Augie Haas re-visions standards with his voice and trumpet

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Trumpeter, composer and educator Augie Haas’ forthcoming album, “Dream A Little Dream” highlights not only the performer’s trumpeting skills, but also showcases his singing ability.

On “Dream A Little Dream,” Haas is joined by a 15-piece ensemble as they tackle classic tunes from American rock and pop genres of the 1960s and 1970s. Among the must-hear tunes are “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” and “Love Me Tender.” Haas’ approach to the songs will offer a new appreciation for them.

About Augie Haas in brief

Haas was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He completed his post-secondary education at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of the Performing Arts and the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music Conservatory.

The trumpeter settled in New York and has been a part of many big bands, including those of Harry Connick Jr. and others as well as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and the Birdland Big Band. Haas has also recorded with Maria Schneider, Ryan Truesdell, the Frank Derrick Orchestra, the South Florida Jazz Orchestra and the South Nine Ensemble.

In addition to performing and recording with others, Haas has recorded a total of six¬† as a leader, including the current one. Further, he is the author of the text, “Build Your Range” for trumpet and trombone players.

“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” by Augie Haas

The Carole King-penned, Shirelles-performed song gets a refreshing update with a male singer. Originally, part of the understanding of the song was that a young woman was risking her virtue to spend the night with her beloved. The title question stems from wanting the guy to still have the same level of feelings for her after she is less virtuous. That was 1960. In 2019, it is clear that anyone can feel unsure of themselves in relation to a first intimate encounter. With Haas’ version, the song becomes more universal.

A piano and organ swing tinto a Gospel-tinged motif offset by strings and drums that clack, shimmer and pound. There are strings that accent the lyric line during the verses. The uptempo piano and organ keep the song from being too sentimental. Haas’ voice is plaintive and genuine. As a narrator (singer) he sounds as if the has the concerns he sings about.

“Love Me Tender” by Augie Haas

Almost any Elvis Presley cover could be considered ambitious. Violins and violas open the song. After a few measures, they are joined by an upright bass and the trumpet does the melody. There are cracking drums and an overall jaunty feel. The song sounds as though it has been taken from the late 1920s or 1930s.

Haas’ trumpet-playing is smooth and inspired. With no vocals, (unless a person counts when the band members speak loudly: “Man, that’s pretty” after the trumpet goes on an expressive tear. Haas’ approach turns the rock ‘n’ roll ballad into something else entirely. If a person was not familiar with Presley’s version, this would simply be a charming instrumental with a mix of sentimental mood and swing.

Haas is joined by a full assortment of musicians. Carmen Staaf plays piano and organ, Jared Schonig is on drums and percussion, Dick Sarpola plays upright bass and double bass. Suzanne Ornstein serves as concertmaster and plays violin. In addition, Janey Choi, Sasha Margolis, Katie Kresek, Kiwon Nahm, Sean Carney, Kiku Enomoto, Naho Parrini and Joel Lambdin all play violin. Further, Eddy Malave, Jason Mellow, Chris Souza are on violia; Robert Burkhart and Eliot Bailen play cello.

“Dream A Little Dream” will be available Aug. 30, 2019 on Spotify and iTunes.

 

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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