391

The Fullerton College Jazz Ensembles: Piranha

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Saying a piranha is combative is somewhat like observing that the late Vince Lombardi was rather fond of winning. The newest release by Fullerton College’s Jazz Ensemble 1 and Alternative Jazz Lab Ensemble is exceedingly well–named, as both groups are ready to rumble from the outset and breathe fire throughout a galvanizing session comprised entirely of original compositions. The frame of reference is mainly funk / Latin and emphatically upbeat, and within those parameters the scrappy Fullerton ensembles are solidly in the groove and smokin’. The fourteen–number program is evenly divided between Jazz Ensemble 1 and the smaller (ten–member) but no less pugnacious Alternative Jazz Lab Ensemble, also known as the Cabana Boys. Some good old–fashioned bop does creep into the Cabana Boys’ repertoire by way of Monk Montgomery’s fleet–footed “Budini” (featuring guitarist Eugene Huang), but this is the exception rather than the rule. As for Jazz Ensemble 1, it unwinds only on Dave Caffey’s tranquil ballad, “Final Dance,” on which Vince Hizon’s caustic alto is front and center. Hizon moves to tenor to divide solo time with Huang on the only other more–or–less straight-ahead vehicle, Walter Davis Jr.’s “Uranus,” also performed by the Cabana Boys. Huang’s “Prelude” then leads into the Jazz Ensemble’s show–stopping finale, Dale Devoe’s impassioned flamenco, “Piranha” (arranged by director Greg Woll). The larger ensemble also performs Dan Radlauer’s “Bar Talk,” Matt Catingub’s fiery “Bop Brothers’ Latin Vacation” (with Hizon, on alto, and tenor Billy Frenzel as the nomadic siblings), Jim Linahon’s free–floating “L.A. Groove” (anchored by Huang’s guitar) and Les Hooper’s rhythmically strong “Lemon Street Rag” (with solos by Frenzel, trombonist Shaunte Palmer and alto Fernando Donoso). The Cabana Boys are heard on Daniel Barry’s “Baby Wheezer,” Chuck Archard’s “From There to Here” and “Practice on Your Own Time” and Matt Harris’ “Long Time Comin’” (with a brief “Prelude” by bassist Jim Hawley). The hour–plus playing time is generous, the sound quality well above average. A convincing statement from one of the West Coast’s impressive undergraduate Jazz Studies programs.

Track listing: Bar Talk; Bop Brothers’ Latin Vacation; Baby Weezer; L.A. Groove; From There to Here; Prelude (To Long Time Comin’); Long Time Comin’; Lemon Street Rag; Budini; Final Dance; Practice on Your Own Time; Uranus; Prelude (To Piranha); Piranha (62:06).

Personnel:

Jazz Ensemble 1

| Record Label: GW | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Mass" CD/LP/Track Review Mass
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas" CD/LP/Track Review Have Yourself an Alto Madness Christmas
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 4, 2016
Read "3's a Crowd" CD/LP/Track Review 3's a Crowd
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Tipico" CD/LP/Track Review Tipico
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Xabregas 10" CD/LP/Track Review Xabregas 10
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 19, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Tyran Grillo
Published: September 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!