“More crucial than correctness and jazz hagiography however is the question “Do they get across?” The answer is a resounding“Yes!” -- these close-knit comrades are clearly having a ball.”
The core of the septet convened during annual tutoring sessions at Jamey Aebersold’s storied Summer Jazz Workshops in Louisville, Kentucky.
Yoelin, who refers to the indefatigable education guru Aebersold as “a saint of a man,” was first hired as faculty some thirty four years ago, after attending the summer school himself several times. Bassist Rich Armandi and trombonist Tim Coffman also worked with Aebersold, and trumpeter Steve Thomas was invited to join the Jazz Workshop faculty a decade ago, hence the title of this group.
The remainder of the school year Yoelin busied himself at Triton Community College in the western suburbs of Chicago, directing big bands and combos, teaching theory and history -- even choir -- until his retirement in 2007.
Trombonist Coffman meantime has been integral to the renowned faculty at DePaul University for sixteen years.