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   from the issue of October 26, 2006

Student Jazz emsemble to release first CD, 'Minimal Effort'

The Jazz Ensemble I, which includes 20 UNL students, will release its first CD, "Minimal Effort," Nov. 1.


The ensemble will celebrate the CD's release at its final concert of the semester at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28 in Kimball Recital Hall. Tickets for the concert are $5 ($3 for students) and available at the door.

UNL School of Music faculty Rusty White (bass), Darryl White (trumpet), Peter Bouffard (guitar), and Tom Larson (piano), who are also featured on the CD, will join the Jazz Ensemble at the concert.

Paul Haar, assistant professor of saxophone, who conducts the Jazz Ensemble, describes the CD as "eclectic."

"There is a great variety from rock/fusion and swing to standards and one original composition by one of our students, Jeff Richmond," Haar said.

Richmond, a doctor of musical arts candidate, said he wrote "Minimal Effort" with the jazz ensemble in mind, although he wrote it before he knew there would be a CD project.

"The piece is designed to reflect my interests in minimalism and the repetitive motives in the piece help to create the minimalist personality in the piece," Richmond said.

He said he is excited to have one of his compositions on the CD.

"I think that, as a composer, any time you have the opportunity to have your work showcased at such a high level, it is an honor. I am glad the group agreed to play it," Richmond said.

Other tracks on the CD include "Gotham City" by Steve Wiest, "The Duke" by Clare Fischer, "Extra Credit" by Jim McNeely, "Moonlight Serenade," arranged by Jack Cooper, "Hidden Agenda" by Eric Richards" and "Martha Stewart Ain't Got Nothin' on my Baby" by Vance Thompson.

The CD project was funded by the School of Music. Sam Rapien, a graduate student in the Department of Art and Art History, designed the CD cover artwork.

The CD gave Haar's students the experience of participating in a professional recording.

"They had an amazing time," Haar said. "They were excited, honored and thrilled to hear themselves on a professional recording."

The experience of recording is different than that of a live performance.

"I think that recordings capture a side of music that the performer wants the audience to hear, which may not be possible to convey in a live setting," Richmond said. "The recording environment allows for perfect blend and balance, and these pay off for the listener."

The CD project also gave the Jazz Ensemble a reward for their hours of practice.

"It shows them why they spend all of that time in the practice room," Haar said. "It shows them the real-world aspects of music, and it shows them the excitement of being a professional musician."



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Student Jazz emsemble to release first CD, 'Minimal Effort'