SF State’s on-campus venue, The Depot, took a trip back in time to the early 20th century with a jazz trio who began in San Francisco four years ago, just looking to explore the world of music together.
On Tuesday, The Midnight Moods, which is comprised of singer Jacqueline Corona, pianist Julian Shipp, and Base player Alex Farrell, showed students a precious piece of jazz history that can be hard to find on the radio these days.
“Jazz has a swing to it and there’s no other genre like Jazz. There are other styles of music that take elements from Jazz, but in the end it’s its own thing,” said Adam Medina, a music major at SF State. “I love music that speaks to me and the people who play. It shows that if you have an appreciation for music, Jazz will speak to you. You need to love music that speaks to you.”
The Midnight Moods brought their songs like “Sugar In My Bowl,” “What’s This Thing Called Love,” “Blue Monk,” “When I Get Low I Get High” and “Sabor A Mi” to the stage, giving credit to their well-experienced talent. The sounds could be smoother than a stick a butter, but also as intense as running with the bulls.
“Growing up, my dad listened to a lot of classic rock that ranged from Ray Charles to AC/DC,” Farrell said. “This was kind of my back door into Jazz, which is really in many ways the root of all music grounded down to a base of the art.”
The combination of instrumental sounds and Corona’s hermeneutic vocals filled The Depot as students snapped, clapped, and expressed their appreciation for sounds they don’t hear too often on the SF State campus. The band showed that in this era, even young generations have an appreciation for a style that started almost a century ago.
“To me, Jazz, I don’t really know how to describe it, but it’s so beautiful and I nod my head and my heart just pounds,” said Jennifer Osioro, a marketing major and jazz enthusiast. “I wish I could describe feelings for Jazz better, but I don’t play an instrument, and when I look at the trio being so in sync with each other’s sounds, it makes me truly appreciate what is being shown.”
Beside the harmonious strings and keys being picked and slammed was Corona’s classical vocal style. Anyone back in the time where people would smoke cigars in their top hats, rocking a glass of high premium scotch after a long day of Wall Street would understand this iconic sound.
“I grew up in a family where they always said music was in our blood,” Corona said. “We grew up playing together in family gatherings, but it wasn’t until I got into middle school where I had formal training or anything on vocal technique or what was singing in general. It wasn’t until high school that I got serious one-on-one training.”
The history of The Midnight Moods and the way they play together is just as interesting as the way they were brought up when they were just young children. It mirrors the chemistry they have and the fluidity of the sounds they produce. They all were SF State students at some time and, after learning from similar professors, they now show the world what they can do together.
“I think I met Alex first on campus,” Corona said. “Connecting in interests as the same people as you are or as I was at that time led to more things. ”Then he introduced me to Julian, and that’s when it really took off for me to truly embrace myself with the passion that I have.”
The Midnight Moods don’t just come out around the middle of the night, but seem to be spreading like clouds around the Bay Area to Jazz listeners.