Weekly Music Showcase #7: BJ's Tune
October 28th, 2019
And the weekly music showcase is back! Needed a little break from social media for a while, but I couldn't be more excited to keep sharing music that excites me, and hope it in turn excites someone as well.
This week I wanted to showcase a composition from world-renowned trumpet player, Sean Jones. For those that don't know of him, he is one of the greatest trumpet players around right now (and definitely one of my favorites). His playing is so incredible technically, and he also infuses so much emotional energy into everything he plays, whether that is jazz standards or his own gospel-infused compositions.
I had the pleasure to share the stage with Sean Jones as part of the Highland Jazz Festival playing with Arizona State University's Concert Jazz Band in April of 2019. Even back then it was evident that this was someone who had something to say with his music. All of his music had a story going along with it, whether it had to do with writing music based on hearing his computer's start-up jingle (check out his composition, Life Cycles), or music written inspired from already existing stories (check out The Ambitious Violet, both the original here: http://www.livinglifefully.com/flo/flotheambitiousviolet.htm or Sean's interpretation).
Personally in my own composition, I do a great deal of thinking about what story my music is telling, how I craft that story, and the effect this story will have on the larger world around me. It's one of the most important parts of music to me (and art in general). Last Saturday, when Sean came to Tempe Center for the Arts with his quartet, he ended the night with a composition entitled BJ's Tune. After a night of dazzling playing and incredible music had already happened, Sean begins the last tune with a soft story, telling everyone in attendance about the origins of the music we were about to hear as a song inspired by the birth of his nephew, BJ. Sean had a clear message to take away from with this, one reinforced by his earlier music throughout the night, a message of togetherness, of unity. To Sean, this tune was the anthem for bringing people together, all differences aside. And as he played through the piece, this message was incredibly clear through his writing and playing.
As I said earlier, Sean is one of those rare musicians who is able to combine brilliant technicality and raw emotionality with his craft. Sean's ability to communicate on his instrument is so one to one. He's at the point to be able to translate exactly what he wants to say from his head (and heart), to his fingers. And I think that ability re-affirms the importance (and power) that music has a medium for expression. Listening to Sean's music, you don't have to be told how to feel, you simply just feel.
I didn't expect to write this much about BJ's Tune, but I was so affected by it when I heard it live on Saturday. I'm also kind of enjoying these longer takes on the weekly music showcase. As well, I'm still figuring out this whole be a musician on social media thing, but I have a lot more plans for things to come, whether that is more for my blog, website, youtube channel, or more music. If you read this far, thank you and I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I did, or you at the very least gained a different perspective than you had before.