Oswego Jazz Project to host album-release party April 23

The Oswego Jazz Project will celebrate the release of its new album, “And the Time Is Now,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23, in the second floor banquet room of King Arthur’s Steakhouse in downtown Oswego.

OJP was the brainchild of SUNY Oswego faculty members Robert Auler and Eric Schmitz.

The free event, featuring OJP playing tunes from the album, also is a way to thank the many community members who have supported the group’s regular Wednesday-evening gigs at King Arthur’s, said Auler, who plays keyboards for the group.

In addition to Auler and drummer Schmitz, the core group includes fellow SUNY Oswego music faculty member Trevor Jorgensen on saxophone and bassist Max McKee, a SUNY Oswego graduate. Live Oswego Jazz Project performances also feature guest stints from SUNY Oswego music students.

“When we first began this project a year and a half ago, we were, shall we say, cautiously optimistic,” Schmitz wrote in the album’s liner notes. “We wanted to see what we could do to increase jazz activity in the Oswego community while providing valuable experience for our students. We hoped that people might want to come to our weekly sessions and listen. Our expectations and hopes were greatly surpassed!”

The disc includes four originals written by Schmitz (“Waiting and Watching,” “Tug,” “And the Time Is Now” and “What Should I Say?”) plus two by Auler (“Killing Time” and “So Noted”).

The album also features Auler’s jazzed-up arrangement of SUNY Oswego’s alma mater as well as covers of Wes Montgomery’s “Four on Six” and Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Wave.”

Faculty members said they were particularly proud of the track “Tug” featuring all student musicians: Adam Dailey on tenor saxophone, Bobby DelFavero on trumpet, Steve Hollenbeck on trombone, Tim Lanigan on piano, Steve Ernye and Trevor Reynolds on guitar, Andrew Friedman on bass and Evan Figiel on drums.

The album was recorded and mixed on campus in Tyler Hall’s music studio by Dan Wood of Oswego’s music department, with student Mike Fadel helping mix “Tug.”

“It has been exciting to grow together as a group and explore jazz standards as well as create some new music,” Schmitz noted.

Copies of “And the Time Is Now” will be available for $12 at the event, a discount from the usual $15 price. The release party also will feature finger foods and door prizes.

For more information, call the SUNY Oswego music department at 312-2130.

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(Posted: Apr 10, 2008)

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