Author: David James Rivera

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“There Will Never Be Another You” -Lehman College Faculty Jazz Quartet

On May 2nd, I watched the Lehman College Faculty Quartet perform a recital at Lehman College’s Music Building on the 3rd Floor in the Recital Hall. One of the Songs they performed was a Jazz standard called  “There Will Never Be Another You.” The musicians performing were Allan Molnar on Vibraphone, Lee Marvin on bass, Robert Windbiel on Guitar, and special guests Terry Silverlight on drums, and Beledo on Piano/Guitar.

“There Will Never Be Another You” is a popular song with composed by Harry Warren and lyrics by Mack Gordon. It was famously known for Twentieth Century Fox’s musical Iceland in 1942. The songs in the film featured Joan Merrill accompanied by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra.The song was published in 1942, and is at least since the 1950s, one of the widely known and performed standards of the jazz repertoire. “There Will Never Be Another You” has been used often in performances by many various Jazz singers and players with the ability to swing light-heartedly.

The tune was written in the key of Eb Major. The tune contains a lot of step wise motion melodically which has been used well to block chord harmonization. ‘”There Will Never Be Another You”, written in the key of Eb Major, follows a standard A-B1-A -B2 form. The melody of the tune is very noticable as it contains a sequence of two virtually identical phrases. However the second one is played a major third higher diatonically. So basically that means that the intervals are the same, and the melody is just moved a line up a major third in the key of Eb Major.

In the performance I attended by the Lehman College Faculty Jazz Quartet, their were no vocals, and the trumpet part was replaced by Alan Molnar on the vibraphone. The vibraphone may have even mimicked the melody of the vocals which sounded just as good. There was a gently yet swift swing rhythm section. With its A-B1-A-B2 form, the instrumentals of “There Will Never Be Another You” contain an unusual melody. The A section comprises two long sequences of ascending quarter notes. The B sections more or less invert the idea containing, in the main, three descending sequences of quarter notes. The overall feeling then is that of rising and falling, moderated by brief changes of direction. This piece’s careful construction is what makes it unique among other jazz standards which are a sequence of two virtually identical phrases, the second one played diatonically a third higher than the first, and followed by two more phrases that are roughly similar to the opening ones. This is a fairly  fun and simple tune to learn and memorize which is why it is one of the first tunes learned by the beginner jazz performer.

Blue Bossa

During this semester, I have had the privilege to learn and play with many different musicians here at Lehman College, including Mr. Allan Molnar and his Jazz Ensemble. He welcomed me as an unofficial member and this past month I have watched them rehearse to perform an instrumental jazz composition called Blue Bossa by Kenny Dorham. They performed on Wednesday, April 26th at the Senior Ball at the Villa Barone Manor.

The style or genre of this song is called Bossa Nova which is a mix of Samba and Hard Bop Jazz. Blue Bossa is a jazz standard comprised mainly of II, V, I progressions and is played in either a minor or a major key. In this piece, the two keys are not relative major or minor keys. The form might be described as ABCB since the second four measures and the fourth four measures are identical. The 3rd four measures could be called the bridge since it is played in a different key. Blue Bossa was played in C minor.

The piece starts of with  the bass guitar and the drums. The bass line is playing around the II, V, and, I chord. The drums are playing the bossa nova which is a style of drumming typically used in the Jazz with a Latin influence. I often use this style of drumming myself in the Latin Jazz ensemble. It isn’t played as aggressively as other drum patterns would be.  The rim click simulates the click of a clave. The hi-hat simulates the shaker. 8th notes can also be played with a brush instead of a drum stick to further simulate a shaker. The piano follows to decorate the rhythm with minor chords and its arpeggios to break it down. The trumpet comes in next with the main melody or theme of the song. The first time around it gives more of a staccato sound, but then when it repeats, the trumpet stretches out the notes more the second time to more of a legato sound with some fills for the remaining count in the measure. The trumpet continues to improvise during the solo with different variations of the main theme. A low saxophone comes in after and eventually picks up the pace with a quick solo playing in what sounds like 32nd notes with ties. The piano solo comes in after which is my favorite solo of the piece. I feel like it decorated the tune and fit extremely with all the chord progressions. Lastly, the bass solo follows and all other instruments except percussion stop playing. The drums keep the rhythm while the piano throws in some high pitch chords to decorate the bass solo. The main trumpet theme played with trumpet returns closing out the piece.

I enjoyed watching this performance and personally enjoy listening to Blue Bossa as well as playing along to it. It is a jazz standard and is a good song to play along with because it is played at a moderate tempo and is good for beginners and musicians who want to practice this style of music. It is a good song for beginners to practice with improvisation over chord changes because it’s slow and has an easy to follow harmony.

