November 22, 2014

Review: Jazz ensemble wows, audience does not

Sitting in the audience, waiting for U of L’s second Jazz Ensemble to begin, it became clear that the people in the crowd were not there for the exemplary beats coming out of the gleaming metallic instruments, but were compelled by extra credit points in a music history class.

Despite the largely  uninterested audience, the concert was great, with an added bonus of having two vocalists, Shawntez Taylor and Nala Kathleen Johnson. Both had equal talent, and brought a special flavor to Comstock Hall.

Another interesting spectacle was seeing Arabo Bey on trombone, as Bey is an exceptional trumpet player, and has only recently begun playing trombone to widen his musical abilities. Bey also soloed on the trombone several times throughout the concert.
Jeff Endly and Nolan Aud lit up the show with their saxophone skills. They covered various Jazz pieces, including Jazz Standards, or arrangements out of the Great American Songbook. But one was especially important, because it was arranged by Jerry Tolson, a Jazz professor at U o L’s School of Music.
After the concert, many people stood around in the lobby, waiting to sign in for extra credit. This seems to be a common trend around campus, where students are going to events not for the enjoyment of arts and humanities, but for a bump up in the grade book. This not only hurts the artist, because they are performing to an audience apathetic toward their art, but it is also hurts the atmosphere of such events. A stagnant mass in the audience will likely affect the rest of the viewers, regardless of their original attentiveness.

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