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Aretha's Jazz Jam

Aretha's Jazz Cafe

Every Sun. 7-10pm




This was an energetic, fun interpretation of the famous standard, I’ve Never Been in Love Before. With a jam-session performance, there is a wide variable in possible quality. Great musicians as they are, all used the best features of a ‘jam’: these are (1) to build exceptional solos, (2) create subtextual communication between the band and vocalist, and (3) display a demonstration in clarity of ideas. Through their deft jazz experience, superb technique, and confidence in identity, their solos spoke with the passion and conviction of a preacher.


Emmit immediately pushed for a bluesy rendition of the sometimes more cheery standard, and it added grit to everyone’s performance. The tone of the song was formed in the first 16 bars. Both Emmit and Cyrille found their own way to work through this blues colored, bright tempoed swing groove, building their own substantial solos until returning to where they started. 


It felt like a conservative but energetic performance featuring an Emmet Cohen solo that could be considered a jazz history course; blues, to stride, to boogie-woogie, to Oscar Peterson, to Monk, to Emmet. Cyrile demonstrated the power of phrasing with a good feel; Aimee has a tremendous groove, allowing her to widely apply hip scat phrasing over the blues scales until shifting to slightly more modern language to apply over the modulating harmony of the bridge. 


I felt if Aimee’s mic level was a little higher, it would’ve added more presence to her performance.


Overall, an energetic, seamless, centered take on I’ve Never Been in Love Before.


Questions to ask:


1. How is Cyrille handling the intro as supplied by the rhythm section? Why?


2. Are there any ‘magic’ moments that you heard? If so, where and why?


3. How would you describe Emmet Cohen’s piano solo? Why?


4. How would you describe Cyrille Aimee’s vocal scat solo? Why?


5. Name some spots in either solo where you heard a repeated motif.


6. How would you compare this version of this song against another that you know?


7. Were you able to keep the form throughout Emmet’s solo? Why or why not?


8. How would you describe the tone of this performance?


9. If you were the vocalist, what would you have done differently?


10. How can you use this performance to become a better vocalist?