Archive for December, 2008
On Monday, November 17, about 70 people gathered in Friedhoff Hall for a relaxing night of music. The ever-smooth sounds of the CSM Jazz Ensemble and Jazz lab band filled the hall as they put on a concert. Despite the piles of homework many people in the room faced, it was all put off for a night of live jazz.
The concert began with the Jazz Ensemble, a big-band, with a set of three songs. The set started quickly with “Bernie’s Tune” by Bernie Miller. Dueling saxophones highlighted this song and was an excellent piece to start off the evening. The Ensemble continued with two more songs which included many solos and sweet melodies.
After the Ensemble played their set, a switch was made to the Jazz Lab. Focused more on pure jazz instead of big-band pieces, the Lab had a much more organic feel. The director, Ron Bland, even admitted he did not know how one song, “Blue Monk,” was going to be played out. He would simply point to a person who would then play a solo. The Jazz Lab’s set included pieces from Thelonious Monk, George Gershwin, and Miles Davis. Both starting and ending with songs by Thelonious Monk, Bland joked that it was a “Monk Sandwich.” Playing through that sandwich involved many solos, several by the talented Steve Petruzzellis and Esteban Rubio, tenor sax players. In a climatic several minutes, both Petruzzellis and Rubio played a spectacular duel, only being broken up by several occasional drum solos.
Following the Lab’s four piece set, the Ensemble came back on to play another set of three songs. Continuing with their big-band style, they sustained their way with the authoritative brass. In the midst of the classic jazz pieces was an arrangement of the theme song from the television show, “The Simpsons.” The night continued sweetly as the Ensemble played on. For those who were there soaking in the relaxing atmosphere, a much-deserved break from school could not have been better spent.