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Juilliard Jazz Ensembles Presents: "Freddie & Joe: A Tribute to Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson" at Paul Hall
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Juilliard Jazz Ensembles Presents: "Freddie & Joe: A Tribute to Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson" at Paul Hall

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Juilliard Jazz Ensembles
(Juilliard Jazz Web Page)

Freddie & Joe:
A Tribute to Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson

First Ensemble:
Jordan Pettay, alto sax and flute
Jon Challoner, trumpet
Matthew Musselman, trombone
Adam Moezinia, guitar
Luke Sellick, bass
Sammy Miller, drums
Frank Kimbrough, Ensemble Instructor

Second Ensemble:
Braxton Cook, alto sax
Anthony Orji, alto sax
Gabe Medd, trumpet
Kyle Johnson, trombone
Luke Celenza, piano
Dan Chmielinski, bass
Dag Markhus, drums
Xavier Davis, Ensemble Instructor

Paul Hall
155 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023

Media Relations: Gloria Gottschalk

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
April 1, 2014

Ensemble One: “Crisis” (Hubbard), “Shade of Jade” (Henderson), “Lament for Booker” (Hubbard), “Jinrikisha” (Henderson), “Byrdlike” (Hubbard); Ensemble Two: “Our Thing” (Henderson), “Serenity” (Henderson), “Black Narcissus” (Henderson), “La Mesha” (Kenny Dorham), “Jumped Up Spring” (Hubbard).

Paul Hall is an amazingly intimate space for jazz, with these young artists up front and close. First, the two Ensemble Instructors, Frank Kimbrough and Xavier Davis, introduced the evening, lauding their fine students, as they represented the programs of Juilliard Jazz. Then, each ensemble performed, with an intermission in between. Sammy Miller, drummer, and Gabe Medd, trumpeter, were the program’s two hosts, announcing tunes and their history. The entire experience was entertaining and educational, classy and challenging. The music of renowned artists, trumpeter Freddie Hubbard and tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, was spotlighted tonight by Juilliard’s youthful and virtuosic musicians. The only piece not composed by Hubbard or Henderson was Kenny Dorham’s “La Mesha”, which appeared on Joe Henderson’s debut album, “Page One”.

The first set, performed by the first ensemble, included melodies that varied in tempo, mood, tone, and combinations of solos and ensemble fusion. “Crisis” began with Jon Challoner and Matthew Musselman on smooth trombone and trumpet, with swaying brass and flashes of energy. Adam Moezinia on guitar, Luke Sellick on bass, and Sammy Miller on drums provided engaging and echoing bits of the theme, before the full band took the finale. “Shade of Jade” included Jordan Pettay’s sax solo, rippling and racing, edgy and tempestuous. The guitar, drums, and Luke Sellick’s bass all added pulse. Miller took a drum riff, unaccompanied, to explosive proportions. “Lament for Booker” brought out Pettay’s flute and lots of brass, while Pettay opened “Jinrikisha”, before the guitar, then bass, unfolded gorgeous melodies, electric and compelling. “Byrdlike”, Hubbard’s tribute to trumpeter, Donald Byrd, is all bebop, with trumpet, sax, and trombone, enhanced by a magnetic guitar theme.

The second set, performed by the second ensemble, kicked it up a notch, but it was no less fascinating. “Our Thing” breezed right in with Luke Celenza’s vibrant piano solo. The entire band was scintillating. For “Serenity” Gabe Medd on trumpet and Kyle Johnson on trombone were joined front center by Braxton Cook and Anthony Orji on alto saxes. The blended brass soared through the Hall. Dan Chmielinski on bass added an intricate solo within. In “Black Narcissus” Cook was featured on sax in an eloquent theme. “La Mesha”, a melancholy, mournful piece, bluesy and urban, featured a trombone solo, followed and expanded by piano chords, soft phrases on Dag Markhus’ drums, and earthy bass elements. “Jumped Up Spring”, the final piece of the evening, by Freddie Hubbard (who was reviewed in this column in 2008), jived with tonal trills, up and down the scale, with Gabe Medd on flugelhorn. I am sure we’ll be seeing these budding virtuosos on jazz stages all over town in the near future.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at