Jazz and Drug Use
The music industry has often been associated with drug use, but most people think of rock and roll or rap when they consider musicians who use drugs. It may surprise these people to know that jazz music also has its share of drug use, and that this link has been ongoing since well before the 1960s (Aldridge, 28). This is important to consider, since there are many people who love playing or listening to music. It would not be accurate to assume they all have ties to drug culture, but there is a certain level of drug use seen in the music business. Jazz musicians are no exception, and there are several reasons why their drug use has been almost glorified throughout various periods of history. How people are portrayed and assumed to be is often very different from how they really are, but the portrayal…… [Read More]
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…… [Read More]
"Blues After Dark," Feat. Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Sonny Stitt (tenor sax), Lou Levy (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Gus Johnson (drums). In Belgium, 1958
Starting with the dueling instruments, it almost sounds like two muted trumpets, because the harmonics are intense. For a few notes, it remains that way until I see that it is not two trumpets but rather, a trumpet and a saxophone. They are playing together brilliantly.
A smooth stand up bass kicks in, with background elements that respond to the lead instruments. The bass is not playing a melody like the trumpet and saxophone are; and the bass is also not playing in unison with the tenor saxophone or the trumpet. However, the bass is working in the spot it should be working in, offering a continual walking bass line that keeps the structure of the song together throughout. Sometimes, the bass does play the same…… [Read More]
Performance: "Blues After Dark," Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Sonny Stitt (tenor sax), Lou Levy (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Gus Johnson (drums). In Belgium, 1958
This dynamic performance starts rather tentatively with the trumpet and saxophone, before the band joins in earnestly. Piano, bass, and drums accompany the lead trumpet (Dizzy Gillespie) and tenor saxophone (Sonny Stitt). The introduction builds rather quickly after that, build around a central phrasing structure. There are deliberate and dynamic pauses inserted throughout, adding dimension and tension. The head or lead instruments, which remain the trumpet and saxophone, guide the jazz band. The same riff and phrase is echoed by trumpet and saxophone, as the two instruments play together in unison. The piano answers. Occasionally the piano provides a lead-in for the next measure, as if introducing the trumpet and the saxophone. The bass provides the rhythmic structure that keeps the band focused. Moreover, the bass…… [Read More]
"Blues After Dark," Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), Sonny Stitt (tenor sax), Lou Levy (piano), Ray Brown (bass), Gus Johnson (drums). In Belgium, 1958
Style = BeBop
Role of Piano = Stride and omping
Role of the Bass = Walking
Role of the Drums = Brushing and Riding
Role of the Trumpet and Saxophone = Lead and Melody
"Blues After Dark" starts off with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Stitt, for a few measures only the trumpet and saxophone play before the drums, bass, and piano enter. This is a dynamic song, but it starts mellow. The brief introduction ends and the main riffs or phrases are featured soon around a central rhythmic structure. Although there are repeating elements, it is not the same two times around. Each time the trumpet and saxophone play, the effect is different. There are also pauses in the music, and silent spots throughout.
The head or…… [Read More]
Incorporating African and Latin sounds into traditional jazz seems natural. Latin jazz uses familiar percussion instruments including congo and other hand drums as well as an assertive horn section. African-influenced jazz may be heavily percussion-driven or may alternatively rely strongly on choral vocals. European jazz musicians have also transformed the art of jazz by using innovative, experimental sounds and improvisational tools. Jazz is a musical genre that is ever-changing, and yet remains driven by its roots.
Jazz may be either instrumental or vocal-driven. In the early years of jazz, vocals often featured sultry female voices such as that of Sarah Vaughan. Other vocalists like Louis Armstrong have also made indelible marks on the jazz genre. While jazz vocals are often watered-down today as in the case of Diana Krall, some artists like Tom Waits offer audiences rich and emotional experiences that hearken to the heyday of jazz music. Instrumental jazz…… [Read More]
This is not really a typical swing rhythm, however. Jazz musicians almost always play eighth notes straighter than that, except perhaps in the style known as the shuffle. A correct ratio for swing cannot be given precisely. Different musicians tend to interpret swing in different ways. Earlier jazz musicians tended to play with a more exaggerated swing. Some styles of jazz - especially hybrids of jazz with other forms of music - do not use swing eighth notes in this literal sense at all. For example, eighth notes in bossa nova are usually played straight. However, the slight accent on the second half of each beat, combined with other elements of jazz expression, may still convey something of a swing feel:
One of the more notable aspects of jazz in the first place, it resides within the groups seamless melding of traditional New Orleans style jazz fundamentals into playfully organized…… [Read More]
Surrounded by the same anti-African-American culture, both civil rights warriors and jazz pioneers faced criticism because of their association with African-Americans. Similarly, both of the movements were founded out of a desire to legitimate, or at least include, African-American contributions into American culture, to popularize the importance of African-Americans in estern, especially American, society. Finally, after their pre and early stages, both the civil rights and jazz movements blossomed into full-fledged societal revolutions of the 1940s and 1950s with significant implications for the sociological, cultural, and music worlds. The Civil Rights movement produced leaders like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who not only advocated the importance of African-American contributions to society, but who also suggested the importance of the unification of all races across national boundaries. In much the same way, the jazz movement produced emotional music that blended African-American and traditional American music styles, producing a genre of…… [Read More]
Both musical genres also marked a thriving underground arts scene among not only African-Americans but also European-Americans. hites became increasingly interested in and involved with both jazz and blues, and by the 1920s, jazz had especially made waves in Europe. As Kirchner points out, Eastern European folk music and some European classical music in fact shared much in common with American jazz. The acceptance of jazz in Europe came earlier than acceptance of the blues. Therefore, jazz retained a more cosmopolitan aura than the blues in the early 20th century. Even though African-American jazz musicians were treated as second-class citizens in the cities where they were born, they were on the cutting edge of the international music scene.
