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Gold Company wins coveted spot on new jazz CD

Nov. 3, 2006

KALAMAZOO--A song by Gold Company, Western Michigan University's award-winning vocal jazz ensemble, was selected as one of 15 cuts on a compact disc that has been released by a leading jazz publication.

The tune, "Soul Conspiracy," was picked by Jazziz magazine for inclusion on a compilation CD that accompanied its annual education issue published in October. Composed and arranged by WMU alumnus Justin Avery, the song is from Gold Company's 2006 release, "Absolute Integrity."

Songs on the compilation were chosen by competitive audition. Other institutions represented include the Julliard School, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and the Berklee School of Music. Of all the ensembles on the CD, Gold Company is the only vocal group.

"The jazz genre is historically packed with musicians who have great instrumental skills," writes the magazine. "Yet this is exactly why the group Gold Company, from Western Michigan University, stands out on this compilation CD. With 16 singers plus a backing instrumental ensemble, all directed by Dr. Stephen Zegree, the group performs everything from vocal jazz to Broadway tunes and popular hits. On its seventh and latest CD, "Absolute Integrity," Gold Company ranges between jazz standards ("Stompin at the Savoy") and show tunes ("The Lady is a Tramp"). On their featured "Soul Conspiracy", a sextet version culled from the ensemble alternates between the smooth vocalese of The Manhattan Transfer and the soulful funk of Sly and The Family Stone."

WMU's Jazz Studies Program also is given a plug in the issue. WMU is cited as being among "some of the best schools preparing tomorrow's jazz players."

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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