235

Jimmy Simmons and Friends: Red, White and You: Homecoming 2005

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
In case the name doesn't ring a bell, Jimmy Simmons is the president of Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas—a university president who doubles on saxophone, clarinet and piano! No kidding. His friends at this Homecoming 2005 concert (and studio recording) include the Lamar University Alumni Jazz Ensemble under director Wayne Dyess and a number of invited guests.

Simmons, whose gritty tenor saxophone is featured on Patrick Williams' "Her Song, is surprisingly good. In other words, he's one hip headmaster who isn't playing simply because he's the man in charge and can do so. Simmons and everyone else is given staunch support by the alumni ensemble, which should record an album of its own (if it hasn't already done so). Dyess doubles too, and his smooth trombone is front and center on "There Will Never Be Another You.

Other alumni in the spotlight include bluesy vocalists Sharon Montgomery ("Let the Good Times Roll, "I Got It Bad ), Becky Barksdale ("Muddy Water ) and John Calderon ("Stormy Monday, "Just for a Thrill ), alto saxophonist Jim Boone ("Autumn Leaves ), baritone Kurt Killion ("Don't Get Around Much Anymore ), trombonist Travis Harris ("Beautiful Love, "I'm Getting Sentimental ), pianist Charlie Prause ("All of Me ) and tenor Don Rollins (Tom Kubis' great arrangement of "When You're Smiling ). Drummer Billy McQueen, an LU music major, takes charge on the spirited finale, Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night.

As near as I can reckon, seven of the thirteen selections were recorded in concert, the others in a studio. "Stormy Monday was most likely performed live, but it's hard to tell, as it fades before the ending. The tracks featuring Simmons, Boone, Dyess, Barksdale, Rollins and McQueen were definitely set down in a studio. Be that as it may, everything is well done, and the concert numbers are admirably recorded. Simmons has some remarkably talented friends, and together they know how to throw a delightful party.


Track Listing: Let the Good Times Roll; Her Song; Autumn Leaves; There Will Never Be Another You; I Got It Bad and That Ain

Personnel: Jimmy Simmons: tenor sax, clarinet, piano; Jeff Laird, Rusty Lay, Kevin Stone, Michael Westbrook, Ray Gonzales, Raul Ornelas: trumpet; Don Rollins, David McArthur, Mike Smith: tenor sax; Jim Boone, Richard Cantu: alto sax; Kurt Killion: baritone sax; Wayne Dyess, Travis Harris, David Jernigan, Lanny Marshall, Donnie Todd: trombone; Charlie Prause, Freddie Titus: piano; David Johnson: bass guitar; Billy McQueen, Daryl Wilson: drums; Sharon Montgomery: vocals; Becky Barksdale, John Calderon: guitar, vocals.

Title: Red, White and You: Homecoming 2005 | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Lamar U Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Intenso!" CD/LP/Track Review Intenso!
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "On the Spot" CD/LP/Track Review On the Spot
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 30, 2017
Read "Good Merlin" CD/LP/Track Review Good Merlin
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Through The Hours" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Hours
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter" CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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