A-Scitting and A-Scatting and A-Understanding Jazz

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Jazz, I’ve never really known much about jazz, and its never been something I’ve craved an understanding for, but when someone offers one a new life experience one should always take it. I spent this evening in a jazz-club, listening to some very fun folky type jazz. My musically gifted housemate Rosie performs a myriad of gigs, with a range of bands, in several styles, but this was the first time I’ve seen her entertaining, and I was expecting something much different. A friend and I were invited along to what was an otherwise ‘private’ birthday party at a local artsy theatre near the Barbican. The party-group were collected in a smaller area on the middle floor, and a miniature stage had been set up at the back for the band; sadly, this strange, ineffectual set-up meant no room was available for dancing. While, the birthday-crew were finishing their meal, we sat at the back. Two rows of tables had been set up each side of the room, leaving a long space for the servers to curry plates of noodles over, and bowls of ice-cream. Fortunately, this gave us a prime band-viewing location, while we waited for some of the guests to dissipate, and claim chairs nearer the front.

Rosie is the fantastic looking lady in the middle with the microphone, and despite doing covers of well-known oldies, she spent most the instrumental moments making-up scats. Along side her incredible song-voice, the girl was able to become an instrument forming crazy sounds between lyrics to add a dynamic to the music. At one stage, she even engaged the violinist in a mini-battle, creating strings of notes, which subsequently, her counterpart had to mimic. I chair danced, because hell if I wasn’t going to get-my groove-on.  Due to copyright issues, I cannot upload the video I took of the group jazzing out together, but here are a few more photos.

After my proverbial jazz-virginity had been swept away by a wild night of passion, I sought to define what I had just witnessed. According to the Internet Jazz is very hard to pin-down to a single interpretation, but includes hundreds of forms, including improvisation, which Rosie has perfected. I can only imagine what they could do with a little more room to move, and a larger audience. Jazz is definitely revered for a reason; it has a soul to it, and a very earthy texture. Evidently, it can be both sultry and electric, cool and yet full of fire, and it seems to take a remarkable amount of talent to pull together, when so much style depends on the blending of spontaneous musical improv.

Well done Rosie and gang. I thoroughly enjoyed your performance.

One last thing. World’s largest violin ….

Just kidding. I know it’s a trombone.

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