Bijgewerkt op: 22 mei 2021
This week I have dedicated myself to recording a really challenging video! I worked all 7 days, about 6 hours a day. I am satisfied. Its contents are very close to my heart and it was time that I wanted to share my thoughts on studying this wonderful music: the JAZZ. Let's say that I made myself a gift because on April 21 I celebrated my 29th birthday 😊 I'm seeing a lot of interest on social media and thank you all for your support! See you soon with the technical-musical analysis of this wonderful standard:
Transcription of the video
What do they know about tortellini, ragù,
These are the stereotypes that we often we mature
when something does not go down with the stranger, the foreign.
That slightly ridiculous patriotism.
Without any logic.
If we are so proud of our land,
why we want to play jazz
like Americans do?
Americans are jealous about their earth,
about their culture, about their music…
They could say:
“Ehi man! What hell do you know about Jazz? It is our tradition!”
We are all potentially capable to play
PARKER, BILL EVANS, OSCAR PETERSON,
ART TATUM. I don't know...
It's just to mention the most virtuous ones.
We have a lot of tools that help us to play
like that masters, by working hard.
The problem is that very few understand
really that you have to learn to THINK
like these gentlemen. To understand their creative
process as well as their music.
To study their biographies
To understand what really was the music for them,
It's not only a technical problem.
We must not be fooled by our perfectionism
and above all we must not be obsessed
with the right notes.
Let's use our emotions, our traditions,
our personal experiences within the music.
Let's do it with as less hypocrisy as possible.
Be honest with your instrument!
Tell who you are and not who you would like to be!
The point is: let's give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar!
So, we have two choices actually. We can play
our traditional music in jazz style,
if your really like this genre or, and this is
my personal opinion,
Let's try to really explore, with all respect, the American tradition.
I would like to repeat once more: this tradition is not ours one!
I would like to speak about STELLA BY STARLIGHT
that is an amazing tune.
I would like to analyze it in this way:
Let's start from scratch...
It is February the 10th, 1944, we are in NEW YORK
it is midnight and in the amazing Loew’s State Theatre
shows "THE UNINVITED"
The film director is Lewis Allen
Musics are composed by the famous
VICTOR YOUNG who wrote
a lot of standards such as My Foolish
Heart, Beautiful Love, When I Fall In Love…
When I Fan In Love, this is very beautiful!
It is a fantastic horror movie and Martin Scorsese places it in 11th position among the most beautiful films of this genre.
It is a wonderful story of young Stella Meredith,
the daughter of a woman who lost her life by falling off a cliff in front of their home.
Stella's grandfather keeps
away the young woman from that house.
STELLA: Grandfather, please.
GRANDFATHER'S: I thought I made myself quite clear on this point, Stella.
He realizes that the villa is infested with a
ghost who inexplicably wants
to torment the young woman to bring her to the
The house remains uninhabited for many
years because every buyer
or tenant withdraws the contract
stipulated with grandfather because
almost every night because very strange noises
are heard almost every night.
The FITZGERALD brothers are interested in the property after spotting it by chance during a trip.
They then go to the other
Stella and grandfather's apartment.
They first meet the girl who tries to send them away explaining that the house is not for sale.
That's because she doesn't want to give them her mother's house
The grandfather arrives just in time, drives away the granddaughter and sells the house
with a very low price, despite having warned
Fitzgerald brothers of the strange
nocturnal sound manifestations that the brothers,
feeding on the normal and skepticism
towards paranormal events, they had dates
for granted given the location of the house
which also had the name of
Roderick Fitzgerald, during the 1st day
in his new house,
sees the shape of Stella Meredith through the window
who after a sad look goes away.
The following day Roderick, hearing voices of
neighborhood, discover that
from the cliff in front of his house a woman died
He meets Stella who apologizes for the behavior
adopted the previous day,
She tells him that she lost her mother in that
cliff tragedy and, speaking about
other stuffs, they establish a relationship
of mutual interest.
