sealPurdue News

October 10, 2002

Jazz Bands put on 'Big Swing Face' for Halloween concert

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Getting in the spirit of Halloween, the Purdue Jazz Band will put on its "Big Swing Face" for a free concert on Friday, Oct. 18.

The concert is set for 8 p.m. in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse. The event also features the Lab Jazz Band, which opens the evening with the title tune, "Big Swing Face," a Buddy Rich jazz standard that first became popular in the 1970s.

"Everything on this concert swings," says M.T. "Mo" Trout, director of Purdue's jazz bands. "Even the two tunes on the program that aren't technically swing – Pat Metheny's "Minuano" and Bob Berg's "American Gothic" – are swing influenced."

Fitting in with the playfulness of Halloween, the two bands fill the concert with playful tunes, including "The Doomsday Machine Meets Mr. Gelato," "The Last Tangle of Lord Boogie," "American Gothic" and "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea."

Figuring out what goes through a composer's mind when they name a tune isn't easy, Trout says.

"I have no idea how Ellen Rowe came up with ‘The Doomsday Machine Meets Mr. Gelato,' he says. "The tune has a Cuban-Latin feel, and goes back and forth between that and swing. Maybe the Cuban element is Doomsday and the swing is Mr. Gelato."

Several tunes have ties to Count Basie, one of the jazz world's most revered musicians. The Lab Band performs a Bob Mintzer arrangement of Basie's "One O'Clock Jump" and the Purdue Jazz Band adds Bill Homan's version of Basie's "Tree Frog."

"'Tree Frog' is a good-time piece, very straight-ahead swing with a powerful beginning and ending, and soft piano solos that build up to big climaxes," Trout says.

Other highlights of the show include Bob Brookmeyer's "Hello and Good-Bye" that features an open dialogue between bass, piano and drums and as many as four performing at the same time. "The Last Tangle of Lord Boogies" comes from jazz innovator Don Ellis.

"He led the most unique swing band that ever existed," Trout says. "He believed that jazz could swing in odd time signatures, rhythms more likely to be heard in Eastern Europe than in jazz. This piece is in 9/8 time. You start to tap your feet and realize you've got an extra beat, but it works really well."

The concert closes with the Purdue Jazz Band performing Harold Arlen's "Between the Devil and the Big Blue Sea," a tune that provides the perfect cap for an evening of swing.

"This arrangement was done for a Stan Kenton dance set and is just straight-ahead swing," Trout says.

The Purdue Jazz Band's next concert is a holiday event with the American Music Review, "Holiday Cheer & All That Jazz" set for 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, in Loeb Playhouse. The show is free and open to the public.

CONTACT: Kathy Matter, (765) 496-6785;

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: Media interested in interviews should contact Kathy Matter, Purdue Bands Public Relations director, at (765) 496-6785.

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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