In classic Studio/Jazz Guitar Department fashion, Tim Fischer’s DMA Lecture Recital on Sept. 27 began promptly to a packed room of eager students and faculty. The lecture was titled “Analyzing the Rhythm Section and Arranging Techniques of the Miles Davis First Quintet,” and featured a four-piece band of Michael Mull on alto saxophone, Emilio Terranova on bass, Joe LaBarbera on drums and Tim Fischer on the jazz box.
Interestingly, the time period of Davis’ music that Fischer focused on didn’t include the guitar in the arrangements. However, the communication between the players (specifically musical communication between Davis and the rest of the musicians on the album “Milestones”) sparked his desire to dig into this music even more.
“’The Real Book’ is not the end of your learning,” Fischer said as he made one of his main points about how much there is to learn beyond what is on the written page in the world of jazz music. Enough stare-downs by more seasoned musicians on jazz gigs got that message across to him and his studies only reconfirmed the message.
Fischer’s presentation was extremely detailed and his research was clearly extensive. He frequently made use of the musicians behind him to demonstrate various classic “licks” which were constantly referenced in interviews he read in his research.
As time moved along, the presentation became more of a discussion. Fischer provided detailed packets with music and text and he went back and forth between discussing topics, playing recordings and demonstrating them with the band. It was a perfect mix of lecture and concert, concluding with thunderous applause.