A Night of Jazz with the University Jazz Bands
The concert I chose to attend was the University Jazz Bands’ Student Ensemble Concert on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. The concert featured two ensembles, both the Virginia Tech Jazz Ensemble and the Jazz Lab Band. At this concert, I was both a perceptive listener due to my knowledge of music and music performance, and a casual listener enjoying my friends performing a great concert. I enjoy my nature of listening because I can appreciate the music on many different levels, and get much more out of the performances than the casual listener. The concert was entirely jazz music, performing hits by Tommy Wolf, Duke Ellington, Mike Tomaro, and on. The ensembles varied in exact composition, but both contained: alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones; trumpets and trombones; drums, bass, piano, and guitar. A performer of every instrument had a solo and one point or another in the various songs, which provided not only a great chance to hear individual musician’s talents, but also a great opportunity to hear how the instrument itself can be used in jazz improvisation and how styles vary from instrument to instrument due to the nature of playing/performing them.
There were nine songs performed at the concert, each with their own unique melody and form, but all following the jazz standards. The first song, “Rosewood,” was written by Woody Shaw and was performed by the Jazz Lab Band. The song features a fast presto tempo, fast with engineering and a driving bass line. A quarter of the way through the song, there’s a great trumpet solo blaring over a more subdued standard jazz riff, which goes straight into a tenor saxophone solo. The saxophone solo developed nicely upon the trumpet solo, both incorporating the first melody with some minor improvisations. The song had three themes, which were played in an ABACA pattern. The song was generally polyphonic, with one soloist or instrument group playing a...