Monday, August 31, 2009

Miles Davis- Kind of Blue

Miles Davis is one of my favorite musicians. In his career he always progressed, from his work in the bebop era with the likes of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, to cool jazz, hard bop, modal jazz, electric and more detailed periods in between. Miles never looked back, but in each of these periods, he strived to make great music.

Personally my favorite period in Miles's musical life was his modal jazz period, and the album produced in this period, Kind Of Blue. (Below is a piece, All Blues from that album.)

Miles chose great players such as Julian "Cannonball Adderley on alto saxophone, Paul Chambers on double bass, Jimmy Cobb on drums, John Coltrane on tenor saxophone, and Bill Evans on piano for Kind of Blue. Miles Davis chose great players, with individual, developed sounds, put them together and made one of the greatest albums of all time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Big Bang Theory

This past weekend I revisited some episodes of "The Big Bang Theory" by viewing most of the Season One DVDs. This sitcom, currently ranked number 7 in the Nielson ratings, number 3 on CBS. (ranking from 8/3/09 to 8/9/09. The series is perfect, and viewing the episodes from the first season has allowed me to see that the cast, writing, everything just clicked from the very beginning. The premise for the series, a group of very intelligent people engaging in both geeky situations quite easily, and social situations in a sometimes quite befuddling, yet hilarious manner, is what makes this series special. As the director says however, the episodes are always Big Bang Theory stories. In other words, the writers do not simply input into the Big Bang Theory sitcom formula into any common story, and use it. The story is always very much crafted to the characters in the series. This show is the best show I have seen on TV since Seinfeld, I recommend this series to everyone. If you want to know more about the series head here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Beginning of Classes

Band camp ended last Thursday, leaving me pain in my feet, but a great sense of accomplishment for the week, as we were able to get a good chunk of the show onto the field.
This week begins a new task as I begin my Fall classes for the year. My first class on Monday is thankfully not until 10:00am, as Mondays are bad for waking up early. On Tuesdays and Thursdays however, I have a 9:25am class. This is really not so bad, considering I had an 8:00am class my Freshman year, a time at which I will never again take a class.
I will be using the Mocs Express, a shuttle bus serviece around campus, after my 1:00pm class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, as I must quickly get to the marching field for band at 2:00pm. Hopefully I will be able to get there on time each day.
The academic year has begun.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Band Camp Halfway Mark

Band camp has reached its halfway mark, and things are developing nicely. The band is progressing in not only its sound, but also in visual display. The improvement in the band's sound from the beginning of camp to now is vast. Although there is still much work to do, at no other band camp have I heard the band sound this good so early on. The Freshman class, which is a large percentage of the band, is comprised of very mature musicians. The atmosphere of the band seems a lot better at this point than in previous years also. There is more of a festive, yet get the job done mentality, instead of putting the job last and the fun first.
With the addition of visuals provided by an alto sax player, and one drum major, the entertainment value of the band will increase exponentially. Not only will the band sound good, but the visuals will compliment the great sound that comes from the band.

Friday, August 7, 2009

First Day of Band Camp

The first day of band camp was fairly productive and promising. I visited the new field and watched the Freshman learn the UTC marching style. The new field is very nice, and is a great improvement, as it is for the band, meaning others have to work around our schedule, instead of vice-versa as it has been for the last couple of years, (ever since our original band field was replaced with a building). The year looks promising, with music by Miles Davis, Michael Jackson and others in the show. I am looking forward to a great year.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Marching Band Season

Tomorrow starts a new, and my last, marching band season at UTC. I begin band camp tomorrow after signing in for the camp today, and moving into my dorm early. The music this year seems like it will be good ( Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, most notably), and we have a new, and better field on which to march. This will be my eighth straight year of marching band, and I will miss it, but I will try to soak in the experience it provides. Though being in marching band is sometimes stressful, and time-consuming, the reward comes when you walk onto a field and the applause is deafening. It comes when the audience catapults to its feet when you have finished performing, and expresses the joy you have brought to them with seemingly endless applause. It comes when you are waiting on a parade to start, and one person begins playing a piece from the marching season, and the whole band joins in, and so many other things. I will forever remember the great experiences I have gained from marching band.