ith great band leaders like Duke Ellington jazz gradually became mainstream American music, changing its form for different audiences. Jazz shared instrumentation, structure, and tonality with some European music (Kirchner). Therefore, jazz…… [Read More]
One of the other early main influences on jazz was New Orleans music.
This music originated in the bars and brothels of New Orleans' red light
district, where many black musicians found work. This gave jazz its basic
foundation - reeds and brass tuned in the European tone scale, as well as
drums. This form of music spread throughout the Deep South, giving rise to
the first truly African American artistic culture.
If jazz was invented down south, then it was formalized up north in
New York City throughout the 1920s and 1930s during a period known as the
Harlem Renaissance, when a new generation of enlightened African Americans
began to articulate an American black identity rooted in the urban cultural
experience. It was here that jazz really started to go wild. For a form
of music in which there were no set rules, the New York musicians of the…… [Read More]
Jazz Anecdotes delivers as promised, and provides the reader with pithy and entertaining stories of the jazz eras throughout the past century. Some of the stories are surprising, including one that includes Native American musicians who make their non-Native band members wear long black wigs. This book captures the essence of jazz culture, which extends far beyond the music. The music of course shapes the culture because it is the music that brings disparate people together. However, the disparate people that come together for the music also engage in the co-creation of unique identities that are subcultural and a bit subversive as well. The jazz scene was perceived of as being wild in the early days, even if now the jazz scene is considered more intellectual and artsy.
I appreciate the fact that the stories were about jazz scenes around the world, and not just about New Orleans, New York,…… [Read More]
Jazz Live Performance Review
Live Performance Review: Roy Haynes and the Fountain of Youth Band
Summer festivals always fill the New York air with some pretty amazing music. This year's Charlie Parker music festival was definitely no exception. Some pretty big names showed up to make the festival one to remember, including the great Roy Haynes and his Fountain of Youth Band, which came to pay tribute to the bop and bebop of the Bird's era.
This year's Charlie Parker Jazz Festival signified the event's 20th anniversary, and so the line up was definitely filled with some serious all stars. The entire festival spanned several days, and included stops in both Harlem and the East Side. The particular event I attended was the concert held on August 25, 2012 at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, New York. The concert was a free event in Harlem, put on by the City…… [Read More]
Demonstrating her creative and vocal prowess, Ella Fitzgerald refers to Louis via vocal impressions when she sings several lines in Louis' characteristic husky low register.
Sarah Vaughan also covers a big band hit "Perdido." Vaughan is backed by a big band ensemble. Nevertheless, the singer's voice does not compete with the horn section. Her voice integrates itself perfectly with the big band backing her. Like Fitzgerald, Vaughan displays extraordinary range, flitting from one octave to the next. Her tone is rich and thick. Vaughan includes vocal flourishes such as shrieks and trills, and she does include scat at the end. Her command of "Perdido" is admirable, and she comes across as the band leader as well as the lead vocalist. Carrying the melody, Vaughan hits individual notes along a long scale as if her voice were a piano and when timing calls for it, she also inserts vocalizations as a…… [Read More]
The tone of Dizzie Gillespie and Sonny Sit's solos is notably more optimistic and cheerful. Dizzie Gillespie once again introduces some elements of Bebop into the context of his solos to enrich the more set harmony of the rest of the song. The end of the song actually features Dizzie Gillespie and OSnny Sitt singing along, really capturing the duet style of the song that was first introduced by the horn section.
While this is occurring, the piano plays a much faster rhythm, and is allowed to interject between the horn sections, rather than remain a silent back drop as seen in "Blues After Dark." The piano strikes sharp chords, even during the two horn solos. This sets a faster paced rhythm and lightens up the overall harmony of the song. However, the drums and bass once again take a more supportive role, allow the piano to be the center…… [Read More]
My favorite piece of the evening was "Light Blue." There was almost a sense of humor to the chord changes, and the way the repeated phrase always seems to end just one note short of complete. It did feel a bit repetitive at times, but this seemed like part of the fun that was written into the music and that Ellis and his quartet had in playing it. Another piece I really liked was "Monk's Mood." Though I wouldn't classify it this one as humorous at all, there is a lightness to it even as it comes across as vaguely somber. The song is like a philosophical meditation without any sense of depressiveness or angst -- just gentle wondering. Other pieces played by the quartet were "Ruby, My Dear," Epistrophy," and "Jackieing." This last was one of the most upbeat pieces of the evening, and I found myself not enjoying…… [Read More]
On Tuesday, March 20, 2012, I walked into the Paul Harris Theater in the Alta Ham Fine Arts Building at the University of Las Vegas. Tonight was a master recital, delivered by students in fulfillment of a Master of Music in Performance Degree. Because the recital was students performing, I did not know what to expect. Soon, I would be surprised at the quality of playing that I heard on the stage. The recital consisted of a group of five musicians. On guitar was Josh Williams. On vibraphone was Daniel Alameda. On bass was Jeff Davis. On piano was Otto Ehling, and the headline musician was Stephen Shapiro on drums. Reading the program for the evening, I noticed that Shapiro composed one of the songs being performed that night. I was already impressed even before the lights dimmed.
