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Jazz, Notes, and Lunch
February 10, 2012
Along with dinner and dessert, a full dining hall of Rose-Hulman
students and faculty was treated Friday, February 10 to the music
of Jazz flutist Galen Abdur-Razzaq. Playing with nimble keyboardist
Steve Jones, who covered the bass lines with one hand while playing
lead with the other, and drummer Richard "Sleepy" Floyd, Galen and
his trio introduced the audience to jazz greats like John Coltrane
("Lazy Bird" with Galen on piccolo), McCoy Tyner ("Three Flowers"),
Hubert Laws ("Shades of Light"), and Antonio Carlos Jobim ("The
The program was sponsored by the Rose-Hulman Center for
Diversity in celebration of Black History Month. With jazz smooth
delivery, Galen took time between songs to whet curiosity about
great black musicians and early jazz history with his quiz-question
"What Black female had the first TV show?" "Who was the first
African American guy to have his own TV show?"
Using humor, often involving obscure hints ("s/he was from
Arkansas," or "Birmingham" or "Chattanooga"), Galen would also
foster the learning experience, suggesting, "I'm not kidding; go
back and look it up."
One such question was "Who was the first hip-hop artist?" Few of
the names mentioned pre-dated the 70's. "1959," Galen announced.
"Louis Jordan, Saturday Night Fish Fry." Galen's quiz questions
also served as a reminder that media has not always duly celebrated
the achievements of black artists as compared to their white
"Who can name the four Beatles?" Galen asked the crowd, followed
by, "Who can name the original five Temptations?"
There were some obvious jazz aficionados in the crowd, notably
Michael Kukral and John Gardner, who sat in front of the trio and
scored a good number of correct answers.
Galen's flute solos sparked when he brought out his style of
twitters and tongue clucking, and both Floyd and Jones offered up
entertaining solos, amusing references and nice syncopation. The
trio plays again Friday night from 7 - 8 p.m. at The