Special/Signature Issues » 2012 Music Issue

12. The Compass Rose Orchestra, “Purple Up!” 3:51

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Organized by ambitious trumpeter and composer Lucas Fritz, Compass Rose is the little big-band project for the latest generation of VCU graduates. The material on its debut CD covers a wide range, from funky workouts to a blues based on a Dylan Thomas short story. “Purple Up!” opens with an interconnected series of funky horn figures, which leads logically into a solid sax solo. Expectations are shredded with a ripping burst of distortion-layered exploration from Devonne Harris that kicks the piece into a parallel dimension before it coalesces at the end. The lineup features Suzi Fischer and Jonathan Gibson on reeds, plus trombonist Alex Powers, guitarist Paul Willson, bassist Andrew Randazzo and drummer Abinnet Berhanu. facebook.com/compassroseorchestra.

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