When the lights dimmed, there was no fanfare. The band…… [Read More]
Lesson Plan 5: Jazz and World War II
Preparation: previous presentations and other material that summarizes the learning points related to jazz, the American culture etc.
Standard 1: Synthesizing information and writing an essay.
Recall previous knowledge about the topic.
Identify the reasons for which Jazz became popular in America.
Explain how It spread in the world
Activities involved: 2
Plan: The teacher will show students all the information they have gathered during the week on a Smart board and then she will allow students some time to review it and decide on what they want to include in their 2-page essay. They will make a mind map of the information on a computer, using a website that makes the task easier. The teacher will check these and advise changes. Students will then write an essay on the relation between World War II and Jazz.
Criteria for checking:
One…… [Read More]
The song remains lyrical throughout, with prominent melodies played by saxophone and trumpet starting the piece on an uplifting note. "Bad Dream" is also structured around a series of stellar solos, while the melodies are tightly punctuated by percussive horn hits. A ubiquitous high hat adds a textural percussion throughout "Bad Dream." One quarter of the way through the piece a piano solo features treble register melodies and walking scales. The long solo is an impressive and varied one. The pianist brings in bass chords that blend with the bass player's walking bass line. After the lengthy piano solo, a tasteful trumpet solo livens up "Bad Dream." Next, a bass solo features only the skillful bass line and jazz drum brushes helping to keep time. Wrapping up the piece, the clarinet, trumpet, and other horn and woodwinds come in together and reprise the opening melody.
Jazz legend Charlie Parker lightens…… [Read More]
While he has studied straight up jazz for a few years and certainly know how to play a walking bass and improvise on bebop chord changes, I could distinctly hear a modern twinge to his compositions, which left me wanting more after the evening was over. While Krason certainly draw inspiration from jazz's greatests, he has also tapped into more modern sounds which sets him apart from many other musicians in the program.
One thing that really stood out for me, aside from the great music and high level of musicianship I witnessed is the obvious chemistry between the four musicians. Often times I have heard and seen bands and musical groups play through songs without really looking at each other or communicating through their solos and playing. However, this was not the case. It was very easy to realize that Krason, Alameda, McKusick and Shapiro have been playing with…… [Read More]
It is likely that because of Jazz innovators, the fusion of musical styles has grown to the level it has. It is also likely that the desire of Jazz to encourage the rethinking of harmony and melody away from a simple chord progression to a haunting, rather primal emotional experience will have an influence on musicians for decades to come.
Certainly, this has been seen in recent years with the advent of global communication via the Internet. Almost any genre of music is now universally available to anyone with an Internet connection, and in the case of Jazz, allows for an American art form to be transposed into an international phenomenon. One of the ways most younger musicians are able to learn about jazz, to experience the new harmonies and structures, is to listen to the manner in which it has progressed over time. Classical musicians have an international heritage…… [Read More]
Pioneering Jazz Musician, Sidney echet
About Sidney echet
Sidney echet was a pioneer jazz musician who changed the music of his time into a unique art form. Considered to be one of the greatest jazz musicians of New Orleans, echet was an innovator on both the clarinet and saxophone. His music changed jazz music forever and inspired countless musicians of all types.
echet was born in New Orleans in May 1897. He was of Creole ancestry and grew up in a middle class neighborhood. He was greatly influenced by music, as his father, a shoemaker, played the flute as a hobby, and his four brothers played various instruments, as well. (Chilton)
Each of echet's brothers showed an aptitude for music making, although playing music was regarded as a hobby in the echet family, something to indulge in when their daytime work was complete. Homer was a janitor who played string…… [Read More]
A good example of this can be seen with the songs that were performed by: Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. As they would often take: the actual events and incorporate them into the lyrics of their songs. This would serve as way of slowly changing the status quo, by inspiring future artists to become more brazen in how they discuss racial equality. At which point, the different lyrics were implemented with various sounds, to highlight how a change was taking place in the music and society at large. These different elements are important, because one could take the various forms of Jazz (from the 1920's to the 1960's) and illustrate how the music helped to inspire the Civil Rights Movement. As it had the ability to transcend racial boundaries and unite different groups of people. This is how Jazz would define the Civil Rights Movement, by addressing these issues with…… [Read More]
Miles Davis’ career began while he was still in high school living with his family in St. Louis. He had been given a trumpet at an early age and a friend of the family encouraged Miles to play the instrument without vibrato, “which was contrary to the common style used by trumpeters such as Louis Armstrong” (“Miles Davis Biography”). This encouragement gave Miles the confidence and ability to develop a unique sound, different from what the other major players were doing. He played trumpet for St. Louis bands, became a father, and—when Charlie Parker visited the city on a tour—Miles was invited to perform on stage with Parker as Parker’s trumpet player was sick. Miles filled in for a number of days until Charlie and his group went on with their tour (“Miles Davis Biography”). Miles knew then that he had to follow in the footsteps of the…… [Read More]
Jazz Performance eport
Jazz in its essence is a group of assorted musicians seamlessly communicating with one another. The communication may be planned or take place in spontaneity as the musicians become one in music. Since the tempo, key, rhythm and etiquette of the music is so potent, the musicians allow for great excitement generated by the music to shine, thereby making spontaneous improvisation easier. Jazz is a constantly evolving music genre and is great music to dance to and enjoy (HJW).
