Moose Mountain Jazz Band
Jazz came to Brookfield/Wakefield area, for the first time in Aug.
2001. I was asked to put together a small group for a Dixieland
Night to be held at the Wakefield Historical Society Red School
House. It was a complete success! Completely sold out ! Later in
the year, we all were talking about the need for local musicians,
like us, to get together and Jam on a regular basis. Some of our
friends also have asked, "Where can we hear you play again.""
The Idea of a "Jazz party" was suggested. Our first
event in Jan. 2002, was supposed to be just a "casual
affair". We were going to play music and have fun, and
the people who came, could talk and visit with everyone. Just like
a Party. Well, to our surprise, most people wanted to listen to
the band. We had enormous response again from the audience. After
our first sold-out event, of this year, it was evident that so
many others enjoyed this music as much as we did. The Moose Mt.
Jazz Band was formed in Feb. 2002, shortly after our first "Jazz
Photo by Robert Byrne
What is Jazz?
What are they really doing onstage?
This music we
call Jazz, has its roots in American history. It is an
ever changing art-form, which is created just for the listener, at
that moment of time. Each band member will “solo”
on the song, but in doing so, will be creating his own
melody to go along with the original structure of the song that is
being played. As the audience is thinking of the tune, they
are listening to a Jazz solo being played which is not the
familiar melody, but rather something close to it.
The result is a new variation of the song.. every time.
The rest of the musicians will “back them up”, until
it is their turn to do the same thing. This is the typical jazz
format. There are different combinations of instruments at
one time throughout the piece, depending on the arrangement being
played. Sometimes, there is no set arrangement, and all the
musicians will watch and listen, as not to get in the way of each
other, but to blend, and give the soloist the proper chord
foundation for their solo. It is important to realize that
we all are playing according to a set of musical “rules”,
that is , following the chord structure of the song being played,
and being careful not to “step on the toes” of the
soloist. This format is universal to all experienced
musicians, and is strictly followed, in this type of music.
The result from the listeners, perspective, is a blend
of instruments, and solos that appear to be well rehearsed.
The incredible thing about Jazz is, that a lot of it is not
rehearsed , or written out completely. Every performance
will have a freshness and every solo will be different, each time
that tune is played. Even from the same musicians. A lot of
the time, some of the musicians will never have played
together, but because of their talent and experience of playing
Jazz , it will sound like they have worked together for many
years. This is why we refer to Jazz as truly, an American
Hospital Street Fair ,August, 2010. – Photos by Betty John,