Sunday, June 24, 2012

The jazz band camp as promised!

The band camp finale kicked off with four jazz drummers [Drum Mania] under the direction of Slammin' Sammy K (and Jim Leslie during the camp). Sarah Dabe, Kelly Edsall, Evan Danielson and a drummer to be named in the next jazz drummer trade, played some coordinated drum beats/riffs and got the crowd going. Next up was the Bill Burns Big Band (THE Band) playing A Sackful of Soul by Roland Kirk and Memphis Underground by Herbie Mann. Bill Burns was off earning his keep so Hal Melia directed the band and they sounded like the week had paid off. Next was the Dan Nicora & Hal Melia Big Band [Jazz Dispenser, a.k.a. Jaz -re Pez- Dispenser]. This group played Freddie Freeloader by Miles Davis, Blue Bossa by Kenny Dorham & Moanin' by Bobby Timmons - my vote for outstanding soloist was Owen Berg on guitar. He is a 7th grader. Then came a band that called themselves the Groove Dispenser under the direction of Alyssa Mehnert (not Maynard) and they played Impression by John Coltrane, St. Thomas by Sonny Rollins and Cold Duck Time by Eddie Harris, all three very credibly performed. Last but not least, the jazz band campers were getting more experienced and the music was sounding more sophisticated, The Big Band Theory under the direction of Scott Belck played Things Ain't What They Used to Be, Such Sweet Thunder by Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn - an excellent choice, and Spain by Chic Corea which was very well done (and got the crowd involved in the hand clapping sequences). Natalie Semsel gets my vote for soloist of the night on clarinet in Things Ain't What They Used to Be. Andy Kemer was also impressive on his trumpet solo on Such Sweet Thunder. I have not been able to catch the band camp finale for several years and this one was worth catching. Keep up the good work campers and you band camp instructors. Great job!

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