The first question I asked myself at the beginning of the quarter was how much do I actually know about jazz? I have always characterized jazz music as a rhythmic and instrumental form of music. My impression on the basis of the jazz has always been portrayed with the African-American race. I think this was build up from the rhythm ‘n’ blues era and meaning according to the dictionary (“style of music that was invented by African American musicians in the early part of the twentieth century and has very strong rhythms and often involves improvisation”). But Louis Armstrong’s famous reply was “if you had to ask, you ” ll never know.” Whatever else he meant, he was at least saying that jazz is noticeable, but not necessarily understandable by words. (do not really know exact cite where I have got this quote) For my concert review, I went to see the performance of Maynard Ferguson and his at Jazz Alley on Jan. 12 th 2005.
I asked some of my friends to join and they gladly agreed. Since two of my friends were a musician themselves and loved seeing live music whenever possible. They even went ahead and made a reservation. First time in Jazz Alley, the place was filled with various groups of people eating, drinking, and chatting. Our table was in good position, plus I was able to see the stage very well. We ordered some cocktails and everyone looked relaxed and enjoying their evening…
except me, as I was worrying about writing a paper. I started to write the names of the players and the instruments they play; getting ready to take some notes. But since when they started to play, I only wrote the names of the songs; cause my self was already busy enjoying the concert too. Maynard Ferguson, jazz legend, internationally renowned big band leader and one of the world’s greatest trumpet players with his Big Bop Nouveau Band. He draws upon bebop, straight-ahead jazz, funk, swing, classical and contemporary music to create a fresh sound within the classic big band form. (cite from Jazz Alley web site) Because me being Korean, I personally was little surprised and impressed by two Korean were members of his big band.
A massive piano player, Ji Young Lee, pretty amazing in all pieces, her extended work on “but beautiful” was really lovely and the most memorable. Stockton, powerful drum player, thrilled the audience especially one of my friend, with his solos. He was banging away using all his gear, play in energetic and lively. M. F. and his band provided a remarkable arrangement of ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone,’ as well as some elegant and very impressive, as Maynard ended a song by playing a soft muted trumpet, while the rest of the band played softer and softer, creating the effect of a fade-out.
Really high and loud all night long… including my self and my friends, the audience seemed really appreciating his hit medley at the end. It made us to believe that he plays over the top with excellent showmanship. Our waitress was little busy most of that night but the cocktail was good so it was okay and the lighting was perfect. Oh, one more thing, Jazz Alley’s student discount was good deal.