About the CSULA Jazz Ensemble:
The award winning California State University, Los Angeles Jazz Ensemble; Los Angeles Times jazz critic Zan Stewart gave them four of five stars in his May 1989 review. The jazz band had numerous student musicians that have made a name for themselves as professionals to include Sharon Hirata, Luis Bonilla, Jack Cooper, Charlie Richard, Danny House, Phil Feather, Corey Gemme, Eric "Bobo" Correa, Vince Dublino, Alan Parr, Paul De Castro, Alex Henderson, and José Arellano. There has been a consistent tradition of musicians coming from the CSULA program who have worked with major musical acts, on major studio and movie projects, and hold positions in higher education in music. The roster is self-evident as to the diversity and level of student musicians CSULA developed at that time and has for many years dating far back to musicians (graduates) such as Lennie Niehaus and Gabe Baltazar.
Bob Curnow is the "Hank Levy" of this outfit at least on this record, and you'll see most compositions and arrangements are by him. He was a trombonist and arranger for the (great) Stan Kenton Band.
This was the first release by them and came late in the college band game, in 1978. Overall, a bit disappointing (for me) being in the big band jazz vein, not more than a slight though barely perceptible nod towards fusion.
First track has the incomparably unforgettable title of Nerkmobile and is by one Neil Finn:
On the other hand, the best composition appearing here is the last one, La Meme Chose, with its startling polyrhythms on a presumably odd time signature, and it's by trumpeter/pianist Jeff Holmes:
Wow-- well worth the whole price I'd say, no?