OU School Of Music Presents “Mingus-Monk-Morgan”

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.

Admission to the concert is free. For more information, visit www.finearts.ohio.edu/music or the OU School of Music’s Facebook page.

Guitar Flash Mob and Student Recital January 28 2012

After several months of scheming and planning the first ever Athens Ohio Guitar Flash Mob finally happened on Saturday morning. We met at 10:15am to rehearse and at 11:00am we encircled the farmers market shoppers in the center of the mall with 28 acoustic guitarists and launched into Don McLean’s epic song “American Pie.” Each verse featured a different singer (listed below) and everyone joined in on the choruses. By the final two choruses we had just about everyone in the mall singing along. I felt it was a great success and hope to organize a similar performance again sometime in the future. Scroll down for more information on the mob and for photos. I’ll put more behind-the-scenes information in a different post.

American Pie Flash Mob Singers
Verse 1: John Horne • Verse 2: Tag Hauschild • Verse 3: Lucas Reilly • Verse 4: Dan Wasserman • Verse 5: Charlie Houtz • Chorus Singers: Peter Babrow • Sarah Clary • Jordan Dean • Marcus Fakler • Craig Garrelts • Sydney Hardy • Zach Hitchcock • Brad Huffman • Erin Malone • Carter McCutchan • Brytton McGuire • Emersynn McGuire • Misha Mochanov • Matt Oviatt • Zach Quillen • Kyle Reynolds • Rockin’ Reggie Robinson • Sam Terkel • Madison Vassari • Nick Weckman • Mike Witter • Kevin Xiao • Ben Ziff • (Please let me know if I missed anyone!)

Following the flash mob performance I held a short student recital. The program is below.

Student Recital Program – Saturday January 28 2012

Charlie Houtz
Rock Riff Medley: Sweet Home Alabama • You Really Got Me • Back in Black • Crazy Train • I Love Rock and Roll
Star Wars – John Williams

Zach Hitchcock
Volga Boatman – Traditional Russian Folk Song
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Johnny Marks

Peter Babrow
Readymade – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Jordan & Milena Dean
I Love Rock & Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Tag Hauschild
Crossroads – Eric Clapton

Eme McGuire
Alchemy – Girls Dead Monster

Kevin Xiao
Home – Jack Johnson
Across the Universe – John Lennon

Justin Dowler
Layla – Eric Clapton
Blues Jam in A

Top Music Picks for 2011

My year-end contribution to the WOUB Music Blog. You can see all of the top music pics for 2011 here: http://woub.org/tags/best-2011

1. David Budway, A New Kiss Pianist David Budway shows off his chops with sparkling compositions and engaging improvisations. The energy of this recording reflects the intensity and joy that I found as a student of Budway while studying at Duquesne University. Standout selections include the funky “MainTAIN Speed Though Tunnel” and “Sama’i Shat Arabud” which incorporates the sounds of traditional Lebanese music. Also on board for this recording are bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jeff `Tain’ Watts. Special guests include saxophonists Branford Marsalis and Marcus Strickland, guitarist Ron Affif and accordionist Joe`Sonny’ Barbato. (davidbudway.com)

2. Miles Davis, Miles Davis Quintet Live In Europe 1967 A previously unreleased series of live recordings of Miles’ “second great quintet,” featuring Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams. This is probably not a disc for the casual jazz listener, but for those that have followed the career of Miles and the other members of the group, it is a marvelous look at how the group transformed themselves and the music night after night.

3. Sarah Jarosz, Follow Me Down Sarah Jarosz’ second release sits comfortably in the center of bluegrass, blues, and folk. The songs here are smart and catchy, but the instrumentation is rootsy and acoustic. In addition to her fine singing, Jarosz does a great deal of playing, showing off her skills on guitar (using an unusual alternate tuning on the title cut) and octave mandolin.

4. Julian Lage Group, Gladwell On this concept album, jazz guitar prodigy Lage takes the listener on a tour of the imaginary town of Gladwell. In addition to cello, the group features saxophone, bass and percussion and seamlessly synthesizes jazz, classical, folk, bluegrass and world music influences into their compositions.

