Jazz keep Webster tapping

Count Basie and Buddy Rich. He has also received a Grammy award.

Count Basie and Buddy Rich. He has also received a Grammy award.

Scott Hasty

Full house would be the phrase to describe the audience and the music performed that put an “interesting spin” on Jazz April 11.

The Southern Jazz Orchestra was accompanied by the Webb City High School Jazz ensemble, a special guest and a mystery guest. The night was full of several surprises.

“The thing with Jazz is that it’s kind of like a risk takers kind of music,” said Tom Smith, sophomore music education major.

The Southern Jazz Orchestra started the night off playing tunes such as “Out of Nowhere” by Johnny Green and “Work Song” by Nat Adderley. Finishing off the first third of the concert was “Bridge over Troubled Water” by Paul Simon. Dave Stahl, professional trumpet player, taught the Orchestra some “new tricks” as he played along in a solo including improvisation and some many octaves-high notes.

“Jazz, to me has never really been a money game,” Stahl said. “I guess it’s the style of music that’s appealed to me over the years. I love the creativity. I can appreciate all kinds of music, but certain things, like Jazz, appeal to me more than others.”

Heading off the second third of the concert was the W.H.S. Jazz Ensemble. Compositions performed by this group included “Hot Strip Shuffle,” by Jeff Jarvis; “Here’s that Rainy Day,” by Dee Barton; “Caravan,” by Juan Tizol and “Red Dinger,” by Brian Lewis.

“[Jazz] is really one of those art forms where you can’t be anymore exposed,” said Joel Thomas, senior piano major. “Its really high art, and that’s what really draws me to it.”

Taking the stage once again, the Southern Jazz Orchestra capped off the show with “Back Home,” by Don Menza; “Misty,” by Erroll Garner; “St. Louis Blues,” arranged by Tom Kubis and “Den of Inequity,” by Bret Spainhour. Mystery guest Carl Knox, director of Jazz Studies at Central Connecticut University, accompanied the orchestra by demonstrating his jazz abilities on the tenor saxophone.

Before the end of the performance, Stahl, Knox, and Dr. Phillip Wise, director of Jazz Studies, accompanied by the Southern Orchestra’s rhythm section, performed an improvised music piece for the audience. The trio included solos, high-octave notes and was accompanied by several applauses from the audience.

“Even though it was scary, it was a lot of fun to play side by side with Dave,” Smith said. “He kind of opened my eyes to some new stuff. It was kind of nice to play with someone new.”