Jazz grew in popularity quickly, and for the first half of the 20th century, it was the world's most popular music. This period produced great music that is being enjoyed even today by the young generation. This period in time was also one of the most depressing in history as the great depression struck by an influenza pandemic and citizens of the world endured the world wars and…… [Read More]
Most large cities have a symphony orchestra, which may perform a dozen times during a season. Jazz and the blues, however, are usually available most of the time in small venues like bars and clubs, and often during the year at large festivals, such as the Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California. Jazz is gaining in popularity on the radio too, and most larger cities have at least one jazz station, while they might not have a classical station. Classical music is accessible in a number of areas, but jazz and the blues are accessible in many more, and that is why today's listener has a wide choice of options when looking for live jazz and blues concerts.
Any trained musician knows all musical genres have similarities. They all use a distinct language of notes and rhythms, and they all use meter, tempo, and harmony. In this, jazz and blues…… [Read More]
One cannot think of Jazz without thinking of Miles Davis. Davis is widely regarded as one of the foremost jazz trumpeters. However, it would be a mistake to believe that Davis' influence on the world of jazz was limited to his abilities as a trumpeter. Davis was recognized as a composer, a bandleader, and a keyboard player. In addition, Davis helped develop improvisational playing techniques, which incorporated modes. Finally, "Davis had an uncanny ability of always selecting great sidemen for his recording sessions. These recordings are full of original and creative sensitivity and are outstanding examples of jazz recordings made at that time." (The Official Miles Davis Website, 2001).
If Davis' mother had her way, jazz music today would be dramatically different. Davis was born to Miles Henry Davis, a dentist, and Cleota Davis. Cleota Davis was a blues pianist, but she kept that fact hidden from her…… [Read More]
The Miami Big Sound Orchestra is an ensemble group that plays original arrangements by Miami composers. The music that the ensemble plays has a distinct sound that can be attributed to the cultural influences of Miami and the instruments that are used. It is difficult to describe the ensemble's specific style as they appear to embrace a variety of styles.
The Miami Big Sound Orchestra is clearly influenced by Latin sounds, which is evident through the style, rhythm, and composition of the music being played. The music the Miami Big Sound Orchestra plays sounds a lot like music that was played by major artists such as Tito Puente. The music relies heavily on brass and woodwind instruments. It was interesting to see how one of the songs highlighted the use of the flute. In the song, there was a prominent flute solo, however, the solo sounds a little…… [Read More]
Jazz dance is an integral part of American history. The various types of jazz dance all come from a fusion of African and European traditions, which is why jazz dance symbolizes American culture itself. According to Tilton's film Jazz Dance, jazz dance first evolved in the Deep South and spread as far as Europe before returning home to America. Jazz dance is not monolithic, and it is important to recognize the differences between types of dancing such as tap and swing in order to understand the contexts in which the dances were or are used. For example, some dances became popular in theater, while others were more comedic. Jazz dance might not seem to have a political or even an economic dimension, but it certainly does. The impact of jazz dance on American society has been felt on almost every dimension including political, economic, and social realms. In particular, jazz…… [Read More]
Jazz Consisted of:
• Folk and blues styles
• Emphasis on:
• simple harmony
• and improvisation (based on melody)
• Mostly ensemble playing with all instruments playing together except for solos
The special conditions that gave rise to its development in New Orleans were:
• Brass band marches were popular
• The red-light districts known as "Storyville" had clubs where dance bands played
• French quadrilles, ragtime and blues were popular there
• The Afro-Creole and vaudeville shows were influences there
• Tourists came to New Orleans and that is how the "jazz" style of the area spread
• Many Africa-Americans were hired to perform in brothels and bars: Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong and many others
With so many different ethnicities and cultures gathering together in one urban location, people latched onto their community traditions and introduced their folk music trends into American society. Irish,…… [Read More]
Miles Davis and Modern Jazz
In every artistic medium there are innovators who push innovation to the edge -- who change the paradigm of their art, and who become iconic figures within their world. Classical music had innovators in every generation -- Stravinsky's ite of Spring, Leonard Bernstein, and more. Jazz, too, evolved from a combination of folk and tribal styles through different eras (Dixie, Be Bop, etc.) into what now is really a true 20th century musical phenomenon.
The origins of Jazz have been much discussed -- emerging out of the African slave culture with a musical synergy of tribal (rhythm, scales, syncopation, and improvisation) and the European musical tradition of harmony, instrumentation and chromaticism. One famous musician noted, though, that jazz was uniquely American and that, "No America, no jazz. I've seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn't have…… [Read More]
jazz as a musical tradition not only has a bright future ahead of it, but has also had an illustrious past. The reasons for this are its flexibility. This flexibility, as well as its ability to effortlessly mould itself not only to current events, but also to current musical paradigms, ensures that jazz has a past, a present and a future that can be rivaled by few other genres in music.
