UConn professor releases CD with an intimate crowd
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 23:10
Friday at 8 p.m., Earl MacDonald and The Creative Opportunities Workshop preformed a concert at Jorgensen to celebrate their latest CD release. Although no more than 50 attended, those who came were supporters of the group. Those that came enjoyed indulging in a large cake celebrating the group’s success, which was located at Jorgensen’s entrance.
Earl MacDonald, University of Connecticut’s Director of Jazz Studies, appeared to be happy with the turnout. He frequently joked with audience members and brought up relationships with various colleges in attendance. As the music began to play, it became apparent that MacDonald enjoys a unique and alternative style. Although many of his songs were based on Jazz classics, others were much more experimental. During one particularly interesting tune,MacDonald would pause to pluck at the strings inside of his piano or crow aloud. Many of his songs were accompanied by images, drawings and videos playing on the screen behind the group. The lively backdrop was frequently as playful as it was serious, designed to accompany each particular song and its tone. His highly talented band, Christopher Hoffman on the cello, Kris Allen on the saxophone and Rogerio Boccato on percussion, were equally entertaining.
The group’s most recent album entitled “Mirror of the Mind” will be officially released on Oct. 15. The concert included a sampling of all the band’s latest hits. The song after which the album is named “Mirror of the Mind” was melodic and sentimental. Its performance included an image of a mountain and the reflection of two people leaving a shore on a boat. The music and the imagery were heavy and emotional, allowing the performance to move the audience more deeply.
MacDonald won the Sammy Nestico Award for outstanding big band arrangement and his previous CD “Re:Visions – Works for Jazz Orchestras” received a Canadian Juno Award Nomination for Traditional Jazz Album of the Year. Although “Mirror of the Mind” has yet to be released, it is certain that MacDonald and the C.O.W’s sound will remain intriguing and find further appreciation.