Gil Cline & the Midnight Jazz-tet

Saturday, September 9, 2023

The MidnIght Jazz-tet is a modern jazz quintet. The group performs both classic jazz tunes and examples from the long list of Gil Cline’s original jazz compositions.

Gil Cline fell in love with jazz, and also Trumpet and Flügelhorn, while in jazz band
at Sonoma HS and then in the excellent Fortuna HS Studio Bands. These days his
jazz horns are a 1962 Burbank Benge (5X) trumpet and a silver 1979 Getzen 4-valve
flugelhorn, uniquely customized to what he calls “Flugilhorn.” The etymology is his
college nickname “Flugil,” and devotion to that darker-toned cousin of the trumpet.

He first taught jazz combos on the HSU Music Department faculty in 1977 but soon
left to teach high school and cut his teeth in the vibrant music scenes of the Oakland
and SF Bay Area. In Oakland he was a member of the jazz & blues band “Johnny
Talbot and De Thangs.” His Castro Valley High School jazz band was a top-three
finisher at CMEA, Bear Valley, and Redwood Empire jazz festivals. Several CVHS
students went on to music careers involving televison and film composing, touring,
and recording; also gaining Downbeat and Grammy awards along the way.

Returning to HSU in 1982, Gil’s PM Jazz Big Band played full length Center Arts
concerts yearly in Van Duzer Theater with visiting jazz greats such as Louis Bellson,
Shorty Rogers, Bud Shank, Richie Cole, Allen Vizzuti, Herbie Mann, and Gerald
Wilson. In open competition with larger universities, his jazz bands and combos
were among top scorers at the Pacific Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival and the Reno
Jazz Festival; 1985 saw the full-length LP record “PM Jazz Big Band.” For years
his HSU groups toured NorCal giving clinics at scores of local and regional high
schools, and concerts at The North Coast Jazz Festival, The KHSU Jazz Revue,
the Redwood Coast (Dixieland) Jazz Festival. His own local professional work has
included appearing with shows of Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, and others.

While at the University of Oregon as a doctoral student he directed both the Eugene
Jazz Orchestra and the UofO Jazz Lab II Big Band. He was a soloist, as stand-in for
trumpet great Bobby Shew, with Jazz Lab I, and was an adjudicator at jazz festivals.

Gil’s “Midnight Jazz-tet” began as a late-night project for large jazz combo with
2, 3, 4, and 5 horns, providing fertile ground for composing; over thirty original
works are in this book. The Midnight Jazz-tet has performed at HSU, the Morris
Graves Museum, The Fortuna Concert Series, Jambalaya, with live performances
on KHSU and KFRH radio broadcasts. Performances have included advanced,
contemporary styles (and sound processing!) but more typically are in the elegant,
more intimate “concert club style” of classic jazz sounds heard in smaller venues.