On Saturday, November 12, ASMAC President Kim Richmond presented an informative Master Class at L.A. Valley College. The hosting and moderating duties were expertly handled by composer Duane Tatro, also a long time board member of ASMAC.
The title of the Master Class was “Tracing the Origins of Jazz Standards,” and the main part of the event presented the history of four well-known standard songs: “Body & Soul,” “All the Things You Are,” “Autumn Leaves,” and “I Got Rhythm.” Handled in a very interesting manner, this was done with a multi-media presentation of video and audio on the large screen. Kim narrated and set up each one to show where each song came from, it’s original purpose and setting, how different versions of the same song made such a dramatic difference, and how it developed to become a jazz standard… answering questions as the class proceeded.
Two other sections of the event were spent explaining some arranging processes and procedures concerning voicing large ensembles, finding and using passing chords, and writing drum parts. This was done on-screen and at the piano and was accompanied by a hand-out to all attendees – who included both accomplished composer/arrangers, and students.