107

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Jazz Ensemble: Serenade in Blue

By

Sign in to view read count
The Sea Breeze label holds a preeminent position when it comes to recording the performances of contemporary big bands. One of the more fertile areas for this jazz genre is at those colleges and universities that have active jazz programs. Now comes the University of Cincinnati's Jazz Ensemble headed by its director, Rick VanMatre, with a program of tightly arranged music, mostly standards, played with vim and vigor by very good young players. One of the attributes which sets this group apart from other college big bands is their use of dynamics which adds to the excitement of their presentation. The chart for "Mean to Me" is taut to the point of almost being agitated. Bryan Hardester's bass trombone, an instrument not usually in the solo spotlight, helps make this a great track. The group is also willing to take the time to thoroughly explore all possibilities of these familiar pieces. The title tune gets a seven plus minute work out with Eli Hludzik's drums pushing the group onto further heights. This outfit also has some exceptional instrumentalists. Listen to Brian Hogg's modern tenor on Kenny Barron's "Voyage" as he and the band exert high voltage tension laying the ground work for the entrance of Russ Haynes' trumpet. The group organizes itself into a smaller group for Ed Breazeale's "The Big Mistake", which comes close to avant-garde big band playing with its dissonant rhythms. Blue Wisp Bug Band drummer John von Ohlen lends his talents to the group for a couple of tracks.

It's clear that Director VanMatre is addicted to the Count Basie groups of the of the late 1960's and early 1970's which featured arrangements by Chico O'Farrell and Sammy Nestico. VanMatre uses the same mold to fashion his current outfit. Credit also has to go to his faculty for polishing the raw talent of these young jazz artists who hold down the band's chairs. This is exuberant music at its modern best.


Track Listing: Mean to Me; Serenade in Blue; If I Should Lose You; Voyage; Gloria's Step; Umezu; In a Sentimental Mood; The Days of Wine and Roses; The Big Mistake; The Thrill Is Gone*

Personnel: Rick VanMatre - Director; Andrew Neff, Pat Landis - Alto Sax; Brian Hogg, Ben Crandall - Tenor Sax; Bill Burns - Baritone Sax; Scott Belck, Russ Haynes, Todd Hartman, Chris Nasrallah - Trumpet; Jim Pelz, David Horger, Michael Townley - Trombone; Bryan Hardester - Bass Trombone; Andy Szucs - Guitar; Alex Smith - Piano; Joe Policastro, Scott Ritchie - Bass; Eli Hludzik, Ed Breazeale, John Von Ohlen - Drums; Mary Ellen Tanner - Vocals*

| Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz | Style: Big Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Miles Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Smiles
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Crystal Moth" CD/LP/Track Review Crystal Moth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "Cosmic Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review Cosmic Adventure
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2016
Read "Crop Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Crop Circles
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Sound of Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Porcupine Meat" CD/LP/Track Review Porcupine Meat
by James Nadal
Published: September 29, 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!

Buy it!