ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The expression goes “Six of one, half dozen of another.”
A new Albuquerque jazz ensemble is using the first part of that expression for its name.
Six of One is so new that it makes its official debut on Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Outpost Performance Space. The ensemble came together for a faculty recital at the University of New Mexico’s Keller Hall last year for trombone professor Chris Buckholz, who conducts a UNM jazz band and coordinates a jazz combo program.
Buckholz included the ensemble in a CD project he started last spring.
“So this is kind of a coming-out party for us,” saxophonist Glenn Kostur said of the Outpost concert. “The goal of the group is to have it be more of a cooperative so I am not assuming the role of band leader.”
In fact, the sextet has no leader.
“One way we want to be more cooperative is that each is providing some material for the group,” added Kostur, director of UNM’s Jazz Studies program. Various members will also provide musical arrangements.
The other five members are Buckholz, trumpeter Paul Gonzales, bassist Colin Deuble, drummer Arnaldo Acosta and pianist Steve Figueroa.
Figueroa recently replaced Stu MacAskie, who is moving to Denver.
In the concert, the sextet will play a couple of Buckholz tunes – “Druid Hill” and “Barfly,” a Kostur composition titled “Romp and Run” and several Gonzales originals, including “Tomb of the Unknown Tumbao,” which is based on a Cuban bass rhythm.
Besides its work on Buckholz’s projects, Kostur said, inspirations for the band are the classical jazz sextets such as Art Blakely and the Jazz Messengers, and the sextet called Jazztet founded by Benny Golson and trumpeter Art Farmer. Golson is known for his compositions “Killer Joe” and “I Remember Clifford.”