COLUMBIA- The University of Missouri School of Music and Jazz Studies Program announce the release of the debut recording from the MU Concert Jazz Band, Vertigo: the Music of Mike Mainieri. Recorded in May 2010, the CD is a first for both the jazz students of MU, and for the iconic jazz musician whose music inspired the album’s concept.
Mike Mainieri, the award-winning vibraphonist and producer who founded the seminal jazz/fusion band Steps Ahead, visited Columbia in November as an artist-in-residence at MU. It was through this visit that Arthur White, MU’s new director of jazz studies, conceived the idea. Mainieri, an accomplished artist with hundreds of recordings, and several Grammy © nominations, under his belt, had never recorded an album of his compositions arranged in a big band format.
“The plan all along was to record the top MU jazz group, and release it commercially, but I had no idea what approach to take. Fortunately, it became abundantly clear when Mike visited our campus that he, and his music, was the perfect choice to help debut this wonderful student ensemble to a national audience”, White said. The group’s director arranged six of the nine tracks.
Mainieri has performed on over 100 gold and platinum recordings, including collaborations with pop music icons Paul Simon, Bonnie Raitt, Aerosmith, Billy Joel, James Taylor and Dire Straits, and has produced critically acclaimed albums by pop icons Carly Simon, George Benson, and Andy Summers of the Police. Adding the MU Concert Jazz Band to his recording credits, according to Mainieri, was “pure joy”.
“This young group of musicians really met the challenge of playing some difficult music, and I had such a great time recording the CD with them”, Mainieri said.
The MU Concert Jazz Band is the flagship ensemble of the Jazz Studies Program, housed in the MU School of Music. The band has also performed with nationally acclaimed jazz artists such as Maria Schneider, Rufus Reid, Bob Mintzer, Terell Stafford, John Fedchock and others.
“Many of us recorded for the first time in our lives, and it was an amazing learning experience. It was interesting to hear how each section fits together to create a balanced recorded sound”, said St. Louis native Anne Linders, a trumpet soloist on the CD.
The program will celebrate the release of the CD with the opening concert, Thursday, September 23, 2010, 8pm, at the historic Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, Columbia. The Concert and Studio Jazz Bands, both under the direction of White, will perform selections from the CD, as well as a mix of classic and contemporary jazz. The general admission show is free to the public, though donations will be accepted at the door.
Vertigo can be purchased the night of the show, and all proceeds from the sale of the CD will benefit MU Jazz Studies. The CD will be sold online at cdbaby.com or at iTunes, at School of Music, Loeb Hall, and We Always Swing Jazz Series offices, or by calling (573) 882-3430. For more information on the CD or MU Jazz, call (573) 882-3430, or visit mujazz.missouri.edu.
VERTIGO Album notes:
MU Concert Jazz Band
Arthur White, director, saxophone solo on Oops and Dee Minor
Mike Mainieri, vibraphone on all tracks
Loyd Warden, graduate teaching assistant, (drums on Oops)
Jacob Hallman, alto 1, soprano, flute, Larned, KS (solo on Tee Bag, fours on Bullet Train)
Jim Scheffer, alto 2, soprano, St. Charles, MO (solo on Plus One)
Dirk Downing, tenor 1, St. Louis, MO (solo on R Is For Riddle, fours on Bullet Train)
Ryan Meinkoth, tenor 2, St. Louis, MO
Sarah Carney, baritone, Bentonville, AR (solo on Plus One)
Brandon Hall, Wayland, MO (lead on all tracks except Vertigo and Dee Minor)
Kelcey Knoernschlid, Kansas City, MO (lead on Vertigo and Dee Minor)
Meredith Hammer, Columbia, MO (solo on Plus One)
Jackie Kiley, St. Peters, MO (vocals on Fly Away)
Anne Linders, Maryland Heights, MO (solo on Tee Bag)
Michael Rabadan, Columbia, MO (Bullet Train)
David Witter, lead, Holts Summit, MO (solos on Dee Minor, Beirut)
Matt Schmitz, Columbia, MO (solo on Vertigo)
Laura Brekke, Kansas City, MO
Brian Vaughn, bass, Kansas City, MO
Josiah Bryan, piano, Columbia, MO (solo on Bullet Train)
Alex Ispa-Cowan, guitar, Columbia, MO (solo on Oops)
Tim Havens, bass, Traverse City, MI (solo on R Is For Riddle)
Phylshawn Johnson, drums, Kansas City, MO (Dee Minor, R Is For Riddle, Beirut, Bullet Train)
Eric Brown, drums/auxiliary percussion, Athens, GA (Tee Bag, Fly Away, Plus One, Vertigo)
Recorded May 16-17, 2010, Mansion Studios, Columbia, MO
Produced by Arthur White
Co-Produced by Shane Ohlson
Engineered by Bruce Barkelew, Adam Roehlke, and Shane Ohlson
Mixed and mastered by Bruce Barkelew, Arthur White, and Adam Roehlke
Cover Art, Layout and Design by Bobby C. Martin
Photography by Elisabeth Adams-Lloyd and Dale Lloyd for www.pixel8gallery.com