West Side Jazz Quartet offers book lovers chance to relax

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    By PETER THUNELL

    For jazz lovers looking for a place to relax and listen to great music, the West Side Jazz Quartet and Borders Books and Music are happy to help. Every Wednesday night the West Side Jazz Quartet performs free concerts at Borders.

    The award-winning jazz combo The West Side Jazz Quartet has been together for just two months but is already making waves. The quartet consists of four BYU students: Bart Olson on drums, Bart Gibb on bass, Jeff Lovell on piano and David S. Halliday on saxophone.

    Just a few months ago the quartet was a duo of Lovell and Gibb, who played together at Borders. This semester, though, Lovell and Gibb hooked up with fellow BYU jazz T.A.s Halliday and Olson, and the West Side Jazz Quartet was born. According to Olson, the name stems from the fact that everyone in the group is from the western part of the U.S.

    The Quartet recently returned from the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho, one of the top-rated jazz festivals in the world, according to Halliday. At the Festival the West Side Jazz Quartet took second place in the competition.

    Halliday took first place in the saxophone portion of the competition and received a new saxophone worth around $2,000. Halliday is the newest member of the West Side Quartet, having transferred to BYU just a few months ago. Halliday spent the last few years touring the nation with blues singer E.C. Scott.

    The Quartet was joined this past Wednesday by BYU vocalist Chelsea Bagley. Bagley also went to the Hampton Festival and took top honors in the vocal jazz division winning a new microphone.

    Bagley said it was incredible experience “being able to meet people and rub shoulders with people you’ve only heard on CDs.” The quartet and Bagley even got to jam with some big names like singer Diana Krall.

    Bagley started singing with the quartet when they backed Bagley up at the Festival. After working with them, Bagley has gained a big respect for the quartet.

    “These guys are incredible because they have so many ideas that just flow,” Bagley said.

    Even though the group has been together a short time, they are moving ahead quickly. They are recording a CD in April that consists of classic jazz and Dixieland pieces and original material. They also plan on playing more gigs like parties, receptions, etc.

    The West Side Jazz Quartet plays Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Borders in Provo at 4801 North University Avenue.

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