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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

UNT One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2018, The Rhythm of the Road

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Another year, another excellent recording from the University of North Texas' flagship ensemble, the One O'Clock Lab Band, which has been producing similarly impressive albums for more than four decades. Unlike many of its predecessors, Lab 2018 has a subtitle, “The Rhythm of the Road," a nod to the band's twenty-eight concerts in a dozen cities and four states in the year leading up to the recording sessions in May 2018. As usual, the music and musicianship are beyond reproach; ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2018/The Rhythm Of The Road

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The University of North Texas has been encouraging its students to play jazz since the 1940s, when big bands were all the rage. To this end, someone came up with the idea of having a band for every hour of the day. The One O'Clock Lab Band is what's left of that whacky idea. The band's present director, Alan Baylock claims the 2018 edition to be the best Lab Band ever and says his opinion was shared ...

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The UNT One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2016

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The year ending in May 2016 was quite an eventful time for the University of North Texas' flagship One O'Clock Lab Band. Besides hosting regular concerts and clinics in Denton and the surrounding area and holding its three yearly performances in Fort Worth, the band welcomed acclaimed drummer Dennis Mackrel as guest artist for its fall concert, the superb pianist Danilo Perez in the spring, and crowned the year with a trip to Australia to perform with the jazz world's ...

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UNT One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2015

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Jay Saunders, director of the University of North Texas' flagship ensemble, the One O'Clock Lab Band, sums up the group's latest recording, Lab 2015, in one concise and canny sentence: “Sometimes it's best just to let the band play what they want to play." With that in mind, Saunders writes in the album's liner notes, he “threw the keys" to the band, its arrangers and composers and told them “to write anything they wanted." From twenty-three submissions, the members of ...

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UNT One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2014

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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 ...

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University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2013

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The University of North Texas is situated in Denton, a city of roughly 120,000 less than an hour's drive northwest from Dallas / Fort Worth. To students at UNT as well as its year-round residents, Denton is home, even if in the former case a home away from home. And speaking of home, the university is home to the country's oldest and most celebrated Jazz Studies program, anchored by the superlative One O'Clock Lab Band whose members are special and ...

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University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2004

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Hard as it may be to believe, this is the twenty-third annual “Lab" album produced by UNT's preeminent One O'Clock Lab Band during Neil Slater's tenure as director, one for each year he has been at the helm. Even harder to accept is that the albums keep getting better with each passing year; Lab 2004 is a corker from start to finish, perhaps one of the finest the band has ever released. (But we say that every year, don't we?) ...

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The University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2003

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Another year, another strenuous final exam for the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band. What’s the grade? Let’s see . . . well (this is becoming rather monotonous), after adding up the score, it appears to be an unequivocal A-plus. In other words, the One O’Clock Band, now more than half a century old, continues to play an error-free game, as it has for most of those years.

Director Neil Slater, never one to tone down a test, ...

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The University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band: Lab 2002

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The University of North Texas at Denton, home to the country’s oldest and most honored Jazz Studies program, has a number of excellent jazz ensembles, the cream of which is its One O’Clock Lab Band, here represented in the latest of a series of annual recordings that began nearly half a century ago. Since that time UNT has seen a large number of its alumni achieve notable careers as musicians and / or educators, and the young men who comprise ...