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The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"
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The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble at Dizzy’s Club "Coca-Cola"

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Juilliard Jazz Ensemble
(Juilliard Jazz Web Page)

With:
Chris Ziemba on Piano
John Tate on Bass
Michael Thomas on Alto Sax
Rob Haight on Tenor Sax
Jeremy Noller on Drums

At
Frederick P. Rose Hall
Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola
Broadway at 60th Street
NY, NY
212.258.9595
(Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola Website)
Roland Chassagne, Manager
Jason Olaine, Director of Programming & Touring
Desmond L. Prass, Asst. Manager
Michael Mwenso, JALC Curator & Programming Assoc.
L.A. Thompson, Venue Manager, Great Performances


Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
May 27, 2013


This five-man youthful ensemble has just graduated from Juilliard Jazz studies and is now heading into the clubs and festivals. This was a lovely way to celebrate Memorial Day eve, with the sun setting over Columbus Circle through Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola’s expansive windows. The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble greeted the crowd for this early set and immediately swung into a really seasoned sound. Two saxes were on hand, with Rob Haight on tenor sax and Michael Thomas on alto sax. Jeremy Noller was on drums, with John Tate on bass and Chris Ziemba on piano. This ensemble was fused with chemistry and timing, making each piece uniquely its own, and, in fact, the onstage musicians had composed most of the works themselves.

In the first piece, called “Josie”, for a dog known to composer, Chris Ziemba, each artist quickly found his spotlight, with solos all around. The music, with both alto and tenor sax sharing the stage, had flash and flourish. The next piece featured Rob Haight on solo tenor sax, with mixed elements of melodies and atonal refrains. This piece, by John Tate, had a generous bass solo for the composer as well. The upbeat tempo made room for syncopated drums. The bass solo relied on deep rhythmic chords, rather than a tune, as it unfolded in echoing tones. The tenor sax then took “Darn That Dream” to a breathy midnight motif, with maturity and mood beyond his years. The bass soon grabbed the theme, when the sax took a break, and enchanting, earthy chords filled the room. The tenor sax then ended with a rapturous refrain that wobbled in windiness.

Michael Thomas took the stage with his alto sax for a piece about stepping out of a dream. A rapid, rolling tune twisted and twirled with a tornado of notes, and Chris Ziemba on piano added a waterfall of thematic melody in blended harmony. This alto sax – piano conversation was electric and engaging. For the next work, both saxes opened the theme, as the band went full volume. Soon the bass and Jeremy Noller on brushes enhanced the ensemble with bristling, billowy chords. Chris Ziemba had a star turn here, showing off his improvisational skill with ornamentations provided by the alto sax. “Lazy Time Flies” by Rob Haight brought him back for another solo with a racing theme that Chris Ziemba expanded on the keyboard, with subdued introspection. The piece ended as the ensemble exploded in its full throttle finish, thanks to Jeremy Noller’s dramatic drums. Kudos to this ensemble of bright young artists. We’ll certainly see them soon, lighting up the New York jazz scene.



Chris Ziemba on Piano
Michael Thomas on Alto Sax
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Chris Ziemba on PIano
Michael Thomas on Alto Sax
Rob Haight on Tenor Sax
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



Chris Ziemba on Piano
Rob Haight on Tenor Sax
John Tate on Bass
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



The Juilliard Jazz Ensemble
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower



John Tate on Bass
Jeremy Noller on Drums
at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola
Courtesy of Roberta Zlokower


For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at zlokower@bestweb.net