By Alisa Samadani, Staff Writer Originally published in Issue 7, Volume 32 of The University Register on Friday, December 6, 2019
On Friday, November 22, the UMM Jazz Ensembles held a concert in the HFA recital hall. The concert was $1 for students, $3 for children/se- niors, and $5 for adults. Five ensembles were present: Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz En- semble II, Prestige Combo, Verve Com- bo, and Blue Note Combo. The concert was from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Jazz Ensemble II performed two pieces: “Bemsha Swing” and “Timbuktu.” “Be- msha Swing,” written by Thelonious Monk and arranged by Mark Taylor. A well-known piece, “Bemsha Swing” is perfect for small groups as well as big bands. The piece starts with a soothing duet that develops into a call-and-re- sponse between sections of the ensem- ble. Their second piece was “Timbuktu” by Bob Turner, which features unusual rhythms with a cool solo section.
Prestige Combo performed two pieces: “Have You Met Miss Jones” and “Little Sunflower.” “Have You Met Miss Jones,” written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, is a popular jazz tune that served as inspiration for John Coltrane’s sig- nature harmonic progression varia- tion, known today as Coltrane changes. “Little Sunflower,” written by Freddie Hubbard, is a soft piece with a beautiful melody that simply delights the soul.
Verve Combo performed two pieces: “There Is No Greater Love” and “All of Me.” “There Is No Greater Love,” written by Isham Jones, has a steady rhythm, fit for an upscale venue in Chicago. With a warm melody and uplifting patterns, this is a lovely piece for easygoing jazz listeners. “All of Me,” written by Sey- mour Simmons, is another lovely “cof- fee house” piece, with a winding tenor saxophone lead, performed by Nathan Johnson.
Blue Note Combo performed two piec- es: “Sister Sadie” and “Afro Blue.” “Sis- ter Sadie,” written by Horace Silver, is yet another jazz standard that has been covered by famous musicians world- wide. “Afro Blue,” written by Mongo Santamaria, has a prominent AfroCuban waltzing rhythm. This song was also popularized by John Coltrane in later years.
Jazz Ensemble I performed three pieces: “Naima,” “I Mean You,” and “A Night in Tunisia.” “Naima,” written by John Col- trane and arranged by Craig Skeffing- ton, is a popular bossa piece. “I Mean You,” written by Thelonious Monk and arranged by Mike Tomaro, has an upbeat, swinging rhythm.
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