Take Five (To Please Read This) – M3Q3

I’ve found my love for playing music as I started playing piano at a young age. In sixth grade I started playing the trombone and carried on with the instrument into high school; I still play the trombone in an ensemble today. I played tenor and bass trombone in my high school jazz ensemble and continue now to play tenor trombone in the Wooden Nickel Dance Band (of the Saskatoon Lindy Hop Organization).

I was doing some digging and found an old video from a music festival where our high school jazz ensemble competed. (Please excuse the cringe, or maybe it’s just me cringing from watching old videos of myself).

(Here we are playing “Take Five” composed by Paul Desmond and performed by The Dave Brubeck Quartet(1959). I am playing the bass trombone for this arrangement of the piece).

(Here is video of the Dave Brubeck Quartet playing their own tune. I think they are bit more polished than our high school ensemble – haha).

“Take Five”contains several influences of the early jazz icons studied in this module, more specifically icons of the swing era: Fletcher Henderson, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.

Influences of these jazz icons in this piece can be heard from its fast tempo-ed, swing rhythm filled with syncopated riffs in an AABA form, including improvised solos throughout. Unique to this tune is its five beat rhythm instead of the traditional four beat. One could argue this uniqueness may be a product of Duke Ellington’s influence, as he was known for his distinct, artistic approach to composition. Other notable influences from the text would be the spotlighting of soloists influenced by Count Basie and furthermore, the use of different improvisational styles of solos influenced by Benny Goodman.

(Whereas the previous video spotlights solos of saxophone and piano, this recording features a drum solo in addition to the saxophone solo).

“Take Five” applies a unique rhythmic approach to jazz, while the roots of the genre and the influence of previous jazz musicians are still well entrenched into the piece at its core.


DaveBrubeckVEVO(Uploader). “Dave Brubeck, The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Take Five”. YouTube video, 5:25. Posted [Oct 29, 2013]. https://youtu.be/-DHuW1h1wHw. (accessed September 23, 2016).

Gor Re(Uploader). “Dave Brubeck – Take Five (Original Video)”. YouTube video, 5:11. Posted [Feb 12, 2013]. https://youtu.be/zFk-kiDW_tA. (accessed September 23, 2016).

Superduperdude60(Uploader). “Take 5 BCHS Jazz Band”. YouTube video, 3:05. Posted [Sept 23, 2016]. https://youtu.be/hzA196ZyRf4. (accessed September 23, 2016).

“Take Five by The Dave Brubeck Quartet Songfacts.” Take Five by The Dave Brubeck Quartet Songfacts. http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=5293. (accessed September 23, 2016).

Wikipedia contributors, “Dave Brubeck,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dave_Brubeck&oldid=739791805 (accessed September 23, 2016).

Wikipedia contributors, “Take Five,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Take_Five&oldid=734779918 (accessed September 23, 2016).





“All that Jazz” – Past and Present – M2Q1


From the genres studied in module 2, I’d have to say that jazz has resonated with me most this week (and resonates with me most every week). I find a great deal of interest and excitement to learn/hear/play jazz in that despite how “all over the place” it may seem at first, there is a science to jazz’s “madness” that makes sense of its sound through all the specific chord progressions, syncopation, and improvisations to create a distinct and unique genre of music with an infectious rhythm that leaves you happily seeking more. I will start with an older example of jazz, then continue on with a few more modern examples to finish.

“At the Jazz Band Ball” was recorded in 1917 by the Original Dixieland Band and carries familiar aspects as found in “Dippermouth Blues” from this week’s coursework. Specific qualities of early jazz to listen for in this song are its fast tempo, abundant syncopation, and collective improvisation of the front line trumpet, trombone, and clarinet with the rhythm section of drums and banjo keeping the steady beat. Instances of clarinet bends, trombone slides, and the influence of the 12 bar blues progression can also be heard.

“Bodhisattva” was recorded by the band Steely Dan in 1973. It takes a more modern approach to jazz while still maintaining several aspects of the genre. This modern form of jazz has a closer relationship to this week’s coursework of “Hotter Than That” than it does with the older sound of “Dippermouth Blues.” Steely Dan’s track uses the instrumentation of electric guitar/bass and some synthesizer in addition to the standard drums and piano (without the traditional trombone, trumpet, and clarinet). Despite the differences from what would considered to be traditional of this genre, roots of jazz can be heard from this tune in its swing rhythm, syncopation, chord progressions, harmony, expressiveness, and its solo-orientated, improvisational playing with the occasional segments of band members “playing-off of” each other during these solos.

While roots of jazz can be found in contemporary music like rock, R&B, and hip hop, it should also be said that jazz as a standalone genre still exists and holds popularity today (unlike that of minstrel, or parlor songs). The above video is a recording of Roy Hargrove’s Quintet playing their piece “Strasbourg / Saint Denis” that was composed in 2008. The swing rhythms, syncopation, harmony, chord progressions, solo-segments, and overall expressiveness that defines jazz are still present and relatively unchanged from their initial inception nearly a century ago.

Balajadia, Eric(Uploader). “Steely Dan Bodhisattva 1973”. YouTube video, 5:19. Posted [Nov 24, 2011]. https://youtu.be/uAEphHf0P-c. (accessed September 16, 2016).

Incognitotraveler(Uploader). “Roy Hargrove Quintet – Strasbourg  Saint Denis”. YouTube video, 12:18. Posted [Oct 1, 2010]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxeb0cwjE8U. (accessed September 16, 2016).

JoolyOTR(Uploader). “Original Dixieland Band: – “At The Jazz Band Ball””. YouTube video, 2:49. Posted [Apr 28, 2010]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbmYb0jogbo. (accessed September 16, 2016).

Wikipedia contributors, “At the Jazz Band Ball,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=At_the_Jazz_Band_Ball&oldid=734949526 (accessed September 16, 2016).

Wikipedia contributors, “Countdown to Ecstasy,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Countdown_to_Ecstasy&oldid=738096893 (accessed September 16, 2016).

Wikipedia contributors, “Roy Hargrove,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Roy_Hargrove&oldid=732018569 (accessed September 16, 2016).