Faculty Jazz Concert Features Variety

A range of upbeat and calming jazz music entertained the intimate audience gathered in the Timken Room of Graves Hall this past Friday. The Faculty Jazz Concert started off with a performance by four Adjunct Instructors in Music: Raleigh Green and Peter Cicco on the guitar, Dave Zox on bass and Bertram Lehmann on the drums. They set a lively and cheerful atmosphere with Larry Willis’ “To Wisdom the Prize,” as clear rhythms of the guitars’ chords harmonized with the strong drum beats and the low tunes of the bass. The same group of faculty performers then transitioned to a calmer piece, “Lawns” by Carla Bley. Once again, the guitarists carried the melody, while the bass harmoniously joined in with its low notes mixing with the higher notes of the guitar. The muted sound of the drums added to the relaxing atmosphere. The performers reverted back to a cheerful pace with Jimmy Heath’s “Gingerbread Boy.” The song began with a consistent melody and beat, but each instrument soon digressed to its own distinct tune, periodically returning back to the original theme. Zox’s lively bass solo towards the end of the song reflected the upbeat tone that resonated throughout the piece. The musicians frequently interacted with each other throughout the piece. Cicco often strayed away from his sheet music, turning towards Green and the other musicians. Cicco also added his own vocals to the performance, regularly humming along. “I thought the performers were really upbeat, the music was exciting. I especially enjoyed the solos for each instrument,” said Amanda Krakauer ’15. A second group of faculty musicians took the stage, featuring Vincent Monaco, Instructor in Music currently on sabbatical, on trumpet, Joel Springer, Adjunct Instructor in Music, on saxophone, Peter Cirelli, Instructor and Chair in Music, on trombone, Bob Baughman, Adjunct Instructor in Music, on piano, Zox on bass and Lehmann on drums. The performers launched into “Bakiff” by Juan Tizol, maintaining the happy and lively ambience set by the first group. The piece began with the synchronized tunes of the trumpet and saxophone. The trombone joined soon after, accompanied by the trumpet and saxophone on the main melody, while the drums, piano and bass played in the background. The group, wanting to present a diverse assortment of jazz to the audience, purposefully selected distinct pieces to perform. “We [performed] an eclectic mix of songs,” said Baughman, “[We played] some fast [pieces], some slow [pieces], some different types of meters, some swing, some Latin, and some funk.” Green said, “As we went from a blues to a ballad, hopefully the composition and improvisation took you on a journey.” The concert concluded with a fast and energetic piece, “Yatra-Ta” by Tania Maria. Beginning with a buoyant harmony of the trombone, trumpet and saxophone, the piece alternated between solos featuring the trombone and piano. Thundering drum beats concluded the piece and the concert.