First and foremost I would like to say that while I am a fan of jazz music I prefer the smooth jazz sounds of artists such as Vijay Iyer and Tom Harell rather than the work of the Monty Alexander Trio. This is not me disparaging their work rather it is because I am not quite a fan of the cacophony of chaotic sounds that characterizes their work as compared to the smooth tones and textures generated by Iyer and Harell.
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Examining the Music
The one distinctive aspect of the performance of the Monty Alexander Trio in Paris was the drum solo by George Fludas which consisted of a lively Vivace characterized by what is a Forte in the sheer loudness of his solo. On the other and I didn’t seem to perceive a melody rather his solo seemed to be nothing more than a cacophony of sounds for the sake of making sound rather than a piece of music that would be a delight to the ears. On the other hand, I speak from a certain degree of bias since I prefer smooth jazz tones rather than the hard ones utilized by the band.
From what I could hear there was a certain degree of dissonance to the solo of Fludas in that he seemed to want to portray a certain degree of rapidity and chaos in his solo. On the other hand, it was due to his chaotic playing that I couldn’t discern the meter of his solo and as such, I would have to say that it wasn’t all that good in my opinion.
This sort of playing continued for at least 2 minutes till the other members of the band joined in and finally created a form of jazz that I was somewhat familiar with. The use of bass and piano tones within the piece helped to transform the forte of Fludas into a distinct mezzo-piano with the bass and piano tones overlaying an allegro tempo over the piece.
Interpreting the Meaning of the Song
Based on what I could discern from multiple listening of their performance the solo of Fludas is utilized to depict a certain degree of rapidity in that it is supposed to create a visual representation in a person’s imagination of someone running rapidly towards or away from something. I guess the chaos of his solo was intentional in that it was a necessary means of creating the anxiety, nervousness, and chaotic movements that a running person tended to have.
It was only when the other members of the band joined in that the rapid place disappeared and the music generated seemed to be one of walking and strolling pace. Thus in the latter half of the song, the music seems to take on a characteristic where the imagined character within a person’s mind is no longer running but rather strolling after what was a successful escape from whatever it was he/she was running away from.
Overall I didn’t like the song so much due to the drum solo. I prefer smooth tonal qualities as compared to the hard and distinct method in which the song was played. On the other hand, I do have to say that I am impressed with their ability to help create a certain degree of visual imagery through the music that they play.
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