When a lot of people talk about jazz, they tend to put it up on a pedestal like it’s some incomprehensible style of music where people just play a bunch of notes as fast as possible. In reality, jazz is mainly about two things, the first being self-expression through improvisation.
That is not to diminish the values of jazz, it is one of the defining traits of what America is. But without improvisation, jazz lacks that special something that touches people’s lives. This focus on improvisation, making your own melody on the spot, is due to the influence of the blues. With the blues, people were given the opportunity to express their troubles and heart ache through music.
This was passed on to jazz, but now with the freedom of escaping the traditional 12 bar blues form. When you listen to a jazz musician, or any musician really, improvise, you are given a glimpse into their life, their troubles and joys.
The second main thing about jazz is to make sure you have fun with it! Jazz was the original “pop” music, people danced to it and had a good time. The best-selling jazz album of all time, Kind of Blue, was in itself a jam session, a lot of the songs on the record were first takes with musicians not knowing too much beforehand about how the session would go down.
The PC jazz band hopes to offer these two main things to you, the audience, in their upcoming concert. They are playing from the whole history of jazz, from the blues to the Kind of Blue session to the funk fusion of the 80’s. They are even playing a swing version of a song from the Lion King. You also get to hear improvisation of budding musicians here at PC. The concert itself is April 15th at 7:30 p.m. in Edmunds Hall. Come and give jazz a shot, you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.