Monday, June 9, 2008

A Jazzy Evening

Saturday evening Hubby and I went with friends out for dinner and a concert. Doesn't that sound very upscale? I even wore a dress. We were ritzy that night, my friends.

The concert was an evening of jazz, which is not a music style I listen to much. My opinion of jazz is a tennis shoe, a cowboy boot and a BB chain in the dryer, with a little trumpet or sax thrown in. After Saturday evening, my opinion hasn't changed much.

Every song eventually ended up sounding the same. In thirty minutes, the band played three songs. Three ten minutes songs. With very long improvised solos by each instrument, in every song. That would be a piano solo, a string bass solo, a drum solo, a trumpet solo, and a saxophone solo. In every song. And my opinion of jazz improvisation is that you hit every note in the scale (and some that aren't) as often and as fast as possible.

However, there were some good things about the concert.

One thing is that jazz musicians, at least the band we heard, are EXCELLENT musicians. Believe me, it takes some talent to hear one beat in your head and play a different one. Personally, I think the drummer was doing his best to never ever actually play on the actual rhythm of the song. It takes a lot of skill to do this and keep the music from self destructing.

Related to that, the trumpet player was I think the BEST trumpet player I've ever heard. My previous experiences with trumpet music involved words like strident, sharp, and loud. But this trumpet player had me thinking of words like creamy, and smooth. He could also play the longest notes I have ever heard played on a breath-based instrument.

Another thing I enjoyed is watching the musicians enjoy their own music. I could see they were really feeling it, even though I couldn't.

I also liked seeing how they interacted with each other as band members, communicating where the song was going next, and giving each other space for their solos. They just seemed to really like playing together.

And finally, we learned when we got there that the concert was being live broadcasted on NET radio, which is Nebraska's NPR station. We were in the studio audience! So if you happened to be listening by radio that night, you would have heard us clapping. (Does this mean I'm famous?)

So, all in all, I think I enjoyed the concert. Even though we did leave at intermission. An hour of tennis shoes and BB chains was enough.


carrie said...

I enjoy jazz somewhat...but your description is fitting ;)

Glad you enjoyed yourself!!!

PrayerMom said...

I'll know not to play any of my albums by the Marsalis brothers when you visit.:) I'm glad that you managed to find a common ground with the music and enjoy yourself.