The CSUB Jazz Coffeehouse will feature four groups, free cookies and coffee, and an interesting mix of contemporary and traditional jazz on Saturday.
The hallmark of the Cal State series is new compositions by CSUB students, and opening the evening will be the band Colorblind, featuring the compositions of pianist Tony Rinaldi. This young group is moving from the entry stage to the main stage at the May 11 Bakersfield Jazz Festival. They will be one of six groups leading to the festival headliner, Euge Groove. As a freshman at CSUB, Rinaldi has already written a couple of big band charts and many works for Colorblind.
Following Colorblind will be a set that features works by drummer Cameron Poehner and trumpeter Alejandro Arvizu. Their jazz quintet will perform works written by saxophonists Joshua Redman, Michael Brecker and Bob Mintzer. Also, bassist Fernando Montoya will be featured on "Pools," originally played by Eddie Gomez with Steps Ahead.
Trumpeter Brent Williams leads the next group with works by Freddie Hubbard and Clifford Brown as well as the fiendishly difficult "Freedom Jazz Dance," a bit of angular abstraction tucked inside a groove.
The final group will feature trumpeter Mark Manda on works of Woody Shaw and Bobby Shew, and the guitar-bass twins Nicole and James Dandy playing the extraordinary "Necessary Blond." The evening will close with the contemporary work, "Crooked Creek" from the Brian Blade Group. This quintet also features Jay Smith on piano and the esteemed drummer, CSUB alumnus and former professor at the University of Tennessee in Nashville, Kyle Burnham.
-- Doug Davis, CSUB