May 29, 2024

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Photos: Celebrating 70 years of jazz the North Texas Jazz record label special albums: Videos

Celebrating 70 years of jazz at North Texas, the North Texas Jazz record label has released special compilation albums to honor this milestone. Legacy—Neil Slater at North Texas is the newest release by the North Texas Jazz record label at the University of North Texas College of Music.

The 4-CD boxed set contains the complete recordings of all compositions and arrangements by Grammy-nominated composer Neil Slater written for and recorded by the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band, plus a Grammy-nominated tribute piece composed by Rich DeRosa, 38 tracks in all. A 168-page book is included as part of the boxed set, featuring hundreds of photos and notes by band members, colleagues and friends. This landmark historical compilation honors the legacy of Neil Slater, the longest-tenured director of the world-renowned One O’Clock Lab Band.

“This boxed set is the most significant and ambitious CD release in the history of the jazz program at North Texas, and that is saying a lot, considering the magnitude of the North Texas Jazz record catalog and the accolades the One O’Clock Lab Band has earned over five decades of critically acclaimed recordings,” said Craig Marshall, lab band manager and producer.

It includes the Grammy-nominated compositions “Neil,” by Rich DeRosa, for whom Slater was a mentor, and “Values” a commissioned work Slater composed to celebrate UNT’s 100th anniversary.

Legacy is currently submitted for Grammy consideration in the Historical Album category.

“Using masterful combinations of orchestration, harmony, and rhythm, we can hear in this recording just how precisely Neil is able to conjure specific moods and emotions. To evoke not only the subtle changes in character but also the full range of dynamics required by the composition, the band must be operating at a very high level of execution and awareness. It is hard for me to imagine performing this song with someone else at the helm. Neil’s guidance was crucial in helping us, the band, become cognizant of how we should be listening to each other. Neil’s voice as a big band writer is singular, and yet its scope is far-reaching.” – Justin Stanton, trumpet & keyboards (Snarky Puppy).

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