The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Meadows orchestra all jazzed up

Tuesday night The Meadows Jazz Orchestra gave its first performance of the semester.

Under the leadership of director Akira Sato, the orchestra gave a vibrant and fresh jazz performance. Sato seemed to know the students well, and a piece he had written was performed. The group started out with Sammy Nestico’s “Hay Burner,” a fast-paced song that was a good opening, setting the tune for the evening. They quickly transitioned into swing, fast-forwarding a few years to Benny Goodman’s big band hit, “Stompin’ at the Savoy.”

Jonathan Mitchell performed a well-received saxophone solo, a nice transition into the Freddy Green style to come. Sato characterized Freddy Green as having a style so well-known that instead of notes the sheet music would simply say, “insert Freddy Green style.” The orchestra chose to embrace the mastery of famed musician Miles Davis and perform “Maids of Cadiz,” the music that helped to launch a completely new subset of jazz music. This “cool jazz” proved very fitting on a nice Tuesday evening.

The highlight of the evening, though, was when the Orchestra performed the directors’ own music. “Son of George” reflected the cool jazz style, but was obviously from a modern perspective. The music was quick and held a great beat, keeping the listener interested.

Hearing a song that only the orchestra had heard before was a treat, one that others will experience at the Addison North Texas Jazz Festival later this semester. The song has a certain zip sure to catch the attention of all who hear it. While it may be a new song, it is difficult to write jazz without thinking of some past greats.

Gerry Mulligan’s “Jeru” featured a fantastic trumpet solo by Jeff Horn. The musicians came together to create a collective sound that was at once their own but also a great reflection of the chosen music. There was even an electric guitar player, something of a rarity. Tim Roy, who sat front and center with the instrument, blended in seamlessly. The cohesive feel of the music was presented well in a lineup of well-chosen songs, though “Son of George” was moved from the end to the middle of the evening during the show. Many people were engaged, tapping their feet and smiling, including the musicians.

The audience responded well to the music as well as to the conductor. He may have been a bit awkward at times, but he was very informative and obviously passionate about what he was doing.

A fair amount of people came to hear the orchestra, but for those that missed it there will be another show on April 19. This gem in Meadows is not to be missed.

More to Discover