By Morganne Flood |
August 4, 2022
Album cover art for The Jazz Professor's fourth album, Blues and Cubes.

Following the success of their prior albums, The Jazz Professors have released their newest addition, Blues and Cubes.

Jack Bowers of All That Jazz gave a positive review to this album, with 4.5 stars out of 5. “These Professors certainly can [play]—and do, producing an album whose highlights are many and whose weaknesses—if any—are beyond the measure of most human ears,” states Bowers.

This fourth album from the ensemble of UCF faculty members takes inspiration from Pablo Picasso’s profound art style, Cubism. Created in the early 1900s, Cubism was an innovative approach to depicting reality. The same can be said of Blues and Cubes, which features eight original tracks composed by members of the sextet. Similarly, this album represents the juxtaposition of 20th century jazz and Picasso’s ingenuity in art.

When they aren’t swinging, The Jazz Professors are teaching. With the exception of drummer Marty Morell (who is now retired), The Jazz Professors— Dan Miller, Jeff Rupert, Per Danielsson, Bobby Koelble and Richard Drexler all hold faculty positions in UCF’s Jazz Studies program, one of UCF’s premier music programs.

Since Morell’s retirement, the Jazz Studies program welcomed Clarence Penn as an assistant professor of jazz percussion. Penn is a prolific jazz drummer, Grammy award winner and seasoned educator.

UCF is currently the only university in the country to have a jazz performance major, a 24/7 NPR jazz station [89.9 FM] and a record label. Students within the School of Performing Arts benefit from accomplished professors that double as talented musicians and composers.

The collaboration of UCF faculty and staff doesn’t end there. Blues and Cubes‘ Picasso-inspired album cover was designed by UCF alumnus and College of Arts and Humanities staff member Matthew Dunn. Evidently, talent in such close proximity works to the advantage of those involved.

You can read Jack Bowers’ full analysis of Blues and Cubes here.

Support The Jazz Professors’ musical endeavors on Flying Horse Records.