Richeson makes Blue Note debut

Vanessa Weller

To a large percentage of the Lawrence campus, it is not bizarre or a waste of time to devote one’s life to music. Associate professor of percussion Dane Richeson knows that music can, in fact, bring great fame, as well as intrinsic pleasure and happiness.
Richeson recently recorded an album on Blue Note Records with jazz singer and Roosevelt University professor Jackie Allen. The album, entitled “Tangled,” will appear in stores May 23.
Richeson, who met Allen through her husband Hans Sturm in 1984, has previously recorded two records on A440 Records in Chicago as a drummer in Allen’s longtime band.
These albums, “The Men in My Life” and “Love Is Blue”, released in 2003 and 2004, respectively, have earned Allen and the band critical acclaim, including nominations for the “Best of Chicago.”
Other members of the band include Sturm on bass and John Moulder on guitar. Richeson commented, “I hate categories, but I would say Jackie’s style is mostly jazz and folk. She’s blended a lot of both styles in this album. You could compare the style to Joni Mitchell.”
The band has a few promotional gigs planned for late May in New York and Chicago as well as a television appearance on Fox. If all goes according to plan, the band may release a second album as early as next year.
In the past, the band has toured Taiwan and China as well as many major jazz clubs around the U.S. Some of this year’s super seniors may remember Allen playing at the Memorial Chapel five years ago, and it is possible she will return to tout her new album.
It is a crucial aspect to the Conservatory that students devoting their lives to music have role models to emulate. Richeson’s work with Allen, as well as the jazz alumni concerts put on by chair of the jazz department Fred Sturm, allows students to hear and learn from the experiences of alumni in their related fields. This is similar to programs for students in the College learning about what to do with an anthropology degree or where to go to medical school.
Recent successful music alumni include Laura Caviani and Mary Louise Knutson, with whom Richeson has also played. In respect to the future, Richeson says he will continue to play with Allen and archive his recorded works, though teaching is still foremost on his plate.