Associate professor’s band releases album


Photo courtesy of Michael G. Stewart

Associate Professor Ian Wardenski's band released an album this March.

Christian Richey , Associate Editor

An associate music professor’s band released an album created over his sabbatical on March 15.

Ian Wardenski’s album, called Collective Thoughts, is made up of nine compositions recorded with his band, the Ian Wardenski Quintet.

Wardenski, chair of the performing arts department, said the album is a mix of chamber music and improvisation.  He  also noted 20th  and 21st  century classic music and jazz influenced Collective Thoughts. He said the album draws inspiration from artists such as John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Pat Metheny.

Wardenski  pointed out the album’s complexity, saying “It’s pretty dense writing … compositionally speaking, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically.”

The band is made up of sax, guitar, piano, bass and drums, with a vocalist contributing to four pieces on the album,  Wardenski  said. Faculty on the album include pianist Jerry  Ascione, drummer Frank Russo and vocalist Tamara Tucker.

Wardenski  said his sabbatical and the creation of the album gave him space to learn and fortify his skills in ways which will positively influence his teaching. “It most certainly allowed me to explore compositional techniques which I can bring into the classroom, into my music theory classes that I teach as well as into applied composition,”  Wardenski  said.  “It … allowed me time to further strengthen my own guitar playing, which of course I can bring into my applied guitar lessons that I teach.”

Wardenski said administrative tasks, including the process of distributing the album and deciding whether to sign with a record label, were tedious. “I decided to go independent,” Wardenski said. “I wanted to maintain the rights to everything that I have.”

On distribution  Wardenski  noted, “That’s a whole process itself. It can be kind of a time-consuming process.”

Despite administrative hurdles,  Wardenski  praised the album and its influence on his teaching.  “I’ve been able to bring all that back into the classroom,”  Wardenski  said.

Wardenski  said listeners can stream the album on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Deezer. It is also for purchase on, Apple Music, and Amazon.