Recently, I had the pleasure of taking in some of our local jazz talent at Victoria College’s Johnson Symposium.
The auditorium, which I’m more used to visiting during the spring for spelling bee season, was filled last night with some mid-show stragglers standing in the back Monday night.
It was my second time seeing the VC Jazz Combo in action. The first time I had seen them was at the Hard Hat Happy Hour at the Children Discovery Museum of the Golden Crescent’s new location at the former Playhouse theater. VC music professor Jonathan “Jona” Anderson, on the saxophone, was the headlining soloist.
The show started out with pieces by Alan Hovhaness, Charles Koechlin, Paule Maurice and David Maslanka. The selections by Maurice, a female French composer most recognized for Tableaux de Provence pour saxophone et orchestre, were my favorite performances from the set by Anderson and VC music professor Dr. Marylynn L. Fletcher on piano.
Mid-way through Dis Alyscamps L’amo Souspire, from Maurice’s Tableaux, the saxophone spirals up in a dramatic twist and unfolds into gentler notes. The song, meant to score a lamentful scene at a cemetery, had me wrapping my fingers around the pearls I forgot to wear till the very end.
Anderson’s daughter added a youthful touch to the show with an accompanying ballet performance sound-tracked by the Girl from Impanema, sung by Taylor Chavana.
VISD Fine Arts Director Ken Peach joined in on the flugelhorn during the set’s closing song, “Feel So Good,” by Chuck Mangione.
Thanks to my father’s CD collection, I recognized Mangione immediately from trips to Mexico with my family spent wearing out all the CDs and tapes we owned. Thanks Dad.
Here are some clips from the show I hope you enjoy.
Also, the City of Victoria recorded the full-length session expected to air on Channel 15 sometime early next year. Look out for it starting sometime in January.