Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My past catches up with me!

The Pleasant Hill High School Concert Jazz Band
Pleasant Hill, California
under the direction of composer / arranger Robert Soder.

This is the only track on which I played, I think maybe 1969?
It was a brand new Baldwin 7' grand too, by the way.

This performance was pretty much standard by the time it was time to record it, just trying to make a simple two chord faux-samba (?) sound authentic. Jazz improvisation is half instant luck and the rest learned mannerism; there are certain things that sound "jazzy" while others sound too "square," it's learned over a period of acquaintance with some jazz standards and larger band charts by some of the more famous composer / arrangers like Stan Kenton, Don Ellis, Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich, all of whom Bob Soder knew personally. Soder had also studied with the French composer, Darius Milhaud who had studied with Vincent d'Indy. (Is it any wonder that I had and retain a lingering high regard for this obscure French composer?)

I'm not sure who put this up (Jazz Trac Ten), but you can see me as I looked back then on the album cover (right under the blue numeral 1), wearing glasses.  Mr. Soder, also in glasses, whom some said at the time looked like my relative, is just to the left of me.

Soder was a good musical influence on me and I would think on many other members of our band and even after all this time, the various lunchtime jam sessions, other occasions with him including some very important piano and theory lessons, still come to mind.


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