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The Virginia Tech Jazz Band: Four

Read "Four" reviewed by Jack Bowers

While the news media center their attention on Virginia Tech’s football team led by quarterback Michael Vick, former Maynard Ferguson signal–caller Chip McNeill has been quietly assembling another winning combo in the school’s music department, one whose proficiency is readily borne out in an advance copy of its first studio recording. From Miles Davis’ “Four,” adeptly arranged by tenor saxophonist Alex Perez, to McNeill’s fire–breathing closer, “In the Present,” it’s clear that his talented crewmen are primed and ready for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Virginia Tech Jazz Lab: Feeding Frenzy

Read "Feeding Frenzy" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Virginia Tech Jazz Lab is ably supervised by Chip McNeill, who held down a saxophone chair in Maynard Ferguson’s Big Bop Nouveau band, among others, but plays only piano on Feeding Frenzy, leaving the sax–playing duties to Patrick Barbie (who shares the front line with trumpeter Jason Price). What emerges is a respectable blowing session in which everyone is given ample room to stretch (while the songs vary in length, they average nearly nine minutes apiece with the standard ...


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