The University of Minnesota appears to have a respectable Jazz ensemble; too bad it’s not showcased more often (two of eight tracks) on this abbreviated compendium of music from 1992–95 (the smaller Jazz Combo is heard on “Cockroach Clusters,” the Jazz Singers from 1992, ’94 or ’95 on the other numbers). The ensemble leads off with Dave Liebman’s surprisingly mainstream “Picadilly Lilly” (with serviceable solos by trumpeter Frankowski and alto saxophonist Thomson) and returns for Ellington’s “Concerto for Cootie” (perhaps better known as “Do Nothin’ Till You Hear from Me”), which features Tim Martin’s trumpet, muted and open. After “Cockroach” (written by pianist Juskovic, other personnel unlisted), the Singers take over the rest of the way, with program director Ron McCurdy adding his “voice” (as whistler, actually) on “When You Wish Upon a Star.” The harmonically challenging “Jubilee” is by vocalese master Bobby McFerrin, “Basically Blues” by trombonist Phil Wilson. The Singers are good, and show at the least that UM has a well–rounded Jazz Studies program. We look forward to future enterprises.
Track listing: Picadilly Lilly; Concerto for Cootie; Cockroach Clusters; My Favorite Things; When You Wish Upon a Star; The Shadow of Your Smile; Jubilee; Basically Blues (37:23).
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.