Entertaining and keeping the crowd excited with their skills, Jazz Band is a special part of the Andover music community. It has performed at multiple school events, filling the stage with music spanning every part of jazz history. Without further ado, enjoy this playlist of jazz songs from the members of Andover’s own Jazz Band .
John Mo ’24
“One of my favorite songs is ‘Confirmation’ by Charlie Parker. He’s just one of my favorite artists and this was one of the first songs of his that I heard, and I immediately loved it. The ideas that he uses in this song sound amazing, and his tone is fantastic. The song belongs in the ‘bebop’ jazz category, which is what Parker is known for. I think the style is great because of the fast-paced rhythms which sound great in general. Because the song is mostly improvisation from Parker I can’t really say anything about it composition-wise, but Parker does a lot of stuff with motifs that are really interesting here. Also, I feel like he just plays with so much energy that if you listen to the song, you just want to move your head to the beat.”
Brandon Fu ’25
“When I started out playing jazz in seventh grade, I listened to all kinds of sub-genres, like blues, fusion, etc. One of the songs I struck a chord with (pun intended) was Dizzy Gillespie’s recording of ‘On the Sunny Side of the Street’ with Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt on tenor sax joining Gillespie on trumpet. The song is really upbeat, and whenever I feel down or unsatisfied, I listen to this song, and it brings me right back up. The recording is done in a hard bop style, which is a style of jazz that has a lot of angular and motivic improvisation. I love Sonny Stitt’s solo on this recording, and I’ve transcribed and played it on my own saxophone. There are many versions of this song that have been recorded, but I like this one best. Some lyrics that stand out to me are ‘leave your worries on the doorstep’ and ‘gold dust at my feet,’ which symbolize the warmth and comfort of the Sun.”
Rachel Bong ’23
“[A jazz song that I would recommend is] ‘St. Thomas’ by Sonny Rollins (1955). This is a Latin tune with a Caribbean feel to it. I like this piece because it has a simple yet catchy melody. I feel like you can’t get tired of listening to it. This song is special to me since I played this piece in a jazz group for [Head of School Dr. Raynard Kington’s] investiture.”
Sol Kim ’23
“My recommendation is Freddie Hubbard’s ‘Red Clay’ from an album with the same name—a popular jazz semi-standard released in 1970. The track features a legendary lineup of Joe Henderson on tenor, Herbie Hancock on the keyboard, Ron Carter on the bass, Lenny White on the drums, and Hubbard himself on the trumpet. Red Clay was released during a transitional era of jazz: cool and hard bop were going out of fashion, and a funkier, fusion-style genre was emerging. It begins with a floating, wailing vamp that eventually settles into White’s unique beat. You can definitely feel that ‘new age’ sound in the laid-back drums and groovy bassline that carry the tune. Hubbard’s signature screaming solo sets the tone for the rest of the song, and it’s also my favorite part. On the first time through, Red Clay is one of those songs that make you stop whatever you’re doing and really listen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”
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