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‘Shiny Stockings Jazz Jam’
fills Loeb with
swing jazz Nov. 18
In 1955, “Shiny Stockings” equated to romance in the Frank Foster’s jazz hit made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. On Friday, Nov. 18, Purdue Bands’ “Shiny Stockings Jazz Jam” equates to a fun evening filled with timeless music by Count Basie and his legendary saxophonist Frank Foster.
Four bands – the Concert and Lab Jazz Bands, American Music Repertory Ensemble and the Purdue Jazz Band - will be featured at the Jam which starts at 8 p.m. Nov. 18 in Loeb Playhouse of the Purdue Stewart Center. Admission is free.
“ ‘Shiny Stockings’ was the most famous piece Frank Foster wrote for the Count Basie Band. It became one of Basie’s signature pieces and it lends a festive note to our whole night,” says M.T. “Mo” Trout who directs all of Purdue’s jazz bands.
Giving life to Foster’s challenging charts will be the responsibility of the Purdue Jazz Band as the cap to the evening. “Foster is one of those unsung heroes who was always somewhat in the background,” Trout says. He played in Basie’s band from the 1950s on and took over as leader in 1984 when the Count died.
“Besides his contributions as a performer he wrote many arrangements. There are whole albums of his music. Foster passed away this last summer and we wanted to pay tribute to him,” Trout adds.
The Nov. 18 show opens with pieces familiar to Count Basie fans like the swinging “Smack Dab in the Middle” and “Basie Boogie.” “Basie featured a lot of soloists and all these pieces are really solo type pieces. We’re letting the members of the younger bands be in the spotlight and they are really embracing it,” Trout says.
“Basie Boogie” features pianist Alec McGail; “Bye Bye Blackbird” puts Darius Elliott on trumpet in the spotlight and Ryan Martin gets a flugelhorn solo in “Round Midnight.”
“Every Tub,” a 1940s Basie piece, likely got its name and inspiration from the drums or “tubs” as they were often referred to. “It’s got a very driving beat and is a real exciting piece,” Trout says. In the swing style of the 1940s is “Uptown Recollections” which features the whole sax section of the American Music Repertory Ensemble.
Trout says that Foster’s “Blues in Hoss’ Flat” is not a tune most will recognize by name. “But Jerry Lewis fans will remember it from the movie ‘The Errand Boy.’ It underscores a famous scene where Lewis is sitting at a desk pretending to be boss and mimes all these things to the music.”
Soprano soloist Caitlin Cotten will be featured with the Purdue Jazz Band in Frank Foster’s arrangement of Gershwin’s “I Loves You Porgy” and “You Can Have It (If You Really Want It).” Both come from a Grammy winning album Foster did with Diane Schuur.
The concert climaxes with Foster’s “Discommotion” performed by the Purdue Jazz Band. “It’s what you call a flag waver in big band vernacular,” says Trout. “It’s fast and loud and exciting from beginning to end.”
The “Shiny Stockings Jazz Jam” is sponsored by Purdue Bands & Orchestras. The jazz band’s next concert will be “Holiday Cheer & All That Jazz” on Dec. 9.
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