When budgets are slashed for educational programs at any level, arts programs are usually the first to take a hit. So it is refreshing when an institution not only continues to educate but also encourages the creativity of its students.
The Colorodo Conservatory for the Jazz Arts is a non-profit organization based in Denver. It offers ensembles, camps and classes to provide young people with unique opportunities for the study and performance of jazz music, culture and history. As a result, two ensembles of students, ages 16 to 24, recorded their first album of original music: Fourteen Channels on the Tapestry label.
The Jazz Arts Messengers are David Reid on alto sax and clarinet, Gregory Wahl on alto sax, Sam Crowe on tenor sax and flute, Evan White on tenor sax, Carly Meyers on trombone, Mike Robinson on guitar, Sam Yulsman on piano, Brian Wilson on bass and Cameron Hicks on drums.
“Song for Robert Rauschenberg,” penned by Yulsman, features solos by the pianist and Reid. The entire horn section carries the melody during the opening sequence. The bass and drums underscore the piece effectively. Reid then shows his skills on the alto sax, playing with hints of Maceo Parker, followed by Yulsman’s piano solo. Hicks enjoys some crisp cymbals play during the latter solo.