The new 18-piece Starfall Orchestra will perform
rediscovered dance music by 1950s era cool jazz legend Gil Evans along with
featured pianist Lou Schreiber in a free concert on February 23rd at 7:30 pm at the
Olin Fine Arts Center, near the corners of South Wade Avenue and East Wheeling
Street, on the campus of Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA, 15301.
Starfall trombonist Paul Martin is a huge fan of Evans' arrangements, originally
written for the Claude Thornhill Orchestra. Martin discovered that a small college
in Missouri held Thornhill’s entire music library of nearly 800 original works,
including many Evans originals that have never been recorded, and Martin made it
his mission to bring these works back to life.
To many jazz fans, Gil Evans & Miles Davis created “cool jazz” in 1949 with their
collaboration on “Birth of the Cool.” When Martin got to know these earlier
Evans’ charts, however, it became clear to him they represent a “link” between
swing era, bebop and cool jazz styles, incorporating elements of each. To
faithfully recreate the pieces, Martin has spent the better part of a year lining
up a talented group of young musicians now called “The Starfall Orchestra” to play
the Evans arrangements.
“The absolute key to Evans’ arrangements is the piano voice itself and we were very
fortunate to land Lou Schreiber for this part,” says Martin. Schreiber, an
institution to Pittsburgh jazz fans, shares Martin’s enthusiasm for this music.
“These are beautiful works,” says Schreiber, “and we are fortunate to have a solid
group of musicians who are doing a great job interpreting them, requiring a style
of ensemble playing that is something of a lost art.”
Kyle Simpson, Assistant Professor of Music at W&J plays jazz trumpet for Starfall.
Says Simpson, “This is a kind of ‘cool, swinging, bebop dance music’ that reaches
casual and informed listeners alike; if this music doesn’t appeal to you on some
level, check your pulse!”
Starfall Orchestra is available to perform for private parties, weddings, and
corporate events. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.