Thursday, October 6, 2016

A Glance at Fusion in Music...

Sauter- Finegan  -
These two men  organized a group resulting in the form of a jazz band;  the result being, in mid-20th century, an aural display of experimentation in the combining of  classical music and jazz. But NOT in the same manner as given us by, say, George Shearing -  his wondrous creations are the placing of pop/jazz tunes in the styles of various giants such as Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff etc.
What Sauter and Finegan pursued was more subtle, if you will, by way of the use of inner constructions of sound emanating from the world of Classical music, rather than overt stylistic implementation. The results are profound, but one has to 'listen' in a more focused modality, rather  than  merely sitting back and hearing  a pop tune in the guise of Mozart. I am not stating that Sauter  - Finegan is 'better than' George Shearing, or Alec Templeton - listening to the Sauter Finegan band  simply requires a different listening posture.
Be reminded that the bases of these two men emanated from such places as the Paris Conservatoire and the music college of Columbia University.
Listen to a compelling example of  Sauter-Finegan, by going to a recording  performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by the legendary conductor Fritz Reiner, in a composition by the Swiss composer Rolf Liebermann; the Concerto for Jazz Band and Symphony Orchestra, written specifically for the Sauter-Finegan band.

Don Shirley -
This man held three PHD's, only one being involved in music. He knew seven or eight languages fluently, and  was intrinsically involved in matters of religion.
His instrument was the piano, and his language was an imagery of fusion not unlike, tactically, that of Sauter-Finegan. His creations range from the spiritual to the concerto, with the base of his myriad of ideas springing from jazz. As a young musician, I was entranced by his journeys  in Sound resulting from the melange of his ideas, and his language remained in my consciousness for some years. Few remember him today.


Keith Jarrett  -
He could play St. Saens at age seven.
If  you watch him perform, he will make you itch. His mannerisms are, essentially, orgiastic as he writhes and twists on the piano bench, especially if he is dealing with his world of Fusion based upon Jazz styles.
I once saw him play the Mozart Concerto K. 488 at Tanglewood. His physical stance during that event was one of , essentially,  asexual tranquillity.
HE is an event...
Agree with me? Let me know, by examining these examples  of the pioneering spirit...

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