Hang Time (Capri Records, 2013) is a good recruiting tool that
also serves as a career launch. Produced by the Colorado Conservatory
for the Jazz Arts, it follows the concept of Fourteen Channels
(Capri Records, 2010), a recording featuring some of the Conservatory’s
students, divided into two groups.
Group Giz, mentored by trumpeter Greg Gisbert, consists of Kyle
Bollacker, bass; Stephen Chen, alto sax; Garrett Bodley, tenor sax;
Michael Lenssen, trumpet; Robert Delgardo, drums; Christopher Navarrette,
trumpet; Zack Demos, trombone; and Carlos Snaider, guitar. Group Gunn,
mentored by pianist Eric Gunnison, is comprised of Molly Sauer, trumpet;
Jake Alvarez, guitar; Alejandro Castano, drums; Patrick McDevitt, bass;
Danny Meyer, tenor sax; Daryl Gott, alto sax; and Mark Clifford,
Neither group employs a keyboard or piano. Instead, they allow the
guitar chords to do the job. “Pop,” performed by
Group Gunn, opens the set. Dedicated to Gott’s father, this upbeat piece
features Gott and Meyer, with ample contributions by the rest of the
ensemble, particularly Clifford.
Group Giz’s “Home,” penned by Bodley, has a swinging vibe, like a big
band song played by a smaller ensemble. Bodley’s bouncy tenor solo is
accented by Delgardo’s rim shots and answer phrases by the horns. Demos
adds a throaty trombone solo. The horns end the track with a flourish.
Lenssen wrote the tightly syncopated “Quirkatude.” The horns drive this
groove, but Bollacker’s bass and Delgardo’s free-spirited drum play are
the highlights. Lenssen stretches out with a muted trumpet in the
“One Sunset” is a tranquil, 3/4 piece written by Sauer. She plays the
trumpet in a manner that brings to mind the blended styles of Herb
Alpert and Chuck Mangione (flugelhorn). Meyer’s guitar sounds a bit like
The title of Hang Time comes from the concept of “The Hang.”
It’s a term used by jazz musicians to define something you learn about
through being. The album is the result of the Conservatory’s second
recording industry camp. The first camp produced Fourteen Channels.
The Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts is a Denver-based non-profit
organization that’s dedicated to empowering young musicians to express
their creativity through jazz. Songwriters are able to have their music
performed by their peers. Plans are for a third camp in 2014.