'Big Phat' Goodwin tunes featured at Super Jazz Jam
Tunes by Gordon Goodwin and Sammy Nestico, favorite composers of the student jazz musicians at Purdue, should enhance the "super" in the bands' annual Super Jazz Jam, set for 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, in Loeb Playhouse of the Purdue Stewart Center.
Admission is free.
Goodwin's Big Phat Band is "the current big hit big band that all the kids know. It's really fun music. But most young bands can't play it because it's too difficult," says Purdue jazz director Mo Trout.
He feels Goodwin's compositions and arrangements -- like "Lester Leaps In," "High Maintenance" and "Count Bubba's Revenge" - provide a worthy challenge for the musical maturity of Purdue's four jazz bands.
"High Maintenance," to be performed by the Lab Jazz Band, is typical Gordon Goodwin. "The tempo is quick. The trumpets are high. the saxes are fast and there's high energy in the drums," Trout says. "There are layered riffs like Count Basie but in a more contemporary style."
Among the other tunes the Lab Band will perform are Alan Baylock's "Hullabaloo" and an arrangement of "Too Close For Comfort" by Dave Wolpe. The Concert Jazz Band begins the evening with tunes ranging from Goodwin's "Lester Leaps In" to Benny Carter's "The Wiggle Walk."
American Music Repertory Ensemble shows off another side of Goodwin. "He writes a lot of music for animated movies and cartoons, music with a fun, whimsical feeling." AMRE opens their set with a Goodwin arrangement of the Disney hit "Beauty and the Beast." The group offers a mini-feature on Nat King Cole and his daughter Natalie They'll perform "Orange Colored Sky" from her "Unforgettable" album and an instrumental version of the Nat King Cole's hit "It's Only a Paper Moon."
Members of the Purdue Jazz Band wanted to perform both Goodwin and Sammy Nestico which pleased Trout. "Nestico was the Gordon Goodwin of my day in high school. He's the one that influenced all of us so it was kind of cool they wanted to do this."
They will present Nestico's arrangement of "Satin Doll" and two originals --"Lonely Street" and "Ya Gotta Try." Ending their set, and the concert, is Goodwin's Count Bubba's Revenge."
Goodwin's original tune, "Count Bubba," was "one every high school band played even if they had no business playing it (because of difficulty). You got tired of it," Trout says. "Two albums later he wrote 'Count Bubba's Revenge' which is much more difficult. It features all the sections of the band, sometimes by themselves."
The "Super Jazz Jam" is one of many events sponsored by Purdue Bands & Orchestras which also offers concert band, percussion and orchestra events this semester.