On April Fourth The Studley Jazz Ensemble, Under The Direction

879 WordsMay 1, 20174 Pages
On April fourth the Studley Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. John Menegon, presented their second concert in Julien J. Studley Theatre featuring music by Irving Berlin, W.C Handy, John Menegon, Dizzy Gillespe, Duke Ellington, and John Mayer. In addition, the ensemble included the bass, trumpet, drums, alto saxophone, guitar and two vocalists. The second piece that was performed was “St. Louis Blues”, by W.C Handy (1873-1958). The piece was considered the most famous blues composition from the time it was written in 1914 until 1930. According to Handy, he found his inspiration for the song while talking to many people on the streets of St. Louis. Similar to his other pieces, it was composed in a bar Handy visited often in…show more content…
The piece was a form of the blues type of jazz, a form that was dominant at the end of the 19th century. Being part of the blues music, it focused on harmonizing with the three principal chords throughout the entirety of the song. It brought excitement and variety to the piece and keeping the audience as well as the ensemble itself on our feet. In addition to the harmonization the ensemble was able to take the form of a loose narrative, often relating the troubles experienced in a society. John Mayer’s “I don’t need no doctor” created a change of pace during the concert. This song is a modern form of jazz. Originally written for the famous Ray Charles, this version of the song was recorded with John Scofield for his album That 's What I Say: John Scofield Plays the Music of Ray Charles in 2005, featuring Mayer who is a blues guitarist and added additional vocals. As someone, who was only aware of the John Mayer version, I was surprised to see how well this ensemble was able to bring it back to its jazz routes, while also combining rock and roll. It was clear to me that the instrumentalist and vocalist appreciated this song more as they played with more enthusiasm than the rest. The ensemble was more colorful with the addition of guitar solos as well as saxophone solos. Although having many solos, the ensemble came together as a whole for this song and heightened the melody by blending well when there wasn’t a solo. This piece was the

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