On November 92007, the University of Oregon hosted one of their Jazz Cafe performances. This was primarily a showcase for music majors and graduate students. Held at the Beall Concert Hall, the performances featured many blossoming musicians with an assortment of unique musical combos. This was a perfect opportunity to experience such a wide variety of music, which for the novice Jazz listener, was perfeCI. It wasn’t just the music, however, that m4:lde this perfonnance a success. It was the atmosphere. Low lighting coupled with candlelit tables made for a great romantic date. Although the place was packed to capacity, the feel of the atmosphere remained calm and relaxing. There was a pleasantness and ease about the whole performance.
One of the great things about this performance was the new addition ofduos. These I really enjoyed because it seemed a whole lot easier 10 hear and dissect the music. The first song that r heard was the duo with two people on the piano. Tmmediately after the song began, I picked up on some familiar sounds to that ofrag time. There was a simple right hand melody being played, which gave it a playful sound.
The next performance was a duet with a piano and tenor sax. One ormy favorite performances ofthe night, it had an eerie and mysterious sound due 10 the play with minor keys. There was a strong emphasis on the call and response or antiphony aspect, especially at the beginning ofthesong. Theuse ofminorkeysandnotesproducedclashingsounds attimes during Ihe performance. In this duet we got 10 see bits and pieces ofeach instrument both the piano and the sax. One technique the saxophone seemed to be using was the repeating of arpeggios. The piano would pick up strong at the same time and then die down again. There was such an edgy sound to this performance. Straight from an Alfred Hitchcock movie or something, this music had everything I wanted to hear. Towards the end, we start to see Ihe music reaching this climatic end and then it suddenly stopped.
The next petiormance showed a duet between a trumpet and tenor saxophone. The song begins really slowly and really never picks up much. The tenor sax begins and then it is followed by Ihe trumpet. This combination and the way the music is presented gives ofT a real melancholy feel. II has a depressed sound. The two instruments are going back and torth overlapping each other and in the process get higher and higher.
This song entitled “I heard it Through the Grapevine,” was done with a duet between a bass and piano. The bass begins and uses very strong plucks to emphasize the melody. The bass get a little rougher and Ihen the piano kicks in. Using a 4/4 time on Ihe left hand only and the bassist playing chords I& 3 with right hand. This music definitely has a touch ofbJues and soul. Its deep beats and repealed bass lines (Ostinato) makes your feet begin to t~p and head nod. Towards the end ofthe song the piano begins to take charge using right hand chords only. He begins to freestyle using his right hand, repeating various notes and scales. The piano produces fast scales and uses bottom chords. Eventually the piano begins 10 soften and the music fades away. This was an example ofa technique called ritardando, which is a gradual decrease in tempo.