Dease, 37, is a busy young performer and educator. In addition to touring the world as a first-call player, he teaches music at Michigan State and runs a summer jazz camp in North Carolina. He also plays trumpet, saxophone and piano.
This evening with the NPJO's fine team of players.underscored his trombone mastery. The sextet includes tenor saxophonist and artistic director Lew Del Gatto, trumpeter Dan Miller, violinist Glenn Basham, pianist Jerry Stawski, bassist Kevin Mauldin and drummer Mike Harvey.
Together, they explored a handful of jazz standards, two Dease originals - and a little-heard treat from the early days of bebop.
Dease paid tribute to one of his own trombone heroes, the late J.J. Johnson with J.J.'s "Shortcake." He honored the modern jazz legacy of gone-too-soon trumpeter Roy Hargrove, who died last year at age 49, with a poignant version of one of Hargrove's favorite ballads, "Never Let Me Go," with just the rhythm section.
|Michael Dease & Lew Del Gatto|
"Brooklyn," the first of Dease's two originals, was named for his 1-year-old daughter. Here and there you could here snippets of the Frankie Valli hit "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You." Stawski dropped in a tasty quote from Freddie Hubbard's "Little Sunflower." He wrote the second tune, "Zanderfied," as a tip of the hat to longtime friend Jeffrey Zander, an insurance broker ho has been instrumental in the success of the Dease-run Jazz Institute at North Carolina's Brevard Music Center. The tune had an uptempo "Killer Joe" feel.
The evening concluded with a burning version of bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker's 1949 composition "Cardboard," which has fallen into obscurity. In crafting this one, Bird put a fresh melody over the chord progressions of the 1941 pop song "Don't Take Your Love From Me." Dease and the sextet made it fresh and vibrant.
|Michael Dease guests with the Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra|