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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.

Citations:

http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/history_of_jazz.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz_fusion

Random Access Memories Review

Daft Punk is an electronic music French duo who have been making music since the 1990’s. Daft Punk is most known for their influence in shaping electronic dance music, and their early work such as “Homework,” “Discovery,” and “Human After All.” This leads fans to already have an impression of their musical style despite the musical risks they may have already taken, but when they released “Random Access Memories” their sound became incredibly different, and to me the album was refreshing. The overall genre of the album is still electronic but the subgenres vary greatly, as the duo is not afraid to fuse different influences together to evoke different emotions. The band also focuses on instrumentation greatly rather than some synthesizer heavy tracks. Although it can be interpreted in many ways, this album feels like a statement that we should return to our roots, because music in general has lost a lot of what makes music special.

I admire this album because it is like a melting pot of different musical eras to create a perfect representation of Daft Punk’s disco and electronical influences. This album explores a different focus of music, a shift that goes from EDM and sample heavy songs to the production of music and what gives music a feeling of satisfaction. Random Access Memories was meant to convey the message of reflection, and how to evolve yet stay true to yourself as a musician. Musically these songs have orchestras, live instruments, varying vocals and techniques, and collaborations to make a culmination of their entire careers and yet move forward. An interesting song I heard was “Giorgio by Moroder” because this song is set up in the structure of an interview. Giorgio Moroder is one of the biggest influences for Daft Punk and they made a very interesting decision to showcase the interview as a component of the song. The purpose of the interview being a part of the song was to show the beginnings of a struggling musician. The song also portrays how no matter the living conditions or odds stacked against oneself if you stay true to music you could make something influential and add to its history.

I think the reason Daft Punk turned to its influences is because of how rapidly the world of mainstream music has been changing, but it is uncertain if these changes are for the better or worse. This album could be considered a reaction to its environment because albums, and vinyls are dying just like the cassette was dying. I noticed this because the first song I heard, besides the radio hit “Get Lucky,” was “Instant Crush” which is a phenomenal song. Outside of the album the song loses a lot of context. After hearing the Random Access Memories I felt like every song relates to one other and amplifies each other’s meaning, therefore Daft Punk wasn’t just making a collection of songs; they were making a story, a statement and proposition. Daft Punk wants a focus on the quality of whole albums, instead of one mainstream, pop focused song driving the album. An entire album Daft Punk creates now includes more soul and substance than others, who put songs put together with the purpose of selling hit singles. An example of this would be “Within,” “Touch,” Instant Crush,” and “Beyond” sharing themes of unlocking doors, reflecting on oneself, and the musical description of the emotions that make you human.

Overall this album definitely still reflects Daft Punk even though many would prefer their more EDM based style. Despite the use of live instrumentation and focus on production, Daft Punk still has many elements that indicate their style like the robotic vocals, slow build ups, and still very much funky sound present their music.  I urge anyone who wants a vintage sound in the modern era to check this album out.

Citations:
http://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/18028-daft-punk-random-access-memories/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/bobbyowsinski/2016/07/07/the-album-is-dying-and-good-riddance/#75a946034dbd

Africa in the Americans: Rhythmic Connection of Cuba and Brazil

Africa in the Americans: Rhythmic Connection of Cuba and Brazil

Africa in the Americans: Rhythmic Connection of Cuba and Brazil was a performance at symphony space. The orchestra is led by pianist, composer, and director Arturo O’Farrill. Arturo O’Farrill is a jazz musician, a pianist, composer, and director of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. He is notable for Afro-Cuban jazz. He has received two Grammy Awards and four Grammy nominations. He also trains and utilized other musical forms such as free jazz and experimental hip-hop. The orchestra is consist of 4 trombone, 4 trumpets, 5 saxophone, drums, bass, piano, bongos, congas, Brazilian shaker and DJ booth. The list of instruments I could expect what it would sound like.  I expect it to have a wide range of dynamic covering from low to high tones. I was sitting on the upper level to the left just proximally 10 feet away from the stage. Taken this into consideration this perhaps affected the way I perceive the music. Rather than being in the middle where is equal music dynamic distribution.

