Wails at the Cat
by William Singer
standing-room-only audience at the Cat in the Cream was treated
to a thrilling night of jazz last Saturday at saxophonist Brian
Wesolowskis Senior Recital.
An exceptional group of musicians joined Wesolowski on stage. Burny
Pelsmajer (OC 99), currently a professional pianist, returned
to Oberlin to play the show. Former Conservatory Professor Greg
Bandy played the drums while senior Matthew Elliot provided bass.
Together, the three combined to produce a rhythm section that kept
a tight pocket and interacted well with Wesolowskis saxophone.
It was a blast to play with all of them, Wesolowski
said. Each one of them has contributed a lot to my growth
as a musician.
Junior Peter Evans added his trumpet to three songs, including the
up-tempo Quick Fix, the recitals opening piece.
The energy on that song set the tone for the rest of the show.
There was also a healthy dose of spontaneity in the recital, and
it was clear that the performers were enjoying themselves. In Gary
Bartzs Soulstice, the last tune of the first set,
Wesolowski and Bandy broke into an unplanned sax-drum solo. We
all had a really good time, zero stress, Wesolowski said.
The relaxed atmosphere gave a feeling of familiarity to the performance
and allowed for some musical risk-taking. An arrangement of Janet
Jacksons Anytime, Anyplace, began soft and picked
up. Later, Wesolowski dedicated When I Fall in Love
to his mother, earning the sympathy and adoration of the crowd.
Towards the end of the second set, Wesolowski and Elliot performed
a bass and sax duet of On the Sunny Side of the Street.
The two have often rehearsed together while at Oberlin, and their
close musical relationship was apparent during the song.
The program ended with a blues rendition of I Just Want to
Make Love to You, sung by Jason Goss. Goss, a college junior
better known on campus for his folksy acoustic songs, plugged in
his electric guitar and melted the audience with his voice. As he
sang, each person in attendance couldnt believe that the song
was just for her.
When the song was over, the audience responded with a standing ovation.
Wesolowski called for Jonny Langs Matchbox as
an encore, and a surprised Goss asked, Right now? But,
by that point, it didnt matter that the song was unrehearsed;
the audience was already thoroughly entertained.