Columbia, Missouri - February 21, 2011 – The University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band's album Vertigo: The Music of Mike Mainieri was recently recognized by respected jazz journalist W. Royal Stokes as one of the "Notable CDs of 2010." Considering this is the university's debut album, and that they are the only program of higher education to make his lists, it is significant.
"We are thrilled to have our debut album make such a prestigious list alongside established national and international artists. Royal Stokes's reputation as a jazz journalist carries an enormous positive status," said Dr. Arthur White, MU's director of jazz studies and assistant professor of music.
Vertigo is the first collaboration between Dr. White, the students of the Jazz Studies Program, and jazz icon Mike Mainieri. Mainieri, who holds several Grammy© nominations, has performed on over 100 gold and platinum recordings. He has recorded with pop and rock artists such as Paul Simon, Aerosmith, and Billy Joel, and jazz guitarist George Benson. Mainieri visited Columbia, Missouri as an artist-in-residence at MU. The award-winning producer/performer and founder of the seminal jazz/fusion group "Steps Ahead" 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 were the perfect choice to help debut this wonderful student ensemble to a national audience," Dr. White said. The group's director arranged six of the nine tracks and spent months mixing the CD and developing the cover art and public relations.
According to Mainieri, "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."
"Many of us recorded for the first time in our lives. It was an amazing learning experience, and interesting to hear how each section fits together to create a balanced, recorded sound," said trumpet soloist Anne Linders, a St. Louis native.
Dr. White, an accomplished saxophonist and composer, has recorded with and arranged music for Bobby Watson, Russell Malone, Dewey Redman and other jazz artists. Among his many goals as director of jazz studies are to seek greater recognition of MU's jazz program, expose students to world-class, professional artists, and provide students a valuable studio experience.
"Recording credits are certainly great to have, and if we can create as many opportunities for those as possible, I think it's my job to do that," remarked Dr. White. MU's director of jazz studies and assistant professor of music achieved a lot in his first year at MU, and is planning a spring album featuring original faculty and student compositions.
"Dr. White has done a terrific job of establishing new standards for our jazz students," said Robert Shay, director of the School of Music at MU. "We expect that this disc will enhance the visibility of the high quality jazz program we run."
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 Maria Schneider, Rufus Reid, Bob Mintzer, Terell Stafford, John Fedchock and others.
Vertigo is on the University of Missouri Jazz Studies record label and can be purchased online at CDBaby, Amazon, and iTunes or by calling (573) 882-3430. All proceeds from the sale of the CD will benefit MU Jazz Studies. For more information on the CD or MU Jazz, call (573) 882-3430, or visit mujazz.missouri.edu.
Mike Mainieri (vibes), Arthur White (director, saxophone solo), Loyd Warden (drums)
Saxophones: Jacob Hallman (alto, soprano, flute), Jim Scheffer (alto, soprano), Dirk Downing (tenor), Ryan Meinkoth (tenor), Sarah Carney (baritone)
Rhythm: Josiah Bryan (piano), Alex Ispa-Cowan (guitar), Tim Havens (bass), Phylshawn Johnson (drums), Eric Brown (drums, auxiliary percussion)
Trumpets: Brandon Hall, Kelcey Knoernschild, Meredith Hammer, Jackie Kiley, Anne Linders, Michael Rabadan
Trombones: David Witter, Matt Schmitz, Laura Brekke, Brian Vaughn (bass)
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