OG Test 3 - Passage I

Questions 1-10 are based on the following passage.

PROSE FICTION: This passage is adapted from the novel The Fisher King by Paule Marshall (©2000 by Paule Marshall).
It was nearing the end of the second set, the jazz
show winding down when Hattie heard Abe Kaiser at
the microphone call Everett Payne's name. Heard his
name and, to her surprise, saw him slowly stand up in
5the bullpen up front. She hadn't seen him join the other
local musicians, including Shades Bowen with his tenor
sax, in what was called the bullpen, which was simply a
dozen or so chairs grouped near the bandstand. The
young locals gathered there each Sunday evening
10hoping for a chance to perform. Because toward the end
of the final set, the custom was to invite one or two of
them to sit in with the band. They sometimes even got
to choose the.tune they wanted to play.
This Sunday, Everett Payne, not long out of the
15army, was the one being invited to sit in.
Breath held, Hattie watcb.ed him separate himself
from the hopefuls and approach the stand, taking his
time, moving with what almost seemed a deliberate
pause between each step. The crowd waiting.
20That was his way, Hattie knew. His body moving
absentmindedly through space, his head, his thoughts
on something other than his surroundings, and his eyes
like a curtain he occasionally drew aside a fraction of
an inch to peer out at the world. A world far less inter-
25esting than the music inside his head.
She watched now as he slowly mounted the band­-
stand and conferred with the bassist and drummer,
those two were all he would need. Then, without
announcing the name of the tune he intended playing,
30without in any way acknowledging the audience, he sat
down at the piano and brought his hands-large hands,
the fingers long and splayed and slightly arched-down
on the opening bars of "Sonny Boy Blue."
"Sonny Boy Blue!" That hokey-doke tune!
35Around her, the purists looked askance at each
other from behind their regulation shades and slouched
deeper in their chairs in open disgust.
At first, hokey though it was, he played the song
straight through as written, the rather long introduction,
40verse, and chorus. And he did so with great care
although at a slower tempo than was called for and with
a formality that lent the Tin Pan Alley tune a depth and
thoughtfulness no one else would have accorded it.
Quickly taking their cue from him, the bassist
45reached for his bow, the· drummer for his brushes, the
two of them also treating the original as if it were a
serious piece of music.
Everett Payne took his time paying his respects to
the tune as written, and once that was done, ,he hunched
50closer to the piano, angled his head sharply to the left,
completely closed the curtain of his gaze, and with his
hands commanding the length and breadth of the key­-
board he unleashed a dazzling pyrotechnic of chords
(you could almost see their colors), .polyrhythms, seem-
55ingly unrelated harmonies, and ideas-fresh, brash,
outrageous ideas. It was an outpouring of ideas and
feelings informed by his own brand of lyricism and lit
from time to time by flashes of the recognizable
melody. He continued to acknowledge the little simple-
60minded tune, while at the same time fudously recasting
and reinventing it in an image all his own
A collective in-suck of breath throughout the club
Where, Hattie wondered, did he come by the daz­-
zling array of ideas and wealth of feeling? What was
65the source? It had to do, she speculated, listening
intently, with the way he held his head, angled to the
left like that, tilted toward both heaven and earth, His
right side, his right ear directed skyward, hearing up
there, in the Upper Room among the stars Mahalia sang
70about, a new kind of music: splintered, atonal, profane,
and possessing a wonderful dissonance that spoke to
him, to his soul-case. For him, this was the true music
of the spheres, of the maelstrom up there. When at the
piano, he kept his right ear tuned to it at all times, let-
75ting it guide him, inspire him. His other ear? It
remained earthbound, trained on the bedrock that for
him was Bach and the blues.
Again and again he took them on a joyous, terrify­-
ing roller coaster of a ride it seemed to Hattie, and
8Owhen he finally deposited them on terra firma after
close to twenty minutes, everyone in Putnam Royal
could only sit there as if they were in church and
weren't supposed to clap. Overcome. Until finally
Alvin Edwards, who lived on Decatur Street and played
85trumpet in the school band, leaped to his feet and
renamed him.
Alvin brought everyone up with him. Including the
purists who normally refused to applaud even genius;
They too stood up in languid praise of him.

Question 1

It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that Shades Bowen:

  • A did not accompany Everett Payne .as he played "Sonny Boy Blue."

  • B had been in the army with Everett Payne

  • C was the oldest musician in the bullpen.

  • D did not usuallly allow the local musicians to play with the band.

Question 2

The main purpose of the statement in line 62 is to:

  • F illustrate the high expectations the audience ini­tially had for Everett Payne's performance;

  • G inform the reader of the audience's reaction to Everett Payne's performance.

  • H counteract the narrator's description of Everett Payne's performance.

  • J provide proof that Everett Payne was well known to the audience.

Question 3

The passage most strongly suggests that the second set of the jazz shows at the club is:

  • A the final set.

  • B much longer than the first set.

  • C followed by a third set on Sunday nights.

  • D performed solely by the musicians in the bu

Question 4

Which of the following details is used in

  • F The overall silence of the audience, including the purists

  • G The description of the audience's collective in-suck of breath

  • H the The posture the purists assumed in their seats

  • J The fact that the purists stood up

Question 5

According to the narrator, what did Hattie see Everett Payne do prior to playing "Sonny Boy Blue"?

  • A Move quickly from his seat to the bandstand

  • B Study the audience around him

  • C Confer with the bassist and the drummer

  • D Announce the name of the tune he was going to play

Question 6

The passage initially portrays the purists most nearly as:

  • F knowledgeable and open minded.

  • G snobbish and intolerant.

  • H rational and well educated.

  • J inexperienced and uninhibited

Question 7

It can reasonably be inferred from the passage that Hattie believed Bach and the blues were the:

  • A musical influences that Everett Payne tried to avoid representing when he played piano.

  • B foundation of Everett Payne's inventive piano playing.

  • C true music of the heavens that inspired Everett Payne's creativity as a piano player.

  • D reason why Everett Payne's piano-playing abilities limited him to Tin Pan Alley tunes

Question 8

According to the passage, when Everett Payne first played "Sonny Boy Blue" straight through, he did so:

  • F more slowly than was intended by the composer

  • G after it had been suggested by Abe Kaiser.

  • H against the wishes of the bassist and drummer.

  • J without following the original tune.

Question 9

According to the passage, Hattie speculated that the source of Everett Payne's musical ideas and feelings during "Sonny Boy Blue"was in:

  • A the way he tilted his he

  • B the simplemindedness of the song.

  • C his ability to play with great formality.

  • D his connection with the silent audience.

Question 10

The narrator states that to Hattie, Everett Payne's performance was:

  • F overly slow and formal:

  • G deliberate yet absentminded.

  • H like a song played in a church

  • J a roller coaster of a ride


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