The movement has a dense texture because numerous of instruments playing simultaneously. Instruments such as the saxophone and percussion instrument pitch and timbre are distinctive. It is difficult to perceive the piano, shaker, and the DJ instruments. When many instruments are playing simultaneously. The chances of each instrument drowning out the other are likable.  Continuing, each instrument was playing repetitive notes. Also, they are using the staccato technique. Sometimes there would be trumpet and saxophone come in to play a melody on top of the uniform base. The uniform base is formed by varies of instrument repeating notes. When the melodies played by the brass instrument created a contrast and also highlighted their melodies. The conductor would also signal for sforzando. The brass player would play staccato notes that are a higher pitch. This is also another method of this motif to have short breaks then proceed back to their uniform melodies. During the 3:00 time period there is a small part for soloing trumpet. The rest of the instrument pause temporary with exceptional of the bongos. The bongos would steady continuously strike along the solo trumpet. This technique provided foreshadow sound and accompanied the trumpet. This instrument does not exceed the pitch of the trumpet. The audience could focus on the sound of the trumpet easier rather than another instrument that is doing individual motif. The Dj could be heard sometimes as cutting. It has a a scracth sound. It would cut the notes up and repeat it. At the 4:31 the audience could see the utilization of unity. Each piece is continuous playing but all instrument stop at the same exact time. Rather than the constant sound, it provided breaks that give a dissonant sound effect. The orchestra ending was unique due to a utilization of sforzando. The group would make a sudden stop and quickly played again. While the bongo played its own fast pace melodic motif to also provided contrast to the uniform sforzando.

Overall the movements are able to utilize a uniform staccato base and built short solo accompany by uniform sound. They also emphasize on sforzando since is one of the main contrast points of the movement. This particular orchestra insinuates a “live” atmosphere since it has a lot of dynamic and quick tempo. In the past, I attended orchestra that utilized legato and tells a story. Those pieces insinuate mellow emotion. Additionally, I think it was able to achieve that emotion because of the minor keys, minor usage of sforzando and pitches.  While these pieces remind me watching a Caribbean or Spanish parade where there are live performances. The music insinuates nothing short of excitement.

 

 

John Luther Adams- Music and Nature

After hearing two known pieces, Become Ocean and InuksuitI immediately took an interest to John Luther Adams, not just as a composer but as an artist. The way he views music as just something more beyond then a few melodic instruments put together is what I feel is missed in today’s music.

I was happy to see a numerous amount of music he’s made and each was more unique than the other. Since the class heard his most recent piece, Become Ocean, I decided to listen to older pieces, first one being SongbirdsongIronically, there’s no “bird” sounds but mimics of bird’s whistling from high pitched instruments like the flute, wind chimes and a vibraphone. Having just 9 movements that last about 40 minutes, Adams creates this atmosphere where I feel like I am surrounded by birds. “There isn’t a clear narrative to the piece, but there are scenes that sound somehow familiar: a nocturnal episode in which the sharp, bright birdcalls mellow into owl hoots; a terrifying scherzo that could be a storm or a hunt; a shimmering finale sunrise (or sunset).”

While looking for more of Adams’ music, I just found out that he released a new album about 2 weeks ago called Canticles of Holy WindOf course with an album title like that, it came as no shock that some songs were related to wind and its sounds, whether on its own or bushing on nature such as trees. I listen to bit of all 14 songs from the album and found out that they pertain to wind, birds, and sky. The winds are actually vocalist singing. “Slow-moving, sustained chords typically painted the sky movements. These usually had no discernible pulse, only a gathering density, followed by a gentle dimming of the sound. Wind movements were animated by eddies of rippling arpeggios enveloped in placid streams of fused voices.”

He’s very philosophical when it comes to art music or the way he describes it is intriguing. For instance, in interviews he would quote questions like was it something that created the artist or the artist created something.

Art is a journey that is completely experienced differently by everyone because of the discoveries founded everyday. The environment is Mother Nature’s “art” to the world, at least to me, because of the infinite amount of things seen and unseen. Same thing with music, Adams took the sounds of nature that happens like a normal routine everyday but turned it into something more. I wouldn’t know if I can pull of composing pieces like Adam did, but visually I can see what he’s hearing, if that make sense? To me I would put his music on paper, sometimes people can understand what they hear while others need a visual presentation.