The flexibility of jazz translates to and from the world around it. We live in a very dynamic world, with overnight change accepted as the order of the day. Jazz then caters to this by being a flexible musical tradition.
Jazz has also become a sort of language; the "English" of the musical world. It crosses all musical boundaries and is likely to appeal to most audiences. The audience for jazz then is the "global village." Jazz can potentially…… [Read More]
The roots of such music can be traced back still further to the gospel hymns, work songs, and field calls that developed amongst slave populations in the south during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Scholastic 2011). The Southern and decidedly African-American sounds of blues and early jazz were brought along with the Great migration, where New Orleans styles like Dixieland met with the calmer strains of the Mississippi blues and other styles (Scholastic 2011). In New York, with the greatest concentration of African-Americans, new collaborations and iterations sprang up quite rapidly.
The Harlem enaissance, named for the neighborhood in Manhattan where the African-American community was concentrated and centralized, was an explosion of artistic, literary, and musical expression largely because it represented the first major community of African-Americans located in a small geographical area (McDougal & Littell 2008). The jazz music that developed in New York as a part of this…… [Read More]
This were then replaced with larger big band orchestras as technology allowed such large groups to be clearly recorded, "As the swing era began, shorts were made of many of the top orchestras," (Yanow 2). Big band orchestras began showing up in all the major Hollywood productions. They featured pre-recorded songs where the musicians lip singed. It is interesting to have such a crucial period on film. The Swing Era "was fortunately captured for feature films and short subjects at the time it was all happening," (Behlmer 1). Big bands became incredibly popular in feature films during the 1930s and 40s. Benny Goodman, "The King of Swing," had a movie- Hollywood Hotel in 1937 "the full orchestra plays an abbreviated version of that quintessential Swing Era arrangement of 'Sing, Sing, Sing' in the film," (Behlmer 1). From big Hollywood productions came popularity on the small screen. As televisions became the…… [Read More]
ith a career spanning several decades, and an influence spanning several continents, Miles Davis has arguably had a bigger influence on jazz music than any other musician. In the 1991 obituary in The New York Times, Miles Davis was described as an "an elusive touchstone of jazz," and someone who "defined cool," (Pareles). Davis' album The Birth of the Cool makes his name not just symbolically associated with the quality of coolness, but actually a synonym of the birth of cool jazz -- a specific genre of jazz that originally and bravely broke from established big band and be-bop traditions to enter the realm of the avant-garde via improvisation and experimentation. Jazz was forever transformed via Miles Davis' contributions and his musical legacy as composer and trumpet master.
Davis was born in Alton, Illinois on May 26, 1926. His upbringing was "middle class," and he was exposed to…… [Read More]
When jazz is viewed in this manner, the historical narrative becomes organic rather than linear and compartmentalized. Devaux's article is valuable for the musical scholar not because it contains factual information about the history of jazz, information that as the author points out is plentiful, even ubiquitous. What Devaux hopes is not to illustrate new facets of the lives of jazz musicians but rather to present the entire portrait of jazz from unique and varying perspectives. Moreover, the author suggests that there may be no singular correct way to draft a historical narrative about jazz: jazz can be a springboard for discourse in a variety of subjects, from race relations to American history to musical theory.
Most importantly, jazz should not be oversimplified; historians risk losing sight of the complexity of the music, political, and social phenomena to which jazz has given rise. Jazz should be viewed in conjunction with,…… [Read More]
New Orleans Jazz
The history of New Orleans was very interesting to me. It was nice to read about the city, as I knew nothing about it previously. What I most liked about this chapter was getting a sense of how the city came to be and what it was like for the people there. I was surprised to see life expectancy so low in that place for both blacks and whites. Looking back, it is not really surprising that jazz would come out of this place for it was like a city in decline and jazz was like a boisterous response to this decline. Or it could be, as the author notes, that jazz was born out of vice and that vice is what ruined the city.
I don't really feel that is probably true as vice and virtue are part of the human condition wherever you are. New…… [Read More]
However, there was a greater seriousness to the concert than jazz as 'background music' might possess. The music had a kind of melancholic quality, despite the fact that it was not spontaneously arising as an emotional outpouring of the musicians. The other instruments prominently featured were piano, drums, and base. All of these instruments are very visceral in nature, and complimented the soprano saxophone's lighter tone.
Although all of the instruments had solo passages, the solos were not strident 'featured' performances, or showpieces like a guitar or drum solo during a rock concert. The solos emerged from the hum of the other musicians, as the other instruments took up the background chords while the solos gradually emerged in prominence. Melody in "My Favorite Things" is passed around, and because it is fairly unobtrusive and unostentatious -- more like a rhythm than a distinct melody -- the status of 'soloist' slowly…… [Read More]
Obviously, Sal Paradise, much like Kerouac himself, loves American jazz music, especially played on the acoustic guitar by an African-American jazz/blues giant like Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Leadbelly.
