Jazz in Hollywood is the theme for the first of four La Crosse Jazz Orchestra Sunday concerts. The band has prepared some great big band arrangements of great movies.
The concert is also a powerful performance for lead trumpeter, Brent Turney of UW-Stevens Point. It will feature Maynard Ferguson’s performances of “Theme from Shaft” and “Gonna Fly Now” from the movie “Rocky.”
The superb drum sequence of “Whiplash” on Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” will be explored in more detail by Winona drummer Rich MacDonald. He will also lead the group through Buddy Rich’s “West Side Story” as a tribute to Steven Spielberg’s beautifully reworked film.
James Bond, Looney Tunes and Judy Garland are among the many others getting the full LJO big band treatment.
Count Basie’s iconic scene from “Blazing Saddles” closes the program. In the film, the group was set up in the middle of the desert. Bart (Cleavon Little) heads to the town of Rock Ridge in the Old West as the new, brand-new sheriff. Count Basie’s signature jazz number, “April in Paris,” plays in the background, emphasizing Bart’s urban demeanor. And as Bart rides across the meadow, he meets… Count Basie and his orchestra, performing “April in Paris” right there on the border, Who knows who will pass by during our performance!