After nearly two decades leading the bands at Timberline High School in Lacey, Cal Anderson knows he has some special players on his hands now. Performing three varied standards in the KNKX studios, these five young men impressed our audience and their mentor, Andy Omdahl.
Omdahl, lead trumpeter in the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, remarked on the band's maturity. He also noted their dedication and passion for the music, after sharing the ride up from the South Sound to the KNKX studios in Seattle listening to jazz during the whole trip.
Led by the award-winning drumming of D'Andre Mack, still a Junior at Timberline, the band's rhythm section set the standard for their studio session performance. Braden Gordon, a senior, flowed effortlessly on electric bass through the set, including the Herbie Hancock early '70s funk jazz classic "Chameleon."
Mack's drumming shifted from funk to swing on a unique arrangement of Miles Davis' "Four," with strong solos from impressive young saxophonist Seth Reynolds (sophomore) and trumpeter Hazen Lewis (junior).
Freshman guitarist Becker Forslund held his own, providing a bluesy solo and holding down the rhythm with steady chord work.
The young musicians mentioned the organic growth of jazz passion from within the band, noting the influence of several talented alumni from Timberline High and around the Olympia/Lacey area.
As the band's director, Anderson, told me before the session, at some point the musician takes responsibility for their development. These teens are well on their way to developing a strong jazz culture of their own.
Hazen Lewis — trumpet
Seth Reynolds — tenor sax
Becker Forslund — guitar
Braden Gordon — electric bass
D'Andre Mack - drums
Andy Omdahl — trumpet (mentor)