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Jazz 2008 by CalArts

CalArts Jazz 2008 is the 19th annual CD released by Capitol Records for the students of this high end arts school. This is a polished, professional production. Just the type of product you would expect from an EMI, Capitol Records disc. The CD includes thirteen tracks, a mix of varied styles with many different student musicians participating. The cover design is super, a product of the schools art department. There is one special guest artist, Kathleen Grace, a vocalist with a developed sound. The jazz faculty at this college would have made for some nice guest artist’s. The students are blessed with a faculty that includes Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, Miroslav Tadic and Charlie Haden to name a few.

California Institute of the Arts was established in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney. The first U.S. higher educational institution to offer degrees in both visual and performing arts. Pianist, program director and producer of Jazz 2008 David Roitstein along with bassist, composer, Charlie Haden created the Calarts Jazz Program in 1983.

The CD Jazz2008 features some quality music, jazz - in a world sense. The opening track "Last Call" is a contemporary jazz song, composed by bassist Sam Minaie the song begins with some hyperactivity and melodically slides into a duet of saxophone and vocal chanting. There is a calming interlude, a lone piano - a disjointed feel. The verse is repeated and an opportunity for a bass solo is taken. The duet of saxophone and vocal chant return to close the song in a melancholy manner.

The next track opens as a punk rock anthem, with screaming guitar. "My Little Chickadee" composed by guitarist Alex Noice covers the emotions normally related to slaughter and war. Trumpet, sax and guitar battle to a wild finale. The composition "In The Beginning" swings the emotion heaven bound, a choral of Gregorian chanting. The composer and vocalist Andrea Hammond is joined by four other vocalists.

The alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton, the trumpeters Stephanie Richards and Brandon Sherman, tenor saxophonist Jon Armstrong and the pianist Rory Cowal are names I will be watching for. Compositions that were enjoyable and interesting, "Scolastica", composed by drummer Trevor Anderies, "Last Call" by the bassist Minaie, "Heavy Manners" composed by drummer Matt Mayhall, "Go Home Team" by trumpeter Brandon Sherman and "Refresh" composed by guitarist Alex Pinto.

To catch all the artistic potential on CalArts Jazz 2008 visit the web site and sample the full album, it’s free.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: CalArts
  • CD Title: Jazz 2008
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: EMI/Capitol
  • Rating: Two Stars
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