Faculty Musicians Perform Varied Tunes at the Jazz Concert

Jazzy tunes that were personally chosen by members of the Andover faculty were showcased in the Faculty Jazz Ensemble concert last Sunday in the Timken Room of the Graves Hall. The Faculty Jazz Ensemble includes multiple Phillips Academy music instructors, including Peter Cirelli, Instructor and Chair in Music, on trombone, Vincent Monaco, Instructor in Music, on trumpet, Joel Springer, Adjunct Instructor in Music, on saxophone, Bob Baughman, Adjunct Instructor in Music, on piano, Dave Zox, Adjunct Instructor in Music, on bass, Bertram Lehmann, Adjunct Instructor in Music, on drums and Raleigh Green and Peter Cicco, both Adjunct Instructors in Music, on guitar. “Each of us in the group comes up with a piece they particularly like. I chose one that is from one of my favorite jazz recordings, a recording of ‘Cannonball’ Adderley and Nancy Wilson,” said Cirelli. The performance opened with Nat Adderley’s “Never Say Never,” which was arranged by Cirelli. The flowing jazz piece created a calm atmosphere for the audience. “‘Cannonball’ Adderley’s brother, Nat, is an American trumpeter that wrote this piece. I have always enjoyed this particular tune so I chose it and wrote an arrangement. I think everyone does a similar process where they choose something they really enjoy listening to and would love to play,” said Cirelli. The first five pieces included music such as “October Surprise” by Baughman, “Little B’s Poem” by Bobby Hutcherson and arranged by Zox, Stanely Turrentine’s “Sunday in New York” with arrangement by Springer and “Bye – Ya” by Thelonious Monk and arranged by Lehmann. Each piece had its own characteristics, highlighting the constant pitch and key change usual to jazz music. The well-prepared and carefully arranged harmonies engaged the audience almost immediately after the start. All the instruments complemented each other well, with octaves and harmonies being formed within the various scales and rhythms that were incorporated into each piece. “Sunday in New York” by Turrentine was another piece that especially caught the audience’s attention. Its relaxing but strong melodies showcased the drums that provided a slow, steady beat and the piano’s fluid tune that added to the harmony, with each of the instruments holding the spotlight at different parts of the performance. “It’s hard to pick a favorite piece because each one has its own personality and each one is fun to play for different reasons,” said Cirelli. The last pieces of the performance showcased “The Dolphin” by Luiz Eca, “Twelve Tone Tune” by Bill Evans, “Mac Trough” by Pat Martino, “All Across the City” by Jim Hall and “Indifferencia” by Sergio Molina, with Zox, Green, Cicco and Lehmann performing. Jim Hall’s “All Across the City” was the highlight of the second half of the Jazz Concert as the piece drew the audience in with its traditional jazzy tunes and lagging notes. The trills were played skillfully and they were supported by the steady beat of the drums. The performance ended with a melodic rendition of “Indifferencia” by Molina. The Concert’s success was reflected in the audience’s enthusiastic applause at the end of the concert. “We prepared well for the performance, together and individually; we have copies and recordings of the music so that we think about our role while playing with the ensemble. We also think about improvisation and study how to improvise on that particular song,” said Cirelli.