Monday, November 1st, 2010 4:19 PM
Big Band Workshop
The obvious power and excitement generated by a big band is inherent in nature. Bob's main focus in working with a big band is the importance of nuance and musicality. The most difficult element to achieve is subtlety with the detailed use of phrasing and dynamics. The rhythm section can be very helpful in achieving this goal for the horn section and providing of course the biggest challenge: getting the band to swing. By demonstrating phrasing and accentuation, students seem readily able to grasp concepts of feel. Picking charts that are easily accessible and conducive to this process is very important. Interpretation of written jazz is un-explicit and needs to be taught interactively. Lecturing about swing without demonstration is abstract. Sharing his 30 years of big band experience on the road and in the studio is a rewarding and challenging process. The feedback he receives from the players encourages him as he always tries to meet their individual needs. He finds that students respond favorably to practical and accessible information that can help them achieve immediate improvement.