One of the cool things about house concerts, and there are many things, is that you experience music you might not normally search out. Last night was one of those nights that took me outside of my musical comfort zone. I got to experience a full night of jazz created by Analog Feast.
I tend to be very drawn to the lyrics of a song. I want to hear the story, and I like being able to empathize with it. There’s nothing more satisfying that having a song truly pull your heart strings.
That’s part of the reason I haven’t listened to jazz much. That direct story isn’t there. It’s nearly all instrumental.
It’s pure sound.
At last night’s show, I realized that there’s a different sort of pressure on the musicians in jazz. They have to convey the story and feeling using only their instruments. They have to weave together the highs, lows and in-betweens with phrasing and tone.
As you are listening, you get carried along on the musicians’ journey.
Analog Feast took us on an interesting journey last night. They switched between slow, evocative Miles Davis interpretations to upbeat contemporary jazz styles. They even played a song inspired by Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”!
I did find myself being carried away by the different sounds. I was swaying as the more melancholy Miles Davis songs were being played. I was tapping my feet to the more upbeat, contemporary songs. I found my mood changing along with the songs.
I also noticed that jazz is different in other ways from more lyrically-driven music. When lyrics are involved, the band is there supporting so the story can come through the words. The music emphasizes and embellishes. Occasionally the music takes the center stage through solos and whatnot, but the primary message comes through the words.
In jazz, the band alternates between being a true band and independent instrumentals. At the beginning, end, and certain parts in between, the band would be one harmonious unit playing together to tell the story. Then the solos began: piano, then bass, then drums, then saxophone. Then it was back to the full band again. This happened during every single song. It was awesome to experience the mastery of each of the musicians on their respective instruments time and time again. And each time the solos were fresh and new: never any repeats.
I’m glad I got to experience jazz in such an intimate setting with such fantastic musicians.
I’m also glad to experience the house concert community growing and changing. This was LunaZoot‘s first ever jazz concert, and the first I’ve experienced in my relatively short experience with house concerts. It’s awesome to see this genre of music entering the scene.
It’s also nice to see other forms of art being included along with house concerts. I didn’t get many pictures, but along with the house concert Brian Goe had an exhibit in The Cave. The painting behind the pianist is one example of his work.
I’ve heard of other house concert series hosting stand-up comedians instead of music some nights!
The circle widens.
I also thoroughly enjoy sharing experiences with my house concert family. After intermission, Randy requested “The Peanut’s Theme.” The band played it, and Randy and Susan danced. It was super sweet to watch them as they listened to this favorite, joyful tune.
It was an honor to stretch my musical comfort zone with something that is different for me. It was great to see different art forms come together in the house concert community.
Yay, house concerts!