I am a full time musician. My professional life is in many ways based on this one concept. A lifetime of training bringing you to a moment of freedom. In other words, do your homework and be prepared because you never quite know what is coming around the corner.
A few weeks ago, I went to sit in with some other musicians as a bass player. I didn't know the lineup of musicians and since it was supposed to be a pretty small group I brought my keyboard, affectionately named Fanny Roland, to play a few backing tracks if we needed to. As it turned out, the group was minus a keyboard player that day but had a drummer. So suddenly my bass gig turned into a keyboard gig. I ended up sightreading the gig on keys as opposed to bass. I am not a stellar reader but I know my way around, though I was very I didn't have to sight read the head (melody) on all these tunes. It was a great first time thing for me. I am a pro on both instruments but in a jazz setting I am virtually never the keyboard player. This was a time where the years of training really paid off.
Jazz is not just JAZZ:
Not every musician is interested in jazz, as far as they know. But I think our perception of jazz is often limited. I think much of the best music in all styles could be classified as jazz, as the simplest definition of Jazz is improvised music. "A broader definition that encompasses all of the radically different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: he states that "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, improvising, group interaction, developing an 'individual voice', and being open to different musical possibilities". An overview of the discussion on definitions is provided by Krin Gabbard, who argues that "jazz is a construct" that, while artificial, still is useful to designate "a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition". In contrast to the efforts of commentators and enthusiasts of certain types of jazz, who have argued for narrower definitions that exclude other types, the musicians themselves are often reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, summed up this perspective by saying, "It's all music"."
I do music in a very wide variety of settings. For instance, I play with my own band as well as several others. I play/sing for my worship team at church and I also lead worship. I am often asked at rehearsals, "Are we going to do it just like that Sunday?" My answer is usually something along the lines of "There's always that possibility, but just watch me and be ready for anything..." Worship is often jazz regardless of the musical style. Because sometimes things happen in the moment and you don't want to stifle God if you have prepared but He has something else in mind. The same can be true of any type of show, concert etc. Sometimes 8 bars is just not enough time for a soloist to tell the entire story, so you go another 8. Even if it's straight up rock that just became jazz, improvised music.
So any time you are playing beyond just what you learned or what you are reading it's jazz.
"Throughout the Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, improvisation was a highly valued skill. J.S. Bach,Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, and many other famous composers and musicians were known especially for their improvisational skills."
Jazz is not just advanced harmony and swing rhythm etc, it's musical freedom regardless of what form of music you are playing.
I want to invite you to come see the Aaron Gayden Band and experience... Well, it's like a musical roller coaster and only God Himself knows where the tracks will run! I think you'll enjoy yourself. Even if we're playing rock or R&B or Gospel we're still playing jazz.
Aaron Gayden Music Services:
Are you a young or inexperienced musician? Are you looking to broaden your horizons musically? Are you a trained musician that feels stuck or limited? Do you want to be able to play more than just what is on the page? Then you are interested in "jazz". If you are interested in learning how to stretch your musical muscles, please talk to me. I am in the wonderful position of being able to in my small way teach freedom. I teach bass, keyboard, voice and how to "jazz"up your musical life. One more of my musical services is custom music. I can help you arrange/record your original song or compose/record/perform a song for your special event. (Wedding, graduation, birthday, etc)
Contact me and let's take a roller coaster ride!
For a live shot of jazz...
Aaron Gayden Band Live June 6 and June 21