FW: [Dixielandjazz] The Low Brass Creed

Jim Kashishian jim at kashprod.com
Wed Jun 14 10:06:11 PDT 2006

If anyone bothered to follow the link to The Low Brass Creed that Dan posted
to DJML, you will see what I mean by phrasing!  The Creed lacks phrasing,
period!  It starts loud, and goes on for ever...loud, with no break or
breath anywhere!  The exact opposite of a good phrase, but it's a real
laugh!   :>

I mentioned earlier that a musical phrase is much the same as a written
sentence.  And, sometimes it can be fun to stretch the phrase past the
normal breaking spot to create tension or some other feeling.  I once heard
Spain's best known tenor sax (jazz) player, Pedro Itturalde, playing a
Flamenco song where he went up a scale to a high note where most of us
"common folk" would take a breath, but he didn't.  He held the high note,
bending it over the top,and came back down the other side of the scale
without a breath intake.  It was just a stunning bit of phrasing!  I
mentioned it to him afterward, and of course (since he's SO good), he didn't
even remember having done it.  

It's the magic that sets some apart.  If you were to draw the phrase he
played, you'd see steps going up, then a rounded line at the top like a
semi-circle (the high note being bent), and steps coming back down.
Normally, people would play the steps going up, with the high note being
another one of the steps, then a "coma" after the high note (breath) before
coming back down the other side of the hill.


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