All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


The University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble 1: Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
It’s not often that a musical tribute is bestowed on one who is alive and able to hear it, even less common when the honoree is able to play an active role in the proceedings. Bunky Green, director of the Jazz Studies program at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, is very much alive, we are happy to report, and the members of the school’s Jazz Ensemble 1 thought it would be a good idea to honor his life and achievements while he’s still around to appreciate the gesture. It was good idea in practice as well as theory, as the ensemble’s spectacular album, Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green, quickly affirms.

Yes, that’s the UNF Jazz Ensemble readily nailing every theme from Ellington to Mingus, Michael Brecker to Oliver Nelson, Herbie Hancock to Pat Metheny; and yes, that’s Bunky Green in person, unlimbering his expressive alto saxophone on the album’s final track, Don Schamber’s luminous arrangement of Matt Dennis’ classic ballad, “Angel Eyes” (recorded in concert). How director Keith Javors is able to maintain such high standards at UNF in the face of sweeping personnel changes (only eight players are back from the ensemble’s previous album, Second Thoughts ) is beyond me, but it certainly helps to have as stalwart an anchor as John Davis, who is, as I wrote in reviewing that earlier album, one of the most accomplished big-band drummers at that level I’ve heard. Davis, pianist Tom McEvoy, guitarist Steve Lesche and bassist Stan Piper keep the rhythm bright and percolating while the brass and reeds make every melody memorable, none more so than alto saxophonist Nasilio Taveras’ picturesque and high-spirited homage to Green, “Through His Eyes,” a wonderful way to open any album.

One of the more striking features there, as elsewhere, is the remarkable talent and assurance of the soloists. Alto Brandon Romaneck and flugel Max Matzen are sharp and persuasive on their respective showpieces, Nelson’s “I Hope in Time a Change Will Come” and Metheny’s “Always and Forever” (arranged by Bob Curnow), but hardly more so than their counterparts, who include Taveras, Lesche and trumpeter Ray Callender (“Through His Eyes”); Davis and tenor Miguel Alvarado (Brecker’s funky “Delta City Blues”); Davis, Romaneck (tenor), trumpeter Matt White and trombonist Robert Harrover (Hancock’s swirling “Eye of the Hurricane”); Matzen and soprano Rodney Hampton (“Pretty Girl”); Callender, Lesche, McEvoy, Piper and baritone Matthew Zettlemoyer (Ellington’s “Ko Ko”); Taveras, Callender, Alvarado and Davis (Chip McNeill’s fiery “Terra Vivos”). “Pretty Girl,” a perky bossa written by Bob Friedman and handsomely arranged by multi-talented Bill Prince, is an explicit highlight but only one among many, as there is absolutely nothing the ensemble seems unable to handle.

Bunky Green must have been grinning from ear to ear after hearing this breathtaking tribute, and my guess is that you will be doing the same.

Track Listing: Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green; Delta City Blues; I Hope in Time a Change Will Come; Eye of the Hurricane; Pretty Girl; Ko Ko; Fables of Faubus (excerpt); Always and Forever; Terra Vivos; Angel Eyes.

Personnel: Dr. Keith Javors, director; Rodney Hampton, alto, soprano sax; Nalisio Taveras, Bunky Green (10), Dudley Owens (10), alto sax; Brendan Romaneck, tenor, soprano sax; Miguel Alvarado, tenor sax, percussion; Matt Zettlemoyer, baritone sax; Jason Lichau, Matt White, Max Matzen, Ray Callender, trumpet, flugelhorn; Abel Castillo (10), trumpet; Robert Harrover, Marcus McGill, Brian Johnson, trombone; T.J. Collazzo, bass trombone; Tom McEvoy, piano; Steve Lesche, guitar; Stan Piper, Paul Creel (10), bass; John Davis, drums, percussion; Jeremy Noller (10), drums; Robert Guevara (1, 5, 9), percussion.

Title: Through His Eyes: For Bunky Green | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz


comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "The Ultimate Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Ultimate Experience
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Toot Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Toot Suite
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "From Outer Space" CD/LP/Track Review From Outer Space
by Thad Aerts
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "Hauptbahnhof" CD/LP/Track Review Hauptbahnhof
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 4, 2017