Very Strange Night
About VERY STRANGE NIGHT: 23-year-old Samson Trinh's debut jazz compositional album, "Very Strange Night" was a project he worked on during his last year as a Jazz Studies major at Virginia Commonwealth University. The majority of the songs on the album were school assignments. For the recording, Samson hired 48 of the best musicians in Richmond including his 17-piece Upper East Side Big Band and vocalists Adrian Duke, Jackie Frost, Terri Murphy and international jazz trumpeter, Rex Richardson. All the songs were composed, arranged, orchestrated, conducted, and produced by Samson Trinh. "Very Strange Night" is a concept album, which takes the listener on a musical journey across genres. The disc itself looks and feels like a record vinyl that starts the album off with a needle-drop sound effect. The night's exhilarating experience includes lush jazz string orchestra arrangements, big band, country influences from the 1960s, classical, funk, and long song titles that also challenges the listener's ear such as "I Tried To Talk To Her, But She thought I Was Too Weird." In conclusion, Samson was the first student ever in VCU history to have a CD release party at his Senior Recital, which covered works from "Very Strange Night." All the seats were filled at the concert hall and hundreds of CDs were sold. Samson also encouraged students that night to make an album during their last year of school. "Very Strange Night" is not just a student project; it is an album crafted by a hard working composer and his colleagues to capture professionalism. Most importantly, it's all about writing a good tune that will make a listener smile again. ----------------- Personnel on VERY STRANGE NIGHT: All songs arranged, orchestrated, and conducted by Samson Trinh Strings on 'To You, Near You, With You' conducted by Doug Richards 1. 'DROP THE NEEDLE' - Record Player; Vinyl 2. 'TO YOU, NEAR YOU, WITH YOU' - Terri Murphy (vocals); The Lounge Union Strings, Winds, & Percussion 3. 'I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M ADDICTED TO THE O.C. - J.C. Kuhl (tenor sax); Emily Avesian (Bari Sax); Bob Miller (trumpet); Charles Gregory (trumpet); Daniel Clarke (piano); Jonathan Cannon (bass); Brian Jones (drums) 4. 'SIGNS ARE FULL OF JIVE' - Adrian Duke (vocals/piano/B-3 Organ); The Upper East Side Big Band 5. 'THANK GOODNESS' - Jackie Frost (vocals); Skip Gailes (piano); Charles Arthur (lap steel guitar); Scott Burton (guitar); Malcolm Pulley (mandolin); Rusty Farmer (bass); Brian Jones (drums) 6. 'I TRIED TO TALK TO HER, BUT SHE THOUGHT I WAS TOO WEIRD' - J.C. Kuhl (tenor sax); Daniel Clarke (wurlitzer); Jonathan Cannon (bass); Brian Jones (drums) 7. 'TIME AFTER TIME' - The Upper East Side Big Band 8. 'THAT'S WHY' - Terri Murphy (vocals); Daniel Clarke (piano); Jon Cannon (bass); Brian Jones (drums) 9. 'PIECE FOR TRUMPET AND PIANO' - Rex Richardson (trumpet); Laura Candler-White (piano) 10. 'VERY STRANGE NIGHT' - The Upper East Side Big Band ----------------- The UPPER EAST SIDE BIG BAND: REEDS - Mike Cemprola (lead alto/clarinet/flute); Dave Hood (alto/tenor); J.C. Kuhl (tenor); Richard Wray (tenor); Jason Arce (tenor); Emily Avesian (bari); Bruce Woodson (bari) TRUMPETS - Bob Miller (lead); Rex Richardson; Taylor Barnett; Mark Ingraham; Charles Gregory TROMBONES - Pete Anderson (lead); Toby Whitaker; Reggie Pace; Reggie Chapman (bass trombone); Stefan Demetriadis (bass trombone) TUBA - Stephanie Fairbairn WASHBOARD - Ben Anderson PIANO - Adrian Duke GUITAR - Scott Burton BASS - Rusty Farmer; Jonathan Cannon DRUMS - Brian Jones; Aaron Thompson ----------------- The LOUNGE UNION STRINGS, WINDS, & PERCUSSION: STRINGS - Susanna Klein (violin); Stacy Markowitz (violin); Molly Sharp (viola); Neal Cary (cello) REEDS - Eve Debordenave (flute); Adrian Sandi (clarinet); Adam Butalawicz (clarinet); Bruce Hammel (bassoon) TRUMPETS - Bob Miller (lead/soloist); Matt Wittig TROMBONES - Toby Whitaker; Reggie Chapman (bass trombone) PIANO - Skip Gailes GUITAR - Scott Burton BASS - Rusty Farmer DRUMS - Brian Jones PERCUSSION & OTHERS - Mike Boyd (xylophone/chimes); Aaron Thompson (timpani/bells); Molly Berg (whistler); Joe Mager (finger snaps); Samson Trinh (finger snaps) ----------------- About SAMSON TRINH: At 23 years old, composer, arranger, orchestrator, bandleader, musical director, producer, and saxophonist, Samson Trinh has had a lot on his plate! Born in Richmond, Virginia on May 8th, 1983, Samson received a Merit Scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music's Summer Program and several Merit Scholarships from Virginia Commonwealth University where he has earned his B.M. in Jazz Studies. At VCU, he studied composition and jazz arranging with Doug Richards (founder of the school's jazz program) and saxophone with Skip Gailes, John Winn, and principal New York Philharmonic saxophonist, Albert Regni. In 2005, he was the winner of Richmond Jazz Society's prestigious Joe Kennedy, Jr. Scholarship. Samson is an alumnus at New York's Manhattan School of Music where he studied jazz composition with well-known composer, Michael Abene. From December 2003 to November 2005, Samson became co-owner and booking manager for Richmond, VA's Upper East Side Jazz Lounge, which featured a great wealth of talented musicians in the Richmond scene. He has performed, composed, opened, and recorded with/for Plunky Branch, Fighting Gravity, Al Jarreau, Nellie McKay, Mulgrew Miller, Desiree Roots, John Winn, Richmond Jazz Society, Virginia Commonwealth University's Jazz Orchestra I, and members of the Richmond Symphony. Samson is also the founder and musical director of the 17-piece Upper East Side Big Band. The organization is made up with the finest young musicians in the capital of Virginia. Their repertoire features the swingin' big band sounds of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, and Glenn Miller. The Upper East Side Big Band's vocalist and pianist, Adrian Duke, will also blow listeners away as he croons popular standards from the Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles songbook. In 2005, the band opened up for Kool & The Gang at Richmond, VA's Jazz on the James.