I believe this is the first time I have been to a live jazz performance. It was AMAZING.
The jazz ride the MoodSwing took the audience at the hill auditorium was a one with graceful arches, twists and turns. The night’s performance starred Joshua Redman on Saxophones, Christian McBride on bass, Brian Blade on drums, and Sullivan Fortner on the piano. These four amazingly talented musicians did not let one theme restrict them for the 90-minute show. Each piece had different moods: the vibe of the music went from cheerful, dramatic, beautiful, to playful. I used to think that jazz has a lively, humorous vibe in the background as a default. However, tonight I heard a piece that was so graceful and beautiful that it felt as though the stars were shimmering down and a one that was really serious, dramatic, and heroic. It was a discovery of jazz’s diversity and now I’m eager to dive more into the genre. If you turn the most unpronounceable, subtle emotions to music, that would be jazz. It was amazing how the musicians expressed such different shades of atmosphere with the same instruments.
I also really loved how the leading role switched from Saxophones, drums, and pianos, to the bass. I really appreciated the moment when the bass was leading, because that does not happens a lot in modern pop or rock music. Christian McBride amazed the crowd with some playful but precise shreds(with the bass! yes!). While he was at it, Sullivan at the piano was observing him and chimed in with a few notes at the curves that supported the bass sound beautifully to make the music even fuller. It was so interesting to see how the musicians were interacting and compromising while the tune is going – the risk and impulse coming from the fact that the interaction was happening live definitely made the performance thrilling and attention-grabbing. Seeing the live chemistry between the musicians definitely made the 90-minute running time feel short. If you want to explore music without the lyrics but classic does not draw your attention just yet, try going to a jazz concert. Because the emotion in the performance is more dramatic and clearly spelled out in jazz compared to classic concerts, and also because you can easily notice the different phases of music with the shift of leadership and roles between the instruments, jazz will be an easier starting point to the love for instrumental music.