Saturday, April 25, 2015

David's Jazz Band is 'Too Hot'

The John Hopkins University Jazz Ensemble, under David's directorship, held its annual Spring Concert last Thursday.The performance was filled with surprises from a Family Guy reference to a jazzy rendition of Bruno Mars' Uptown Funk.

Yes, the rhythm section took it there during the intermission and the audience (myself included) sang along.

The performance could be summed up in two words: creative and fun. In addition to the rhythm section's recreation of Bruno Mars' hit single, the band performed an original composition composed by one of its trumpeters Nash Rockman.

But before all the creativity began flowing, David and I had run a lot of errands to get the room ready. I undertook my usual tasks of setting up the food and folding the programs.

Subway sandwiches and cookies ,,, David's dinner of choice

David drew the curtains, turned down the lights and set up the chairs and music stands. When he was done, the room looked like this:

Back to the program, the ensemble performed five selections including the original piece Empathy. Nash wrote a soprano saxophone solo into the composition specially for David that featured "many meter changes, a few fermatas and one or two cesuras," (No pressure!)

Although David was nervous going into it, I think he did good job. Here is a snippet of his performance:


I also enjoyed hearing Frank Foster's Blues in Hoss' Flat. This song was famously pantomimed by actor Jerry Lewis in the 1961 film The Errand Boy and later by Peter Griffin of Family Guy. 


Finally the band gave the concert a surprise ending with Count Basie's April in Paris. The surprise was the tune ends three time!

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