Anyway, John Luther Adams is a unique and original thinker that you don’t know about quite often. I looked forward into hearing more of his music from his new album along with anymore pieces and compositions he plans to make over the years.

References

 

Other Truths – Do Make Say Think

Do Make Say Think is a Canadian band formed in the mid-nineties that is often classified as “post-rock” (nearly as imprecise a term as “post-modern”). The band’s cult following, however, recognizes their music for its unique blend of experimental rock and jazz fusion.  Their extensive discography, which includes seven LPs and two EPs, showcases a multitude of different styles and influences; from classical to acoustic folk, sporadic jamming to tight, disciplined orchestral arrangements, and drone-like minimalism to magnificent atmospheres and ambient electronica.

I would like to focus on their sixth album and a personal favorite, Other Truths. The album, released in 2009, is comprised of a meager four tracks (although lengthy when compared to the music of their contemporaries ) and runs a little over forty minutes.  Each track is titled after a word in the band’s name; which they originally co-opted from a row of motivational posters in an Elementary School.  Produced by Do Make Say Think themselves and recorded in a member’s basement, Other Truths is, in my humble opinion, the band in its most distilled form.

“Do” begins with a bright, upbeat electric guitar riff that sounds as if it was lifted off an early-2000s pop-punk album.  After guitar successfully establishes the song’s theme, the bass seizes the melody and plays a short solo before the rhythm loosens, the drums begin to syncopate, and a repetitive theme of descending guitar and vocal tones is layered over.  Toward the middle of the track,the theme from the beginning is reintroduced and slowly built up until it is a dense wall of distortion and sound.  Eventually, it fades and disappears into a contemplative mix of synths and church-like bells; a hypnotizing reinvention of the guitar theme.  The tempo slows and the sound diminishes until nearly nothing is left, leaving the listener (or at least, this listener) with a paradoxical and almost hallucinatory feeling of euphoria and emptiness.

“Make” starts off with sparse and repetitive electric guitar mingling with a jazz/swing drum pattern.  With the addition of a few unusual-sounding instruments (and at least one violin), the track slowly builds and crescendos.  There is a gentle change into tribal-sounding drumming and a powerfully narrative guitar part before the introduction of echoing, darkly religious-sounding chants (there are lyrics available online; I personally do not hear all of them in the track).  As the song progresses, it seems as if it will continue to descend into darkness. But a triumphant and almost defiant trumpet cuts through the darkness and the track takes another turn.  To me, the tension between the distorted guitars, screeching violin, and the optimistic horns creates a beautiful drama that evokes a battle between good and evil.  Perhaps the darkness wins, because the track’s apparent resolution comes amidst loud, distorted, and frenzied guitars. However, the piece continues with warm horns playing an ambiguous outro.

Make

With its jazz drum beat, slide guitar, and distinctly-flavored chords, “Say” is the track in which Do Make Say Think’s jazz influence can be most clearly heard.  Although without words, the track seems to follow a verse-chorus structure; the verse a simple, repetitive piano melody, augmented by a trailing guitar part and a prominent trumpet arpeggio, and the chorus an exuberant unison between guitar and trumpet.  The softer, minor-key bridge features the guitar, but does not last long, and gives way to a return of the chorus.  Following this last chorus, the rhythm slows into a folksy/blues outro in triple meter, with muted horns conversing with fuzzed vocals.  Finally, everything gently comes to a rest; a peaceful end to an overall comforting track.  To me, “Say” is the most hopeful piece of the album; brimming with certainty and optimism.

Say

If there is a track on Other Truths that truly suits its name, it is “Think.” Introspective and spacious, “Think” really does make the listener do just that.  Twanging, reverberating guitars exercise thoughtful restraint in a cyclical pattern, and soft vocal “oohs” float above a lightly brushed drum beat.  Steady, stable, and never really going anywhere, “Think” is the perfect portrait of a lonely soul wandering through the unknown.

Think

In its entirety, Other Truths is a beautiful journey for the listener; it is powerful but never excessive, sentimental yet never self-indulgent, and most importantly, it is resonant with the emotional whirlwind that is life.

