Write your own review of the performance you choose.
musical elements you hear, and how they indicate the style of jazz being performed.
commentary about specific musical events heard in the recording you are reviewing.
descriptions of the musical events that move you, referring to common human experiences that can relate the musical performance to a reader that is not a music expert.
descriptions of musicians performing and the musical elements and events heard on the recording. Use the professional reviews you read as models for your review
Be familiar with important aspects of the recording such as instrumentation, names and instruments of artists (you need to look up the album that the track comes from), who plays solos, aspects of the arrangement, etc….
Find creative ways to describe HOW the musical affects you emotionally or inspires a reaction or comparison to another human experience is an important component of this style of writing. This type of writing can use words which could also describe “taste”, “feel”, or emotional reactions which compare to other types of human experiences. For example: “The saxophone sound is full bodied” (like a wine.) ”His solo explorations have a searching quality” (like an explorer) ..”Her singing style is relaxed and confident, even as she engages in fast, athletic runs of notes..” (like a highly trained athlete)
Include personal observations and descriptions of the musical activity and the musician’s performances.
Make sure the following elements are included in your review:
As you saw in the example reviews: list the album information: – title, artist, record label (company) and album #, and a listing of musicians performing including their instruments (look up the album that the track comes from.)
First paragraph: Describe the artist/group and the project in the first paragraph, with any important information that is related to the whole project.
Middle Paragraphs (2 or 3): Should include the descriptions of the individual track and musical events that move the writer (solos, group interactions, etc
Final Paragraph: Your conclusion and reaction.

Choose one of the following recordings:
Black Bottom Stomp – Jelly Roll Morton
Struttin w some BBQ – Louis Armstrong
Singin the Blues – Frankie Trumbauer with Bix Beiderbecke
Stampede – Fletcher Henderson
Wrappin it Up – Fletcher Henderson
Body and Soul – Coleman Hawkins
Taxi War Dance- Count Basie
Lester Leaps In – Count Basie
Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday
Willow Weep for Me – Art Tatum
Seven come Eleven – 2:44 – Charlie Christian w Benny Goodman
Shaw ‘Nuff – Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie Misterioso – THELONIUS MONK
Line for Lyons – Chet Baker/ Gerry Mulligan
Django – Modern Jazz Quartet
Artistry in Rhythm – Kenton
Moanin’ – Art Blakey
Song for My Father – Horace Silver
Pent Up House – Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach
Four on Six – Wes Montgomery
Giant Steps- John Coltrane
Blue in Green – Bill Evans Trio
Fables of Faubus – Charles Mingus
Red Clay – Freddie Hubbard 12:09– from CTI album
Lonely Woman – Ornette Coleman
Air – Cecil Taylor
So What (live) Miles Davis 1964
Black Market (live) – Weather Report
Spain – Chick Corea
Tumbleweed – Michael Brecker
Black Codes– Wynton Marsalis

These are some examples how the review is supposed to look like:
Kind of Blue

From Downbeat Magazine Oct 1, 1959

Miles Davis “Kind Of Blue”

Columbia CL 1355: So What, Freddie Freeloader, Blue In Green, Flamenco Sketches, All Blues

Personnel: Davis, Trumpet : Julian Adderley, Alto : Bill Evans, Piano (all tracks except Freeloader) : Wynton Kelly, Piano (Track 2) : Paul Chambers, Bass : James Cobb, Drums.

Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

This is a remarkable album. Using very simple but effective devices. Miles has constructed an album of extreme beauty and sensitivity. This is not to say that this LP is a simple one – far from it. What is remarkable is the the men have done so much with the stark, skeletal material.

All the compositions bear the mark of the Impressionism and touches of Bela Barktok. For example , “So What?” Is built on two scales which sound somewhat like the Hungarian minor giving the performance a Middle Eastern flavor: Flamenco and All Blues reflect a strong Ravel influence.

Flamenco and Freeloader are both blues, but each is of a different mood and conception: Sketches is in 6/8, which achieves a rolling, highly charged effect, while Freeloader is more in the conventional blues vein. The presence of Kelly in Freeloader may account partly for the difference between the two.

Miles’ playing throughout the album is poignant, sensitive, and, at time, almost morose, his linear concept never falters. Coltrane has some interesting solos; his angry solo on Freeloader is in marked contrast to his lyrical romanticism on All Blues. Cannonball seems to be under wraps on all tracks except Freeloader when his irrepressible joie de vivre bibles forth. Chambers, Evans and Cobb provide a solid sympathy backdrop for the horns.

This is the soul of Miles Davis and its a beautiful soul.

Jack Wilkins: The Blue & Green Project, Summitt Records – DCD 572

Personnel: Wilkins-tenor saxophone, Sara Caswell-violin, LaRue Nickelson-guitar, Corey Christiansen-guitar, Keith Oshiro-trombone, Tom Brantlye-trombone, Per Danielsson-piano, Jeff Pinkham-banjo, and others

In JazzTimes

Published 01/06/2012    By Thomas Conrad

Jack Wilkins’ project is a unique attempt to combine jazz with Appalachian mountain music. The two genres prove to be surprisingly complementary. The inspiration for the opening track, “Song of the Anvil,” is a field recording of two master blacksmiths in Spruce Pine, N.C., communicating in the “language of the anvil,” hammering together in tempo. The ringing syncopations become an authentic, commanding hard-bop anthem, with strong, clear solo stories from tenor saxophonist Wilkins, trombonist Keith Oshiro and guitarist Corey Christiansen.

Wilkins is the director of the jazz studies program at the University of South Florida in Tampa. His compositions and arrangements for up to 18 musicians reflect an academic’s meticulousness and thoroughness. The intricate 14-minute suite “Mountain Watercolors,” inspired by the paintings of North Carolina artist Elizabeth Ellison, contains three movements, each connected to an element of Ellison’s art, each fully explained in Wilkins’ liner notes.

But Wilkins’ conscientious craftsmanship is neither tame nor dry. “Mountain Watercolors” includes a wild, whining guitar solo by LaRue Nickelson and a careening fiddle workout by Sara Caswell. Bluegrass grooves and wailing hoedowns keep popping up in Wilkins’ through-composed designs. The most memorable piece is the short, harrowing “Death Rattle,” based on “death ballads” found in mountain cultures. Christiansen, Nickelson, Wilkins and trombonist Tom Brantley all testify, darkly. Life in Appalachia was not always a party.

-This review is a modern review of a CD by your Professor.  You have one of the tracks (Mountain Watercolors) from this CD as part of your music tracks.  This is a good example of the reviewer using descriptive terms to bring the music to life for the reader.  Such phrases as : “wild, whining guitar solo” ,  “wailing hoedowns” and  “short, harrowing “Death Rattle,” help describe the music and his conclusion: “Life in Appalachia was not always a party.” is a creative way to end his review, bringing the music and concept of the project together.


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