Thursday, 9 February 2012

Bach to Basics...

Born in 1685, died in 1750, and still the greatest jazz composer of all time. Who else would I be talking about than the great man himself, J.S Bach. Of course, he is - in my eyes - the greatest composer that ever lived, and with numerous cantatas, preludes and fugues, passions, chorales, organ works, chamber music and canons, he left a musical legacy that will be admired for hundreds of years to come. Jazz musicians have always been fascinated by his work, and those who were originally classically trained retained their love for him throughout their careers, and incorporated his music into their own. For example, Jacques Loussier's 'Play Bach Trio' used Bach's compositions as a basis for their own jazz improvisations. One particular musical group who pay tribute to him are The Swingle Singers, and they do so with a swung rhythm and the words, 'ba da bum dum dum'. I first stumbled upon this recording of his second fugue in C minor when trying to learn it with my close harmony group, and I quickly realised that singing it is just as great a challenge as playing it. However, listening to its complex yet seamless harmonies with the beat of a double bass and drums is simply wonderful. Enjoy!