For our music class, we had to attend a live Jazz concert. There were many several concerts, which we could choose from, both varied from on or off campus. The recommended concert that we chose for this this semester was on Thursday, November 13th in Gusman Concert Hall. We attended a “Jazz Vocal II Ensemble & Jazz Vocal III Ensemble”. The directors for this ensemble were Sherrine Mostin and Eliot Weeks. There were 2 Jazz Vocal Ensembles that consisted of different people playing and supporting during the concert. There is some information regarding these two excellent Ensembles
Jazz Vocal III Ensemble group consisted of: Rachel Ramba, Sydney Robinson, Kiera Moran, Katie O’Brien, Kaia Lagoni, Tess Schuit, Nicole Pierson, Sam Bierman, Robert Washington III, Andrew Novoa, Leo Thorpe. The Rhythm section was supported by: Hanako Henty playing on the piano, Leo Henkins virtuoso on the base and Zander Ambrose doing the drums.
Jazz Vocal Ensemble III played this wonderful songs: As (1976) by Stevie Wonder (b. 1950) and arr. By Jen Bernes (b. 1969). Our Love Is Here To Stay (1938) by George Gershwin (1898 – 1937), Ira Gershwin (1896 – 1983), this song was arranged by Darmon Meader (b. 1965). Loves Me Live A Rock (1973) by Paul Simon (b. 1941), arr. Was by Darmon Meader (b. 1965). Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (1942) by Mercer Ellington (1919 – 1996), arr. By Darmon Meader (b. 1965). I Think It’s Going To Rain Today (1968) by Randy Newman (b. 1943) and arr. By Eliot Weeks (b. 1991).
Jazz Vocal II Ensemble group consisted of: Kayla Schwarz, Erin Blanchette, Gaby Hirsch, Nanami Morikawa, Ashley Pezzotti, Zoe Fromer, Hannah Walpole, John Sharpe, Jake Pressman. The Rhythm section was supported by: Matt Wieger playing on the piano, Diego Melger – guitar, Leo Henkns doing the upright base and Tyler Pedersen rocking on the drums.
Jazz Vocal Ensemble II played this songs: In the Name of Love (1974) written by Kenny Raukin (1940-2009) and arr. Melissa Fulkerson (b.1984). Airalee (2008) by Sherrine Mostin (b.1987). Desperado (1973) by Glenn Frey (b.1948) and Don Henley (b. 1947), arr. Anders Jalkeus (b.1962). Old Man (1972) written by Neil Young (b. 1945) and arr. Was by Peter Eldridge (b.1965) and Kate McGarry (b.1970). In my Life (1965) by John Lennon (1940 – 1980), Paul McCartney (b. 1942) and arr. Was by Jeremy Fox (b. 1974). It Can’t Believe That You’re In Love With Me (1926) written by James McHugh (1864 – 1969) and Clarence Gaskill (1892 – 1947), which was arranged by Darmon Meader (b. 1965).
The instruments that were played during the concert were: Bass, Piano, Drum, and Cello. Both Groups used the same instruments. Jazz Vocal Ensemble III was the first one to start.
Bass guitar (also called electric bass guitar or just “bass”). It is stringed plucked musical instrument, designed to play the bass range of deep frequency. It is usually played you’re your fingers, but pick can be used too.
Bass guitar is a prototype of contrabass, but has a less massive body and neck, as well as a smaller bore. In general, the bass strings use 4, but there are options for c large number of them. 4-string (E, G, A, D bass tuned in fourths of the great octave from that one octave above the bass and one octave lower than the four lower strings build electric. As in the case with an electric guitar, bass guitar requires an amplifier for the game.
Since its emergence in the 1950s, the bass guitar is almost completely replaced the double bass in popular music as an instrument of the rhythm section. In addition, the bass guitar became an important part of most modern genres of music, and in each of them can be a separate technique, structure and number of strings. The introduction bass in jazz starts with quarter note lines that makes a kind-of prototype of the double bass. The bass guitar player don’t participate a lot in concert, but surely do play few short bass breaks or do some brief solo such as “blow”, usually creating the feeling or sense of “swinging” or “grove”. In jazz bassists usually perform different quarter notes. It gives imitation of the double bass. Drummer and bass guitar player do synchronized coordination for some bass breaks. During the jazz concert a bassist can have a huge role when he plays lungful solos. Those solos are called “blowing”. Bass guitar player focus on creating a rhythm, that creates a sense or a feeling of “swinging” or “grooving”.
