"Three and a half stars
Clarian Health Concerts on the Canal; Indiana History Center; July 12
The music of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and trombonist J.J. Johnson is the perfect foil for the dynamic duo of Buselli and Wallarab. Together, with an ensemble of equally smart players, Buselli and Wallarab deftly re-interpret the much lauded compositions of their fellow Indiana legends. Hubbard was born in 1938 in Indianapolis. He has been described as a fiery player who delighted in sliding into melodic improvisations. His phenomenal technique influenced jazz in the 1960s. J.J. Johnson, who brought to the trombone an incredible accuracy of manipulating the slide, was born in Indianapolis in 1924 and died here in 2001 after returning home in 1996 to compose. The players delivered Johnson’s “Lament” as a study in human relationships. The flugelhorn/trombone combo particularly touched the heart as it melted into a happy ending. Offering up a bit of context may also have provided the best surprise of the overall fine program. Benny Goodman’s 1936 “Rollin’” was arranged for alto sax in place of the expected clarinet. It makes a listener hear the music in a different way. Lovely.