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, vibraphone.

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 middle.
“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 Pat Metheny.

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.