The Kenan Music Building hosted 360° Jazz Initiative tonight for their “Distracted Society” CD release concert. Dozens of students in attendance for the 2015 Summer Jazz Workshop, along with many other spectators, listened intently as the group opened with an upbeat opener. The band was met with roars of applause as the horns launched the performance.
An original by tenor saxophonist Dave Finucane, “Bent” got the recital hall moving, with Jason Foureman rocking the walking bass part and Juan Alamo going to town on the vibraphone. In contrast, “Grey Blue,” another tune by Finucane, changed the mood of the room with a beautiful tenor saxophone feature with Stephen Anderson on piano accompaniment. Other members of the group include Jim Ketch (trumpet), John Parker (trumpet), Scott Sawyer (guitar), and Dan Davis (drums).
Made up mostly of UNC faculty, the members seemed eager to pass on their musical wisdom to the developing musicians in the audience. These students ranged from middle school to college, covering all instrumentation. The love of jazz could be felt throughout the recital hall, with nodding heads, feet keeping time, and the looks of awe on the students’ faces.
“Distracted Society,” released by Summit Records, is the first CD release of 360° Jazz Initiative. It will begin national radio broadcasts next week. The group aims to maintain their innovative outlook on jazz while jointly respecting past styles. “The old standards were new at one time,” said Stephen Anderson, piano. “We like to keep an eye on the past as we look to the future.”