UNI Jazz Studies

Recordings

 

That Doesn't EvenThe 2016-17 edition of Jazz Band One offers up a collection of 8 originals and arrangements by students, alumni and faculty including Patrick Cunningham ("Four in Three," "Crooked Creek"), Tanner O' Connor ("Esperanto"), Paul Lichty ("Penny," "Declination"), Brian Martin ("Nebuchadnezzar"), and Christopher Merz ("Green Ladies," "Synchronicity"). Also included is honorary member Rick Hirsch's original, "Metroliner." The band was road-tested on their spring break tour to Cuba, and it shows.

 

 

 

Paths coverWhere the Paths Meet continues the tradition of locally-sourced big band music. 3 student writers (Masters candidates Sam Stranz and Jordan Boehm, and undergrad Paul Lichty) join alum Michael Conrad and director Christopher Merz in contributing works. Styles lean toward the contemporary, with mixed meter (Boehm's "Spillway"), fusion (Conrad's arrangement of Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood", Lichty's arrangement of alum Brian Crew's original, "Der Tod von Gustav Mahler"), ECM-influenced (Lichty's arrangement of the folk song, "Shenandoah," Merz's two originals, "A Gentle Man," dedicated to Kenny Wheeler, and "Where the Paths Meet"), and jazz waltz (Stranz's "Waltz for Maari"). Something for everyone!

 

 

Local ColorIn Local Color, the latest in a long series of splendid albums by the University of Northern Iowa's Jazz Band One, color is one of the primary ingredients; every number, in fact, is awash in radiant colors, from the prismatic opener, UNI alum Michael Conrad's "Gerry's Timepiece," to the chimerical closer,Curtis Fuller's dark-hued "The Egyptian." Between them are burnished original compositions by Brian Crew, Jack Cooper and Rick Hirsch; Wayne Shorter's well-grooved "Fee Fi Fo Fum," Eddie Harris' exuberant "Freedom Jazz Dance" and Kurt Weill / Ira Gershwin's elegant standard "My Ship," from the Broadway musical Lady in the Dark.
 
Not With That AttitudeThis album presents a variety of music for large jazz ensemble, including originals and arrangements by students at the University of Northern Iowa. Supplementing the original compositions and arrangements is See Saw by Bob Brookmeyer, added here to pay tribute to this great master of jazz composition on the occasion of his recent death.
 
This is the BandThis is the twentieth CD release from the Jazz Studies division at the University of Northern Iowa. This album features 3 original compositions by senior trombonist Brian Martin, arrangements of classics by Dave Brubeck and Chick Corea (2) from senior saxophonists Gabe Scheid and Nathan Temeyer, and junior pianist Jon Snell. Rounding out the all in-house set are 3 originals by ensemble director Christopher Merz.
 
The Hard Way - 2012 Sinfonian Dimensions in Jazz artist, saxophonist/composer/ Peter Apfelbaum's music is front and center on this release (the hauntingly beautiful "It Is Written," and the companion pieces "Intro to The Hard Way" and "The Hard Way"). Balancing out some very fresh music are the band's takes on Mary Lou Williams's "Roll 'Em" and one of Kenny Wheeler's earliest efforts, "Ballad to Max," painstakingly transcribed by Rick Hirsch. The band also tackles two Hirsch's originals, the Brookmeyer-flavored "Great Big Ball With a Map Wrapped Around It" and the programmatic "Life Blood." Rounding out the set are Jon Snell's original, "Tilian," and a Christopher Merz arrangement of Kenny Barron's classic, "Voyage."
 
Let Go - Once again featuring scores contributed by Mike Conrad ("Tetragon," "Could've Been"), the 2010-2011 edition of the band also tackles works by students Sam Petersen (an odd-meter setting of Kenny Wheeler's "Foxy Trot") and Peter Roberts (the title track, featuring the addition of a string trio) as well as a hard bop-flavored original by director Christopher Merz ("Incident @ Perkins"). Rick Hirsch, a regular contributor, adds the lovely jazz waltz "City in the Window, " commissioned especially for the band. 
 
Look Both Ways- Three compositions by UNI alum Kyle Novak featuring laptop electronic effects form the centerpiece of this album. Also featured are scores by band members Mike Conrad and Peter Roberts, UNI student Courtney Beadel, and director Christopher Merz. Additional selections include works by Darcy James Argue (the award-winning "Transit") and Tim Hagans.
 
Strange WonderfulThe spotlight is on student composers on this album by UNI's Jazz Band One. Mike Conrad (Ithaca College Jazz Composer's Competition winner, 2010) and Courtney Beadel (ASCAP Young Jazz Composers Award winner, 2010) contribute new music to this recording, which also features UNI student composer/arrangers Easton Stuard, Ari Micich, and Peter Roberts. Rounding out the program are works by young jazz composers Dan Cavanagh, Ryan Middagh, and Rick Hirsch, as well as established jazz pianist/composer David Berkman.
 
