Turner Center Jazz Orchestra | Class 'n Jazz: The Music of Andy Classen

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Class 'n Jazz: The Music of Andy Classen

by Turner Center Jazz Orchestra

All original compositions for jazz ensemble in a wide variety of styles.
Genre: Jazz: Big Band
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I-80 Shuffle
7:39 $0.99
2. Rhythm and News
8:20 $0.99
3. Spirit of New Orleans
4:22 $0.99
4. A Count Ability
6:54 $0.99
5. Big Al's Motown Adventure
9:06 $0.99
6. Blues for Jimmy
5:58 $0.99
7. Gospel According to Patty
8:23 $0.99
8. Jig Dog
4:37 $0.99
9. Waveland Suite: Morning Dew
5:52 $0.99
10. Waveland Suite: Sentinels
4:01 $0.99
11. Waveland Suite: Mulligan
3:57 $0.99
12. Waveland Suite: With the Wind
6:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Andy Classen is Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies at Drake University. He is principal trumpet in Orchestra Iowa, plays most Broadway Shows that come to the Des Moines Civic Center, and is founder and artistic director of the Turner Center Jazz Orchestra. His jazz compositions are published through Barnhouse and Really Good Music.

The TCJO is comprised of Drake music faculty, alumni and other amazing jazz musicians from central Iowa. The band does a regular series of concerts at the Patty and Fred Turner Jazz Center, performances around the region and as a back up band for artists including Kurt Elling.

The Music

I-80 Shuffle
I have logged many miles on I-80. This piece came to me while driving down I-80 returning from a performance with the Temptations. The main groove is an exuberant drive with nothing stopping you. The next section is more subdued, like a late night drive returning from a gig. Later, there is a traffic jam due to road construction. You will hear car horns and an angry motorist cursing. Finally, traffic clears and you are back cruising down I-80.
Soloists: Paul Bridson - trombone, David Bohl – tenor sax, Joel Poppen – muted trumpet (angry motorist)
Dark Side of the Blues
This was my first published composition, still available through Barnhouse Publishing. This light shuffle starts with the bass groove played by Steve Charlson. A mini-fugue in the middle leads to the shout chorus.
Soloists: Robert Espe – tenor sax, Paul Bridson – trombone, Aaron Ehrlich – bari sax

Rhythm and News
This piece was commissioned by the Des Moines Register to commemorate their 150 anniversary. A copy was given to every high school in Iowa. It is a joyous piece based on the chord progress to I Got Rhythm, with some twists.
Soloists: Jason Danielson – piano, Andrew Classen – trumpet, James Romain – tenor sax, Steve Charlson – bass

Spirit of New Orleans
I wrote this piece to honor the resilience of the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. The style is a second line groove, used in New Orleans street parades. The two solo sections are separated by a short Dixieland section, with Mike Short playing the tailgate trombone part and Robert Espe on clarinet.
Soloists: John Benoit – trombone, John Morgan – alto sax.

A Count Ability
This piece is in the timeless style of the Count Basie Orchestra. I love all the possibilities of the play on words with “Count” in the title. This also came to me driving down I-80, after an Orchestra Iowa rehearsal. I sang it into my voice memo so I wouldn’t forget it. When I got home, I transcribed my singing (not an easy task) and wrote the tune.
Soloists: Andrew Classen – trumpet, Robert Espe – tenor sax, Mark Grimm – brushes, Steve Charlson – bass

Big Al’s Motown Adventure
Drake Jazz Ensemble One goes on a European tour every four years. Along with directing the band, I am responsible for getting the students there and back. All was going well on one of these trips. The band was back in the US, through customs, and waiting for our connecting flight in Detroit. The flight boarded, but there was no sign of my bass bone player, “Big Al.” Nothing I could do, so the flight left without Al. I didn’t hear from him for three days, but he did eventually get back home. That was my inspiration for this funk tune.
Soloists: Scott Davis – trumpet, Jason Danielson – piano, Mark Grimm – drums, Steve Charlson – bass

