The Riverside Community College Jazz Ensemble: Upside Out

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
This album covers several years (exactly how many is unclear) in the life of the Riverside Community College Jazz Ensemble (and a trio, heard on three of the nine tracks). Charlie Richard, who directs the band and combo, has done a splendid job in bringing them along, as witness the ensemble’s first-place honors in every competitive Jazz festival it has entered and its first-rate interpretations here of demanding charts by Bob Curnow, Jack Cooper, Dan Gailey, Sandy Megas, Paul White and Bob Brookmeyer.

All save one of the selections, Brookmeyer’s eccentric “Nasty Dance,” were recorded in a studio. “Dance,” taped during an appearance at the University of Texas Longhorn Jazz Festival, features the only non-student performer, tenor saxophonist Jeff Ellwood, an RCC alumnus and faculty member. The well-built small combo, which performs Béla Fleck’s “Bumbershoot,” Bird’s “Donna Lee” and bassist Shane Jordan’s samba, “Wondering,” is comprised of Jordan, tenor saxophonist Jason Jamerson and drummer Chad Villareal. Jordan is especially impressive, displaying formidable chops, unflagging resourcefulness, and even doubling the melody behind Jamerson on the finger-busting “Donna Lee.”

The ensemble dashes smartly from the starting gate to confront Curnow’s shuffling arrangement of Lyle Mays’ “Are We There Yet?,” a showcase for alto saxophonist Gerry Whitaker, before moving on to Cooper’s fugue-like swinger, “Upside Out” (solos by tenor Bill Preci, trumpeter Brian Mantz), and Gailey’s solicitous arrangement of Rick Margitza’s meditative “Widow’s Walk” (Kelly Corbin, tenor sax; Josh Miller, guitar). Megas scored Lyle Mays/Pat Metheny’s breezy “Third Wind,” on which another fine guitarist, James De Prato, shares solo honors with Jamerson, this time on alto, and tenor Corbin. Chris Potter’s “Seven Eleven,” arranged by White, pursues a zig-zag course with craggy solos by Preci, Mantz and drummer Jon McCammon.

A consistently rewarding album by top-drawer college-level jazz ensemble and trio.

Track Listing: Are We There Yet?; Upside Out; Widow

Personnel: Everardo Aguilar (1-5, 9), Kinch DeGrate (9), Paul Karandos (1-5, 9), Tatsluya Koyama (3, 4), Brian Mantz (1, 2, 5, 9), Don Marino III (1, 2, 5), Carlos Villa (3, 4, 9), Kevin Young (3, 4), trumpet; Demetrius Patin (1, 2, 5, 9), Gerry Whitaker (1, 2, 5, 9), Jason Jamerson (3, 4), alto sax; Kelly Corbin (3, 4, 9), Jason Jamerson (1, 2, 5-8), Bill Preci (1-5, 9), James Reinbolt (1, 2, 5, 9), tenor sax; Travis Alegria (3, 4), Ionna Fleming (3, 4), Demetrius Patin (3, 4), Taylor Shiffermiller (1, 2, 5, 9), James Reinbolt (3, 4), baritone sax; Jaime Royal (4), piccolo; Dan Bigler (1-5, 9), Diane Bigler (3, 4), Rick Covarubias (3 ,4, 9), Frank Hickman (3, 4, 9), Joe Martinez (1, 2, 5), Marcos Rodriguez (1, 2, 5), Nicholas Terwilliger (1, 2, 5), Aaron Wharton (1, 2, 5), trombone; David Peoples (1, 2, 5, 9), Eric Von Pingle (3, 4), piano; James DePrato (4), Josh Miller (3), Eric Von Pingle (9), guitar; Bill Dickson (3, 4, 9), Shane Jordan (6-8), Ferrari Watts (1, 2, 5), bass; Steve Beltran (9), Jon McCammon (1, 2, 5), Dan Rocadio (3, 4), Chad Villarreal (6-8), drums; Michael Gaylord (3, 4), Anna Perrota (9), Angela Thomas (1), percussion.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Sea Breeze Jazz | Style: Big Band


More Articles

Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Eos CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read More Than This CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Once Upon A Time In Portugal" CD/LP/Track Review Once Upon A Time In Portugal
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Live in Japan" CD/LP/Track Review Live in Japan
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "The Candy Men" CD/LP/Track Review The Candy Men
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 28, 2016
Read "Eastern Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Eastern Smiles
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!