Tuesday, April 25, 2006

A Wonderful Evening Of Big Band Jazz

Bob Mintzer

Chuck (no longer to be referred to as "Monkey"), Kim, Wayne, Bridge, Byron, and a near full house of jazz lovers heard Bob Mintzer, Rick Hirsch, Vince DiMartino, Professor Miles Osland and DOJO in a cooking concert last night at Comedy Off Broadway in Lexington. Mintzer signed my "Bob Mintzer Big Band Homage To Count Basie" cd as well as a photo previously taken of the two of us together. The signed photo is already in a frame and is hanging on my wall in my music studio. He is one of the very best sax players in the world.

Vince DiMartino and DOJO

Personnel on the gig was:
Sax: Miles Osland, Larry Nelson, Gordon Towell, Dave Anderson, Lisa Osland
Trombones: David Henderson, Jim Grubbs, Brad Kerns, Hap Burgois
Trumpets: Vince DiMartino, Greg Wing, Rich Byrd, Ricky Cook, David Hummel
Rhythm: Raleigh Daily, Danny Cecil, John Wilmarth
Guests of DOJO: Bob Mintzer, Rick Hirsch, Angie Ortega

My UK Jazz Ensemble instructor was the great Vince DiMartino. He was far and away the best college instructor that I had. He really made my night when he said some very nice things about my playing to Mintzer. Bob encouraged me to keep up the good work.

With Vince DiMartino

Saxophonist/Composer Rick Hirsch

The entire concert was a gas. I particularily enjoyed hearing saxophonist/composer Rick Hirsch's arrangements and compositions. He is a faculty member of the Penn State Music Department and is a prolific arranger of high school and college jazz ensemble music. Rick is an interesting fellow. I talked with him at length after the concert. During the earlier concert announcements he had mentioned that a composition and arranging idea had come to him while swimming. I asked him to tell me more about how that works with him. It was interesting listening as he explained how he hears arrangements in his head and how upon their completion, most of time they sound very close to way he had heard them in his head. I also found it interesting that he didn't really compose or arrange much until he had been in college for several years. On my drive home, I realized that, in reality, he had been composing ideas for years as he improvised as a jazz player, he just was not writing the ideas down on paper at that time. He is a talented musician with a wonderful ear. He performs with his trio and quartet, Alex Meixner-Rick Hirsch Jazztet, Valley Jazz Orchestra, and many other groups. Rick holds music degrees from Northern Illinois University (M.M.) and the University of Massachusetts (B.A. Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa). I googled Rick and found a blog by Helen Fontana Bechdel regarding one of Rick's compositions.

Mintzer and friends were at UK about ten years ago. I hope it is not another ten before they return.


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