There are 12 tracks on the recording, 11 are vocals, the other track is called Atlantis, this is an instrumental and Lauren plays a soprano saxophone on this one. It gives it a rather ethereal sound. She also plays the soprano on one or two other tracks, and an alto on another. The music is relaxing and never dull, Lauren's voice has been compared to Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy and Ella Fitzgerald although I am not sure if that is the case. Others may agree. I particularly liked One Note Samba, Atlantis and Over the Rainbow. This is certainly a singer that deserves to be heard and I will watch her progress with interest.
Discreet and Charade, the latter based on the score of the movie, also changed from 3/4 to 4/4, receive the wistful and harmonically interesting Pintchik treatment but I feel a live Boston rendition of For All We Know (obviously a non-original) fails to do the business. If you have never heard Billie Holiday's heart-breaking performance of this composition not long before her early death, it might be different. Comparisons, as they say, are odious but Lady Day at her most poignant is a hard, if not impossible, act to follow, instrumental or vocal. The Pintchik treatment fails to impress me, not particularly helped by over-enthusiastic percussion work.
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Spring Rain is a tribute to the music of the late Jimmy Giuffre, an American jazz musician and composer prominent in the 1950s and 1960s. He is best known for a highly popular type of folk-jazz – one of his compositions, The Train and the River, opens the classic film, Jazz on a Summer’s Day. But Giuffre also had a keen interest in free jazz and, in the sixties, led an experimental trio with himself on clarinet, Paul Bley on piano and Steve Swallow on bass. The trio were particularly interested in exploring forms of group improvisation. It is this free jazz, group improvisation side of Giuffre that Blaser wants to honour on Spring Rain. Steve Swallow himself makes a contribution to the liner notes.
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The album is mainly jazz standards but played with affection and skill and an engaging freshness, particularly in the improvisations. Sainsbury, by and large, is content to play the Freddie Green role strumming away in the background “glueing it all together”. He does, however, play a short but effective solo on the Sonny Rollins composition, Tenor Madness (track 3); and he has contributed two of his own compositions – the opening title track You Said It, and the closing track, Wendy’s Blues, named after his wife.
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Five of the tracks are written by Mike Holober and a sixth by his compatriot, tenor player Jason Rigby providing the key contribution, Idris, in memory of the great funky drummer Idris Muhammed. There are also two ‘standards’. In my view, Mike Holober should have dispensed with them in favour of his own writing. His own songs like Book of Sighs, Grace At Sea and When There Were Trains are truly evocative studies....., damn it, they are a caress of the spirit from experienced musicians who have put aside ‘the session’ in favour of articulating the elemental. And the truth is, I am sucker for a smart horn section expanding over a drummer who is riveting the rhythm underneath them.
28/8/2017 · How to Write a Composition
There’s a five year old grainy black and white film on YouTube featuring Devin Gray’s Relative Resonance playing live in New York. I like it. The music is experimental, probably not fully formed. It’s a band beginning its thing. They waited half a decade to bring out the RelativE ResonancE recording featuring all Devin Gray compositions. I guess you could say the completed product is relative to that original unpolished short movie still doing the rounds out there in the ether.