Friday, May 9, 2008

Where's the beef?

I recently spent my hard earned cash on an evening of jazz music (straight ahead). I highly recommend it. As the evening progressed, I found myself more restless. There was something missing. The ensemble included only sax, bass, and drums. The harmony was missing. The music sounded too thin. It reminded me of those old where's the beef commercials. There was no meat in the middle. Harmonic instruments exist for a reason. They are great for covering the middle. As soon as the horn player takes the horn out of his mouth, the ensembles shrinks to two players. Even great players sound dull when they are compensating for missing elements. No rhapsodic solos, open fifth's and tenth's in the bass, or drum fills can cover the fact that something is missing. There are three elements of music: rhythm, melody, and harmony. The music and the listening experience is incomplete without them.

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