Master of Music (MM)
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This recital was created with the intention of reconnecting fundamental elements of music that have been estranged from jazz in the last 20 years. The uses of themes, experimentation, original composition, spirituality and social criticism or social commitment have all been pushed aside in the present state of jazz. These elements of music which helped jazz and its popularity have fallen under the shadow of improvisational virtuosity in today’s jazz music.
Today jazz is saturated with various personalities, opinions, and world cultures. This new spectrum of possibilities has created numerous frontiers for the future of improvisation. At the same time this new world of music without limitations, specifics, and stylistic constraints is leaving a new generation with unanswered questions about the next step in the evolution of jazz. The Seven Deadly Sins was created as a personal attempt to distill the vital essence of jazz today and present it through a thematic device to a diverse listening audience.
The Seven Deadly Sins was composed through the use of singular jazz vocabulary. This limited vocabulary is a personal expression of my outlook on the essence of jazz language and the world jazz explains.
Since The Seven Deadly Sins is based on a language, the use of an all-encompassing theme seemed an appropriate step in the direction of creating a greater holistic project. For this means I chose to use the seven deadly sins, a theme created from Christianity in the Middle Ages, and used by numerous writers before this piece.
Today, musicians are hostile toward conservative/traditional players, experimentalists, and all types of players in between. This skepticism toward differences has grown out of a survivalist mentality in the present music environment. Jazz today is a style in anarchy. The range of expression has been stretched to include Pat Metheny, Wynton Marsalis, Anthony Braxton, and everyone in between.
Musicians who survive today are required to master the fundamentals of be-bop, fusion, latin, pop, sight-reading, MIDI technology, and even classical music. As a result these conditions are creating a generation of moderates that is unable to leap in any one direction, and skeptical of attempts that aren’t well rounded. In the same way that politicians fight for the moderate voters to win an election, jazz musicians are campaigning for the moderate listening audience to stay employed. Out of this interpretation of the present music environment I created this concert as an answer to the questions of the present and future state of jazz.
Carney, Peter D., "The seven deadly sins" (2002). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2049.
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