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Concert review - Essay Example

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Ira Sullivan and Frost Concert Jazz Band: An Evening to Remember Tony Wilson once declared: "Jazz is the last refuge of the untalented. Jazz musicians enjoy themselves more than anyone listening to them does." I came across this quote several years ago but it especially grated on me as I made my way to the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall in the evening of November 29th…
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"Concert review"

But, I did have the ticket and a classmate of mine insisted, so off we went. I was expecting one of those obligatory events where we go through the motions and become glad when they are over. But I was pleasantly surprised when the curtain fell - so to speak - I found I quite enjoyed the affair and was delighted and inspired to some extent. I was particularly impressed with the Bird Count, the piece composed and arranged by Maria Schneider. I have watched this played once by a high school ensemble and I was mortified with the cacophony of sounds that came out of the performance. The thing is that this particular number includes numerous musical components. Besides the rhythm, saxophone and horn sections, it included several sets of drums. So an inexperienced or less talented jazz group could ruin the music. This is the case especially when jazz allows for improvisation from among the musicians and the music could be difficult to control. I was taken aback by the manner that the performance was executed. It was seamless, harmonious and, well... upbeat! For me, it set the tone for the performances throughout the night. It captured the very essence of American Jazz, carefree and engaging, to the point that the spectator is exhorted to stand and go swinging as well. Another memorable music was, of course, Con Alma. It is a crowd pleaser, judging from the reaction of the audience. This is partly because it is a bit melodramatic and showcased the skills not just of the soloist but the rhythm section, most particularly, the pianist. This version was executed excellently and it was a fitting culmination to the mood set by (Key) Largo, which preceded it. Both these numbers depict a more formal form of jazz with the effect of grandeur and awe that one would usually find in operatic performances. In this concert this effect was achieved and for several moments, I was spellbound. The Summer Knows is a piece I am familiar with. To some extent, I can even call it a favorite. So, needless to say (and perhaps regardless of how it was played), I would say it was one of the highlights. It is, for me, one of the Jazz songs that one could totally be delightfully lost in. This is where Tony Wilson would have been correct in a strange way. The reason is that if I will be the musician playing, I would probably drifted with the music, unaware of my surrounding. Indeed, it was one of the most engrossing and highly applauded numbers of the performances. As expected, Ira Sullivan was magnificent all throughout the performance. He strolled in the stage like he owned it but yielded it and the limelight to the other musicians often making the entire ensemble whole and the rapport was, simply, great. It is safe to claim that the success of the concert is attributed to his performance. But credit should also be given to the conductor, Dante Luciani, who did a marvelous job in keeping the performances cohesive, passionate and successful. Without him, it is difficult to imagine how Mr. Sullivan or the band could have infused tremendous soul to the affair. All in all, I came to the concert, expecting less. And, as has been pointed out earlier, I am not one who would enthusiastically go to a jazz concert especially during a really bad day. I was ready to squirm in my seat. I was prepared to be bored. But, instead, I was delighted. When the encore was Read More
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