Workshop and lecture, arrangement and jam session were combined Saturday night in a Jazz Society concert featuring the Horns of Jazz. Five local musicians and a visitor from New York traversed the history of jazz, commanding rapt attention and eliciting frequent foot-stomping and whistling.
Moderator Talib Qadr introduced "The Saints Go Marchin In" with the observation that in early New Orleans jazz, "everybody soloed at the same time." Then, to the delight of all present, musicians included, Jim Howard, trumpet Chuck Royal, trombone, and Arthur Dawkins, clarinet, launched a 10-minute ensemble stomp.
That opening number brought the house down. Its most serious challengers were a Charlie Parker medley and Sonny Rollins' "St. Thomas."
Other highlights included Qadr's spirited interpretation of the Coleman Hawkins classic "Body and Soul," Dawkins' heated "Lester Leaps," Jim Howard's bravura triubte to Bunny Berrigan on "I Can't Get Started," and stylistic impressions of "Tricky Sam' Nanton and J. J. Johnson by Royal. All of this was well supported by a strong rhythm team of Alex Jenkins, piano, and Stump Saunders, drums. Electric bass -- cumbersome and ill-suited to jazz -- was competently handled by Charles Able.
Percussion will be featured at the next Jazz Arts Society concert on Feb. 2.