Flamenco Meets Jazz

What happens when a music genre full of color, dance, movement and exoticism such as Flamenco is fusion with the complexity, syncopation and groove of jazz?

The answer is the art work of multi Grammy nominee Jazz pianist and composer Chano Dominguez.

I had the opportunity to attend one of his past presentations in New York this past month of April and it was an outstanding performance full of flavor, glamour and above all, Jazz.

In a recognition to Chano’s contributions to music, I can say that his style have had inspired great musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Paquito D’ Rivera, Chucho Valdes, among others. Chano’s style expands the boundaries of what is known as Latin Jazz which has been a style particularity derived from the Afro Cuban sound. It now reaches the old continent, more specifically Spain, to bring a new fusion of sounds which transcend a long journey from the Middle East. The gypsies from Romania traveled across Europe and settled in Spain. The cultural influence in Spain is a mixture of Eastern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. All that combined creates what is known as Flamenco. If you want to have a taste of the Flamenco sound and visual I invite you to see Flamenco Flamenco, a film production by Carlos Saura.

At the Jazz Standard, the Chano Dominguez Flamenco Quintet gave out a series of concerts from the last week of March thru the first week of April 2017. Chano had the accompaniment of Flamenco dancer Sonia Olla, recognized Flamenco singer Ismael Fernandez who happens to be Sonia’s husband, bassist Alexis Cuadrado,  and percussionist Jose Moreno.

First of all, I want to mention the negatives. The Jazz Standard is a recognized underground club offering weekly presentations with important figures of Jazz. A good thing is that this club is one of the most affordable Jazz clubs in New York City, charging an estimate of $30 per gig. Also, they do not require the purchase of beverages of food, meaning that for only $30 anyone can enjoy a fine Jazz performance. The downside is the stage and room setup and distribution. The room is long and rectangular with a low stage. This does not allow people seating in the back to contemplate the visual aspect of the performance very well. There are also columns in different parts of the room that may block the vision of the audience depending on where they are seating on. This is an important issue, in my opinion, because in order to fully enjoy a Jazz performance it is necessary a good view specially when its a live performance. I had the chance to seat close to the stage so that made me enjoy the show a lot although the one table in front of me was a bit annoying. I guess not every venue is perfect but I’ve been in other Jazz clubs before with better setups that had allowed me to view the performance in a better way even on the times I had to seat in the back. That could be a reason why this venue is affordable, who knows.

The performance took less than an hour but it was worth it. Chano began with an improvised Flamenco tune performing only instruments with no dancing and singing. After that, all the other musicians left the stage for a solo piano series of tunes. This particular solo piano performance sounded more traditional Jazz, with a few slight touches of harmonic minor scale grooves to give the Flamenco touch. The real deal became afterwards, when the whole quintet joined (including singer and dancer). Music turned more danceable and groove once the claps joined with the frequent Flamenco shouts which are particular of the genre. Colorful harmony where presented with a few varieties from the Jazz people are used to hear. In my opinion, the difference in harmony presented in Flamenco Jazz, are the implementation of harmonic minor and phrygian concepts within the harmonic and melodic structure. One of the unique features of Flamenco Jazz is the combination of these modes and scales. We usually conceptualized Flamenco Jazz as a rhythmic fusion, however this is not the only change presented. If we talk about harmony and melody, we can see that most modes are based on scales and scales are based on pitch formulas. The most common scales are the major, natural minor, melodic minor, and harmonic minor. There are others such as the whole tone scale and the chromatic scale, but these are symmetrical in their mathematical structure. in the case of the whole tone scale there are a space of one tone or a whole tone between each pitch whereas there is a semitone space between the chromatic scale. These symmetrical formulas lacks the sense of interest but they have their function. In the case of the others, they may sound different if their functions change according to their mode. The modes used in Flamenco are mainly based on harmonic minor scales. This particular sound mostly produced on the minor third interval between the sixth and seventh degree and the half step between the seventh and eight. The phrygian mode also plays an important role in Flamenco thanks to the minor second gap between the first and second degree. This sound make an interesting approach of the first degree which is a strong tone that is followed by a half step in the second degree. We are used to hear a strong tone preceded by a weak one half step below, but in this case is the opposite. This idea makes the phrygian unique. Although the locrian mode shares the same formula in these two degrees, the lack of perfect fifth makes of it a hard to use mode. The phrygian mode has the perfect fifth.

