Jazz at Aspen Snowmass
Selected via competition, five bands with musicians in their late teens and early 20s are in Colorado to move to a higher musical level at the Jazz Aspen Snowmass and the JAS Academy. Bassist and artistic director Christian McBride and program director -- and tenor saxophonist -- Loren Schoenberg lead the dream-team faculty.
Mornings at the academy begin with a history class. Then come rehearsals and sectionals -- with participants grouped by instrument -- followed by master classes and performances into the night. On JazzSet, we are at the Hickory House restaurant in Aspen on July 26, 2004, to hear one impressive band after another, as the players cheer one other on.
As a JazzSet special, we have some musical samples for you. The three singers at the 2004 JAS Academy were Simone Kopmajer from Vienna, Gina Saputo from Los Angeles, and Gretchen Parlato from Los Angeles, now living in New York. Simone has been working very hard on her scat singing, but our sample, with the trio Ko, is bluesier. Gina sings an actual blues with the East West Quintet. Tierney Sutton produced Gina's first album. Our sample from Gretchen is from her winning performance at the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition.
Selections and Players
Adonis Rose Quintet: "ESP" (Wayne Shorter) Leon Brown trumpet, Steve Walker trombone, Jonathan Batiste piano, Peter Harris bass, (bassist Max Moran also participated in the Academy), leader Adonis Rose drums
Gerald Clayton Trio: "Gotta Travel On" (traditional) Clayton on piano, Alan Hampton bass, Kevin Kanner drums
Insight: "Story in Three" by pianist Zaccai Curtis With Luques Curtis, bass; Richie Barshay (who has toured Europe with Herbie Hancock), drums; Reinaldo Dejesus, percussionist; Joel Gonzales, trumpet; Zachary Lucas, alto sax; Raymond McMorrin, tenor sax
Ko: "Mercy Mercy Me (the Ecology)" (Marvin Gaye) Sam Best is the pianist; Pete Cochrane, bass; Bradley Webb, drums
East West Quintet: "Hard Times" (Ray Charles) Dylan Heaney, sax; Simon Kafka, guitar; Mike Cassedy, piano; Ben Campbell, bass; Matt Slocum; drums
More on the Jazz Academy Note: Application deadline is March 1.
Copyright 2007 NPR