What does it sound like and where can I find Chamber Jazz?
What Is Chamber Jazz?
Chamber music is written for, and performed by, small classical or jazz ensembles. and typically features improvised solos. Many of these groups play a style that is a fusion of both jazz and classical elements. Some groups include string instruments.
What does Chamber Jazz Sound Like? (Music video below)
In my experience the sound of chamber jazz is sometimes classical sometimes jazzy and sometimes a fusion go both styles. The music varies greatly from album to album as different composers and musicians express their creativity. The sounds are sometimes familiar and sometimes avant gardé and experimental.
The music program that we will perform at Jazz In The Chamber, includes a number of original tunes with a familiar jazz feel and some that are cinematic and expressive.
Is Chamber Jazz Is Hard To Find?
A bit of searching and listening is required to find some chamber jazz. Much of the new jazz music being written and recorded sounds like chamber jazz but is not necessarily called that on the album. I’ll share some of my music discoveries with you in this and coming newsletters.
Here’s some interesting chamber jazz found on You Tube:
Childs was playing professionally as a teenager, and he made his recording debut in 1977 with the J. J. Johnson QuintetHe gained significant attention during 1978–84) playing with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s group. While influenced early on in his playing by Herbie Hancock, Keith Emerson, and Chick Corea and in his composing by Paul Hindemith, Maurice Ravel, and Igor Stravinsky, Childs nevertheless had an original conception of his own from near the start, developing his own voice as both a pianist and a composer in jazz and classical music genres.Read more at Wikipedia.
Samba Of The Trees, a composition inspired by trees was chosen by North End Woodlands.
The North End Woodlands project, formed in November 2016, has created a collaborative plan to reforest the avenues of the North End of Colorado Springs and will use Samba of The Trees as a website anthem. Tree planting is beginning and you may donate all or part of a tree through their website.
About Samba Of The Trees: A stand of cottonwood trees in Garden of the Gods park has been a refuge for me. I lay against mighty trunks, watch the golden light shimmer through the beautiful leaves and feel the peace and grace of ancient wisdom. One morning the melody and rhythm of Samba of The Trees came to me and I wrote the piece in its entirety when I got back to my studio. The following is a score recording of the piece. While the digitally sampled audio is pretty realistic but live performance with improvised solos is quite lovely.
Bela Bela a composition inspired by a Bela Fleck performance .
A few months ago I attended a concert performed by Bela Fleck the 16 time Grammy award winning banjoist and his delightful, banjoist wife Abigail. They gave a performance that was exciting and beautifully polished yet very intimate. In addition to performing on banjo Abigail sang and did some wonderful country-style dancing. I was enchanted and the music danced around in my body all night. In the morning I composed Bela Bela a piece that is an abstract of my experience of the show. I arranged the piece for chamber jazz sextet including Flute, guitar, cello, piano, bass and drums. The video is a recording of the score. We have not yet performed the piece live. Enjoy.
Green On Grey is a composition by me that was inspired by nature on a lovely spring evening.
I was standing in our “deer park,” a patch of slowly spreading blue grama grass surrounded by oak, juniper and blue spruce. I was looking up through the new tender green oak leaves at a patch of sky filled with unusual silver-grey clouds. I enjoyed this special moment of peace and beauty. The feeling percolated within me overnight and in the morning I wrote this piece. The recording is from the score and has only chords and melody now but I think it does communicate the experience.
This piece, along with another of my compositions, has been selected to be specially arranged for a big band and will be performed some time in the next few months. Meanwhile, you can take a few minutes, relax and enjoy the peace.
Despertar by Joseph Liberti, was written upon awakening and has a latin twist.
For some reason I have recently been inspired to compose several songs in a latin groove. Despertar, which loosely translates to awakening, came to me almost in it’s entirety upon awakening in the wee hours of morning. It is simple, pretty, has a nice groove and will be fun to perform.Despertar is now in the playlist for our fall concert. You can listen to the score recording now (The open rhythm sections are where the improvisation will take place.)
How Do Soprano Sax and Flute Duets Work In A Jazz Combo? Listen Now.
I’m experimenting with some compositions for small group by adding soprano sax and flute duets to the FluteDaddy quartet for a performance. There are some interesting possibilities for creating unusual harmony and counterpoint. I can make it weird and spacey, funky or blues or classical sounding. I’m still undecided. What do you think?
No Major Reason Featuring Soprano Sax and Flute
Here’s an mp3 of the first draft of No Major Reason for quintet featuring soprano sax and flute with piano bass and drums. The open sections of just the rhythm groove are where the individual improvised solos take place.
At our recent 21C concert FluteDaddy played Antonio Carlos Jobim’sChega De Saudade which I mentioned was a song jazz singer Jon Hendricks had created new lyrics for and titled: No More Blues. Today Jazzwax published a great articles about Hendricks that will give you more of the story.
“Few singers understood the jazz instrumentalist better than Jon Hendricks. For much of the 1950s, Hendricks built his career on writing savvy lyrics to iconic instrumental solos. Hendricks was inspired by King Pleasure’s recording of Moody’s Mood for Love in 1952. Over the years, he crafted lyrics for an enormous number of songs, including…”READ The Whole Story at Jazzwax.
People have asked me about how I create music. “Do you start with a melody or a rhythm or a mood,” They ask. The answer is, it varies. It could be any or all of those things and especially when grass whispers or walls sing.
My music is inspired by nature, art and life experience. When I consider my composing experience, I notice that a number of my songs have written themselves in my head as I hike in the morning. I think that the hiking and the centering effects of being in nature produce a kind of walking meditation. In that kind of altered state I hear the sounds of grass and trees and rocks. I feel the rhythms. Often I write a complete piece when I get back to my home studio. My composition Morning Meadow wrote itself after a hike. My new piece Prairie Frost is a vivid example of nature speaking to me.
A similar change in consciousness occurs when I visit a gallery, stand before a painting and focus all my attention on the sound that painting is making. I can hear the slashes of color as notes and sometimes chords. I feel the rhythms of music that the shapes lead me to. I need to be patient when listening but if I am attentive and focused, eventually the walls sing with music. My recent composition Wednesday Blue was composed immediately after sitting with the painting Esspressivo by Suz Stovall for a quiet time.
Recently I have been composing pieces of music that come from a physical/emotional experience of life. Bela Bela was composed as I was reliving the experience of a Bela Fleck concert the morning after. What To Do? was written right after a morning walk when I was revisiting a vivid spiritual experience of the night before.
All of the original pieces that I will perform with the FluteDaddy quartet during The LifeJazz Show on May six originated in these kinds of experiences. All have interesting stories and I will are them with you. Join me?