Live at Jazz Forum: Shea Pierre Ensemble and Julia Chen Ensemble

Image courtesy of The Nocca Institute

Every Friday at 12:15 pm, the Oberlin jazz community gathers for Jazz Forum at the Cat in the Cream, where audience members are treated to short sets from 2 or 3 of Oberlin’s small jazz ensembles.

This week, freshman pianist Shea Pierre led his sextet in a set of demanding original compositions, all written by members of the group. Despite the challenging nature of the chord changes and arrangements, the group played with confidence and cohesion, resulting in a fantastic half-hour of modern jazz.

Shea Pierre Ensemble @ Jazz Forum 3_11_11

  • Shea Pierre – Piano
  • Alex Cummings – Alto Saxophone
  • Aaron Janik – Trumpet
  • Conrad Reeves – Guitar
  • Dan Stein – Bass
  • Miles Labat – Drums
  1. “Trolley Stop” – Shea Pierre
  2. “Anthem” – Conrad Reeves
  3. “C++” – Alex Cummings

Pianist Julia Chen’s quintet followed with a fine set of more traditional pieces. The group showed off its large dynamic range, startling the audience with a classic Dizzy Gillespie bop composition at blazing speed, and following with the slow, rollicking blues that Roland Kirk composed for his own funeral march.

Julia Chen Ensemble @ Jazz Forum 3_11_11

  • Julia Chen – Piano
  • Pat Adams – Trumpet
  • David Wise -Tenor and Baritone Saxophones
  • Matt Adomeit – Bass
  • Miles Labat and Sonny Tabler – Drums
  1. “Escapade” – Kenny Dorham
  2. “Dizzy Atmosphere” – Dizzy Gillespie
  3. “Black and Crazy Blues” – Rahsaan Roland Kirk

-Adam Hirsch