As Mark Richardson sees it, writing in "Peasant Dreams: Reading On The Road," "The strain of the basic primitive," in this case jazz, ". . . is what Sal and Dean listen to in order to hear" what they call "wailing humanity" (Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Internet) or, in other words, the vocals of someone like Leadbelly wailing out the blues, another original form of American music with roots sunk deep in the elements of jazz. For Richardson, it seems that Kerouac's application of jazz in the text of On The Road serves not only as a theme but also as the basic framework for the personalities of Sal and Dean, two rebels "on the road" and "on the…… [Read More]
Earliest Origins of Jazz
Jazz has several origins and influences that make it what it is today. The earliest origins of jazz can be traced back to the Congo where the slave trade was based. Here the Congo natives had a tradition of music that consisted of a single line of melody and had a pattern of the call-and-response that is typical of jazz today. The rhythms found in this native music also consisted of a structure that was a cross-beat. This cross-rhythm drove the sub-Saharan styles of music in Africa and was related to the speech patterns of the Africans. The relationship between the beats of the music is what made it complex, for one could not be separated from the other, as they participated in a kind of dialogue, so to speak. This supports the call-and-repeat scheme of the overall structure of this early influence on the development…… [Read More]
The Jazz Age and Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the great novel of the Lawless Decade—the Roaring Twenties or the Jazz Age, as it was otherwise known. It was a time of easy credit and flowing cash. It was a time of Prohibition, when alcohol had been outlawed and people looking for a good time had to go underground to the speakeasies, where they drank their liquor in hiding. To be human meant to be a criminal, and thus everyone who wanted to have a drink became a scofflaw. The 1920s was the decade of the scofflaw, the decade of excess and the decade of the nouveau riche—the ones who, like Jay Gatsby, made their millions from bootlegging or from the stock market or from both. Nothing captured the essence of the post-war 1920s like jazz, which was a new kind of music in America—a music that…… [Read More]
7-9). In fact, Armstrong was often viewed as a kind of sell-out or race-traitor of a certain degree by many black musicians (par. 10). This parallels Sonny's brothers attempts to remove himself from Harlem and the stereotypical black life; he strives to be a respectable math teacher and escape his path (par. 10).
In the final section of the story, "contraries" in the jazz motif begin to appear (par. 11). Especially unusual elements in this section are the character of Creole and the piece of music Sonny plays, "Am I Blue?" (par. 11). Creoles are not usually considered representative of the true black experience; as the descendants of French and Spanish settlers who eventually took light-skinned girls as wives, producing the black Creole (par. 12). If this moment is supposed to represent both Sonny's and his brother's return to the community, this character is a strange choice (par. 12). The…… [Read More]
The 2003 Detroit International Jazz Festival gave me a welcome introduction to the complexity and variety of jazz music. Prior to the Festival, my exposure to jazz was limited, but Festival acts like the Caribbean Jazz Project revealed that jazz could be exciting and contemporary. Overall, I would highly recommend the Festival to anyone from a newcomer to jazz to a long-time jazz fan.
Officially titled the Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival, the Festival began in 1980. It was founded by the Detroit Renaissance, and has seen tremendous success since that day. Since 1994, the Festival has been produced by the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. The Festival was originally called the Ford Montreux Detroit Jazz Festival (Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival).
The festival aims to provide exposure for a wide number of artists, from international stars to emerging artists to high school and college music groups.…… [Read More]
Spike Wilner Trio at Smalls
This is a review of the Spike Wilner Trio's performance at Smalls on December 1st, 2015. Smalls is located in Greenwich Village and is well-known as being a good jazz club. It is small as the name of the club suggests and in the basement but it is a good place to go to hear music. Spike plays the piano, while the other two members of the trio play accompany: Tyler Mitchell plucking beats on the bass and Anthony Pinciotti helping Tyler to beat out the rhythm on the drums.
There was a lot of syncopation I noticed immediately coming from their music as it would start and stop and pick up in an unexpected direction. Spike is very good at playing ragtime on the piano, but of course he is good at playing anything and the tones and textures that come from the trio…… [Read More]
Jazz Performance eview
The author of this report has been asked to take in a jazz show and offer some information and opinion about it. The venue and artists involved will be named. There will also be other questions answered like whether the music was moving to the author, whether it was accessible or "far out," whether it was emotional or cerebral and whether the author liked the music or not. Overall, the performance taken in was very positive and high-energy and the author was not remotely disappointed. While jazz is not embraced or loved by everyone, the author of this report holds it to be a great musical form and one that all people should at least try to glom onto if they're seeking enrichment and entertainment.
Before getting into the reactions to the performance, the author will explain the details about the show. The name of…… [Read More]
A Brief History of Cool Jazz
December 6, 2012, would have marked the ninety-second birthday of pianist Dave Brubeck. The nonagenarian was looking forward to performing at the Palace Theater near his home in aterbury, Connecticut. Sadly, Brubeck died of heart failure just one day shy of the celebratory concert. The concert went on as scheduled, but it was a memorial rather than a birthday party. It is what Brubeck would have wanted. Brubeck was one of the originators of a jazz style that became known as "cool jazz." He was a brilliant pianist who loved to experiment with rhythms and instrumentation in ensemble work. Brubeck never stopped innovating over his long career during which he composed symphonies, classical and religious music, ballets and film scores He valued musical integrity over commercial reward. "You never know what's going to work," he said. "You just go with what you…… [Read More]
jazz and the culture industry? Is Adorno simply an elitist or is there something useful you can appropriate from his argument? What connections can you draw from Benjamin and the "Andalusia Dog?"
