The USC Thornton Concert Jazz Orchestra played the tunes of legendary and revolutionary bassist Charles Mingus on Sept. 30 at an underground music hub on campus known as Tommy’s Place, located right underneath the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.
The concert featured many arrangements by students, such as pianist Rochelle Tanner, and was directed by faculty member Jason Goldman. The orchestra was comprised of both undergraduate and graduate level jazz students and they were swingin’!
The musicianship was, as usual, superb. Some of the tunes were certainly bass line-driven, as they were written by a bassist. They often began with a bass and drum introduction followed by a giant hit entrance by the entire band. The blues numbers were particularly suitable for foot tapping.
Mingus’ most famous tune, “Goodbye Porkpie Hat,” was slow and steady, but left plenty of room for sax soloist Aaron Reihs to sing.
The jazz show was extremely well-attended and well-received. It concluded with a standing ovation, mingling and, for some, a congratulatory trip to the adjacent bar, Traditions.