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Open Collection of Student Writing (OCSW)

Concert Report: BYU Faculty Jazz ensemble

On January 25th, I had the remarkable day with the first concert in my life. This concert is organized by Excellence in the Community who offer a great variety of local music and dance shows. The main performers on that night are BYU Professor Ray Smith and colleagues Steve Lindeman and Jay Lawrence, among others, bring Q’d Up, the BYU Faculty Jazz ensemble, to the Gallivan main stage for a free concert. They are playing instrumental jazz as an orchestra with the combination of familiar instruments like with saxophones, bass, drums, piano and guitar, etc., makes the lifted rhythm of each note. In some parts of this concert, there are attendances of special guests that I thought they are Professor Ray Smith’s students and his colleagues.

I have the great moments of straying into the sweet melody of the song, “One for Two Dans.” This song is opened by the mellow sound of piano playing by professor Steve Lindeman and featured a conjunct melody of clarinet with harmonious sounds playing by professor Ray Smith. While Lindeman was keeping his steady pulse of iambic pentameter, the clarinet with lasting melodious tune had something changed in its rhythm, but still kept 7 times signature. Initially, there is a long tone, then the tone of the next seven notes gradually increased, then dropped as steady as ripples, hit the third note. With the accompaniment of drum and cymbals (Jay Lawrence), bass (Eric Hansen) and guitar (Ron Saltmarsh), this was played at a moderate tempo with an impressed elegance. During this song, I noticed that there is some period of syncopation took a lot of accents than the introduction. So, the interval that clarinet in the state of rest, the piano arpeggio presented by bold chords to begin the transfer step for the new style playing clarinet with the higher and faster timbre. Smith solo the clarinet with amazing short and strict tones, then reached the high-pitched melodious sound. That is the padding step for him to make the dynamic of the rhythm higher with the old flow of the introduction. In addition, the even sounds of cymbals following the rhythm of clarinet created a passionate melody and got into my heart. After seven and a half minutes, this song came to an end by the perfect combination between the lasting sound of clarinet and the repeated resound of drums.

Another wonderful jazz style brought me to the excited atmosphere when it was appeared with Never Better. The introduction was made with the hurried bass tone presented by Eric Hansen and the interposed cymbals – drums playing by Lawrence. As an integral part of jazz, the familiar sound of clarinet (Ray Smith) and saxophone (Steven Hardy), trumpet (Joseph Palmer), trombone (Daniel Burt) clearly resounded with main and supported roles. The high melody of clarinet covered the concert its own after the long tune of wind instrument family displayed. Despite the fact that piano, bass, guitar and drums might be not really stood out to this circumstance, but these are the most important elements to establish the songs’ melody. Especially, there are the attendance of vibes playing by Danny O. Snow with its fast and clear tune harmonized with the flowing scale of that song. I was impressed the deceleration of triplet from the vibes which the last tone combined with the cymbals and guitar, it drew a completely round tone before the song came back refrain to ending. Finally, the playing all together of the artists and instruments in the last minutes accomplished left the great impression to the audience.

Although I did not have the opportunity to listen to the final songs and sometime I get trouble with following the rhythm, this concert opened the new general vision about jazz with the outstanding performance of BYU Faculty Jazz ensemble.

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