United States Naval Academy Band

"Joe McCarthy is a principal percussionist in the Naval Academy Band...He is steeped in the tradition but is also trying to chart his own path with a fine group of local players, several of whom are also “service cats.”

-Matt Merewitz, All About Jazz.com

The Next Wave Jazz Ensemble, led by MUC Joe McCarthy, performs "Spontaneous Combustion," an original composition by saxophonist and composer Vince Norman.

The Next Wave Jazz Ensemble, led by MUC Joe McCarthy, performs "Treacherous Voyage," an ambitious original composition by iconic jazz ensemble composer Jim McNeely. The piece was commissioned by and written expressly for the U.S. Naval Academy Band's Next Wave Jazz Ensemble.

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The Life of Riley was originally composed for the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra to feature the VJO’s drummer, John Riley. The version here features Next Wave’s drummer and leader, MUC Joe McCarthy, and lead trombone player, MU1 Russell Sharp. This composition makes extensive use of time shifting, or rhythmic modulation, and highlights the vast array of tonal colors possible within a modern-day big band.

MU1 Purcell originally composed “Might This Be Bop?” while pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Illinois.  The composer writes, “After joining the USNA Band’s Next Wave jazz ensemble, I knew this would be the perfect ensemble to perform a big band version of my composition and this recording session was the ideal motivation for a new arrangement.”

Might This Be Bop? is based on the chord changes of both Charlie Parker’s Confirmation as well as John Coltrane’s re-harmonization, 26-2. Purcell’s goal was to create a small group improvisational atmosphere while still featuring the ensemble in some exciting full band interplay.  This tune features MU1 Todd Simon on piano, MU1 Matt Stuver on saxophone, MUC Joe McCarthy on drums, and the composer on guitar.