Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stephen Powers Recital at UNO

If you are a jazz enthusiasts like we are, you would not want to pass a wonderful event like this at the University of New Orleans (UNO) Department of Music - senior recital of Stephen Powers (guitar).

With our GPS in hand, we went to The University of New Orleans last Thursday, November 29, 2012.  We found the Sandbar at the Uno Cove in no time at all. 

The event is the recital of Stephen Powers,  in partial fulfillment of his BA of Arts degree with emphasis in Jazz studies, and sponsored by the university's Department of Music.

Stephen Powers performed  five music pieces for his recital.  In his program notes, he said of his pieces:

"Four In One" is one of my favorite tunes by one of my favorite composers, Thelonius Monk. Like all of his compositions, to me, "Four In One" seems to exist in its own plane in space, continually playing somewhere in the universe, as ifthe recording session hypnotized the musicians.  Monk's fearless and playful style and dedication to groove continue to inspire my musical life."

His other pieces are "Sly Sprout" and "Vacancy", a 'spacy vossa'.  Stephen Powers also presented his own compositions:  "Precipice" and "Beacon". 

He said, "Precipice is one of my first compositions.  For me, straight eight grooves have always recalled steering along an edge, so close that, if you look out your wndow, you see nothing but expanses of air and fuzzy ground somewhere far beneath.  The second solo over  a new section is meant to be soft landing."

Of  Beacon, he said, ""Beacon started out as a bass line, and counter melodies evolved like a downpour from sprinkles. More so than the rest, this tune made itself known to me, rather than requiring lots of digging.  After the initial spur, it became a whole landscape whose parts ought naught be disassembled.  Maybe the theme of constantly undulating dynamics came from Chick Corea's "Day Waves, " where layers of percussion peak and recede throughout.

                                                                   Stephen Powers

Stephen Powers and his group

Stephen Powers, Jeronne Amari Ansari, Yirmeyahu Yisrael and Sam Albright 

Sam Albright, Bass

Emilio Avila, piano

Sam Wiseman, drums

Jeronne Amari Ansari, Alto Sax

The group

Congratulations from the hubby

We did not know until they finished that the last two are Stephen Powers's original compositions. All the while we thought all that he played was Thelonius Monk's.

You see, they are music students but could pass as professional musicians. Exception of course are Yirmeyahu Yisrael and Sam Wiseman who we see performing at the Spotted Cat.

The group performed very difficult modern jazz so well, like Thelonius Monk's obtuse type of music. The group performed beyond their years of experience, young as they are.

We say, good luck to you guys, hope to see and hear more from you soon.

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