Friday, March 31, 2023

Lew Soloff has Georgia on his mind

From the YouTube page:

Lew Soloff performs the Hoagy Carmichael classic, "Georgia on my Mind" at the Velvet Note in Alpharetta, GA. Kenny Banks on piano, Che Marshall on drums and Kevin Smith on bass. Photographed and edited by Richard Angle.

This is a masterful performance, meriting your closest attention. Note that the overall volume level is (befittingly) low, but periodically they'll increase the volume and then, at the sonic peak, back off all-but instantaneously. That takes great muscular control. And that's really what's required. Yes, the musical concept has to be there. But without the motor control, the concept cannot be realized. That kind of motor control takes a good deal of practice. Imagine accelerating your car to, say, 90mph, and then backing off to, say, 10mph, within the space of a second. That's what's going on. 

Beyond that I call your attention to Soloff's wide range of tonal colors, including one or three varieties of "standard" tone (at one point surely we hear Louis Armstrong checking in), plus flutter tonguing, half-valving, plunger mute, and pedal tone burbling at the very end. That's central to jazz. Classical or 'legit' instrumental practice is organized around the concept of an ideal tone for each instrument. There are different traditions, each with its own ideal, but there is still the notion of an ideal, even if it varies (ever so slightly) among individuals. Jazz is quite different. There each musician aims to develop their own style, even if they do so by imitating other musicians early in their career. 


No comments:

Post a Comment