29 April 2015
Concert Report #1
I attended the Los Medanos College concert on March, 10, 2015 at 7:30 pm. The members in the concert were John Stowell who played the guitar, John Shifflett who played the bass, Jason Lewis on the drums and Mike Zilber on the saxophone. Stowell’s guitar did not look like any other guitar. It looked really small and it looked like it had double strings. I can tell he took very well of the guitar because after they would play a song, he would keep wiping the fretboard. When I saw Shifflett’s bass I thought it looked huge. I’ve always seen a bass on television but I would have never thought it would be that big in person. There was an object that Lewis was playing on the drums that look like a brush and a fan combined. It made a different sound versus when he was playing with a drumstick. I found it unique how Zilber’s saxophone has a nickel on one of his keys. They played in a classroom with concrete walls that didn't really project the sounds of the instruments that well. I thought everything was interesting to watch and listen
The first song that they played was called “Body and Soul”, and it was a trio of keys that consisted G, B and D. It was played in three beats per measure. They style of the song is Latin based. As I was listening to this song, I noticed that Lewis was not only playing with the drumsticks but also with his fingers to add more sound to the piece. All the members in the band looked passionate during the song, as if they were in their own zone. The song was mostly improvised and they all worked and listened to each other to play the piece. I noticed that Stowell improvised more melodies and Shifflett followed after throughout the song. Each of their personalities emerged while they were all improvising and playing music.
Another song they played was called “John Scofield’s Melody” and it was more of a blues song. It was played in a 4/4 measure and it was an eight-measure song. The song was mardi gras theme and the saxophone and guitar harmonized throughout the piece. I noticed that the drummer hits the rim of the drum to add extra sounds. He also included a tambourine to act as the tempo in the piece. In the song, the saxophone is the “vocalist” in the song and the tempo is upbeat and fast.
The last song that I heard was “Stowell Away”, starting at measure 34, and it is more of a jazz tune. In this piece, the drummer has to improvise their own rhythm to what is shown on the sheet music that doesn’t show drum beats. The tempo of the song is slower and mellow. The saxophone hit the high notes and then slows down and feels mellow throughout the song. During the piece, the saxophone was taken out and Zilber started playing the piano.
In conclusion, I enjoyed this performance and I really thought all the songs were interesting to listen to. This was my first time listening to Latin, Blues and jazz music played live. I also learned that when I was watching all of the members play their instrument in each song, they all play with their personalities and it makes each individual and instrument unique. Most of the time, they were improvising the way they played in each song. It was mentioned during the performance that it takes ten thousand individual practice hours to play a good piece. I could tell that they played really well during the performance and even if they did made a mistake, I would have never noticed it.