Arts, Music, On Campus

Berklee, Boston College Musicians Perform American Jazz Favorites

Smooth and lively base notes echoed through Gasson 100 on Monday night. These performers—Tom Lee, a professor in the Boston College music department, Tim Ray, Gustavo Assis-Brasil, John Lockwood, and Derek Cho, CSOM ’19, respectively—put on quite a display, showing off their perfectly refined grasp of American jazz by playing some of their favorite songs from the live jazz album Keith Jarret Trio at the Blue Note. Ray, Assis-Brasil, and Lockwood are all professors at the Berklee College of Music.

The show itself was split into two halves. The first half consisted of Lee, Ray, Assis-Brasil, and Lockwood. The group played five songs from the album, alternating between improvised solos from each musician. Ray’s piano was the most consistently utilized instrument of the bunch, and that certainly was not a bad thing, as Ray was an absolute delight to listen to and may well have been the most talented musician of the bunch. Lee’s flute seemed to be underused, but that may have been because the inherently higher pitch of the flute would have distracted from the deeper instruments’ solos, so he would step to the side whenever anyone else’s instrument was the focal point. Whenever he was playing, his mastery of the instrument was easy to see. Assis-Brasil’s guitar solos were complex and exciting, and it was impossible to not bob your head to Lockwood’s fantastic bassline.

For the second half, Derek Cho, one of Lee’s students, played his saxophone as a guest musician, and he was phenomenal. He fit into the quartet perfectly and complemented the other musicians by providing a sound that wasn’t exactly missing from the first half, but was greatly appreciated in the second. He and the quartet continued along with the solo-heavy set format for the final four songs, the last of which was easily the best of the bunch, with a recurring chorus section and Lockwood’s bassline providing a wonderfully catchy beat for the other instruments to utilize.

If there was anything to complain about throughout the 70-minute show, it was that it was difficult to distinguish some of the endings and beginnings of songs in the first half of the performance. Luckily, the recurring jazz melodies were anything but boring to listen to, and the insertion of Cho’s saxophone halfway through the show helped to spruce up the sound just when it had started to get repetitive.

This show was a pleasure to attend, and anyone who has the chance to see these men perform should take advantage of that. They do not disappoint.

Featured Image by Kaitlin Meeks / Photo Editor

October 5, 2018