Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, even though Evans is a far less imperious drummer than Blakey. While Campbell and Stone form a splendid front line, I was most impressed with the rhythm section, which provides unflagging support without overplaying its hand. Evans is especially discreet, bassist Austin cool and steady, while guitarist Suhrheinrich, an excellent soloist and accompanist, averts the need for a piano.

The music is well-written and capably performed, and in a blindfold test these young musicians might easily be identified as seasoned professionals. It's clearly evident that their rehearsals—several each week, guided by NIU's top-notch jazz faculty—have paid handsome dividends, as On the Verge is smooth and charming from start to finish.


Track Listing: I Remember You; Tippin

Personnel: Doug Stone: tenor saxophone; Danny Campbell: trumpet; Josh Suhrheinrich: guitar; Alex Austin: bass; Marcus Evans: drums.

Title: On the Verge | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: NIUJE


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Whispers on the Wind CD/LP/Track Review Whispers on the Wind
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read Heptagon CD/LP/Track Review Heptagon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 23, 2017
Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Tribute to Ndouga Dieng" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Ndouga Dieng
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017
Read "Luisa" CD/LP/Track Review Luisa
by Matt Marshall
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "The Busker" CD/LP/Track Review The Busker
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 30, 2017
Read "Such A Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read "Escualo" CD/LP/Track Review Escualo
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT!  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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