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April 1 "Super Jazz Jam" concertDon’t be an April Fool and miss out on an evening of musical surprises at Purdue Bands’ “Super Jazz Jam” set for 8 p.m. Friday, April 1, in Loeb Playhouse of the Purdue Stewart Center.
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Admission is free for this concert featuring the Purdue Jazz Band, American Music Repertory Ensemble, Lab Jazz Band and Concert Jazz Band.
All four bands celebrate this crazy “holiday” devoted to prank pulling that occupies a small niche in history. Prior to 1582 and the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar, New Year’s Day was celebrated on April 1. Because it’s human nature to despise radical change, obstinate individuals came to be labeled fools and were often sent on fool’s errands on April 1.
“At the ‘Super Jazz Jam’ we’re going to be pushing the boundaries,” says Director M.T. “Mo” Trout playfully. The tunes he intends to pull out of his bag are ones with funny names and funky rhythms with a surprise at every turn.
“These are unexpected concert tunes, not your usual swing stuff. There are examples of how musicians from different cultures have adapted jazz to fit world music, and there are examples of musicians just having fun in the composition process,” he says.
Among the many beats to be heard is a “Dancing with the Stars” mix of dancable rhythms - tango, mambo, samba, rock, cha-cha, even driving Celtic folksongs represented by a medley from “Riverdance.”
Tito Puente’s arrangement of “Take Five,” in four beats per measure instead of five, has fun with a well-known Dave Brubeck tune. “For a lot of Brubeck fans, it’s blasphemous,” Trout jokes.
“Old MacDonald” takes its inspiration from the kids’ song but takes it in a more adult direction. “Frank Sinatra’s adaptation of this traditional tune focuses mainly on chicks as in women,” he says.
Michael Philip Mossman’s “The Dance of Denial” could easily have an alternate title with a double entendre, Trout adds. The Egyptian-themed tune could easily be “The Dance of the Nile.”
Gordon Goodman’s “Hunting Wabbits” musically recalls the antics of Bugs Bunny. “This is cartoon music at its best,” says Trout. “Goodman does a lot of writing for cartoons, and for big band, and this brings both together with acapella sections for the saxophones and the trombones. It’s all tongue in cheek and very funny.”
Some of the other tunes to be performed by the bands include “The Chicken” by Alfred James Ellis, “Song for Bilbao” by Pat Metheny, “Zambia” by Mario Bauza and “Libertango” by Astor Piazzolla. There will be vocal highlights as well with Lafayette, IN, senior Joel Benson, singing “Desafinado” by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Clinton, CT, senior Samantha Lee singing “Amapola” by Roldan and Lacalle.
The concert is sponsored by Purdue Bands & Orchestras. The jazz bands final appearance of the 2010-11 season will be at “Jazz on the Hill” at Slayter Center on May 1.
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