Theodor Adorno was clearly inspired by Walter Benjamin, from whom he founded his philosophy of modern art, versus fine or popular art. Adorno constructed a theory of the modern art movement, as embodied in such early surrealist films as "The Andulasian Dog," that stressed that fine art was primarily characterized by a sense of formal autonomy within its structures. This is unlike modern art, which was the social antithesis of society. Jazz, for example, in its ideal form, is atonal and improvisational in its nature. It is of the moment, and of the individual artist's creation, rather than a creation of formal structures purely and calculatedly designed to please the larger populace. In its purest form, jazz is…… [Read More]
For example, the song opens with the baritone saxophone alone. The riff that the sax plays is repeated at several times during the piece, including a third of the way in, then at coda of the piece, about 7:50 minutes in. In fact, the baritone riff can be heard throughout the song.
The big band nature of the music is apparent as well. Trumpet blasts, walking bass lines, high hats, and the tenor saxophone solos all point to big band sensibilities. Moreover, all the instruments reach a pleasant crescendo with climactic trumpet blasts. After the second false finish, the song ends in earnest. A lingering note on the bass resounds in the listener's ear.
Trombones feature prominently in "Moanin'." Especially at the opening, when the instruments come in one at a time, the trombones offer their characteristic moans. Then the entire big band comes in, as if each instrument plays…… [Read More]
JAZZ: KANSAS CITY AFTER-HOURS CLUS IN THE 1930S & THEIR CONTRIUTION TO JAZZ
The objective of this work is to examine the question of what would have happened to jazz if there had been a crackdown on illegal "after hour" clubs in Kansas City in the 1930s? Toward this end, this work will examine the literature in this area of study.
In the 1930s, while the rest of the United States and its cities were in the grips of The Depression, Kansas City was churning out jazz all night long. Kansas City was for all intents and purposes under the control of a local politician/mob boss/entrepreneur in the form of Jim Pendergrast who upon dying passed his power to his brother who was not as honest or ethical as Jim but who sustained an economic boom in Kansas City right in the middle of The Depression.
Where Did Jazz Get…… [Read More]
Fake books with jazz notation might look as if they are intended for amateurs. However, although beginners may use the simplified notation to practice music, the fake book's original intention was to provide a stepping-stone for a musician or an ensemble to create their own, unique rendering of the music. Thus jazz notation reflects the stress in this musical tradition upon the musician or the band's individual style. The musician, rather than the composer is the star, when using jazz notation. Rather than attempt to slavishly recreate a performance from the past, which is impossible, as every audience, every musical context changes from night to night, jazz notation empowers the musician to create a living and vibrant performance on the stage, with his or her fellow musicians. ("Fake Books," ikipedia, 2006)
Fake books and jazz notation originated with illegal transcriptions of overheard music, although most fake books today copyrighted with…… [Read More]
The music of United States changed significantly during the twentieth century, and each generation went on to develop its own music. These were all immensely popular, had strong rhythmic touch and were very different from the earlier forms which existed. These were used for dancing or just for the purpose of listening. When the twentieth century started it was the time for a variety called Ragtime. After the end of the First World War, Jazz had its origin and it influenced all other forms till it was affected by the stock market crash in 1929. This period was called the roaring twenties. Then it was time for a new form to emerge and this was in the music of the ig ands and led at different stages by Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, Glen Gray and Chick Webb in the beginning. They were then followed by…… [Read More]
Evolution of Jazz
Dizzy Gillespie was a jazz musician and composer who mostly known for his work on the trumpet. He also played several other instruments, including the piano and alternative horns. His tenure in jazz was fairly lengthy, and spanned several eras including big band and bebop, the latter of which he helped to popularize. He also played swing music on more than one occasion and performed vocals on both recordings and during live sets. Count Basie was mostly known for his work on the piano and his compositional skills. He was one of the most noted jazz musicians during the time in which this art form initially became popular. Basie was a part of the big band movement in jazz, and led expansive jazz orchestras for the vast majority of his career. Chet Baker was a jazz musician who was largely renowned for his work on the trumpet,…… [Read More]
Sidney echet truly led the life of a jazz musician. He was a supporter of Dixieland Jazz who played the clarinet and was the first person to play Jazz on a Soprano Saxophone. Domineering is a word frequently used to express his music. Various fights showed he had a short temper that reflects in his music. His solos were often soaring and passionate, endlessly inventive, direct rather than ornate. Throughout his life, he never had the discipline needed to play in a regular band; he always preferred to be a soloist and worked in many different bands.
echet was born on May 14, 1897 in New Orleans, Louisiana to a black Creole family. His father Omar was educated in a private school so he spoke and wrote both Creole Patois and English. His mother Josephine was black, but was referred to as a passeblanc. echet grew up in…… [Read More]
Jelly oll Morton was born Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe in 1890 and later became a pioneer of modern American jazz. Growing up in New Orleans, he played piano in saloons and brothels when he was still a child. As an adult, he formed a band, the ed Hot Peppers and also played on his own. Morton is renown for his ability to bring traditionally black musical styles to the mainstream and he was heavily influenced by his New Orleans upbringing. Morton is particularly remembered for a series of recordings he made in Chicago for CA Victor in the 1920s, and Morton is credited as being one of the first to mix individual improvisation with more structured group arrangements. Although he claimed to have invented jazz, this is not strictly true; instead, he is credited as the first jazz composer. After Morton, improvisation became a staple of jazz. His best-known tunes…… [Read More]
108). These types of seemingly innocuous observations are actually powerful commentaries on the darkness that is spreading over society in the 1920s, and the divisions between those on one side of the glass from those on the other.
