Analysis of the Jazz Concert

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On March 21st, 2018 Concert

On March 21st, 2018, the Department of Fine Arts presented a concert featuring the Jazz Ensemble II and the Tarleton Latin Band with a special guest trumpeter, Daryl White. The event took place at the Auditorium of the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Center. At the concert, there was a collective performance of thirteen pieces by the Jazz ensembles. The audience got to experience the different sounds of jazz music mainly from the “Ancient Memories,” “Waltz for Debby,” and “Fly me to the Moon,” among other stylistic pieces that got played. Jazz music is meant to tell a story about an event, or something like all music do, and this was evident from all the tracks that got played. Since this was the first time to be in attendance of live jazz, I could not help the bopping of my head and tap my feet as a result of the tuneful voices of the singers and the melodious sounds of the instruments. The instruments employed at the performances include pianos, saxophone, trumpets, and guitars.

“Fly Me to the Moon”

“Fly Me to the Moon,” composed by Bart Howard and organized by Sammy Nestico is a popular piece sung prominently by Frank Sinatra. From the start of the song, there is a romantic mood set by a Latin-inspired fathoming consonance. The saxophone and piano interchanged the tune of the music in a manner indicating like a couple flying to the moon. The keyboard, the saxophone and other instruments within the ensemble changed the texture of the song as the passion of the song got heated up. By the time the song reached its climax, the rhythm had obtained continuously steady and faster like a heartbeat. The dynamics of the song got louder at this juncture, and all the instruments converged at the top with a loud bang and then altered the dynamics once more to a moderate level up to the conclusion of the song.

“Waltz for Debby”

“Waltz for Debby” initially composed by Bill Evans and organized by Don Sebesky, was consistent, slow-beat waltz. During the entire piece, the texture did not change, and the 1, 2, 3, pattern was evident throughout the piece as well. The instruments that got played that is the electric guitar, trumpet, and saxophone took turns at the melody, and this happened throughout the performance in the form of solos. There was soft dynamics throughout the song and later heightened to a moderate level before decreasing to a softer point once more. There was a fantastic job by the ensemble in keeping up with the beat.

“Ancient Memories”

The song by Fred Hamilton, “Ancient Memories” and arranged by Paul Ferguson got played by the guest trumpeter, Darryl White at the night of the concert. The choice by Mr. White to play the song got driven by the fact that it matched the title track on his 1999 recording, similarly referred to as “Ancient Memories.” The guest trumpeter is an employee of the University of Nebraska as a professor of the trumpet. The piece started with discordant pitches within the harmony by introducing drums and a piano. Later, the song resumed to a more consonant harmony which got maintained in the entire song. A polyphonic texture of the song was evident between the piano and the trumpet. The notes of the trumpet got held for emphasis while the tempo changed which brought about a bright and happy melody, and relaxing and cooler in some parts of the song. Several dynamics were evident in the entire song. For instance, the song started with an increase from soft to loud and maintained the pattern to the end even after a reverse of the model.

Personal Reflections

My understanding of the “Fly Me to the Moon” right from the first note was a romance song. The passionate nature of the song expressed dialogue in the absence of any words. The song reminded me of Celine Dion’s song, “My Heart Will Go On” since the instrumental nature of it tells a story as she sings the lyrics. “Waltz for Debby” left me wondering the identity of Debby and the reason why an individual would compose such an old-sounding piece for a person they love. The song showed a different genre from the rest of the pieces presented at the concert. I found the song to be dull and did not have the depth of the rest of the songs in the entire evening and would not recommend it to anyone. “Ancient Memories” to me was the best piece for the night. My love for the song was due to the passion employed by Mr. White and the memories of my life that it brought. It was fun listening to the song over and over despite the repetitions in it.

The Experience at the Auditorium

The experience at the auditorium was an eye-opening one. The event was my first time at a live performance where I got the chance to listen and analyze live music consecutively. The concert brought the realization of the efforts behind a performance that mostly goes unnoticed by many. It came to my understanding that diversification is an essential lesson of learning while at the same time viewing music since all music gets anchored from different genres and the recognition of this makes a person more diversified at a personal level.

October 05, 2023

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