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Premiere by Western Michigan University Jazz Quartet

Did you ever wonder what is in a jazz name? How do great jazz giants,along with today's jazz stars make their name and be recognized as the new upcoming superstars? Did they suddenly pop up at your favorite CD store store overnight?Are they just picked up by producers and thrown into the studios for a great sounding new fangled jazz CD? NO WAY! These musicians and bands have endured many hours of practice...blood,sweat and tears. A professional musician will spend up to eight to ten hours a day crafting their perfection . (No matter what type of review I give them!) The most famous and upcoming musicians attended schools.Played countless talent shows,weddings,clubs and other venues for many years.Those musicians went through hundreds of hours of private instruction. Most started in their Jr. high and high school bands. Sixty percent of these jazz addicts that seek fame and fortune endeavor further music colleges. Most music schools put out CDs of their orchestra and Western Michigan University has just released their new CD called Premiere.

Listening to this CD, is very different. Its another big band sounding CD but not as polished as,say,The Tommy Newsome Band. Usally the bands consists of 6 to as many as 20 pieces. The CD is well organized in tunes. For example on track two ,the song called Agape is a wonderful,beautiful ballad. I find there is a lot of colour,but not a lot of texture or richness. They seem to lack an emotional forte. Premiere is compiled of a variety of slow and fast tunes. The featured artist Scott Cowan (trumpet) is quite good.

I want you to listen to the interactions of the brass and woodwind section for their harmony and accompaniment. Unfortunately it is not as smooth as one would like it to be.

Sixty per cent of the musicians that you hear and see on TV have been highly schooled.Two to three per cent of these are called true prodigies.These musicians started at a very early age. By the way, musicians who don't or cannot reach this high degree of celebrity status are called "lounge lizzards". These people could not move up or were not recognized in the musical market. If they continue to play professionally,they are somewhat stuck in one venue to play. All musicians have a "long and winding road" to success, through education or simply playing jazz.I give this CD a 2 out of 5 in my Jazz-o-meter.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Western Michigan University Jazz Quartet
  • CD Title: Premiere
  • Genre: Big Band / Swing
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Reissue Original Release: 2005
  • Record Label: Sea Breeze
  • Musicians: Featuring Scott Cowan
  • Rating: Two Stars
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