April 5, 2011
University of Tulsa Jazz Ensemble 1973
Trying something a little different with this recent find. Normally I find something, record it, then either Ebay it or file it away in the collection. After that I post it. This time I am going to post the soundclips on my blog first, let it sit around a bit, then Ebay it later, to give people a chance to buy it if they are interested, because this one isn't well known and I don't think there are any results on the internet or auction sales that I can find. It has quite a few good songs on it, but the obvious winner is the original composition 'Gallery', which is a 14 minute Bob James-esque track with incredible arrangement, and the layered solos of guitar, alto, trumpet, xylophone, piano, and drums are just killer, best of all is the continuous throbbing bassline that really takes the track to the next level. There are many college/high school records that have some great moments in big band format, big drums with loud punchy horns and intermittent slicing guitar, sax, and drum solos, but 90% of those are still just unfocused exhibitions of the best players in a funky format. (Northills High School Jazz Band for instance, which I also just found. Quite good but nothing transcendent.) What separates the real heavy hitters, ala Douglas High School, TSU Jazz ensemble, Kashmere Stage Band, etc; is the quality of the compositions, originality, and style, and of course big ass drum breaks and tight musicianship doesnt hurt either.
So anyway, here is some of the Tulsa University Jazz Ensemble 1973 before I put it up on Ebay. The track featured is Gallery. Yes I will have then entire album for you eventually, and I have 4 more high school jazz band LPs coming soon in addition.
Excerpts from Gallery, including the first 5 minutes uninterupted and then I threw in another brief selection that follows.