Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The joint Junior Recital of USF Jazz Studies juniors Alejandro Arenas and Mark Feinman presented attendees with a well-conceived showcase for drums and double bass. A considerable crowd turned out to hear this duo, accompanied by jazz piano student John O'Leary and recent Graduate Studies graduate Rich Van Voorst on tenor sax.
The program opened with Charles Mingus' Hatian Fight Song. After stating the theme, Van Voorst and O'Leary each took a turn soloing, followed by traded choruses between Arenas and Feinman. Someday My Prince Will Come followed, with excellent solos by Arenas and VanVoorst, followed by a re-statement of the head and Feinman's solo.
Next was a transcription of performing Oscar Pettiford's Tricotism, replete with moving double-stops and sinewy double-time passages. I have heard Alejandro play this piece several times before and he plays it with more confidence and conviction every time.
The next several tunes were performed by the rhythm section only. Bud Powell's burning Tempus Fugit (with which, I am embarrased to say, I was not familiar until this evening) was followed by John Patitucci's arrangement of Santamaria's Afro Blue. This Arenas/Feinman duo was an excellent showcase for Feinman's afro-cuban chops. The next tune was an Arenas original, We'll See, which he dedicated to his parents. Hearing this made me wish I was able to take Dave Stamps' Jazz Comp classes. Ray Brown's arrangement (sense a pattern here?) of Ellington & Tizol's Caravan provided the penultimate work of the evening. This arrangement required Arenas to perform the A sections of the head arco and perform an uncomfortably fast switch to pizz. for the B section. O'Leary and Feinman soloed on this tune.
The closer, Van Voorst's Ray's Blues, was a funky romp that brought Van Voorst back on stage and moved O'leary to the Fender Rhodes. This exhuberant tune provided one of the biggest surprises of the evening when a false ending led into Black Sabbath's Iron Man!
In all, an excellent evening and one of the most creative instrumental recital programs I've had the pleasure to enjoy.