The separation of the classes; that is, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor in America, can also be traced to jazz age, providing further evidence that this period was a detriment, as opposed to a benefit, to society. Those on the side of the glass enjoying their lavish parties and their fancy cars and their expensive clothing were oblivious to those who remained on the outside looking in, because wealth had become so important that it defined human existence. If one did not have the largest house or gaudiest jewelry, then they did not deserve any acknowledgement.
For many of the socialites with which Jay Gatsby associated, the poor…… [Read More]
Other performers admired him, and many other coronet players tried to emulate him, but there was only one Louis Armstrong, one music master, one unique singer, and one ambassador of jazz. He was a legend, and many of his musical numbers live on today, including "Hello Dolly," and "What a Wonderful World," which staged a comeback after it was used in the soundtrack for the film "Good Morning Vietnam" (Giddins 5). This book reads more like an homage to Armstrong, rather than a simple telling of his musical life and that may be the book's biggest weakness. It is clear the author is a fan and admirer of Armstrong, his musical talent, and his many accomplishments, and so, it is difficult to find any real criticism of his work or his music here. The author does mention other criticism of Louis, but is skeptical of most of it, and so,…… [Read More]
During the decade between 1960-1970, Hays' work was all over representations of popular American culture. He had also produced amazing illustrations of great ock, Jazz, and Blues singers, which had a dark twist according to his stylistic expression (see Image B). Hays began teaching in the late 1950s at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Towards the end of the 1970s he relocated to California where he served as Chairman of the Illustration Program at the Art Center College in Pasadena.
Hays represented a new and creative style that highlighted unique interpretations utilizing elements of expressionism. Hays and his contemporaries would interpret textual and literary influences with more expressive license. While teaching, Hays was a strong believer in expanding the context of art educations to include other media of artistic expression. Thus, he incorporated elements of literature, theater, and film into his student's artistic curriculum to allow…… [Read More]
Politics, Literature & the Arts: Modernism has been discussed as a reaction to modernity: from the following works, is this a fair description?
Modernism is often defined as a chaotic, pastiche-style of rendering the difficulties of modern, industrialized life. The attempted regimentation of modernity becomes, in modernism, exposed for the absurdity that it is through the surrealist and other modernist aesthetics, such as the improvised jazz riff. For example, in the 1928 film "The Andalusian Dog" by the surrealist artist Salvador Dali and the surrealist director Louis Bunuel the pace of the film's absurd depiction of life is harsh, fragmented and full of confusion. It seems to exist in no certain time, place, or within a conventionally identifiable range of historical or social images, and thus is coherent with the impersonal nature of modern life. It is like, to cite Ken Burn's documentary on music, a "jazz" riff on the…… [Read More]
p.). In fact, he readily admitted that he referred to devices as "that blue box" rather than to its technical name (Doyle, N.p.) According to Doyle, Mardin maintained that although he may not have known the technical names for devices, he certainly knew what effects they were capable of eliciting (Doyle, N.p.) by his own admission, Mardin's expertise did not lie in his ability to memorize model numbers and technical monikers (Doyle, N.p.).
Rather, his expertise was his ability to ascertain how a song ought to sound and make that sound happen. hen asked by Small and Taylor if he' thought he had a personal stamp,' Mardin replied, "I'm in-between. I do have a personal style. At the same time, I try to bring out the best of the artist" (Small and Taylor, p. 53).
Bringing out the best in artists is what Mardin did on a regular basis. His…… [Read More]
At Ohlone College there was a concert series titled Jazz / Rock Combos 2010-2011. At this concert series, there were four featured performances which exhibited how the current popular culture has utilized components from music from different regions in order to create a new sound which embodies the modern mentality of unification. In the present society, so much of the world is connected that is virtually impossible to separate one culture from all the others. Modern music is influenced by all the music that has come before and by the other cultures of the world. At the Jazz / Rock Combos, four specific performances showcased the influence of ethnic and tribal sounds on the current music scene. However, in order for music to become financially successful in this part of the world, these influences have to be modified and westernized to fit the culture.
The first performance of…… [Read More]
Thus only innocence in Brooks' poem is in relation to the likely readers. The innocent person is the naive reader, who might hope that things could be different for the students, or who thinks that the students' lives of petty criminality and sensual pleasures seem attractive, in contrast to a middle-class existence. This is not the case, advises Brooks, stressing her theme of thwarted and ignored promise with spare yet haunting poetic brushstrokes. To fully understand the meaning of the poem, and the voices of both the poet's foresight and why the speakers sound so falsely proud of their lifestyle, the reader must appreciate the social context from which Brooks is 'coming from.'
A.E. Houseman's poem is written in a far more formal style, along the lines of a traditional English lyric. The British poet takes on the voice of a young man, who was told not to give his…… [Read More]