Piano (from Italian. Forte - loud, piano - quiet) - shock-stringed musical instrument, players use keyboards to make sound. Piano is a keyboard stringed instrument with horizontal (piano) or vertical (upright) position of the strings. Piano consists of an acoustic device (soundboard, string clothes), a key mechanism of support structures (futor, metal frame). A complex system of levers mechanism allows you to pass power from the key to play through the hammers hit the string which produces a sound. Modern range of pianos - 7 ⅓ octaves (88 keys). The string make a sound, when the keys are pressed. Note get sustained my pressing a pedal located on the bottom of the piano. Strings of the piano usually vibrate at their frequency, when the hammer rebounds. These vibrations go through soundboard, which gathers energy in the air. The sound usually disappear, when the damper releases the string vibration at the point, when the keys are not pressed anymore. This instrument in jazz can be assigned to a solo role. The con of piano in jazz, is possibility to play the instrument with two hands. But here's the downside is an unpleasant fact that if the musician already had a chance to take one chord, the timbre of his sound will not be changed. The piano sound occur when black or white keys are struck. This is followed by chain reaction. Key raises the damper while hammer roller goes up. The damper can be increased with the key you press. When the hammer go down and wire that it was hanging goes down - it resonates increasing the damper. Piano string doesn’t do a lot of sound, the vibrations does all the job. Soundboard makes the sound by converting energy to the sound with the help of air. The piano frequency is based on interval. Adjusting this interval makes the beat. This bit is gotten from sound intensity by pitches interaction.
Drum (probably a word of Turkish origin) - a musical instrument of the percussion family. Is a typical representative of the drum membrane, consisting of a hollow body cavity some form or frame, which stretched leather or plastic membrane. Its tension is adjusted with relative pitch.
Performer on the drum - a drummer. The drum housing is made from wood, metal (steel, brass), an acrylic resin or clay. Drums are usually played using hands or drum sticks (one or two, depends on the situation). In jazz drums are represented with a drum kit with cymbals. In jazz drummer uses his left hand to perform special low hit, called "break", emphasizing the weak beats. Bass drum is used in improvised texture, emphasizing the individual notes. There are different factors that makes the drum to produce the sound. It depends on the type of the drum, its shape and shell construction. Different variety of drums have different influence in music. A jazz drummer needs a high resonant pitched drum that is quiet. Drum heads plays most of the effect on how the drum sounds. Drum heads are used for different purposes based on their unique sound. Drums with double-ply heads are usually heavy and make a heavy sound. Texture coating on the drum make the thinner sound, making diverse pitch go with less intensity. Drum heads with perimeter do eliminate overtones. Jazz drummers like to play with ply drum heads or stick that doesn’t have any muffling’s on it. The other thing that makes effect on the drum is head tension. This tension is adjusted using tension rods and hoop located around the drum. The drum amplitude reduces and frequency goes up while tension is increasing at that moment. This makes pitch go high and the volume of the drum usually goes lower. Type of shell can also plays a good role in drums. Shell is used for sound manipulation and volume increase. This happens due vibrations in the shell. Sound can go lower or higher based on this shell thickness. Shells that are really thick can make a loud sound coming from the drum. For this part, jazz drummer would like to get a maple shells.
Cello (ital. Violoncello, abbr. Cello, it. Violoncello, fr. Violoncelle, Eng. Cello) - bowed string instrument with bass and tenor registers. It is known from the first half of the XVI century. Has the same structure as violin or viola, but considerably larger in size. Cello has a wide expressive features and elaborate technique. It is used as a solo, ensemble or orchestral instrument. The principle of the game and strokes in the performance of the cello - the same as that of the violin, however, due to the large size of the tool and a position player to play Cello is really complicated. Cello has applied harmonics, pizzicato, the rate of the thumb and the other playing techniques. The sound of the cello is juicy, melodious and intense in the upper register. On the lower register strings are slightly muffled.
