Music Or Musical Theatre Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Sources: 1+ Subject: Music Type: Term Paper Paper: #82977940 Related Topics: Musical Theatre, Music, Musical Genres, World Music
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Music or Musical Theatre

Like the Rising Sun

Although in conventional times and among younger people jazz music is disparaged as boring 'elevator music', true jazz music is anything but. I reached this conclusion after listening to some excellent concert jazz albums of live music. The work of jazz that I am largely basing the aforementioned thesis on is Charles Lloyd's Forest Flower, which was released in 1966 when jazz music was at the height of its popularity, and before it became diluted into the Kenny G, elevator music that it is largely known as today. Therefore, this paper will largely explain how true jazz music is raucous, "improvisational" (Baraka 262), even revolutionary music -- before it was tamed and delivered to the mass media for safe consumption. I will explore this theme by presenting a response to Forest Flower, as well as an interpretation and an evaluation of this musical recording. In doing so I aim to indicate how this work is exemplary of other works of jazz, which is a wild, party driven music that can become hauntingly melodious at times.


The first time I ever heard Forest Flower was when my father played it for me during a Christmas vacation on his vinyl record player. I had never really listened to jazz before (although he had a sizeable collection), and I generally thought about it as most other young people do -- that it is tedious, safe music for old people. However, very early on in the recording (just a few notes into the first song on the first side) I quickly understood that this


My father told me that he and my mother used to listen to this album over and over before they produced my sister and me. I could easily see why. The melodies of this piece were extremely gripping. It actually sounds like a gentle forest clearing on the night of a solstice (either winter or summer), and is able to sonically recreate all of the wonder, mystery, and enchantment of such a full-moon drenched evening.

However, what I truly found fascinating about this work is the fact that the sonic landscape depicted on this album was first of all entirely acoustic. Moreover, it was all played live, which gave the songs a rich, spontaneous feeling that it hard to duplicate in the studio. I am used to hearing drum machines -- it only enhanced the performance to know that these drum strokes were live. Similarly, so many people sample nowadays that it was unusual to hear the type of artistry that Lloyd's quartet (which consisted of Lloyd on the saxophone and the flute, drums, piano, and an upright bass) produced. The piano work was simply amazing and did not seem like it came from one man -- let alone from a man at all. Lastly, what really surprised me and delighted me about this work is that the two songs on the second side were every bit as raunchy and belligerent, almost, as the first side was mellifluous and harmonious.


The interpretation of this album is sharply divided between its two sides. The two songs on the first side ("Sunrise" and "Sunset") were romantic in the classical sense of the word. Despite the fact that it was mellifluous, it contained an excitement and a rush of energy that certainly defied any similarity to the contemporary categorization of jazz which is usually of some long haired musician with his hat turned back playing slow love songs to reserved, drum machine tracks. Although the first side was light hearted if not outright playful and joyous in tone, it evoked a sincerity -- in the performance of the artists, and…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Baraka, Amiri. The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader. New York: Thunder's Mouth Press. 1991. Print.

Baraka, Amiri. The Autobiography of LeRoi Jones. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books. 1984. Print.

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