Jazz Gillespie Live In '58: Term Paper

Length: 4 pages Subject: Music Type: Term Paper Paper: #65502358 Related Topics: Plagiarism, Johnson And Johnson, Listening Skills
Excerpt from Term Paper :

Drums, piano, and bass all remain strictly rhythmic elements of this piece, though the latter two also provide melodic and harmonic support to this smooth yet snappy piece that is not quite a ballad yet is not nearly up-tempo enough to be considered be-bop. Johnson drives with his sticks on the drums with some liberal symbol use, and Brown keeps a steady bass line moving underneath the melody and solos provided by Gillespie and Stitt. Levy's piano is again subdued, and seems to be the weaker element of the piece and arguably of the quintet as a whole; the chords are strong and softly discordant at times in a pleasing way that all but defines jazz, yet there does not appear to be a great deal of imagination or risk in the playing. When Gillespie and Stitt sing a final verse of the popular tune, though, any detriments of the song disappear in the honest yet wry joy evinced by the vocals.

Lover Man

Gillespie leaves the stage for "Lover Man," a ballad that Stitts wends his way through on a freely melodic saxophone while Johnson keeps a quiet yet solid rhythm with brushes on the drums. Levy carries the main melodic line on the piano, though it is simplistic and kept very much in the background of the piece, which is in no uncertain terms testament to Stitts often under-appreciated saxophone skill -- his trills, his inventive scale climbing and his ear for melody and harmony, and his sheer inventiveness as a player are all clearly featured in this brief piece, and the support he receives from the rhythm section is just strong enough to sustain him without...


Bass and piano under Brown and Levy also soar a little higher and a great deal faster than on other pieces, with both instruments providing strong melodic support as well as rhythmic support rather than simply keeping a harmonic beat for the lead instruments to follow. The horns are very much the centerpieces, however, and whether in unison, riffing off of each other, or taking a solo without the other, both Gillespie and Stitt make the sheer joy of their work come through clearly in every note.


Overall, the emotional impact of this concert is one of sheer joy. Whether it is a more mellow and satisfied happiness as in "Blues After Dark," the easy, bouncy joy of "Sunny Side of the Street," the brash yet plaintive anticipatory joy of "Lover Man," or the frenetic dance of "The Blues Walk," Gillespie and the others light a fire in their listeners that doesn't dim throughout their entire set. There is something purely happy and free about the manner in which the instruments and notes come together for a common purpose in each of these songs that makes the happiness the musicians take in playing come through palpably to their audience.

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