Before taking Jazz class I barely knew anything about this type music. Six different bands performed fifteen pieces. Most of the pieces are written by popular Jazz composers, such as “Cantaloupe Island” by Herbie Hancock or “Donna Lee” by Charlie Parker. Also, there was one band that performed pieces written by its members, which really impressed me. For example, “Preparation” was composed by Alex Reiff, who plays bass in the band called Krista White 3 PM Combo. In this report I would like to pay attention on two pieces that I enjoyed the most.
The first piece is “A Phone Call with Janet” written by Jessie Crossen, trombonist in the band Krista White 3 PM Combo. One of the band’s members said that Janet happens to be Aaron Smith’s trumpeter’s mother. What was noticeable is that the composition starts with bass playing. The dynamics are very quiet in the beginning, as if somebody was starting a conversation on the phone really quietly.
When trombonist starts improvising, the rhythm starts to get faster and dynamics get louder and louder. I associated faster rhythm and loud dynamics with a phone argument between two people. The pianist was improvising last. Here dynamics got softer and quieter, and rhythm gets slower, which makes it seem that the argument was resolved. In the conclusion, all instruments end the composition.
The second piece I wanted to pay attention to is “Take the A Train” that was originally composed by Billy Strayhorn. At the Sac State Jazz Combos Concert it was performed by Oliver Graham Combo band. It so happened that 2 days before this concert I read about Billy Strayhorn in my Music class and it was very interesting to listen how these guys would perform it. The composition starts with all instruments playing.
Then pianist improvised first. After pianist, alto took turn to improvise. One could notice a very interesting and a little bit unusual exchange between guitarist and drummer. The form of “Take the A Train” composition is 32-bar. The rhythm gets faster toward the middle of the song and dynamics are moderate throughout the composition.
Overall, the concert was really great opportunity to experience a new style of music. I never thought Jazz could be the type of music I could listen to. This concert was the first Jazz concert I went to and I am looking forward to attend more in a future.
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