If you are looking for a college jazz band capable of mastering the demands and nuances associated with performing challenging Latin jazz compositions and arrangements, you need travel no further than Jacksonville, Florida. Under the leadership of JB Scott, the University of North Florida Jazz Ensemble 1 exudes the kind of finesse,power, rhythmic precision, virtuosity and passion one expects and demands from professional musicians. On the stage and in the studio, the commitment to excellence demonstrated by the UNF band resulted in one of the finest realizations of my music to date.
The idea for this recording was spawned over a two year period after performances with the band at their Great American Jazz Series and the Jacksonville Jazz festival. Listening to the ensemble perform their selections prior to joining them on the stage, the musicality and originality displayed by JB and the students inspired the idea to record and celebrate the group's talented dedication to jazz. For an experienced record producer, the mix of top soloists engaged with a stellar rhythm section, led by spectacular drumming by John Lumpkin, and supported by a fine tuned, powerful and cohesive wind section, suggests opportunities to create a high quality recording. Additionally, their ability to masterfully perform these selections in a live setting facilitates a live studio recording designed to capture the raw energy and interaction often difficult to create in overdubbed recordings.
I want to thank the University of North Florida music department, professor Scott, engineer Javier Carrion, and the students for the opportunity to make music with one of the premier college bands anywhere in the world. Throughout the recording these students performed a wide range of styles, including Latin jazz, with energy, precision, and a deep respect for the stylistic demands of the genre. At a time when many overseeing education want proof that students are learning, UNF should feel proud of the learning demonstrated and fostered by its jazz students and faculty respectfully.
From this fellow musician and UNF fan, Thank you all for your kind attention, dedication, and talent. I am flattered and humbled by your efforts. You are the future of an artform many of us love and respect enough to dedicate our lives to its study. As the listeners will surely hear, the future of jazz is in the hearts, minds, and hands of most capable souls.
Assoc.Prof.of Music Business & Prod,Miami Dade College
Pimienta Recording Artist & Two Time Grammy Award Nominee
This project speaks for itself. It is reflective of a tremendous jazz program that has continued to nurture young musicians of the highest level, and of an exceptional jazz ensemble able to express a variety of musical styles with a seasoned maturity far beyond its years. Except for the four charts penned by Ed Calle, this recording showcases outstanding original compositions and arrangements written by UNF jazz students, Luis Colon, Scott Dickinson, Alex Lore, and graduates Chris Creswell and David Guidi. “Jinrikisha” and “Hike” are live recordings from our performance at the 2006 60th Anniversary Chicago Midwest Clinic. I am very proud of this ensemble and of the student talent presented on this project.
What a tremendous opportunity to perform and record with the award winning composer, producer, saxophonist, Ed Calle. He is unsurpassed by his dedication to musical excellence and his exceptional ability to educate America’s youth. Thank you Ed for sharing the masterful skills of your incredible writing and passionate playing with this band, and for all your efforts to help capture the essence of our musical experiences with you on this recording. Thank you also to percussionist Al “Tito” Ortiz for adding to the authenticity of the true Latin sound on Ed Calle’s charts, and to Miami engineer, Javier Carrion for masterfully recording and mixing the power, sensitivity, and pure excitement of the music we performed. When selecting a title to express the heart and soul of this project, the clear choice was the original composition, “With All My Love,” written by the esteemed UNF Director of Jazz Studies, legendary saxophonist, Bunky Green, and arranged by his student, Alex Lore. Thank you Bunky for this beautiful composition and for your years of dedication to the UNF Jazz Program and its students.
As in any major undertaking, there are additional people to recognize for their important contribution to the creative process. Thank you to Dr. Gordon Brock, Department Chair of the UNF Department of Music, to the UNF Faculty and Staff, to Michael Bovenzi and to Lisa Kelly-Scott for their assistance on this project, and to You, the listener, for continuing to support these wonderful students. This recording expresses our appreciation, “With ALL OUR Love.”
Associate Professor of Music
Director, UNF Jazz Ensemble 1