Posted by flotz on Friday, March 01, 2013 | Live Review

Professorial night at Tulas with UW maestros Marc Seales (piano), Bill Smith (clarinet), Tom Collier (vibes). Didn’t catch the the drummer’s and bassist’s names—think one of them was faculty too. Full house, not a seat to be had, lots of  students, ex-students, etc. there. Didn’t realize Smith was such a legend. He’s 87 and his pedigree is damn impressive.  During the two sets, they played Smith compositions almost exclusively, tunes like “Blues For New Orleans,” “Matt,” “Hex,” and “Azmal.” Cool compositions for sure.  They also played some choice standards like “Isn’t It Romantic?” and some pop interpretations, including “Fire and Rain” by James Taylor and “Anyone Who Has A Heart” by Burt Bacharach (made famous by Luther Vandross whose version Seales called out as choice). Something awesome about these profs covering easy listening pop. Collier on vibes tore it up – heck he’s the director of jazz studies at UW, taking over the spot from Seales, who had it for 20 years!  His solos are wack, interpolating across the beat and generally going all kinds of directions as once.   Drummer and bassist were completely on their game.  Indeed school was in session.