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assisted by: Zack Arbogast, Wes Hager, Craig Burletic, Tyler Stewart

featuring: Luke Miller, baritone saxophone

This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performance in Jazz Studies. Mr. Mitchell is a student in the saxophone studio of Dr. Edwin Bingham.

Program Notes:

I Remember You by Victor Schertzinger (1888-1941)

Victor Schertzinger teamed up with the lyricist Johnny Mercer to pen this jazz standard for the movie The Fleet’s In in 1941. It was sung in the film Dorothy Larmour and featured the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra. According to Philip Furia’s biography, Skylark: The Life and Times of Johnny Mercer, Mercer originally wrote the tune with Schertzinger for Judy Garland. He had been infatuated with Garland for quite some time and they had been enduring an on-again off-again relationship despite the fact that both were married to other people. In Furia’s biography Mercer details his thoughts: “I always had such a crush or Garland I couldn't think straight, so I wrote this song."

The song has been performed by many artists in several different genres. With the first recording in The Fleet’s ln, to the country versions by legends such as Slim Whitman and John Denver, to its performance by the Beatles, and it's further use in films like Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, the true strength of the tune has endured. It was even used in a 1988 Republican Party commercial. As a jazz standard it has been recorded by legends like Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker, Chet Baker, Lee Kanitz, Sonny Stitt, Ella Fitzgerald, Jackie McLean, Diane Krall, Frank Sinatra, and Mel Tormé.

Dat Dere by Bobby Timmons (1935-1974)

Timmons was most remembered for his work as a pianist in the iconic Jazz Messengers group under the leadership of drummer Art Blakey; nevertheless he started his career with trumpeter Kenny Dorham in 1956. While performing with Blakey's group (1958-1961,) Timmons established his penchant for writing in a gospel, soul-jazz style. Dat Dere is one of the best examples of this is type of writing. The tune's catchy melody and bluesy “down home" style became a favorite among listeners and enthusiasts. It was first recorded on the Jazz Messengers' 1960 album The Big Beat. Timmons later recorded the tune again with Cannonball and Nat Adderley on the album Them Dirty Blues. The tune has also been recorded by modern jazz artists such as pianist Brad Mehldau on his album New York-Barcelona Crossings.

Oscar Brown Jr. added lyrics to the song in 1960 for his album Sin and Soul... and then Some. The lyrics describe a child's excitement and enthusiasm of going to the zoo with a parent and asking questions about all the animals and sights. One of the most famous vocal recordings of the tune was done by Mel Tormé on Ralph J. Gleason's Jazz Casual series in 1964, however the Instrumental recordings have remained more popular throughout time.

A Day on the Stream by Jason Mitchell (b. 1989)

As a child in rural West Virginia, my dad taught me to appreciate the outdoors. He taught my sister and me to fish and hunt on our family farm. We would often spend Sunday afternoon bass fishing at our family farm pond, and in the spring he would take us trout fishing at the local stream. In high school, my brother and my cousin taught me how to fly fish and started allowing me to come along on their trout fishing trips. Many of my favorite memories as a child revolve around those lazy days on the pond with my dad and on the trout stream with my brother and cousin.

A Day on the Stream was written specifically for tonight’s recital. In writing it, I had a certain relaxed-sound in mind. In using a few non-traditional harmonies, such as the prolonged usage of suspended chords, while maintaining a traditional AABA 32 bar song form, I was able to evoke a relaxed, soothing quality much like the one I get while fishing. When I finished the tune, I sat and stared out my window at the warm, sunny day wishing for a day on the stream so it seemed fitting to name the piece for that wish.

Easy Living by Ralph Rainger (1900-1942)

Ralph Rainger paired with Leo Robin (lyrics) to create this powerful ballad that explains how great life can be when living for the one you love. Easy Living was written in 1937 while Rainger was under contract to Paramount for the film of the same name. It has been recorded as a jazz standard by many jazz artists including Billie Holiday, Stan Getz, Cannonball Adderley, Dexter Gordon, and Bill Evans.

Billie Holiday recorded the tune in e summer of 1937 and brought the tune to the attention of other vocalists who went on to also perform and record the work. The tune is admired by many instrumentalists and at times avoided by vocalists for the same reason – the large intervallic leaps contained within the melody. To truly appreciate the melody, one must know the lyrics as well.

Living for you is easy living.

It’s easy to live when you're in love.

And I'm so in love.

There is nothing in life but you.

