From the WOUB Music & Arts Blog
By Mitchell Kinnen, Photos by Sydney Good
On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the Glidden Recital Hall at Ohio University will fill with music from some of the most well-known jazz artists of the 20th century.
“Mingus–Monk–Morgan” begins at 7:30 p.m. and features the two OU Jazz Ensemble Combos, as well as Jazz Spoken Here.
The combos, led by John Horne and Alex Burgoyne, feature OU students, while Jazz Spoken Here, led by School of Music Director Michael Parkinson, is made up of OU faculty and staff, including Guy Remonko, Terry Douds, Jeremy Schaffer, Matt James and Graham Stewart.
While the full Jazz Ensembles are multi-section, 18-piece bands, the Jazz Combos are much smaller, often made up of eight or 10 musicians. According to Horne, there is a give and take when working with fewer musicians.
“Because the combos are much smaller, the composed material is less intricate, but each piece allows much more room for improvisation, personal expression and interplay between the musicians,” he said.
They will have a lot to work with too, as the program will present compositions by jazz legends Charles Mingus, Thelonius Monk, Lee Morgan and Miles Davis. Specific pieces include include Davis’ “Seven Steps to Heaven,” Morgan’s “Ceora” and Monk’s “Pannonica.”
“I’m looking forward to all of them, actually,” said Horne. “Each piece has its own personality.”
While Jazz Combo I features a traditional lineup of instruments, the personnel of Jazz Combo II is slightly unorthodox.
“Jazz Combo II has a very unusual instrumentation,” Horne explained. “It utilizes flute, violin, saxophone, bass clarinet and bass trombone to create very lush textures.”
While the material would be challenging for any musician, Horne feels his students are up to that challenge.
“We have to spend a little more time arranging music for the groups, but it’s always rewarding when a group finds its own unique sound,” he said.