Music Connection Review: Scott Healy Ensemble at Vitello’s Jan 21st, 2014
Scott Healy Ensemble – January 21st, 2014
Vitello’s Jazz Club Studio City, CA
This review by Tim Reid is from the March issue of Music Connection magazine.
The Players: Scott Healy, piano; Bill Wysaske, drums; Edwin Livingston, bass; Andrew Lippman, trombone; George Thatcher, bass trombone; Brian Swartz, trumpet; Bill Churchville, trumpet; Tim McKay, bari/tenor/soprano saxes, bass clarinet; Alex Budman, tenor/soprano saxes, flutes, clarinet; Jeff Driscoll, alto/soprano saxes, flute.
Material: In the current world of electronic- driven pop music––a world that allows or even encourages artists to explore how much can be done with as few real people as possible––Scott Healy reminds us just how good live instruments can sound in a room with highly skilled crafts-men utilizing centuries-old technology. Not only is it hard to find a 10-13- piece band playing anywhere outside of a big- budget wedding or a music school, it’s even more rare to find and hear this combination of instruments playing music that is fresh, new and innovative. Healy manages to compose “jazz orchestra” music that moves forward. Two particular pieces that demonstrate his ingenuity are “#1” which toys with the concept of “free jazz” within a structured piece and impresses with its ability to take the listener in and out of order and chaos, all meticulously planned out and orchestrated. Another piece, one which was nominated for Grammy this year, “Koko On The Boulevard” resonates more with the groove-lover, as it takes one theme through a journey, sticking to a somewhat more identifiable form and structure, but does not disappoint with the variations on the theme. As a great composition does, the music keeps the listener rooted in an idea, while constantly exploring new perspectives.
Performance: A jazz supper club has the potential to be “stuffy” if that is the mood set by the performers. This was the complete opposite––we were all just in this 90-minute journey together. The players were all dressed casually, as if a bunch of friends just getting together to nonchalantly blow the minds of everyone in the house. Healy himself proved to be genuine and accessible in his moments of spoken communication with the audience. His personality went a long way toward attracting the listener to his music.
Contact: Jeff Sanderson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-274-4400
The full online issue is available at musicconnection.com