Thursday, 25 May 2017

Cal State University in L.A. (CSULA) Jazz Ensemble's 1978 debut by request

About the CSULA Jazz Ensemble:

The award winning California State University, Los Angeles Jazz Ensemble; Los Angeles Times jazz critic Zan Stewart gave them four of five stars in his May 1989 review. The jazz band had numerous student musicians that have made a name for themselves as professionals to include Sharon Hirata, Luis Bonilla, Jack Cooper, Charlie Richard, Danny House, Phil Feather, Corey Gemme, Eric "Bobo" Correa, Vince Dublino, Alan Parr, Paul De Castro, Alex Henderson, and José Arellano. There has been a consistent tradition of musicians coming from the CSULA program who have worked with major musical acts, on major studio and movie projects, and hold positions in higher education in music. The roster is self-evident as to the diversity and level of student musicians CSULA developed at that time and has for many years dating far back to musicians (graduates) such as Lennie Niehaus and Gabe Baltazar.

Bob Curnow is the "Hank Levy" of this outfit at least on this record, and you'll see most compositions and arrangements are by him.  He was a trombonist and arranger for the (great) Stan Kenton Band.

This was the first release by them and came late in the college band game, in 1978.  Overall, a bit disappointing (for me) being in the big band jazz vein, not more than a slight though barely perceptible nod towards fusion.

First track has the incomparably unforgettable title of Nerkmobile and is by one Neil Finn:

On the other hand, the best composition appearing here is the last one, La Meme Chose, with its startling polyrhythms on a presumably odd time signature, and it's by trumpeter/pianist Jeff Holmes:

Wow-- well worth the whole price I'd say, no?



    1. A limited time lossless to enjoy too:

      PS A big post coming up next, at least for a certain subgroup of collectors...

  2. Thanks for the great review and upload JR! I just listened to the first track and knew that I had to download this.Your efforts are really appreciated!

  3. Holy smokes! Thank you for this Julian. I'm going to be blasting this next semester. Let these mofos know what's real.

  4. Nerkmobile ha!
    - gotta take 'er for a spin in the fresh Spring green!...
    but can I see straight after that Jayar Foreign Soil beast?!?
    Thanks again my friend!
    Well I finally got everything I had shared back up, plus some wildcards too, so if there's something you don't recognize, get it!!
    Here they are: -my comps are first/then some rare shit-
    -Into The Great
    -3 A.M. Halloween
    -Minutes To Go!
    -The Spell Breaks!
    -Red In The
    -Travel Time
    -The Hour Of Doom VII
    -The Hour Of Doom VII
    -The Hour Of Doom VII
    -The Open Window [320]
    -TheOpenWindow[wav pt.1]
    -TheOpenWindow[wav pt.2]
    -TheOpenWindow[wav pt.3]
    - :)
    -Breathe Owl
    -Love Corp
    -Biff Rose

  5. Thanks Julian! 2nd track hooked me in :)