Soloists abound in Purdue jazz bands 'Just Friends' concertStraight ahead swing, the kind of classic jazz that seems like an old friend, fills the Friday, Oct. 17, “Just Friends” concert which kicks off Purdue Bands’ jazz season.
The Purdue Jazz Band and Lab Jazz Band will be featured in the 8 p.m. concert in Loeb Playhouse of the Purdue Stewart Center. Admission is free.
“We’ll run the gamut from the older Ella Fitzgerald and Peggy Lee tunes to Gordon Goodwin’s “High Maintenance” written in the style of modern swing bands,” says director M.T. “Mo” Trout. The only exception is Bob Mintzer’s “Computer” performed by the Lab Jazz Band. Its intricate rhythmic patterns are reminiscent of the sounds computers make when they’re thinking real hard, he adds.
The friends theme also applies to the large number of soloists featured on the concert. Solos give students a spotlight, and also give audiences the chance to discover the individual talent of band members.
“We will be featuring a number of students in extended solos, not your more typical 16 bar solos, throughout the concert,” Trout says. “That’s because we’ve got a lot of good soloists and a lot of upperclassmen. We want to give them the opportunity to really prepare something, stand up front and be featured.”
Two tenor saxophonists to listen for with the Lab Jazz Band are Kevin Davidson, senior from Munster, on “Manteca,” and Matthew Iles, a freshman from Lafayette, on “When Bop Meets Swing.”
Another featured tune on that set is “Pink Squirrel” by Shorty Rogers. “Written in the west coast very cool style, it’s harmonically adventurous with catchy melodies and a really odd title. I have no idea what it means,” says Trout.
Five upperclassmen get extended solos in the Purdue Jazz Band highlighted by Lafayette senior Sara Suppinger singing Peggy Lee’s “That’s My Style” and Ella Fitzgerald’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me War” in the style the singers made famous. “They’re record copies which means they’re exactly the way they appeared on the records,” Trout says.
Pianist Ryan Hicks, a senior from Fort Wayne, begins John Green’s “Body and Soul” with an extended piano solo. “This arrangement by Bob Florence is one of the best big band arrangements I’ve heard. I like it a lot,” says Trout.
“Zoot,” named for the well-known tenor 1950s sax player Zoot Sims, features Bloomington senior Cosmos Krejci on sax. Kristen Wilde, a junior trombonist from Carmel gets her spotlight in “Over the Rainbow” and Alex Fenske, a sophomore from Richton Park, IL, is featured on flugel horn solo in “Autumn Nocturne.”
The jazz bands next concert is Nov. 21 in Loeb Playhouse. For more information check the calendar page on this web site.