Blues for Jimmy
Dr. David Maxwell just completed his 16 year tenure as President of Drake University. David and I established a bond instantly, since his father was legendary lead trumpet player, Jimmy Maxwell. Dr. Maxwell also plays blues guitar. To honor the memory of his father and thank David for all that he did to support the Drake Jazz program, I wrote this slow blues tune for him. As I often told him, “Dr. Maxwell, you are the best blues guitar playing university president in the world!”
Soloists: Andrew Classen – trumpet, Dr. David Maxwell – guitar

Gospel According to Patty
Fred Turner, former CEO and President of McDonald’s is a Drake alumnus. He met his wife, Patty, at Drake. While Fred was busy building the McDonald’s empire, Patty formed musical groups that played for inner city schools and retirement homes, anywhere she could spread her love of music. After Patty’s passing, Fred wanted to do something for the school that brought him and Patty together. He and Dr. Maxwell sat down and discovered their shared passion for jazz. In five years, Fred donated over 2.5 million dollars to the Drake Jazz Program. I wrote this to honor Patty’s memory and give something back to the family that did so much for my small part of Drake.
Soloists: Jason Danielson, piano, Andrew Classen – trumpet, David Bohl – tenor sax

Jig Dog
I had many conversations with Fred Turner over the later years of his life. He was a passionate man, and when he believed in something, he would support it whole-heartedly. One of his heroes was the WWII dive bomber, Jig Dog Ramage. In the battle of the Philippian Sea, he single handedly crippled a Japanese aircraft carrier. For his part in the battle, he was awarded the Navy Cross.
The story inspired me to write this Swing Era style piece, complete with a Gene Krupa-like drum part.
Soloists: Jason Danielson – piano, John Benoit - trombone

Waveland Suite

The Waveland Suite is a series of musical sketches on the oldest public golf course west of the Mississippi. Located in Des Moines, Iowa, the Waveland Golf Course, founded in 1901, is full of rolling hills and majestic trees. I live two blocks away and play Waveland almost every morning.

1. Morning Dew
The first movement captures the essence of being the first one off of the tee early on a spring morning. Your tracks are the first left in the dew. The ostinato sweeps up and down the rolling hills, with the trumpet and clarinet playing a serene melody. The middle section expresses the gloominess of walking through the wooded valleys in the shadows. With the sun emerging from above the trees, we return to our peaceful outing.
Soloist: David Bohl – tenor sax

2. Sentinels
The “Sentinels” depicts the seemly ancient trees which stand guard around the course, not allowing passage for unworthy shots. Their ominous quality is portray through a pair of interlocking tri-tones, the most sinister of all intervals. The middle is comprised of fugue in which the players wandering through the woods in pursuit of errant balls. This ends in frustrated punctuations. The golfers admit defeat and returns, humbled out of the woods.
Creepy percussion: Mark Grimm

3. Mulligan
In golf, the term “mulligan” refers to a "do-over": hit a bad shot, take a mulligan and try again. This is not an officially sanctioned activity, but used in friendly games. The initial melody in this movement is meant to simulate a few mulligans: it stops and restarts a few times before finally getting all the way through. An inside joke of our golf group is that when someone hits a tree, it sounds like the rim shot at the beginning of Johnny Carson’s theme from the Tonight Show. You will hear the ball hitting a tree, falling to the ground, then my little allusion.
Soloist: Scott Davis - trumpet

4. With the Wind
The last movement explores the feeling a golfer gets standing on plateau of the 18th tee at Waveland. The wind is at your back, and you are looking down at a slowly descending valley, funneling straight to the green. “With the Wind” opens with the perfect drive: long, straight and riding the wind. The rest of the piece represents the feeling of joy and contentment we all feel when doing something we love with dear friends.

Soloists: Andrew Classen – flugel, David Bohl – tenor



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