“This is going to be the hardest song you are going to play in this concert and for many concerts to come,” music teacher Hagai Izraeli warned his 9th and 10th grade students today as they embarked on a rendition of Thelonius Monk’s “Straight, No Chaser.”
The brave band of six boys looked a little worried. I’m no musician, but I do know that the music of Monk is extremely complicated. In fact, monkzone.com describes the jazz master as one of the “most inventive pianists of any musical genre … who achieved a startlingly original sound that even his most devoted followers have been unable to successfully imitate.”
Undaunted, the class talked about lead lines, moving lines, and base lines. They listened to an original recording and dissected the note structures. They used their bodies to find the rhythm.
And they played. Check out the video and see how they pulled it together. If you want to hear the finished piece, check out the Winter Concert in February.