The latest Orlando Jazz Orchestra (OJO) album "Chloe" was released this month (11/13) and I had the pleasure of joining the band for the recording session in June. I've yet to perform with the group, but I got in where it counts, similarly to Whit Sidener and KC, though not quite as lucrative I'm sure.
Anyway, the album is terrific, and sounds quite pristine especially considering the traditional recording method. This is certainly not a "frankensteined" recording, like so many that I've been a part of in the past.
The aesthetic of the band fits somewhere between Basie, Herman, maybe Buddy Rich, etc. Definitely some more "modern" elements but generally a very traditional big band style. Eight of the thirteen tracks were either composed, arranged, or transcribed by members of the band, and a couple more by local composers.
I'm briefly featured on "The Eagles Have Left The Building" which is the middle track in Matt McCarthy's "Serious Business Suite", which contains heavy traces of what I may call "mobster jazz". Very "film noir", sounds like it could be an alternate soundtrack to the Dick Tracy movie, or maybe Kung Fu Hustle. Matt can also be heard on a few trumpet solos throughout, as well as sharing the lead book a bit. Definitely a monster musician.
My favorite track without a doubt is Dave MacKenzie's "Hooloovoo" which is at times hauntingly beautiful, and others quite bluesy and raucous. It features Rex Wertz on the tenor throughout. Rex is one of those players that consistently crafts really compelling solos, even in the big band setting. We recorded a few takes of Hooloovoo, and each of Rex' solos/cadenzas was equally as musical as any other.
I was honored to be included in this fantastic album and only hope that my relationship with the OJO will continue to flourish! If you'd like more info on the album or if you'd be interested in purchasing, please follow this link to the AppleJazz Record Store.
In late 2012 I was part of a recording at Full Sail for an album funded by the Tim Tebow foundation. Thanks to my buddy Dave Champagne for including me in that awesome experience!
As a result of that session I was asked to put together a horn section and create some charts for an event that was part of Full Sail's annual "Hall Of Fame" week in February 2013. The headlining artist was self described "bayou-soul" artist Marc Broussard. I wasn't familiar with Marc or his music at the time, but he's an extremely talented performer/song-writer. Laura and I continue to put his music on in the house from time to time. Ansley will gladly dance to it with no less vigor than any other of her favorite artists' music.
The concert was produced at a very high level, and ultimately became an album and DVD/bluray. Both are available at Marc's website, but you can also check out the album on Spotify (the horns can be heard on "Mardi Gras", "Come in From The Cold", and "Shine") or check out a couple cuts from the DVD on Youtube (unfortunately no horns on the 2 DVD samples).
I spent quite a bit of time in school. I'm actually still a student technically, until my doctoral research is completed. But for all intensive purposes, my college career (as a student anyway!) ended in Spring of 2012.
My wife (Laura) came down with a serious case of the pregnancy the November prior to my finishing coursework at Miami, so my path was made quite clear. I needed to put my advanced degrees to work and get a roof for this baby.
After a fairly trying application/interview process, I was finally contacted by my current employer, Full Sail University, with Laura's due date looming a matter of weeks away.
I was originally interviewed for a position as an ear training/aural theory instructor, but was ultimately selected for my current position as Associate Course Director of Musical Arrangement, partly due to having created an arrangement of a "Radiohead Medley" for a quasi-classical jazz ensemble. Big thanks to those who were a part of that!
So now I teach commercial arranging techniques, orchestration, and sequencing orchestral instruments (as well as music theory and aural theory topics) to eager students across the globe! Quite literally across the globe, because I'm working in Full Sail's online music production department. I would have never guessed I'd be teaching music online, but it's been a welcome challenge and an experience that has informed my pedagogical approach in many ways.
I'm actually quite honored to be part of such an impressive department. My co-workers represent just about every facet of the professional music community. Collectively they've produced major recording artists, scored major TV series', and had their music played on major televised sporting events. They're professional sound engineers and certified specialists in most modern audio software. They're composers for film and games. They've had orchestral works played at Carnegie Hall, and created ground-breaking performance art pieces. They're music theorists on the forefront of pop/rock/commercial music theory. They're songwriters, instrumentalists, and vocalists in every major genre. I can honestly say that I'm not aware of another program in which the faculty work so tirelessly to insure that the material they're presenting is effective as possible.
Some neat things have happened in the past year since moving to Orlando. I'll be detailing the high points in upcoming posts.