During this semester, I have had the privilege to learn and play with many different musicians here at Lehman College, including Mr. Allan Molnar and his Jazz Ensemble. He welcomed me as an unofficial member and this past month I have watched them rehearse to perform an instrumental jazz composition called Blue Bossa by Kenny Dorham. The style or genre of this song is called Bossa Nova which is a mix of Samba and Hard Bop Jazz. Blue Bossa is a jazz standard comprised mainly of II, V, I progressions and is played in either a minor or a major key. In this piece, the two keys are not relative major or minor keys. The form might be described as ABCB since the second four measures and the fourth four measures are identical. The 3rd four measures could be called the bridge since it is played in a different key. Blue Bossa was played in C minor. The piece starts of with  the bass guitar and the drums. The bass line is playing around the II, V, and, I chord. The drums are playing the bossa nova which is a style of drumming typically used in the Jazz with a Latin influence. I often use this style of drumming myself in the Latin Jazz ensemble. It isn’t played as aggressively as other drum patterns would be.  The rim click simulates the click of a clave. The hi-hat simulates the shaker. 8th notes can also be played with a brush instead of a drum stick to further simulate a shaker. The piano follows to decorate the rhythm with minor chords and its arpeggios to break it down. The trumpet comes in next with the main melody or theme of the song. The first time around it gives more of a staccato sound, but then when it repeats, the trumpet stretches out the notes more the second time to more of a legato sound with some fills for the remaining count in the measure. The trumpet continues to improvise during the solo with different variations of the main theme. A low saxophone comes in after and eventually picks up the pace with a quick solo playing in what sounds like 32nd notes with ties. The piano solo comes in after which is my favorite solo of the piece. I feel like it decorated the tune and fit extremely with all the chord progressions. Lastly, the bass solo follows and all other instruments except percussion stop playing. The drums keep the rhythm while the piano throws in some high pitch chords to decorate the bass solo. The main trumpet theme played with trumpet returns closing out the piece. I enjoyed watching this performance and personally enjoy listening to Blue Bossa as well as playing along to it. It is a jazz standard and is a good song to play along with because it is played at a moderate tempo and is good for beginners and musicians who want to practice this style of music. It is a good song for beginners to practice with improvisation over chord changes because it’s slow and has an easy to follow harmony.

Spain – Chick Corea

As a result of my growing interest of Latin and Jazz music, I decided for my blog post to be on the song Spain by Chick Corea. Spain is an instrumental jazz fusion composition by jazz pianist and composer Chick Corea. It is likely Corea’s most recognized piece, and some would consider it a modern jazz standard. Spain was composed in 1971 and appeared in its original and most well known rendition on the album Light As A Feather. It is played in common time(4/4) and is originally played at a very fast pace. This February, I witnessed Lehman College’s Latin Jazz Band perform a cover to Spain. The song is introduced with a lengthy piano solo with a cello in the background complimenting the piano. After the intro, the song switches to a fast, Latin jazz samba rhythm, in which the main theme and an improvisation part are repeated. The percussion and woodwind instruments are then introduced. The flutes are accompanying the piano’s melody, while the business keeps a fast and steady pace. At the break of the song, the listener is required to clap along to the beat which is indeed a part of the original recording and sheet music. The claps are done on the 1 and the 3 and then falls back into a repeat of the fast paced Latin jazz samba rhythm. The chord progression used during the improvisation part is based on harmonic progressions of GMAJ7, F#7, Em7, A7, DMAJ7, C#7, F#7, Bm, B7. Chick Corea’s instrumental of “Spain” is influenced from traditional Spanish music. In the opening arrangement of the song, There is a Flamenco style of playing on the piano, implying a dramatic setting to set the mood before heading into an elegant melodic flare. Like the original recording, each musician takes turns in the spotlight to display their musicianship skills. The piano, bass guitar, flutes, brass, and percussion all took turns soloing. The most impressive solo to me in the performance and in original recording is the bass solo. The bass solo was almost on par from the original recording with its arpeggio sweeps and even plucked some chords with a slap bass technique. The flute takes second place with its versatility among the other instruments. The flute player’s solo ornaments the music with such gracefulness in the melodic theme of the piece and even ventured out on his own. The percussion solos were also impressive. The drums especially to solo and be able to keep a steady jazz samba rhythm at such a fast pace. The spontaneous drum fills were perfectly timed and you’d have to be a pretty experienced drummer to be able to do it at such a fast pace. However, all the instruments played an important part to this piece. Each instrument originates its own sound so perfect when played together. They’re intimate unity is what makes Chick Corea’s “Spain” such a well respected masterpiece of musical sorcery. Below is a live performance of a performance of “Spain” in Barcelona, Spain.