Jazz Lab performs soulful, groovy tunes


Will Mack

The musical talent of Saddleback’s jazz students was featured when the Jazz Lab Ensemble performed Mar. 10.

Students were eventually accompanied by the brilliant sound of accomplished trumpeter and special guest Sal Cracchiolo.

The first piece displayed the improvization vital to the music of jazz in “Scrapple from the Apple,” composed by Charlie Parker. The improvinization was exhibited in an organized and rehearsed manner, while the next piece was completely a free one.

Joey Sellers, director of Jazz Studies at Saddleback, also leads this ensemble. Sellers did a great job conducting the Free Piece, placing great emphasis on filtering in and out the different sounds.

Each student and respective instrument had a turn to chime in and show the audience their skill.

Though this was a small orchestra, they had great musical diversity and it added to the brilliant and vibrant music that filled the night.

The third song was the popular “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” originally arranged by Duke Ellington, with vocals performed by Rachel Gelber.

It was after the third song that special guest Cracchiolo, acclaimed trumpeter, made his debut on stage.

Cracchiolo preformed the rest of the night with the ensemble, collaborating to produce a brilliant sound.

Cracchiolo played the floogle horn, a German relative to the trumpet, and most of the songs he played were in the “West Coast” or “Cool” jazz genre.

The first four songs all had that distinctive smooth and cool flow to them, however when it came time for the finale, the pace changed a bit.

“A Spring Day With You” was the last song played, and it had more of an up-tempo New Orleans feel to it. This arrangement was quite a display of a high falsetto performed by Cracchiolo’s horn, and was a great finale to a night full of great jazz.

This was the group’s second performance of this semester, and according to trombonist Rudy Hirsch it was a success.

“In my opinion this is the best one we’ve ever done,” said Hirsch, 19, music. “We were pretty much solid.”

Hirsch also acknowledged the prestige director Joey Sellers has among the jazz community and his ability to bring in highly regarded guest artists to work with the students.

Sellers has not only worked very hard in his personal career, but also strives to host a dynamic jazz program here at Saddleback.

Cracchiolo also spoke on the evening’s success, and he attributed it to the ensemble’s musical ability.

“You never know if the band is going to be good, but the band was great,” he said.

Cracchiolo also said that having fun is what this is all about, and it was obvious he was having a ball. He said that shows don’t even feel like work because he just has so much fun doing them.

The students worked together cohesively and brilliantly alongside this professional musician.

The performance gave the audience a look at jazz and gave a taste of musical diversity.

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