Monday, 22 October 2012

Choir #3

Hey again!
So last week we received our third jazz choir assignment. It's called Undun and it's sung by Kurt Elling. There will be a link at the bottom for those of you who want to watch it and I think that's it.

So Once you listen to it you know it's clearly accompanied by a Bass, Piano, Guitar, Drums and an alto sax. It's a swung, jazzy rock ballad with the very common form of chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, verse. It's text is very intriguing and so interesting I decided to learn more. It seemed to me when I first listened to it to represent a lifelong struggle of some kind. When I found out what it actually meant I was very surprised. Randy Bachman got the idea for the song while listening to Bob Dylan's "Ballad in Plain D". When he was about to turn off the radio, he heard the line "she came undone". That reminded him of a girl he saw at a party who fell into a coma. She is what the song is all about.  Th text wasn't the only thing that was interesting though. To make the different parts stand out Elling almost melted consonants together and at the ends of his phrases there were sometimes little smears and other times, some falls. There were also some solos that really stood out. Obviously i'm not talking about the vocals because that runs through the whole tune. Bachman's guitar solo was super interesting and really unique. I really liked the chords he chose to vibrate. I think it really brought out some of the colors in the song. Bob Sheppard did a wicked sax solo right after that. It had some cool jumps in it and emphasis on some of the warmer chords too. Also, While group unity doesn't apply as much to a soloist, his band still has to pay attention and stay with each other and the singer. They did that really well and in songs like this it is especially hard for the pianist because if the singer makes a mistake, or adds parts they have to stay together and their moving parts have to be in unison or it just won't sound right. That ties in to musicality. It was great throughout the whole tune (not a song. the word song is frowned upon by jazz musicians.) anyways, great musicality. Dynamic contrast everywhere it needed to be but really noticeable at the end of phrases where he tapers off. The blend throughout the group is also great considering they are each using a different axe with a completely different voice. Lastly, I also learned a lot from this performance. I think others could too. For example, a group couldn't do some of the embellishments he puts in like smears and falls without being at least a little bit off and definitely not to that extent. Also he is a great example for confidence whether you feel it or not and the true value of stage presence.
So here's the link I promised you guys and I hope you like it!