The big band will also take on an original arrangement of Michael Jackson's "Burn This Disco Out" by student Brad Phillips, and Michael Gacetta will present an arrangement of the evening's standard, "Over the Rainbow." Pianist Matt Endahl will lead a more avant-garde student group that goes by the name Symbology, and the contemporary strain will continue when trumpeter and teacher Mark Kirschenmann leads the improvising Creative Arts Orchestra.
The faculty will be featured in smaller settings. Pianist and composer Ellen Rowe will present . . . And Miles to Go, her septet written in honor of her late friend Molly Sap, who struggled with lymphoma. In addition to her own piano, the piece will feature the expressive flugelhorn of professor Ed Sarath, whose playing and composing offer a rare combination of romanticism and the most adventurous trends in improvised music. There will also be pieces featuring three other teachers in the program: the expressive trombonist Dennis Wilson, the versatile and subtle percussionist Michael Gould, and Donald Walden, one of my favorite tenor saxophonists and a marvelous composer as well.
This is not a typical university jazz student concert; it is full of unusual music and original compositions, as well as improvisation. It will be a fascinating evening for anyone interested in both the past and the future of jazz.
[Review published April 2007]