Thinking GloballyThis album by the University of Northern Iowa/'s flagship large jazz ensemble features fresh compositions and arrangements by its members and director, as well as an offering from a recent graduate. Kicking off the album is Mike Conrad's very first big band chart, written on the great Wayne Shorter's composition, Yes or No. the remaining material is all original, including new works by grad student Easton Stuard, seniors Peter Roberts and Joel Nagel, and UNI alum Ryan Middagh, now at work on an MM at Middle Tennessee State University. Rounding out the program are two originals from director, Chris Merz.
 
RenovationRenovation features 5 originals and arrangements by UNI students Ryan Middagh and Joel Nagel, and an arrangement by director Chris Merz. The disc also features guest solo work by Des Moines' wizard of the Hammond organ, Sam Salomone. Sam plays on arrangements transcribed by UNI guitar instructor Bob Dunn from the Ray Charles album, Genius Plus Soul Equals Jazz. Rounding out the album are pieces by 2007 Tallcorn Festival Guest Artist Kenny Werner and Duke Ellington.
 
Destination UnknownThis is the fourteenth album in my library by the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One—and the fourth under director Chris Merz, who succeeded the legendary Bob Washut nearly five years ago. As always, the repertoire is eclectic, touching a number of bases from Ellington/Strayhorn, Fletcher Henderson and Cole Porter to Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter and such contemporary standouts as Kim Richmond and Jim McNeely. There are two fresh compositions by Merz, another (“Beautiful in Blue”) by ensemble member Kyle Novak.
 
MementoGreat big band music from one of the best college bands in the country. Features "Memento" written by tenor saxophonist Kyle Novak, "Arenas" by Dr. Robert Washut and "The Beautiful One" by Chris Merz
 
The Unlikely EventThe Unlikely Event was recorded live at the Sinfonian Dimensions in Jazz concert February 21, 2004 and the Spring concert April 9, 2004. Tallcorn/SDIJ guest artist Peter Erskine appears on his own composition, Bulgaria, and contributes extensive liner notes.
 
TransformationTransformation is the first Jazz Band One cd produced under the leadership of Chris Merz. Featured selections include UNI alumnus Chris Schmitz' title track, classic compositions from Mary Lou Williams (Scratchin' in the Gravel) and Duke Ellington (East St. Louis Toodle o).
 
West CoastingThe last UNI Jazz Band One (Sea Breeze Vista: SBV-4547) recording to be made under the leadership of Robert Washut, West Coasting is culled from two separate recording sessions and a live concert.
 
Leap of FaithLeap of Faith is UNI Jazz Band One's 10th CD in as many years. The disc features two charts specially commissioned for the 50th Anniversary of Sinfonian Dimensions in Jazz celebration.
 
At DuskThe ninth CD release by UNI Jazz Band One and the second one for the Sea Breeze Vista label, At Dusk features an eclectic program of big band jazz. The title track was arranged for Jazz Band One by Rob Hudson, whose chart on Bill Evan's Very Early is also included.
 
Just UsJust Us is UNI Jazz Band One’s eighth CD. Released by the Sea Breeze Vista label, the recording documents the work of the 1998-99 band.
 
GamesJazz Band One's seventh compact disc recording, Games, was released in October of 1998. Selections include arrangements and compositions by Washut and Todd Munnik, a graduate student in the Master of Music in Jazz Pedagogy program.
 
ConversationsConversations documents the work of the 1996-97 UNI Jazz Band One. The album features an arrangement by saxophonist Eric Allen, a 1997 UNI graduate of the Master of Music in Jazz Pedagogy program.
 
SkittishThe 1995-96 UNI Jazz Band One recorded Skittish and dedicated the album to the memory of former band mate Tom Capps. This band was also chosen to perform as the featured collegiate big band at the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival in Chicago.
 
That Big Band ThingThe 1995 release, That Big Band Thing, received a five-star rating in Downbeat magazine and was the only college band to be given that honor in that year.
 
Outstanding PerformanceField of Play (1994), earned an "Outstanding Performance" award in the category of Jazz Big Bands in Downbeat's annual Student Music Awards.
 
Come Fly With UsCome Fly With Us, released in 1993, earned a five-star rating in Downbeat magazine. Trumpeter Jason Brewer also won an individual "Outstanding Performance" award in the Student Music Awards.
 
Outstanding PerformanceNorthern Exposure (1992), also garnered an "Outstanding Performance" award in Downbeat's Annual Student Music Awards along with Bassist Mark Urness receiving an "Outstanding Performance" award for his talent. In addition, Jazz Band One was selected as the winner of the collegiate big band competition at the 1992 Wichita Jazz Festival.

 

.