All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

164

The University of Texas Jazz Orchestra: Once in a Blue Moon

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Even though it doesn’t generate a whole lot of heat before the high–stepping finale, this largely easygoing and often pensive third album (at least, I think it’s the third) by the University of Texas Jazz Orchestra is in most respects its best effort to date. Ensemble work is bright and secure, soloists spry and resourceful, choice of material — much of it composed and / or arranged by UT students or alumni — uncommon but for the most part admirable. For lovers of the alto saxophone Blue Moon is a special feast for the ears with luminous solos by Paul Haar (“The End of a Love Affair”), Mace Hibbard (“Old Country,” Greg Moore’s “Tubs of Slaw,” “Music for a Rolling Doughnut,” “Hora Decubitis”) and special guest Gary Foster (Cole Porter’s “Everything I Love,” in a sparkling arrangement by Jack Cooper). “Doughnut,” written and arranged by guiarist John Kregor, is performed by the smaller (eight–member) Alternative Improvisation Music Ensemble (AIME), all other numbers by the Jazz orchestra. “Doughnut,” “Everything I Love” and Paul McKee’s “Old Country” were recorded in concert. The flag–waving closer alluded to earlier is Charles Mingus’ fiery “Decubitis,” nicely arranged by the orchestra’s director, Jeff Hellmer. Tenor Paul White, who wrote and arranged “Tofu Scrambler,” takes a slashing solo on “Decubitis,” as do Hibbard, trombonist Jerome Smith, tenor Dave Renter and trumpeter Rick White. Pianist Steven Termini is a standout on “Old Country,“ “Dougnut” and his own composition, “Once in a Blue Moon,” while Kregor, flugel Andy Cheetham and pianist Steven Snyder shine on Cooper’s “Tom Sails Away,” adapted from a work by classical composer Charles Ives (with perhaps a passing nod toward Mr. Harrell). It’s an ambitious program and one that usually works, thanks to the impressive talents of the UT students and faculty (and their celebrated guest, L.A.–based Gary Foster). It has become a rule of thumb that university Jazz ensembles keep getting better and better, and the UT Jazz Orchestra is certainly no exception to the rule.

Contact:Jeff Hellmer, School of Music, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712. Phone 512–471–0744; e–mail jhellmer@mail.utexas.edu


Track Listing: Old Country; Once in a Blue Moon; Tom Sails Away; Tubs of Slaw; The End of a Love Affair; Music for a Rolling Doughnut; Tofu Scrambler; Everything I Love; Hora Decubitus (66:29).

Personnel: Jeff Hellmer, music director; Mace Hibbard, William Ferguson, Paul G. White, Dave Renter, David Box, Paul Haar, Colin Mason, reeds; Chip Crotts, Andy Cheetham, Warren Ealy, Rick White, trumpet; Jerome Smith, Claudio Gariazzo, Thomas Lee, Wayne Myers, Bill Mann, Mike Hoffer, trombone; Steven Snyder, Steven Termini, piano; John Kregor, guitar; Henry Lugo, bass; David Glover, Eric Middleton, drums; Lisa Nicol, percussion. Guest soloist Gary Foster, alto saxophone (

Title: Once in a Blue Moon | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: UTJO

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read In Real Time CD/LP/Track Review
In Real Time
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Freebird CD/LP/Track Review
Freebird
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read The Dream Thief CD/LP/Track Review
The Dream Thief
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Heuristics CD/LP/Track Review
Heuristics
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read "In The Green Castle" CD/LP/Track Review In The Green Castle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by John Kelman
Published: November 28, 2017
Read "The Acadian Orogeny" CD/LP/Track Review The Acadian Orogeny
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 19, 2018
Read "When The Birds Leave" CD/LP/Track Review When The Birds Leave
by Don Phipps
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "Solo a Genova" CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "In Stride" CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: March 26, 2018