I attended the Vocal Jazz Ensemble which is directed by Teri Roiger and Studley Theatre Ensemble directed by John Menegon on April 22, 2014 at Julien J. Studley Theatre at 8:00 pm. I was very happy and excited to see this event because of my interest on Jazz music. The first part of the concert was directed by Teri Roiger and the performers were Meghan Caldwell as vocalist, Rob Cosentino as drummer, Adam Cloc as the pianist, Casey Richards as the second vocalist, James Rubino as guitarist and Nick Telesca as the bass player.
The second part of the concert was directed by John Menegon and the performers were Oscar Desiderio as guitarist, Russell Hartman as saxophonist, Connor Larkin as the bass player, Jeremiah Mohoney as viola and harmonica player, Michael Schott as drum player, Nick Summers as trumpet player and finally Ryan Teal as the guitar player. The first performance of Vocal Jazz Ensemble was ‘’Social Call’’ by Gigi Gryce and Jon Hendricks. The performance was very nice with the vocals’ performances. The audiences were showing their appreciations with clapping after each solo performance.
Social Call was a good example of big band arrangements in 1956 by Gigi Gryce. Drum and piano were the most outstanding instruments in this performance of song. Vocalists were very comfortable and self confident while singing. This characteristic of the vocalists made the performance very enjoying to listen. After the first minute of the song the rhythm of singing increased and became as the vocalist is talking. This style is especially coming from artists like Billie Holiday and Carmen McRae. The vocalists gave the deep feeling of the song with their body movements and expressions.
Also, the vocalists gave information about the song after the performance. The second song of the first part of the concert which is directed by Teri Roiger was ‘’What a Little Moonlight Can Do’’ written by Harry Woods. The outstanding instruments for this song were drum and piano. The vocalists were performing great and the rhythm of the song was very fast. It was an enjoying performance. The drum’s and piano’s solos were very great and caught the appreciation of the audience. In some parts of the song music was very fast and then it was slowing again.
I used to listen this song from Billie Holiday’s recordings and this performance gave me the feeling of 1930s jazz habits. This song has some bob and swing style and melodies. The beats of the song made me willing to listen the music more carefully. The rhythm was very fast than the other performances so this was the most enjoying one for me. The third song was ‘’Don’t Go to Strangers/Save Your Love For Me’’ by Arthur Kent& Dave Mason, Redd Evans and Buddy Johnson. This performance was far slower. The outstanding instruments of this performance were again drum and piano.
The guitar solo and then the piano solo after that were very good. This combine of the songs were very great and they matched each other very nicely. The songs had blues impacts on them and they were very relaxing to listen. The song was about love and the singing styles of the vocalists were very passionate. Vocalists ended the song by singing together which is really nice. Additionally, their era of recording and styles were very matching. The fourth performance was the ‘’My Funny Valentine’’ by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. This was one of the performances which I liked most.
The rhythm was nice and it has the classical jazz standards. Guitar and the bass were the outstanding instruments. Audience showed their admiration about the performance by clapping after each solo. Also, the performances of vocalists both together and alone were very impressive. The last song of the first part was ‘’Stolen Moments’’ by Oliver Nelson and Mark Murphy. They didn’t stop after the My Funny Valentine and quickly continued with the Stolen Moments. The vocal technique of scat used in this performance which included the two songs and that stand out the vocalists’ role in this song. Scat was more successful than I expected.