Thursday, July 26, 2012

"A Little Minor Booze"

As an oboist, I've had an interesting relationship with jazz.

In my high school jazz band, I played first tenor saxophone. We went to four or five jazz festivals every spring, and we got to see the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Swing Machine, in which my high school band director played the trombone. I enjoyed it, and looked forward to it, even.

In college, jazz suddenly stopped appealing to me.

The jazz portion of my freshman year western music course? I quickly learned to raise my hand when everyone else did, and I did well in the class.

Jazz improvisation? Most embarrassing class of my life. I understood the theory, but the creativity and willingness to experiment just wasn't there.

Jazz concerts? I attended them all. It's sort of expected when you're dating a saxophone player. But mostly I just stared at the program and wished it would go by faster.

Maybe it was the intense focus on oboe and the all-too-time-consuming process of making reeds. Maybe it was the new teaching style that was the polar opposite fit for my learning style. But it just wasn't for me.

Here at Interlochen, I've been trying to broaden my horizons. I've gone to a cello recital, a percussion quartet  performance, and the Los Angeles Children's Choir recital. I went to the Shakespeare festival's production of A Misummer Night's Dream, and I have a ticket to see the high school repertory theater program's production of Midsummer/Jersey tomorrow night. I even went to see a piano concerto performed with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra.

If there's any place in the country to explore new things in the arts, it's here at Interlochen.

It therefore made perfect sense to attend the Faculty/Staff Big Band recital this evening. And, dare I say, I enjoyed it.

As the recital began, I found myself looking at the program, wondering if there would be a good place to duck out. In the middle of the second piece, "A Little Minor Booze" by Willie Maiden, though, I found myself thinking something during a jazz performance that I hadn't for a long time.

"Wow... that was really cool."

And I stayed for the entire recital.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm all of a sudden in love with jazz. But I'm intrigued once again :)

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