Cello strings: C, G, D, A (to salt the great octave, D, A small octave), that is an octave below the viola. The range of the cello technique is developed according to the games on the string A, very wide - from C (to the great octave) to a4 (A fourth octave) and above. Written notes in the bass, tenor and treble clef, respectively makes the actual sound. Before the advent of design cello spire tool were kept with the feet calves. When playing the cello performer relies on the floor spire, which was extended until the end of the XIX century (before instruments are held calves feet). Nowadays widely used cellos invented by the French cellist P. Tortelier crooked spire, which gives the instrument a flatter position, alleviate some technique.
Every instrument had a major role during the concert. Solo playing for some parts are regarded as major playing, as it brings an important part of the procedure. Bass guitar was the example of it.
While I was listening to Jazz concert, I had a lot of enormous feelings going through me. They varied based on the song played. From my point of view, Jazz Ensemble number II and Jazz Ensemble number III played different songs that evoked and brought different feelings and thought, varying from love and happiness to some kind of sadness. From my point of view, Jazz Ensemble number III showed more sad compositions with the light of fun coming from those musical instruments. I came to concert in a bad mood and went happy out of it. Each song played by Vocal Ensemble made the feelings go through me, like I felt them at the moment, without music playing. Some songs made me feel some chills and I had a light shivering. Some songs made me nostalgic, my favorite positive childhood memories were remembered and I felt them deep through my heart. Some of the songs inspired me to play my instrument better, or make investigation regarding the author of the song. Upbeat and positive thing didn’t make me dreary or oppressive. The clichés coming from the jazz genre makes your bad mood fly away and new feelings go through. Some songs with a steady beat wanted me to clap my hands, or tap my feet. Falling motion in melody line made me tense over and over again, relaxation was a part of that tense too. I was worrying about some personal problems before the concert, and after listening to it, I found out, that those problems are not, that horrible and can be easily solved. The mixture of the feelings gave me a euphoria feeling from listening to music. Some parts of composition were hard to understand, but the mixture of bass solo and the drum composition made it easier to understand it. I fully enjoyed the concert and went happy from it.
Our Love Is Here To Stay (1938) by George Gershwin made brought me feeling of love that can occur between the man and woman. Love that will last forever, no end to it. If you are going to be separated by distance, you are still going to be related to that person. Piano made my day. I felt deep relaxed like you are currently following the deep-crystalized river flow, with nothing disturbing you at the moment.
Loves Me Live A Rock (1973) by Paul Simon (b. 1941) made me enjoy the music beats flow, I enjoyed the every part of the music, every aspect of music instruments playing at that moment. I feel relaxed at the moment and clapped in hands and tapped my feat, following the beat.
In my Life (1965) by John Lennon (1940 – 1980), Paul McCartney (b. 1942) and arr. Was by Jeremy Fox (b. 1974). This composition made me feel little bit nostalgic. It had different varieties of the music flow, which made me remember my past. It brought me few sad moments like breaking up with some of my friends for a long time, and some parts of this music made my happy, as I met those friends again, like I haven’t seen them for ages. I remembered some sad moments of my life, what I felt at that moment. But eventually they were not permanent and disappeared, as the composition was over.
Old Man (1972) written by Neil Young (b. 1945) gave me kind of rhetorical question feeling. Searching for the answers, was the feelings that I got during this composition. It is like asking yourself “What is the meaning of life”. I went back in my memories and analyzed everything I did wrong, and why I did it that way. Those feeling made ask myself what am I going to do in future, and the consequences of those actions.
Airalee (2008) by Sherrine Mostin (b.1987) gave the feelings about the time or a place in your life, where you are where you are supposed to be and feeling the almost joy for where you are and what you do.
Desperado (1973) by Glenn Frey (b.1948) and Don Henley (b. 1947) brought me feelings of loneliness or sadness. It felt like I was the only person in the hall or in the world at the moment.
The only composition I struggled with was Things Ain’t What They Used To Be (1942) by Mercer Ellington. It was hard to understand, what exactly I should feel at the moment. I had different thoughts while listening to this composition and my feelings were unclear.
Scholarlyrepository.miami.edu,. (2014). Retrieved 29 November 2014, from http://scholarlyrepository.miami.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1579&context=oa_dissertations
What Is Jazz? (1st ed.). Retrieved from http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0205955231.pdf