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“I can’t really say what it is yet, but I’m going to start a new way of pre­senting this music and it’s going to happen on Friday,” said Chris McCourry, director of jazz studies and trum­peter for the Hillcats. “It’s going to be rev­o­lu­tionary.”

This Friday at 8 p.m in McNamara Rehearsal Hall, the Hillcats will be taking a new approach to the pre­sen­tation of the music of renowned jazz artist and com­poser Joe Hen­derson.

The Hillcats is a faculty jazz combo com­prised of Chris McCourry on trumpet, Jon Gewirtz on sax­o­phone, Arlene McDaniel on piano, James Ball on bass, and Larry Ochiltree on drums.

While McCourry refused to divulge exactly what this “rev­o­lu­tionary” new way of pre­senting the jazz will be, he said that he wants people to be at the concert and “expe­rience it” instead of making up their minds on the new approach based off of what they hear from others.

“I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while. I finally decided I’m going to go ahead and do this because I really think it’s going to help the way jazz is pre­sented,” McCourry said.

According to McCourry, this new way of pre­senting jazz is going to be the way jazz is pre­sented from Friday onward at Hillsdale. McCourry hopes this rev­o­lution goes far beyond Hillsdale and he plans to promote it every­where he goes. To the best of his knowledge, McCourry said that this is the first time some­thing like this is being attempted.

Though the pre­sen­tation will be new, the music they’re playing is part of American jazz tra­dition. Joe Hen­derson was influ­ential figure in American jazz, with a career spanning more than four decades in which he com­posed many important jazz pieces. In 1993 and 1994 he won the Grammy for best impro­vised jazz solo.

The Hillcats only feature one com­poser at each concert because they are trying to high­light the spe­cific way each artist writes music. This is some­thing that’s much easier to show with mul­tiple pieces.

McCourry said that he chose to high­light Joe Hen­derson in this concert because of his impor­tance to American Jazz and because he wanted to learn about Joe Hen­derson and he wanted his stu­dents to as well.

Though the Hillcats do have music, about 80 percent of what they will play is “informed impro­vi­sation,” meaning that the impro­vi­sation is based on what the artists realize from the history of the piece.

“Most of what we’re playing in jazz is impro­vi­sation,” said adjunct pro­fessor of jazz piano and the pianist for the Hillcats, Arlene McDaniel.

Jazz stu­dents find the Hillcats level of impro­vi­sation to be impressive.

“Just by nature of a small jazz combo it brings out how much they know about music, and how well they improvise … that’s pretty unique to do that and do it well,” said sophomore Conor Woodfin, who is a member of the big band McCourry con­ducts.