UMass Jazz Ensemble Report

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David Gross

Corey Reed The LivelyArts Jazz Ensemble I On Tuesday, November 20 I attended the UMass Jazz Ensemble 1 concert in Bowker Auditorium. This is the first time I have ever attended a concert with the intention of listening to the elements of the music, and I found it was difficult to do so. When being taught about each individual element in class and knowing specifically what to look for it is easy to pick out which instrument or instruments are participating and describe their actions. However, in a big band concert such as this I found myself slightly confused as to what I was listening to, even though I enjoyed the performance very much. The first element that became apparent to me was the saxophone solo, or should I say solos that included improvisation.Almost every piece had a section set aside for the saxophone to take the lead and play. The tempo was fast, however the rhythm never strayed from that set by the rhythm section. The one song in particular that I recall having the most profound sax improvisation section was the first played. The lead sax player stood and played along with the drummer, keeping a rapid tempo. Every other section of the band also had solos that included improvisation, but it was my observation that the saxophone received the most attention in this area. The second element which I observed came in the piece that was written by the pianist. He incorporated a long break in his piece where he used the electric keyboard to produce strange and interesting sounds. During this time the ensemble had stopped playing and the only focus was on the pianist. This is what designates this section as a break rather than a solo. He takes the stage alone and plays while the entire ensemble waits for him to finish. During the break, the tempo was slower than the res
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