Who will be the new stars of jazz? Last Sunday that question was put to rest for me and those in attendance at the concert of the 2003 Indiana High School All Star Jazz Ensemble held at the Warren Performing Arts Center and sponsored by the Buselli Wallarab Jazz Orchestra.
Jason Curry, jazz saxophonist
Right from the opening tune, "In A Mellow Tone," these 19 young jazz all-stars exploded out of the chute with power and authority in their ensemble work. Another surprise was a sensitive performance by these kids of a rare Ellington ballad, "Moon Mist," featuring an exceptional jazz violinist in Rigdzin Collins from Bloomington North High School. She has an innate ability as a soloist to swing and is quite adroit on her instrument, which sang out with richness on this moody ballad. Franklin Central"s Sophie Faught, on alto sax, was equally expressive telling her story. The band"s saxophone section really shone with a fingerbusting unison sax section solo on a difficult John Coltrane tune, "Lazy Bird," from a Woody Herman band arrangement. BWJO Educational Director Mark Buselli conducted all of the tunes except Hoagy Carmichael"s "New Orleans," where he turned over direction to Brent Wallarab, BWJO"s artistic director and the tune"s arranger. It featured a very strong baritone saxophonist in Patrick Laslie from Ft. Wayne"s Southside High School and Terre Haute North"s Peter Allison played a meaningful flugelhorn. Every kid in this All Star Jazz Ensemble earned their way to be honored in this event. It was an elated Buselli who expressed his feelings after the concert. "This was one of the highlights of my musical educational life so far," he said. "This is where it"s at - to play at this level." And play they did. From this reporter"s view, every boy and girl that played in that jazz ensemble had a certain glow on their face coming off the stage. They knew they made it happen, not just for themselves, but also for the future of jazz. Jazz happenings
It"s chill-to-the-bone time, so warm up to a lot of great music as jazz provides hot sounds this week throughout Indy. Downtown
The Chatterbox brings in an exciting new straight-ahead jazz group, the Steven Jones Quintet, on Friday, Jan. 17. It"s Afro-Cuban-Latin sounds heating things up with Conjunto Urbanos on Saturday, Jan. 18. Music times both nights run from 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. The Elbow Room has Tom Sullivan and Duncan Putman, a guitar and bass duo, playing 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Sunday Jazz Brunch. Ruth"s Chris Steakhouse brings in saxophonist Keni Washington for its "Sizzling Steaks and Jazz" Sunday series playing from 7 to 10 p.m. Adam"s Mark Hotel Tiffany Rose Lounge features pianist Frank Puzzullo"s Trio on Friday and Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m. Marriott"s Circle City Bar & Grill has the groove of Greg Bacon"s saxophone on Friday, Jan. 17; Conga Jazz takes over on Saturday, Jan. 18, showcasing vocalist Lisa Baldwin. Music both nights goes from 8 to 11 p.m. Northside
At the Jazz Kitchen, the blazing guitar of Bill Lancton & Coaliton will light things up Friday, Jan. 17. On Saturday, it"s a Latin Dance Party and it"s also Doris" Birthday Party, hosted by DJ Marco Dominguez with catchy salsa grooves along with free dance lessons at 9 p.m. Sullivan"s Steakhouse showcases the hard-swinging trio of Claude Sifferlen, piano, Joe Deal, bass, and Kevin Johnson on drums Friday and Saturday, Jan. 17 and 18, playing 7:30 to 11:30 p.m. New Fountain Lounge presents alto saxophonist Jason Curry Quartet each Wednesday, featuring guest artists each week. The attraction on Jan. 22 is the blazing trumpet sound of Clifford Ratliff, with the sets going from 8 p.m. to midnight. Chuck Workman is the producer/host of the Sunday Morning Jazz Show at 107.9 WTPI.