Valdosta Daily Times

Entertainment

August 22, 2008

Grooviticity - LHS Jazz Ensemble gets its groove on for third CD

VALDOSTA — The title of Lowndes High Jazz Ensemble’s latest CD may have been created in the heat of the moment, but the album’s silky, smooth sounds come from long hours of rehearsal and dedication.

“While trying to get the rhythm section to form a groove, I rather heatedly made the statement that if it didn’t make you want to move, it lacked the proper amount of ‘grooviticity,’” notes Charles E. Todd II, Lowndes High’s band director. “The students thought the word sounded cool, and decided to name the CD ‘Grooviticity.’”

A noun, according to the CD’s cover, Grooviticity means “a musical quality found in the pocket that induces a state of uncontrollable head bobbing.”

Or better yet, just listen to the latest LHS Jazz Ensemble CD and no words are needed to define “Grooviticity.” The music says it all.

This is the third LHS Jazz Ensemble CD since 2004 and it is arguably the best album yet. From the opening notes of “Fatback and Greens” to the closing coda of “Fantasy,” the student musicians of the LHS Jazz Ensemble present an always solid, quite often brilliant, recording.

Chuck Mangione’s flugelhorn hit “Feels So Good” is a centerpiece to the CD. Featuring Daniel O’Neal on flugelhorn and Scott Effman on acoustic guitar, “Feels So Good” feels so right.

While the classic “My Funny Valentine” can turn into a parody of a torch song in the wrong hands, the Jazz Ensemble, featuring the vocals of Laura Gaddy, present a poignant and memorable version of the song. The combination of instrumentation and Gaddy’s voice captures the tune’s elusive smiling through the tears quality. Gaddy and Philip Lovell on tenor sax also carve out a niche for themselves in the Bert Bacharach tune “The Look of Love.”

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