Ethan Helm’s tune, “The Color Wheel” was inspired by the way that the colors of a pinwheel blend as it spins in the wind – like jazz, which takes grooves and harmonic colors–from blues, European classical music, Latin-American music, and pop –and blends them into something unique and beautiful. The primary “color” in this tune was decidedly Latin American. The tune began with a bowed bass ostinato and a long, slow horn duet playing an angular, meandering melody. Then after, a brief piano cadenza, the band launched into a lively samba with a touch of swing feel. Moment by moment, the temperature rose as the sax solo blazed with a flurry of notes, the trumpet tooted and squawked with a touch of New Orleans Mardi Gras, and the drummer summoned up a voodoo spell as he furiously plied toms, snares, rims, cymbals, cowbell, and a whole range of percussion sounds. — Liz Fixsen
See an early article (in this website) with bios on all composers featured in the concert Sept. 29th, 2013 at Loyola’s McManus Theater.