“The smell of grease, the sound of jazz — the atmosphere at CoHo on Monday nights provides a total escape from the drudge of winter quarter. This week, the combos from the Stanford Jazz program took the stage, playing three tunes apiece for their end-of-quarter showcase. In contrast to the usual Monday night jam, this performance consisted of long rehearsed sets, fresh arrangements and an original debut.
Unfortunately, my tardiness kept me from properly listening to the first group, which included Rahim Ullah ‘17 on sax and former music writer Blaine Rister on bass. But what I did manage to hear — fluid melodies, tight interplay, whomping bass licks — was enough to know I had missed out.
I did manage to catch the second act in its entirety, though, starting with a dynamic rendition of “Whisper Not.” Each player demonstrated the type of jazz fluency that only comes from hours in the rehearsal room, giving the band an audible chemistry. They managed to build climaxes that felt truly of the moment rather than preordained, like when freshman Mikey Escobar’s sax solo reached its screeching crescendo, the rhythm section swelling in lockstep anticipation of his bursting licks.“