I never regret the years that l’m giving.

They're easy to give when you're in love.

I'm happy to do whatever l do for you.

For you maybe I'm a fool.

But it's fun.

People say you rule me with one wave of your hand

Darling it's grand.

They Just don’t understand

Living for you is easy living.

It's easy to live when you're in love.

And I'm so in love.

There is nothing in life but you

Close Up by Jim Snidero (b. 1958)

Since his first recording in 1984, Snidero has become a respected bandleader and recording artist on the alto saxophone. Based in New York City, he has produced more than a dozen albums with his latest being Crossfire which was released in 2009. He has recorded and performed with jazz legends including Walt Weiskopf, Conrad Herwig, the Mingus Big Band, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Maria Schneider, and Eric Alexander. He has even recorded with Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and Sting on a more mainstream level.

Close Up is from the album of the same name that Snidero recorded with Eric Alexander in 2004. Alexander only plays on five of the eight tracks, but his work with Snidero on the title track holds true to the duo's hard swinging style that hearkens back to bebop and post-bop styles. Snidero's composition is marked by a lively melody and a root movement in the bass that progresses in whole steps. Despite not using the traditional ii-V7-I progressions throughout the composition as a bebop tune would, Snidero's solo is remarkably similar to that of a bebop solo in its usage of flowing eighth note lines contrasted by sporadic double-time passages.

JuJu by Wayne Shorter (b. 1933)

Wayne Shorter was exposed to some of the biggest names in bebop and swing while growing up in Newark, NJ in the 1930s and 40s. He studied art, specifically visual arts such as drawing and sculpture, in his youth, and was highly fascinated with the supernatural. Shorter was able to couple this background with his new love of music while studying at Arts High in Newark and then later while studying music education on tenor saxophone at New York University. These underlying interests in bebop, art, and the supernatural combined with his experiences with seminal jazz groups at his young age to create a highly unique and unparalleled compositional mindset His approach to composing was marked by his love of unresolved harmonic progressions and floating melodic lines.

Shorter often used common harmonies in unconventional ways to create a few product, that though made up of standard components, truly stood apart from the other movements in jazz in the late 1950's and early 1960's. Bebop musicians often used V7 chords in their compositions, but they most often used them as a part of another progression or cadence such as a ii-V7-I or simply a V7-l. Shorter tended to use altered dominant chords as their own entity.

JuJu is a prime example of Shorter's compositional methods in the mid-1960's. Shorter coupled the irregular meter of ¾ with the whole tone scale, (a sound that Thelonius Monk employed quite regularly,) to create the harmonic context for the majority of the work. It is interesting to note that Shorter’s tonic key center is ambiguous due to his irregular use of certain chord qualities, a trait mentioned previously, as the main functioning chord of the tune. The majority of the tune is composed strictly of V7 that are not necessarily used in a progression; rather they are used as a specific sound. To link the harmonies, Shorter employed a root movement that descended by half steps. The only harmonies that were not linked by some type of half step movement in the bass are the last four bars of the tune that move in an alteration between a major and minor chord qualities with the roots of each chord being separated by a tri-tone.

Stablemates by Benny Golscn (b. 1929)

Benny Golson, at the age of 83, is one of few remaining jazz saxophone legends still living. In his illustrious career he has played with the bands of Benny Goodman, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Bostic, Lionel Hampton, and with groups under his own name. As a composer, he has not only contributed to jazz but also to television, commercials, and film. His film score contributions include M*A*S*H, Bill Cosby's last television show, Mission Impossible, Mod Squad, and even the Academy Awards. Some of his more notable jazz compositions include Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Are You Real, Along Came Betty, Whisper Not, Blues March, Five Spot After Dark, and Stablemates. These eight tunes have been recognized throughout the decades as jazz standards and are a staple in the jazz repertoire.

Stablemates, written in 1955, has a very unique structure and style. The tune is written mostly in a swing/bebop style marked by a distinct Latin feel, set up by a bolero rhythm in the drums on most recordings, in the last four measures of the A sections. One of the first recordings of the tune was on an album called "Benny Golson and the Philadelphians" which was released in 1958. The first six compositions on the album were recorded by Golson and a group of native Philadelphia musicians including jazz icons Lee Morgan, Percy Heath, and Philly Joe Jones. The last four tracks were recorded in Paris with a group of French musicians.


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Marshall University Music Department Presents a Senior Jazz Recital, Jason Mitchell, alto saxophone