The main topic of this analysis is the peculiarities of jazz music from the technical point of view as well as the recipient’s perception of it. The paper deals with the reflection on four pieces of music. The songs are analyzed in respect of such features as timbre, specific instruments, pitch range, melodic style and contour, phonic structure/texture, dynamics, and performers.
All songs presented in the paper are jazz songs, some of them are performed by an orchestra, the others by a group of musicians and one piece of music is a solo composition. They are just melodies without vocal presentation and the leading instrument performing them is a saxophone. Jazz music is one of the most charming and mysterious kinds of music. The close interaction of different musical traditions gradually evolved into jazz and nowadays it is one of the popular international music genres endeavoring to unite people all over the world. The age group of the jazz audience varies, although it includes mostly adults and elderly people as jazz started to develop at the beginning of the 20th century.
The first composition performed by Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and Bated Breath is extremely active, its timbre it soft and sweet. I like it most and I am sure that it will not leave anyone indifferent. Even though it may seem that this melody is a combination of different elements such as melody, rhythms, pitches changes and variations, it is flowing and natural. The composition is quite monotonous, but starting from the 45th minute it surprisingly changes its way into more scratchy, pitches are becoming very high. As to the performers, they are merely the means of music production and they behave accordingly. There is not anything special about them. The players are totally concentrated on their music. Chad Lefkowitz-Brown together with Bated Breath can be described with such a phrase ‘it is all about listening, not visual effects.’ They are boring and dull, but, in fact, it does not matter as they create wonderful music.
The composition “In Walked Bud”is entertaining and refreshing. It is performed with the help of several instruments. The calming rhythm of the song cannot be treated unambiguously as at the same time it makes me want to sit and reflect on life and start dancing. The timbre changes from smooth to more scratchy, but the melody sounds very consistent. Such instruments as saxophone, drums, piano, and trumpet are involved in this process. The pitches are chaotic, although saxophone comes to the fore. The shape of the melody ascends and descends; the rhythmic activity varies as the main instrument does not only play high notes but switches to low ones. The texture of this piece of music can be referred to polyphony.
The third composition is performed by Chad Lefkowitz-Brown only; it is his solo piece of music. He is faithful to his manner of playing – be totally absorbed in the music. Chad plays the saxophone bringing peace and relaxation to the listener. I adore this composition as I can totally focus on sound, rhythm, dynamics, and other music features. The saxophone timbre is similar to the human voice; namely its vibrations represent a man’s voice, the amplitude of pitches changes rather slowly creating the light melody. However, some major changes in it are presented as well, especially at the end of the song when there is a pause between high and low pitch. It outlines the contour of the melody and makes it catching. Notes of different duration are mixed in the song so that the rhythmic activity is steady. As to the phonic structure, this melody is monophony because it is performed by one person.
The fourth song belongs to instrumental jazz music. Concerning the timbre or a tone of this piece, it should be mentioned that all the instruments can be heard perfectly and one can easily distinguish between them. They sound different, but together they create a soft melody. This song deals with saxophone, drums, trumpet, and contrabass. It seems that pitch range is rather high as similar sound patterns appear frequently. The saxophone, contrabass, and trumpet create high frequencies of sound that rises and falls. The piece of music is very active, lively, and dynamic. One instrument changes another, but together they create a unique atmosphere. The rhythm of the melody can be referred to orchestral rather than to instrumental as saxophone, drums, and contrabass combine together to make a distinctive sound. The meter can be referred to a hypermeter as the song consists of many hyperbeats. As to the texture, it can be described as heterophony because several musicians play the same melody a little bit differently. This song changes in loudness that is why it has dynamics. It is performed fast and loud. The beginning of the song repeats later, the refrains are quite similar although minor alterations are presented (like trumpets in the end). Concerning my impressions, I can say that this song definitely improved my mood and brought back to the beginning of the 20th century. It also made me imagine charming ladies in sophisticated dresses with small hats on the heads dancing with attractive men in magnificent halls.
To sum up, this jazz concert is an enjoyable experience as it gives an understanding of what jazz songs should consist of and how they are performed. Chad Lefkowitz-Brown has made a significant contribution to jazz music; he performs in a unique way concentrating only on the music. The four songs are both similar in terms of their reference to jazz and different regarding an impression they have made. Their differences and similarities are interwoven and create an exclusive jazz atmosphere. I admire this concert because it has brought to my mind vivid pictures from old movies that I have watched.
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