The phrygian major mode is a common mode used in Flamenco. This is mode based on the harmonic minor scale starting at the fifth degree. All of these variations set the melodic and harmonic parameters in Flamenco. But, what if we combine modes and scales within one chord or structure to create even more exotic colors? That is what Flamenco Jazz does and the one specialty of Chano’s playing. He uses often the spanish phrygian mode. This is the phrygian mode with an extra note: the major third. We can defined this as the combination between the phrygian and phrygian major modes, a combination between a major and a harmonic minor scale. This is only one example, but there are many other combinations. One combination that I have explored myself (not sure if discovered) are the combination of the first four notes of the phrygian major mode ending with the last four notes of the harmonic minor scale. For example, if we use D, then is the last four notes of the G harmonic minor staring in D and finishing with the last four of the D harmonic minor. I don’t know what the name is but I have used it and sounds great. These are one of the points that I wanted to highlight of this performance and style. There are others like rhythm, singing and dancing but they are more familiar with the basic structure of Flamenco.

Another impressive feature that I noticed in this particular performance was the instrumentation. As we know, the most important instrument in Flamenco is the guitar. Many times there are no other instruments present when Flamenco is performed. There was no guitar present in this performance. That little but important detail impressed me a lot because when I listen to Flamenco music I always expect the sound and rhythm of a guitar. The way Chano deals with instrumentation in his performances, makes a difference but never deviates from the essence of Flamenco. This is not new since other Jazz musicians have tried before. Chick Corea is one of them. However, in the case of the others, I find them to be a lot more inclined to Jazz instead of Flamenco. I can defined their style as Jazz with touches and embellishment of Flamenco. Chano is different. He maintains balance, and the amazing thing, without guitars. You don’t want it to be too Jazz nor too Flamenco. Chano is the guy for the job.

Chano met Miles Davis way back and together they worked in a few arrangements. As a tribute to Miles, Chano featured one of Miles’ popular tunes and made it a Flamenco piece. This tune was Miles Davis’ Blue in Green. It is interesting how Chano managed the arrangements in order to make it Flamenco. It was not only a fusion of Miles melody, but it included and extra feature. Chano took this Jazz Ballad and transformed it in a Flamenco poem by adding rhythm, chords and Flamenco improvisations. Not only that, he did something that was often used since the Renaissance period. He took a poem and stocked it within the tune. A poem by Rafael Alberti, a spanish poet from the Modern Era. The result was an extraordinary romantic piece well sang by Ismael.

I want to conclude this review with one more interesting feature I noticed in this performance. It is commonly known that the Modern Era brought lots of innovations in the implementation of new sounds, new compositional techniques and new ways of performance. One of these innovations was the use of extended techniques, which is extending the performance of an instrument but making sound using other types of execution rather than the normal way of playing it. Chano used a common extended technique in modernism, applied in the early 1920s by Henry Cowell, plucking the strings of the dulcimer. In order to add the missing sound of the guitar that is mostly featured in Flamenco music, Chano plucked in many occasions the strings of the dulcimer of the piano. This added a special timbre, but it was even better to watch it live. It is one of the things that deviates from the common expectancy of a Jazz performance.

I now leave you with a taste of what I consider a great performance. Enjoy.

Michael Riesman and Ensemble Signal Celebrate Philip Glass

On Monday May 15, at 6pm, I attended a Pop Up! concert at the Miller Theater at Columbia University School of The Arts. This Pop Up! concert was in honor of Philip Glass’s film and opera music as interpreted by Michael Riesman. Arriving to the location was a long walk from the train station so it was a pleasant surprise when I found out they had a free open bar at this free Pop Up! concert event, it made for a very relaxing time after being tired from walking and then waiting on a long line to get inside. After getting settled into my seat i realized that there were chairs up on the stage right in front of the piano; turns out people could actually purchase tickets to sit right up front and center with the musicians. It definitely created a very intimate setting for the performance, just not for those who did not purchase those tickets as we could not see the musicians at all, it was all just a listening setting for us down below.

