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Valparaiso University Faculty Jazz Trio: For the Moment

For college and university jazz faculty to have credibility with their students they have to be able to prove they know what they’re talking about. This release by faculty mentors provides such documentation.

The versatile Valparaiso trio is much more than that. They appear as a threesome on only half of For the Moment’s 12 tracks, the others adding various combinations of acoustic and electric guitar, trumpet and tenor saxophone. Drummer Jeffrey Brown teaches full time in the school’s jazz program, while Billy Foster and Bruce Evans teach bass and piano part time. Their guests are Henry Johnson, a Chicago-based guitarist; Brian Sjoerdinga, a tenorist/flutist who played with Buddy Rich, Stan Kenton and others; and Odies Williams, a trumpet-playing physician. The leadoff number, “Straight Stuff,” is so evocative of Art Blakey’s “Blues March” in the arrangement and in the style and quality of the superb solos that it makes you wonder if you’ve put on a late ’50s Blue Note record. The rest of the program is nicely varied, containing ballads, Latin tunes and even a jazz waltz.

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