The Stories Behind the Songs: Jazz Combo

Jillian Lee and Malcolm Furman

In an attempt to temper the challenges that the pandemic has presented to the Jazz Combo, music teacher Michael Bomwell has chosen to perform only one song for this concert. “The Jazz Combo recorded a jazz standard called ‘Perdido,’ which was made famous by Duke Ellington and his orchestra,” he said. “It was written by one of his trombone players, named Juan Tizol.” Three of the four performers were able to record the piece in school, while the fourth recorded their part from home due to quarantine issues. The two recordings will be combined into one for the concert.

Bomwell said he intentionally chose a straight-forward piece due to the challenges of recording both in person and at home. “In this case, we’re just really trying to do something traditional and something that’s going to feel good and swing, and will make people happy to listen to.”

“Perdido was good because it didn’t have very many chord changes, and we have a bunch of new members this year,” Abigail Morse (12) said. “I think it was really good because it gave everyone an opportunity to work on their solos.” 

Bomwell hopes that the school will understand all of the effort and time the performers put into the upcoming virtual concert and is excited to see the final results.