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Nocturnal meditations in the key of jazz

Eighteen-member Night People ensemble interprets tunes of Joe Garrison

Joe Garrison & Night People - Image by Bonnie Wright
Joe Garrison & Night People

San Diego composer Joe Garrison has reemerged into the local jazz scene in the past few years, and his concert at the Loft in La Jolla made waves with the full-house assembled to witness the 18-member Night People ensemble interpret his music.

Armed with a full slate of prime soloists and orchestral players plus the live sampled electronics of Chris Warren, Garrison led off with “Casi Cada Dia,” with bass-clarinetist Ariana Warren alto-violinist Dave Millard and soprano saxophonist Kamau Kenyatta positing individual statements over luxuriant harmonies from the three trombone, two trumpet, flute and oboe wind section.

“South Door” explored dissonance as color and elicited powerful solos from Derek Cannon’s trumpet, Lynn Willard’s piano, Jordan Morita’s trombone, and Ian Tordella’s alto saxophone, while the dedication to the late Daniel Jackson, “Sun Soul,” radiated modal textures from Willard and guitarist Tonga Ross-Ma’u under Millard’s mournful alto-flute elegy.

Trombonist’s Brian Smith and Brian O’Donnell layered dual solos through the sputtering, undulated electronic treatment of their output in real time by Warren, on the kalimba-like meditation “And the Moon Be Still as Bright” using a raw drum solo from Charlie Weller to transition into the Weather Report-ish “Cuando la Lluvia,” featuring Doug Meeuwsen.

Concert: Joe Garrison & Night People
Date: December 2, 2014
Venue: The Loft, UCSD
Seats: center table, up front

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Joe Garrison & Night People - Image by Bonnie Wright
Joe Garrison & Night People

San Diego composer Joe Garrison has reemerged into the local jazz scene in the past few years, and his concert at the Loft in La Jolla made waves with the full-house assembled to witness the 18-member Night People ensemble interpret his music.

Armed with a full slate of prime soloists and orchestral players plus the live sampled electronics of Chris Warren, Garrison led off with “Casi Cada Dia,” with bass-clarinetist Ariana Warren alto-violinist Dave Millard and soprano saxophonist Kamau Kenyatta positing individual statements over luxuriant harmonies from the three trombone, two trumpet, flute and oboe wind section.

“South Door” explored dissonance as color and elicited powerful solos from Derek Cannon’s trumpet, Lynn Willard’s piano, Jordan Morita’s trombone, and Ian Tordella’s alto saxophone, while the dedication to the late Daniel Jackson, “Sun Soul,” radiated modal textures from Willard and guitarist Tonga Ross-Ma’u under Millard’s mournful alto-flute elegy.

Trombonist’s Brian Smith and Brian O’Donnell layered dual solos through the sputtering, undulated electronic treatment of their output in real time by Warren, on the kalimba-like meditation “And the Moon Be Still as Bright” using a raw drum solo from Charlie Weller to transition into the Weather Report-ish “Cuando la Lluvia,” featuring Doug Meeuwsen.

Concert: Joe Garrison & Night People
Date: December 2, 2014
Venue: The Loft, UCSD
Seats: center table, up front

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Comments
1

The Night People musicians are definitely some of San Diego's best, both individually and when they play in small groups or larger bands. This is a good platform to bring some of San Diego's finest jazz musicians together at once. The musical performances are excellent.

Aside from a few minutes here and there, when only a few of the musicians are able to briefly shine, playing solo, in duo, or in trio, each of the Night People performances sounds essentially the same as the last one, pretty much the same as last time and the time before, all the way through. Great musicians, playing great music, including special guests or featured artists. Joe Garrison is good at writing for and arranging Night People, as well. Even with featured artists and solos, however, it turns out that the Night People big band makes very much the same overall sound each time it performs. Not a bad thing, just the same thing again.

Jan. 11, 2015

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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