Initial enthusiasms of a splendid villa
facing a cliff,
from the first sinister voices ...
PAM: It sounds so heartbroken. RODERICK: Now don't get rattled.
RODERICK: There's a logical explanation for this. PAM: such as?
You can't expect me to give it to you offhand? But it stands to reason.
RODERICK: Does it come every night? PAM: NO
But just when you begin to think you've dreamt it, it comes again.
This crying is often reverberated by one
and accompanied by a strong mimosa scent.
PAM: "The mimosa scent!"
They perceive curiosity but no so much fear from this sound experience. - RODERICK: Be calm, Pam,
Another kind of mood, that manifested itself in feelings of cold, weakness, tension, sadness and darkness,
is felt for the first time,
in the former study of Stella's father: a
artist who painted both his wife Mary
and a spanish model named Carmen who had been accused by everyone as Mary's murderer
because of the jealousy of a ménage à trois created between her, Mary and the painter.
Roderick decides to talk about it with the former owner
Stella's grandfather, who rejects these paranormal beliefs
and also rejects Mr. Fitzgerald's willingness to establish a friendship with his granddaughter
especially when he asks him to invite her for a dinner to the WINDWARD HOUSE.
RODERICK: What's the matter with us?
Why don't you allow Stella to see us?
STELLA'S GRANDFATHER: Because I don't want to.
And I must ask you for your word not to send her any more invitations.
RODERICK: I'll give you no such undertaking.
STELLA'S GRANDFATHER: Very well, I know how to deal with the matter.
Stella is not going inside that house!
Sentiment wins and while Roderick is coming back home meets Stella
who was going to the Church.
He gives her a ride and on the way they make arrangements for dinner.
Yes. Supper's at 8:00, But please come as early as you can.
She arrives in the WINDWARD HOUSE. She enters it after 17 years and is happy.
Stella vaguely remembers the house and is overwhelmed by various sensations related to her tender age.
STELLA: May I see the studio before it's dark?
Stella enters her father's old studio which now has a grandpiano, since Roderick is a musician and listens to him play.
Won't you play something?
It's about time you asked me that.
Strong emotions pervade Stella who realizes that the song is acomposition dedicated to her.
STELLA: you made that up?
It's a serenade.
'to Stella by Starlight.'
In particular, she feels two emotions:
Love and serenity...
Restlessness and anguish...
RODERICK: What is it, Stella? You're trembling!
STELLA: Oh, I was wicked. How could I ever have laughed in her house?
RODERICK: But it's my house now. Pam's and mine.
STELLA: But she was so young
And she died so cruelly.
The girl is as possessed and rushes to the cliff
but the pianist saves her just in time!
Is for this reason that STELLA BY
STARLIGHT has one part more carefree in major key
and the other more tense in minor key?
To describe perhaps the moods of the young Stella Meredith?
It is possible…
I don't know…
So there are two moods in this film, both for the Fitzgeralds,
and for Stella.
Do you want to know why?
Watch the movie!
I recommend you look at it in English,
also because in the 1940s
transatlantic or mid-atlantic english was used,
because much more understandable.
It is a mix between American and
It was used by actors and by
important people in that era.
Use the subtitles in Italian but if
you can understand something,
try to use the english ones
the musician speaks english,
first of all!
After this initial excursus we can
say that we are starting to study standards
in a truly complete way.
After watching this movie and having
also naturally studied the technical musical part
we can use the cards of historic awareness that is given to us from the knowledge
of the primordial emotions that created this
Now, the spontaneous question can be...
It was not the main part
of jazz music?
I think improvisation is a decisive factor
but it is still the result
of the sincere knowledge and interpretation
of the melody.
Melody is the only thing that remains in our heart memory.
Melody is the most important thing within
Improvisation should be
the other side of the medal of the melody
something that embroiders it, that changes it
if you are very very focused, that improves it!
Remember: melody is the only thing that remains in our heart memory
and it must be performed with
great attention and awareness.
Think about it! ;)