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group tradition of such groups as the Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver and Cedar Walton, the group gives a modern take on that tradition, while showcasing high level musicianship and improvisational skills.**Media Link: Jazz Casual – Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band. The Thad Jones Mel Lewis Big Band plays music from their modern big band repertoire. This video comes from a rare west coast appearance from the band that played every Monday night at the famed Village Vanguard jazz club in New York. Listen to the elements of classic big band styles combined with modern arranging sounds in this performance.There are other great jazz experiences available in New York and other cities across the US. There are usually jazz concert venues, jazz societies, clubs and restaurants which feature the best musicians in a particular area on a regular basis. Many universities have guest artist seriesthat bring the best musicians in the world to their campus from concerts.Jazz music is best experienced in a live setting, you are encouraged to attend a concert and experience it for yourself. Of course, the same rules apply for audience behavior and etiquette. Cell phones must be turned off, talking and distracting behavior during the musical performances is not acceptable, and neither is entering or leaving during the music. It is absolutely acceptable to close your eyes and listen to the music, using your knowledge of jazz
traditions and history to guide your ears and help you understand where the performers are trying to take you.Modern Jazz MusicThere are many different types of jazz music being recorded and performed today, from traditional styles to fusion styles, acoustic to electric, and a lot of interesting combinations of many influences resulting in unique and highly artistic music. The term jazz has expanded to take in a wide variety of music, from the very commercial smooth jazz, to latin jazz, to the pop vocal stylings of artists like Norah Jones. It is hard to know exactly what you will get if you search for jazz music, but many of the traits that have been a part of the most artistic and creative jazz music of the past can still be found, at the highest levels, in some of today’s jazz music.Like the swing era, there is a lot of jazz music today which is meant to sell records and concert tickets, with some of the most artistic elements of jazz music pushed to the background in order to fir the pop music format. Smooth jazz, for instance, is one such style that operates under radio-format restrictions on music content. Much of this music is well crafted and enjoyable, but it is not the exploratory, artistically creative version of jazz that we have been studying in this course. There are many musicians (some of whom also make a living as smooth jazz artists), that are still performing and recording very exploratory jazz music, following in the traditions of the great jazz artists before them, taking risks and creating new music on a high artistic level.