"Legacy" by Professor Emeritus Neil Slater included among best boxed jazz recordings of 2017

Dec. 13-- Who says holiday albums have to be banal?

Not the most creative artists, who turn overly familiar fare into music worth hearing.

Following are the best seasonal jazz recordings of new and recent vintage:

Joel Paterson: "Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar" (Ventrella Records). Chicago guitarist Paterson has released one of the most disarming, joyous jazz recordings of this holiday season. As its retro title implies, "Hi-Fi Christmas Guitar" revivifies age-old Christmas tunes via a mid-20th century sensibility. But the overdubbing, reverb effects and clean-lined lyricism of this work sounds...

Artist spotlight: Anna Jalkéus

There is a superheroine in Denton, and she lives in the mind of composer, harpist, and singer Anna Jalkéus. Her name is Estrogenia, and Jalkéus wrote a 3-part harp concerto during the spring of 2017 depicting her origin story and eventual fight with archenemy the Big Orange Monster. Estrogenia’s strength and abilities are fictional, of course; but when one takes a look at Jalkéus’ own skills and achievements, they might wonder if the real superhuman living in Denton is none other than Estrogenia’s creator herself.

Jalkéus is a member of many groups in Denton, including but not limited to Emilio Mesa’s project ...

Tags: jalkeus, jazz, UNT

UNT jazz studies ensembles to play free concerts in Dallas

The University of North Texas College of Music's flagship program continues its anniversary with a series of outdoor concerts in Dallas.

The Division of Jazz Studies is celebrating its 70th anniversary will present of concerts at Klyde Warren Park in "Jazz on the Green" this month and in November.

The series begins with a concert by the UNT One O'clock Lab Band from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26. Band leader Alan Baylock directs.

The UNT Jazz Singers, under the direction of Jennifer Barnes, perform from 7 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2. The premiere vocal jazz group will share the bill with Third Street,...

Unheard Duke Ellington songs given new life by UNT jazz professor

You’ve heard Duke Ellington, but never like this.

Richard DeRosa, Grammy nominee and professor of jazz arranging at the University of North Texas, co-produced an album of modernized works by Ellington, a jazz legend. It's called Rediscovered Ellington.

Fans of Ellington’s toe-tapping “Hey Baby,” which he recorded with Rosemary Clooney (actor George Clooney’s aunt) in 1946, will recognize what DeRosa calls “the DNA of the song,” but with an entirely new twist. The other songs on the album are much more obscure. Even fans of Ellington’s work might not recognize some of the material. That’s...

In good hands: Jazz guitarist Horace Bray does justice to emotion and technique

Sun, Jun 19, 2016

By Aarik Danielsen

Horace Bray took his first serious stab at the guitar so he could support a growing drum habit.

As a youth, he had played along to songs by alt-rock giants such as Nirvana and Foo Fighters, but drumming was his first love. When his mother offered to pay him $100 to learn Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” on six strings, Bray took the bait.

“I really wanted a new ride cymbal, so I did it,” he said. “Pretty much immediately I just got really into the guitar and didn’t really put it down.”

Once jazz fans hear the 24-year-old’s debut album, “Dreamstate,” they will be lining up...

Tags: Alumni, jazz