Category: Commentary / Current Issue

A reaction to Youtube video “Extreme jazz fusion reharmonization” by Adam Neely

After watching this educational and entertaining video, I was left wondering certain questions about jazz and its effects on other genres when fusing. Is jazz exclusively what it has been musically through theory or is it something more of a spirit to carry on, something that changes based on what’s necessary in that period of time. The point of jazz, especially bebop jazz, is to focus on the music and combat any mainstream music becoming too easy or comfortable. Not only “what is jazz” but how can jazz blend so well with other genres. When other genres, like pop, meets with other genres, like rock, it feels more like a transformation rather than an actual genre fusion.

Jazz is one the most easily to blend genres because from the very beginning it has been formed through a multitude of sounds, techniques and culture. Wynton Marsalis said that in New Orleans when “…Opera, military marching bands, folk music, the blues, different types of church music, ragtime, echoes of traditional African drumming, and all of the dance styles…. When all this music blended into one, jazz was born.” Jazz became immensely popular and this popularity lead to a comfortable and almost formulaic mainstream jazz. This is where bebop jazz was created to counter the commercial jazz, and in a broader sense, the commercial music. So this was to give an idea of how jazz from the beginning was already born from many genres, and also had to keep its focus on music first and foremost. With this very brief description you could say the spirit of jazz is whatever music needs it to be to keep music challenging and evolving.

Jazz theory focuses on how the chord progressions are set up in major and minor thirds, along with tensions. Also included in jazz is the inclusion of scales and improvisations. The rules of jazz naturally lends itself to adding. It can not only grab external influences but it can give itself. What Adam Neely was saying in his video is that you take these chord progressions and turn into chords with tensions, and with some different techniques or arrangements, switched up rhythms it can sound jazzy. There are many kinds of jazz fusion. The most common are with rock, funk, blues, and latin music. Even third stream jazz is a fusion with the classical genre. Jazz fusion is important because it can take any genre and open it up to be as free as the musician wants. If the musician needs music to be a challenge again a bebop type of movement can happen again, or maybe just to re-interpret a song. Ever since the 1950’s jazz fusion has always had and always will have an impact on music. Jazz fusion leads to entirely new genres, and can even change a generation of people’s musical way of thinking. Jazz fusion is the inquisitive art to keep music fresh and energetic.


Juan Baez Monthly post

juan Baez feburary



After being in a teacher evaluation on wednesday february 25th and monday February 30th, 2017 talking about a rhythmic pattern called Clave. I was very interested in this type of evaluation because I knew that this is something that I was going to like. Tis is because I grew playing latin music and never notice how important this patter it. After listening to this person I learn where this patter came from and how it came to america and the Caribbean. One thing that I fount interesting is how it came to the American continent. He explain that in Africa is where this pattern started called clave. And that it came to us through the african slavery coming to this great nation. They showed us videos of african playing a type of music in witch one of the most noticeable pattern is Clave. And we listen to this pater also in Brazil in Samba, in the caribbean such as Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic as son Salsa Merengue and other genre and basically the entire american continent. In addition, some places of Europe and Asia where african slave were imported also have this pattern. Also, one thing that called my attention is that a classical symphony by Beethoven his fifth symphony was made an arrangement as a Caribbean style and it was amazing.

I am so amaze to this video because I myself played this piece in the way Beethoven composed it, and after I watch this video my mind was like in heaven. How an african pattern can change so much this composition by Beethoven. Basically it does not sound like a classical piece its like resurrecting Beethoven in cuba and he composing Classic Salsa Music; although I don’t think he will like. However, by knowing that this pattern come from Africa can we say that this arrangement has a caribbean or an african style because of the clave? I can say that this is a Caribbean composition because although it has a rhythmic pattern “clave” that comes from Africa each country has a way of style where they use the clave Samba is not the same as Salsa or son, they share the same pattern “clave” but each country has a different way to use it.

In the arrangement of the fifth symphony not only the clave was added also the tempo is very different and some instrument where also added like Conga, Drum-set, cow bell, timbales and even the piano way of playing was not classic at all, it added a “Tumbao” witch is a way to play salsa in the piano. In addition to change the genre to a piece from classical to a modern genre in this case “Salsa” does not only needs the clave it also needs some extra instruments like I mention before and play them in that style. The dynamics is drastically change and the instrumentation as well. Each instrument cant play in a classical way they need to adapt to a certain style so that the piece can be interpreted how the arranger wants it ti be.

To conclude the participation this two professors has a good knowledge and good back ground regarding this specific pattern. Also, I strongly believe that the clave rhythmic pattern did came from Africa but each country has make it its own in it own way by using their own culture and with this pattern. We see how different it is the fifth symphony of Beethoven with the salsa arrangement by Sverre Indris Joner and how important it is to add more instrument, rhythm and specific style of playing.