Michael Riesman was the pianist for this concert, along with Doug Perkins on percussion and Laura Radnofsky on cello who are part of Ensemble Signal. The trio performed pieces from a blend of Philip Glass’s film and opera music. These pieces came from The Hours (2002 film), Naqoyqatsi (2002 film), Dracula, La Belle et la Bete (1994 opera) and Satyagraha (1979 opera).

The music that Philip Glass composed for these films and operas were definitely minimalist, for most pieces it only used two out of the three available instruments and it was not a complex scoring, as far as i could hear. The very first piece only included piano and cello, the majority of the pieces were cello and percussion. All the pieces were calming, relaxing, and romantic, it also helped create a scene in my mind, although i had never heard or seen any of the films or operas these pieces were coming from, I was able to feel like i was watching scenes unfold right in front of me, it was quite an experience.

At the bottom i have attached two recordings i was able to get from the performance, the first one is Tissue No.1 performed with cello and percussion from Naqoyqatsi and the second recording is The Poet Acts from The Hours performed with piano and cello.

On stage seating at the Pop Up! concert honoring Philip Glass

“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.

Renee Fleming Last Performance

After listening on Saturday in a life radio Station WQSR 105.9 FM the magnificent Soprano singer Renee Fleming in witch was performing the opera Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss that translated means The Knight of the Rose, I was amazed of how well this singer does her performance just by listening her voice on the radio was very powerful. Sadly, before the performance started, one of the radio station Broadcaster said that this was going to be her last performance. In addition, after decades of Renee being the stage performing numerous operas, today she will perform for the last time in the Metropolitan Opera House. 

The opera story consist of an 32 years old wife “Marschallin” that fight all along with her unsustainable marriage. As a result she has an affair  with a young man that is half her age “Octavian“. And at the end Octavian leaves Marschallin for some other woman that is younger.

This opera consist of five main character:

Marschallin: Renee Fleming

Octavian: Elīna Garanča

Baron Ochs: Günther Groissböck

Faninal: Markus Brück

Sophie: Erin Morley

The instrumentation of this opera in witch Strauss composed consist of: three flutes (piccolo), three Oboes (English horn), three Clarinets and three  bassoons (contrabassoon) on the Woodwind Family. Four French horns, Three trumpets, Three trombones and bass tuba on the brass family. Celestatimpanibass drum,  cymbalstriangle,  tenor drumsnare drumjingle bellstambourineglockenspielratchet, and castanets on the percussion family. Two harps, sixteen violins I, sixteen violins II, twelve violas, ten cellos, eight double basses on the string family.

This is an opera comique in which is an type on opera that not necessarily need to be to laugh. In addition, this type of opera is current in France and it is characterized by have a spoken conversation and an opera on a lighthearted theme, typically in French and with spoken dialogue.

when it come to the music, every scenes I can say  has its own color I believe that when  Strauss was compassion this opera he was trying to communicate emotion with the orchestra alone. In every section that Marschallin was around with Octavian the music was consonant and playful. however, when her husband was in the scene the bassoon played and more low pitch instrument where playing like the tuba and the trombone.

To conclude, I would wish to be their seeing life her las performance to explain the costumes and the decoration of the stage, but with only the radio was Amazing to listed to this great opera by Strauss figuring the last performance of Renee Fleming.

Ethel & Friends

Hello everyone, I decided to attend a performance on a group called Ethel and friends at the metropolitain museum of art on Saturday.  Ethel and friends are a string quartet that has traditional roots in classical music, however they focus on making classical music more relatable to the present day audience.  How? They perform modern songs using classical techniques.  If you would like to listen to an example here are the following links. https://www.ted.com/talks/ethel_performs_blue_room

It’s unfortunate for me because I didn’t get to see the string quartet that day.  I was able from a far to see a pianist and a flutist.  From what I heard they were improvising back and forth. I couldn’t hear a clear melodic phrase or theme.  The pianist was playing fast arpeggios like the flutist was soloing/improve, I believe in a major key.  They both were enjoying themselves, however the crowd was oblivious to them.  They were playing in the food court/bar area on the balcony of the museum. I was across the balcony but was able to still listen to some details due to the acoustics in that hall. I wish it had been in a room where they both were appreciated.  I also wish I could of been closer to give a more detailed report on their musical performance.