The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

    Review: jazz bands unite

    From brass to ivory, drums to vibes and rhythm to blues, jazz music filled the Haag Recital Hall Monday night as EC’s dance and jazz bands came together for a night of music.

    Kurt Festinger directed both ensembles in their renditions of hits such as Les Hooper’s “Anything Goes,” Jeff Jarvis’ “Ain’t Misbehavin'” and Don Sebesky’s “Bluer than Blue.”

    The first half of the program belonged to the dance band whose members, for the most part, played well together.

    All instrumental pieces ran well; however, some vocal numbers seemed to be muddled, with many of the vocalists overshadowed and drowned out by the players behind them.

    On the other hand, vocalist Ashley Stanbury’s stylized voice and mannerisms made her seem like a natural fit with the dance band where previous singers were drowned out by the brass.

    Lemar Guillary led the trombones; his bossy tone was matched only by his larger-than-life appearance.

    Drummer Sean Johnson’s part in the rendition of Neal Hefti’s “Cute” helped control the tempo while not being particularly dominating.

    Tenor saxophone player David Stanton’s name did not appear on the program; however, he was far and away the standout of the group.

    Stanton had broken his hip and dislocated his shoulder in an accident weeks before the concert. He was released from doctor’s care only two weeks prior to the show and was still using a cane to support himself.

    His limitations did not stop him from belting out solo after solo.

    After a brief intermission, it was time for the jazz band to take stage.

    There were a number of musicians who filled in on both bandstands, but most took on different roles than the ones they had in the previous set.

    Guitarist Michael Edwards plucked his way through the band’s second number, Russ Freeman’s “Morocco” in true jazz-guitar fashion.

    Their rendition of Les Hooper’s “Circumvent” was laced with solos by nearly every section. Though some struggled in the spotlight, Greg Brown was phenomenal on vibes.

    Al Pimintel whaled on alto sax throughout the set and he, tenor sax player Nicholas Sanchez and baritone sax player Reggie Murdoch, combined for perfect harmony in the final number, Don Sebesky’s “Bluer than Blue.”

    All in all, the bands combined to put on a solid, memorable performance with few imperfections.

    The next gigs for EC’s jazz band will be Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. in the Haag Recital Hall while the dance band will perform the following Monday, Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. in the same location.

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