Students, parents and faculty walked downstairs to the underground bar and performance venue underneath the USC Ronald Tutor Campus Center on Nov. 4th. The Tommy’s Place stage was set for the Thornton Jazz Orchestra (TJO) to play, except this show would feature a special guest: Lennart Aberg.
Aberg is a Swedish jazz musician, composer and teacher, famous for founding a fusion band called Rena Rama. The night was kicked off by TJO playing DMA student Greg Johnson’s funky original piece “School Daze.” The rest of the set consisted mostly of Aberg’s own compositions, as well as four movements of a suite written specifically for him.
He soloed beautifully for almost three full minutes at the beginning of his first original tune. That song and the series of his compositions that followed were extremely spacious, leaving room for him and the students to improvise. In fact, almost all of Aberg’s compositions featured sections that are aleatoric in nature, that is, left to chance, or left to the determination of the performer/soloist.
Wonderfully directed by Bob Mintzer, TJO and Aberg put on a fantastic show.