Louie’s Jazz Review: Tigran Hamasyan Trio

This past Saturday at the Cat and the Cream, many students left the Tigran Hamasyan concert reevaluating the true meaning of life. Known mainly as an Armenian jazz pianist who embellishes standard jazz with hints at Armenian styles, Hamasyan notably won the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz competition.


It started off with up beat, catchy jazz that was reminiscent of the European countryside, and even featured Hamasyan singing in Armenian. But soon enough, the synthesizers came out, the drums got more involved and the style morphed from modern jazz to a blend of jazz, electronic and heavy metal music.

I was flabbergasted when he started laying down some heavy dub step music with 11/8 time signatures. Everyone bobbed their heads and messed up along with the complicated music. Me and my friends agreed the drummer was almost Bill Cosby-esque in the awkwardness of his cymbal hits. Since he didn’t need the piano for his solos, Hamasyan would play on the low register of the synthesizer and made a pretty grungy, metallic sound that everyone loved. It was rocking, jazzy, and danceable all at the same time, it was essentially a new genre.

After the performance everyone was reconsidering the meaning of life, even those who don’t like jazz. If you ever get the chance I highly recommend you check out a performance of his.

Here’s his take on the standard “Someday My Prince Will Come”

 Here’s a solo piece of his.

Finds from the WOBC Vault: March 2014

Did you know that the WOBC station houses thousands of vinyl records? 12″ and 7″, 33 and 45, pressed in 2014 and 1964, pop and rock and jazz and folk and R&B and classical and punk, world famous and unimaginably obscure. Every week, vinyl workgroup convenes to search through the depths of the WOBC vinyl vault and find some hidden gems you otherwise would never discover. Here’s a recent sampling of the best we’ve found.

Luther Allison: “The Little Red Rooster” from Bad News is Coming (1973). Arkansan blues guitarist – began by playing with Howlin’ Wolf and Freddie King in the late 50s, eventually found himself as one of the few blues artists signed to Motown in the early 70s, when he recorded his album.


Continue reading Finds from the WOBC Vault: March 2014

Check it Out: History!

Maybe you’ve seen them before but, check out these sketches! which were included in the Report on the Proposed Radio Station of Oberlin College, submitted to the school in May, 1949. The proposal was written by the Oberlin Radio Group, a collective of students dedicated to the creation of a radio station on campus. The issue of “paramount importance,” at the time was to find a location for the station – the group planned to stay at Oberlin over the summer to start building the studio themselves, and needed to find a home ASAP. These drawings were crayon-ed by Roger W. Brucker, a member of the Oberlin Radio group. He planned to build the station in  Burton basement, but the station couldn’t afford it and instead ended up on the second floor of the Publications Building at 32 E. College.



Roger Brucker's plan for Studio A
Roger Brucker’s plan for Studio A

Interested in looking at these pictures (and more!) in real-life? Want to touch some 65-year-old crayon marks? Thinking of running for WOBC historian next year? Let’s go look in the archives together. get in touch! sharari@oberlin.edu

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