Founded and taught continuously since 1947, the Central Washington University Jazz Bands have always enjoyed a national reputation for home-grown excellence.
In 1970 after more than a decade of teaching award-winning high school groups, John Moawad returned to his CWU alma mater and taught for 30 more years. His dynamic leadership inspired hundreds of teachers and musicians.
Beginning in the ‘90s, every summer John would assemble outstanding former students into an all-star band to close the Jazz in the Valley festival. Seats in this band were coveted, with players nationwide returning to work with “Coach” Moawad again.
John passed in late 2009. At his 2010 “celebration of life” more than 750 attended, anxious to keep the Moawad legacy alive. After much hard work from many, the Jazz in the Valley Band now bears his name, as does a scholarship endowment, the CWU Invitational Jazz Festival, and Coaches coffee shop. This CD project was born too.
When word leaked out of this first-ever CD release from Jazz in the Valley, chairs in the band filled instantly with a waiting list. Musicians donated their time and talent in two marathon CWU recordings sessions over spring break 2011.
Moawad core beliefs and traditions of “something old, something new, something tried and something blue” jazz standards were retained, but mostly in new updated settings.
In A Mellow Tone- (arr. Oliver Nelson) Duke Ellington’s tune recorded by the Buddy Rich band had to be edited down to fit the LP record. This is the entire hard-swingin’ chart. Jim Sisko- Trpt
Stompin’ At The Savoy- (arr. Bill Holman) The iconic Stan Kenton chart has one of the great “shout choruses” in the literature. Mike West- T Sax, Jim Sisko- Trpt
Beautiful Love- (arr. Paul McKee) Usually heard as a waltz, this Victor Young classic written for Bobby Shew gets a new straight-ahead swing format. Jim Sisko- Trpt
Whirly-bird- (Neal Hefti) Hear the Basie band fly up and down like a very-frantic helicopter. Reuel Lubag- Pno, Bob Bradley- T Sax, Garey Williams- Dms
Maria- (arr. Don Sebesky) In their wildest dreams, trumpeters play this Bernstein West Side Story ballad like Maynard Ferguson. Greg Lyons can really do it! Mike West- T Sax
The Song Is You- (arr. Mark Taylor) The '32 Kern tune often linked to Frank Sinatra gets a challenging new rewrite. Mike West- T Sax, Mike Mines- Trpt, Reuel Lubag- Pno, Garey Williams- Dms
New Blues- (Don Piestrup) This forward-thinking Buddy Rich ‘70s blues includes flute and clarinet colors. Reuel Lubag- Pno, Jeff Sizer- Trb, Greg Metcalf- Bari, Mike West- T Sax
Tickle Toe- (arr. Rob McConnell) Originally a feature for sax great Lester Young on the Basie band, this Boss Brass version becomes a faster and difficult sax/bone duet. Mike West- T Sax, Greg Schroeder- Trb, Garey Williams- Dms
Body and Soul- (arr. Marty Paich) Stan Kenton’s version transitions through several styles and tempos. Reuel Lubag- Pno
I Thought About You- (arr. Tom Kubis) Dozens of singers recorded this Mercer/VanHeusen hit. Greg Schroeder makes this medium-swing trombone feature sound easy.
Night In Tunisia- (arr. Plilip Mossman) Dizzy Gillespie’s ’46 bebop/Latin/African fusion recording is in the Grammy Hall of Fame. The Mario Bauza band morphs it into high-energy 21st century salsa. Jim Sisko- Trpt, Greg Schroeder- Trb
Georgia On My Mind- Composer Hoagy Carmichael’s sister was named Georgia, but this tune is usually associated with the state and Ray Charles. The arrangement by CWU grad Dave Barduhn lives in CWU lore since Moawad first recorded it with the amazing Bruce Babad in the ‘80s, who upstages that recording here.
The Stars and Stripes Forever (arr. Dave Wolpe) The Sousa concert band march gets a wild flag-waiving up-tempo jazz update. Bruce Babad- Piccolo
Like his jazz mentors, current Director of Jazz Studies and Jazz in the Valley band driving force Chris Bruya represents the 4th generation of home-grown CWU jazz directors looking forward with healthy respect for the past.
Saxes: Bruce Babad- AS 1, Matt Schneider- AS 2, Mike West TS 1, Bob Bradley TS 2, Greg Metcalf- Bari
Trumpets: Mike Mines, Greg Lyons, Jim Sisko, Jake Bergevin, Alan Paxton
Trombones: Terry Freeman, Greg Schroeder, Jeff Sizer, Norm Wallen, Nelson Bell
Rhythm: Trevor Johnson- guitar, Reuel Lubag- piano, Wayne Bliss- bass, Garey Williams- drums
Conductor- Chris Bruya
Recording Engineer: Allen Larsen
1) In A Mellow Tone (00:00)
2) Stompin’ at the Savoy (00:00)
3) Beautiful Love (4:20)
4) Whirly-bird (00:00)
5) Maria (3:09)
6) The Song Is You (00:00)
7) New Blues (00:00)
8) Tickle Toe (00:00)
9) Body And Soul (00:00)
10) I Thought About You (4:06)
11) Night In Tunisia (00:00)
12) Georgia On My Mind (5:39)
13) The Stars and Stripes Forever (00:00)
Jazz in the Valley Board of Directors
CWU Music Department
Iron Horse Brewery
Gary Baisinger and Roger Stansbury- Video
Engineered by Allen Larsen, Assistant Engineer Matt Woodard
Edited by Chris Bruya
Mixed by Chris Bruya
Mastered by Chris Bruya