Monday Madness Big Band begins Fall Music Concert Series

The Monday Madness Big Band playing at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club Monday, Sept. 18, 2017, at the SOhO Restaurant and Music club in Santa Barbara, Calif. The band was founded and conducted by Chuck Woods in 1988 and is now conducted by Issac “Ike” Jenkins.

MAXTON SCHLUTE, Channels Staff

The SBCC Music Concert Series kicked off Fall semester with a spirited performance by City College’s Monday Madness Big Band on Monday evening at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club.

The Monday Madness Big Band was founded by Chuck Woods, a trumpet player, in 1988. Woods was originally the conductor before joining the band.

The 18-piece jazz ensemble, which features both professionals and advanced students, opened up its most recent performance with an upbeat rendition of “It’s Just Talk” by The Pat Metheny Group, followed by the tranquil “Black Orpheus” by Luiz Bonfa.

Director Isaac “Ike” Jenkins would count the tempo out loud before every song and become animated when the whole band would join in. I’ve never experienced a conductor whose approach was so lively.

The highlight of the show was Duke Ellington’s slow and ambient ballad, “Come Sunday.” The ambient textures from the warby basslines and sweeping horn section illustrated how well their dynamics were.

The crowd was really engaged throughout the performance, especially during Paul Burn’s alto saxophone solos.

The second set opened with a groovy number called “Some Skunk Funk” by Brecker Brothers. All of the arrangements throughout the set remained very complex, despite the less free-form approach in a big band setting.

The evening was concluded with “High Maintenance” by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band. The driving basslines rode smoothly alongside the rhythm sections throughout the entire song with the horn section strongly executing every hit.

The next performance of the SBCC Concert Series will feature the Good Times Big Band jazz ensemble performance on Monday, Oct. 16, at SOhO Restaurant and Music Club.