5. Delfeyo Marsalis, Sweet Thunder: Duke & Shak Trombonist Delfeyo Marsalis revives and expands upon Duke Ellington’s suite “Such Sweet Thunder” with a group of all-star musicians. The work is inspired by Shakespearean themes and characters. The great balance of ensemble and solo work is reminiscent of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra.

6. Pat Martino, Undeniable The 67-year-old jazz guitarist proves that he is as strong as ever in this smoking live set recorded at Blues Alley in 2009. Martino’s original compositions are reminiscent of a 1960s Blue Note-era style that allow him to easily spin his extended hard-bop lines. The recording also features the unrestrained playing of organist of Tony Monaco, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts.

7. Pat Metheny, What’s It All About? Pat Metheny’s latest release is one of his friendliest ever: a cover collection of pop songs from the 1960s and 1970s played on solo acoustic guitar. Metheny’s approach to arranging utilizes not only his idiosyncratic harmonic devices but also a unique baritone tuning that doesn’t sound quite like anything else. Despite breezy titles like “Cherish” and “Betcha by Golly, Wow,” the nostalgic interpretations make these songs wistful and poignant.

8. Adam Rafferty, I Remember Michael Guitarist Adam Rafferty has focused solely on acoustic fingerstyle playing over the past few years and is quickly becoming recognized as one of the best in the world. With this release, Rafferty pays tribute to his childhood inspiration Michael Jackson. The tunes here are all instantly recognizable and Rafferty brings each one to life with an emphasis on keeping the original grooves funky and intact, despite the limitations of the instrument. The quality of the recording is immaculate and intimate enough to capture Adam as he occasionally beat-boxes under his breath. (adamrafferty.com)

9. John Scofield, A Moment’s Peace John Scofield seems to manage a new release of mostly-original material every year. This year the focus is on quiet, bluesy ballads. Each tune feels like it could be the final tune in the last set of a late-night session where the players have finally abandoned their hot licks for purely emotive playing. Also contributing to the recording are pianist/organist Larry Goldings, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade.

10. Paul Simon, So Beautiful or So What At 70, Simon is still among the best American lyricists. His recent compositions lack the melodic strength that he had in the 1960s, but he has a lot more to say now and a completely different approach to composing. The instrumentation and production are so unique and varied that they may be a bit of a distraction at first listen, but the songs are so personal that they quickly grow on you.

American Pie Guitar Flash Mob Event

Athens Ohio guitarists! Please join me and my students for a GUITAR FLASH MOB!

On Saturday January 28 we will be treating the Market on State to a surprise performance of Don McLean’s “American Pie” and we need as many guitarists as possible to play and sing on each chorus. Please come and help us out – it will be a blast!

If you want to participate, here’s all you need to do:

1. Be willing to play and sing! You will have the opportunity to join in six times.
2. Have a guitar (preferably acoustic) with a guitar strap.
3. Learn the VERY EASY and FUN chorus to American Pie. (Scroll down for music.)
4. Meet us at 10:15am to tune and rehearse the song once or twice.
5. Performance will happen at 11:00am.

PLEASE let me know if you are planning on participating so I know how many people to expect. You can join the event here or contact me via: https://www.johnhorneguitar.com/contact-john/

Even more details:
“American Pie” sheet music is available here:
https://www.johnhorneguitar.com/american-pie-chorus.pdf

Tutorial for the flash mob on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IF9_StNmsqQ

Listen to the original recording on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lu7hxguhFfI

We will meet to rehearse promptly at 10:15am in the old Shoebilee location in the Market on State. It is the large vacant store near the indoor playground area at the Tractor Supply Co. end of the mall.

At the rehearsal I will ask for your attention. We will tune up, talk through the performance and then play through the entire song one or two times tops. At 11:00am we will perform in the center of the mall.

The Athens Farmer’s Market and WATH/WXTQ Healthy Living Expo will also be going on so we should have a good audience!