Jazz puts on a great show

The Los Medanos College Jazz Studio Band along with the Brentwood Big Band or B3, dazzled students, staff, faculty and members of the community during a concert Wednesday, Nov. 30 in the Recital Hall. The hall was nearly filled as loved ones supporting both bands shuffled in, programs in hand in participation of the night’s events.
LMC Music Instructor Steve Earnest directed both bands. After opening with a performance of Sammy Nestico’s “88 Basie Street,” they followed it with Doug Beach’s “Esperanto.” There was a drum solo midway through the song that brought tears to my eyes. As Percussionist Kirk Brys drummed furiously, his long hair tangled around his face adding to the effect of the performance.
Because the band played so smoothly without any noticeable hitches, it was hard to determine what the best piece was. Ultimately though, it comes down to their take on Dave Barduhn’s “My Romance” and “Aquatic Ambience,” arranged by LMC Jazz Studio Band pianist Jon Haislip.
“My Romance” is dreamy piece though something about it brought on mild melancholic feelings of nostalgia. Some of the audience swayed along to the rhythm while others just appeared to look to the musicians in awe.
“Aquatic Ambience” was gorgeous in its own right. The piano, drums and saxophone melded so well together. Clearly, LMC has talented individuals in all departments and Wednesday night was just another example of this.
After a short intermission, B3 was set to take the stage. Though they played consistently well, the latter half of their performances are what really made them stand out.
Their best performance was of “Pieces of a Dream.” It was such a delicate piece and the entire ensemble played off one another so well.
Ernest, in between introducing all the pieces, turned on the charm making jokes and casually engaged with audience
Lastly, Members from both bands closed the show out by performing the last few selections together. It was a pleasant end to a stellar display of talent.
Much like this event, there are other things happening this month including the Fall Stories Concert Monday, Dec. 5. Also, the Holiday Academic Scholarship Presentation takes place Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m., which is free to attend. Finally, there is an Honors Piano recital, also free to attend Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m.