Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Listening Log #1 2014/2015

It's been a pretty long time since my last post I guess. I get busier all the time and these things slip my mind.
First of all, I can't believe that I'm going to be sixteen tomorrow! I have got to say, I feel really very blessed to have such a great birthday this year. Tomorrow, I will wake up a little early to start my first of 3 choirs and a band rehearsal for the day. Such a musical day is all I could ever ask for and I'm so lucky to get to spend a substantial part of that day with my close friends.

Anyways, more about all that in my next post. For now, here's another listening log for jazz choir. This one is a little bit different. 10 songs all at once and I'll only have a couple sentences about each.

1. centerpiece by Lambert, Hendricks and Ross http://youtu.be/SIfVRIufWq0
I love that throughout the piece, even though it's very repetitive, the entire song remained very interesting. They played with the tempo a lot towards the end, slowing parts down until the very end when they just had a big rit. I think my favorite part about it was the style. The notes were separated while still being quite long and they were never ever static, everything was going somewhere, even if it was subtle.

2. Lush life by Lady Gaga http://youtu.be/AZu484I6I2s
All the spaces between phrases in this song were very alive. Particularly in the beginning, Gaga stretched her phrases a lot and in many ways, her singing continued through the rests. She wasn't actually vocalizing but she never truly ended her thought until the very end.

3. My sugar is so refined by the Hi-Lo's http://youtu.be/wh8ORki-0o8
There are two things that have always struck me about this song. The first is the way it incorporates very straight classical style as well as swung jazz and they go hand in hand quite well in a very enjoyable song. The second is the dynamic contrast. The impact of the song just isn't the same without all the extreme dynamics. It goes from a forte down to a piano between one note and the next and it's extremely effective and makes for a very entertaining song that's also fun to sing!

4. Moondance- arranged by Jeremy Fox http://youtu.be/gLjUrxZZ8Zg
The group performing in this video also has stunning dynamics with great breath accents exactly where is fitting. The dynamics compliment the breath accents in order to create an audio experience that takes you past notes on a page and gives you a story. The performance takes you on the adventure created by the song.

5. Corcovado- Lisa Ono- http://youtu.be/SG9Mj6_o_HY
The first thing I noticed about this performance was that Lisa Ono conveys story very very well. I do not understand a single word she's saying but her tone and the small details she's putting into her singing convey so much emotion, I don't have to. The way she sings it presets it's own story, seperate from whatever the song is actually about. The two are related but they aren't quite the same.

6. The Tender Trap- Frank Sinatra- htt://youtu.be/mkBDSWCQOBM
The energy is definitely the biggest part of this song. The overall message is pretty comedic but true. None of this comes across without energy and 'ol blue eyes is great for that. The entire song he's really just saying "hey boy, when you fall in love, you will be absolutely hopeless and there is no escape." His energy shows so much and keeps the song itself engaging.

7. This masquerade- Leon Russell http://youtu.be/WVtYNbFAxrY
First of all, I love this song so so much. My favorite part of this performance of it is the absolute freedom in the phrasing. It's the same idea as it's written but he pushes and pulls the phrases and the melodies just run together so beautifully, I could listen to this for hours and not get tired of it. Leon leaves spaces between the phrases and that in itself is a different idea. All the freedom and time to think adds so much to an already gorgeous piece.

8. Master Blaster- Stevie Wonder http://youtu.be/M4yIvxJd7ck
I love this song because it's just so much fun! Stevie Wonder is obviously a great performer and does so well with improvising just little bits of lyric as he goes. The whole song just builds and builds from beginning to end and he makes that very clear, adding parts and getting louder and becoming simply more intense in what he does.

9. Wings to fly- All-State Jazz Choir- http://youtube./4Gf7Rc3hMIE
The beauty of this song is in it's simplicity. There are no words and it's fairly simple, three parts for a fair amount of the song, sometimes splitting into as many as six. It also doesn't sound like an incredibly challenging chart by listening at first but if you listen carefully, you can tell how much work is required to really get to the level that this choir did. There's such an emotional story to it and even if you have no idea what that story is, you know it's there just from the shape they're conveying so well. I really appreciate the heart put into this performance.

10. Autumn leaves- Eric Clapton-http://youtu.be/UQIFOX0YKlQ
I've heard pieces of this song many, many times and it's a very beautiful song. Eric Clapton's performance has such a careful softness to it, it makes the entire piece sounds very delicate and adds a whole new layer to the song. It's such simple phrasing that he uses, little quick pieces of melody but they fit together so nicely, it's paints a stunning picture of the song as a whole and the whole performance has so much emotion, I had to listen to it three or four times before I could even write anything about it, I had to keep reminding myself to come back out of the music and really think about it.