Jazz History essay

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Question 1, word count 350:

Describe the evolution of jazz music from 1940-1970.

  • What changes occurred?
  • Which artists made significant innovations, and what were their contributions?
  • What new styles emerged, and what were the characteristics of this style?

Support your argument by referencing both specific artists, recordings, and dates. Discuss musical changes that occurred, as well as non-musical factors that were an influence (economics, politics, race, etc.).

Question 2, word count 200:

Of the musicians discussed in class (or in readings, see attached file), choose three artists who created music which was at least in part motivated by the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for equality/freedom. Describe how each artists' work was influenced by surrounding events/influences. If there were specific events that inspired the work, describe those events.

Question 3, word count 200:

List and describe at least three musical traditions or elements that pre-dated "jazz," but were significant factors in its origins. Are those elements present in the music we have listened to since 1940? Discuss or cite at least one artist or recording for each tradition/element you discuss.

Question 4, word count 200:

For the final part of the exam, choose just ONE of the following prompts to answer:

  1. Describe the music of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. How was it revolutionary? How was it subversive?
  2. Describe the music of Ornette Coleman. How was it revolutionary? How was it subversive?
  3. Describe the music of John Coltrane. What made him different compared to some of the other musicians we listened to in class.

Unformatted Attachment Preview

SUBSTYLES OF MODERN JAZZ • Bebop ushered in the era of “modern jazz,” featuring: – Primarily small ensembles (rhythm section and horns/vocalist) – Typically simple forms/arrangements (head-solos-head), making the song a vehicle for abstract exploration and improvisation – Rhythm section style that included more interaction from drums and piano as the accompanied soloists – Heavy emphasis on solo improvisation that was virtuosic, used clear storytelling and motivic development – Sophisticated and colorful chord progressions – Greater openness to assimilating musical elements from other traditions COOL JAZZ • May be perceived as a reaction to bebop – Less aggressive, more relaxed style from soloists and the ensemble – The music was less angular/accented than bebop; instead, cool jazz was usually more lyrical and even in range & dynamics COOL JAZZ • Cool Jazz musicians held many of the same beliefs as bebop artists – They were modernists – They liked to experiment and try new things in their music – They were non-conformist and uncompromising – They viewed the music as being part of an underground movement • It also built on many of the characteristics of bebop – “Cool” players (such as Miles Davis) had started their careers by playing bebop, and they were well-versed in the bebop language (melodic/rhythmic/harmonic vocabulary) MILES DAVIS (1926-1991) • Miles Davis was born in Alton, Illinois, near St. Louis, Missouri, during May of 1926 • When Billy Eckstine’s band - featuring Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker – came through St. Louis and asked Miles to sit in with the band, Davis decided he had to move to New York City to join these other musicians • Davis arrived in New York in fall of 1944, having been accepted to study music at the prestigous Julliard School of Music – but he ended up studying more with the bebop musicians on 52nd street than he did at school • By the time he was 19, Miles recorded with Charlie Parker on Parker’s first recording session as a leader MILES DAVIS • Miles’ primary contribution to the bebop era was his role as the trumpet player in Parker’s longest-living group, a quintet also featuring Duke Jordan on piano, Tommy Potter on bass, and Max Roach on drums – Davis could not match the virtuosity of Gillespie or Parker, but absorbed their phrasing, style, and depth of knowledge – His use of silence during solos and his softer, mellow, yet intensely expressive style began to gain more and more critical acclaim and popular attention – After leaving Parker’s group at the end of 1948, Davis went on to record many of his own projects, and became the most influential musician/bandleader in jazz from 1950 onward GIL EVANS (1912-1988) •Wrote for Claude Thornhill’s orchestra from 1941-1948 • His basement apartment located behind a laundromat became a meeting place for musicians • These meetings included Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan, and more… • In 1948, Evans, Davis, Mulligan, and others put together a series of arrangements for a nonet (nine members) that was led by Davis • After several shows, the group recorded twelve different songs that would not be released until 1957 on The Birth of the Cool MILES DAVIS • Birth of the Cool was recorded in 1949 and 1950, and later released in 1957 by Capitol Records – This collection featured a series of original arrangements for a nine-piece ensemble led by Davis – The even, relaxed style of Davis and his sidemen and the complex, detailed arrangements written by Gerry Mulligan and Gil Evans marked a clear departure from the comparatively unrestricted improvisations of Charlie Parker • Inspired by Evans’ writing for the Claude Thornhill band, Birth of the Cool also featured unique instrumentation including french horn and tuba MILES DAVIS “Boplicity” (1949) • Composed and arranged by Miles Davis and Gil Evans • Miles Davis, trumpet • J.J. Johnson, trombone • Sandy Siegelstein, french horn • Bill Barber, tuba • Lee Konitz, alto saxophone • Gerry Mulligan, bari saxophone • John Lewis, piano • Nelson Boyd, bass • Kenny Clarke, drums MILES DAVIS Miles collaborated with Gil Evans several more times throughout the 1950’s Miles Ahead (1957) Porgy & Bess (1959) - Buzzard Song Sketches of Spain (1960) MILES DAVIS Miles’ relaxed style of playing set the tone for the cool jazz era, and many of these characteristics can be heard on other recordings he made in the 1950s – Emphasis on middle range of the trumpet – Even and relaxed time feel (compared to the sometimes hard-swinging feel of bebop players) – Careful note selection (Miles played fewer notes than some contemporaries, but he always managed to pick the right notes) – Use of space (more sparse than his contemporaries) – More introverted, but expressive phrasing/style ICLICKER Name this song: A.Cubana Be, Cubana Bop B.Four in One C.Shaw Nuff D.Boplicity ICLICKER Name this song: A.Cubana Be, Cubana Bop B.Four in One C.Shaw Nuff D.Boplicity ICLICKER Name this song: A.Cubana Be, Cubana Bop B.Four in One C.Shaw Nuff D.Boplicity ICLICKER Name this song: A.Cubana Be, Cubana Bop B.Four in One C.Shaw Nuff D.Boplicity ICLICKER What instrument did Melba Liston play? A.Trombone B.Saxophone C.Clarinet D.Trumpet ICLICKER What instrument did Melba Liston play? A.Trombone B.Saxophone C.Clarinet D.Trumpet ICLICKER Which of the following ID’s allowed jazz musicians to perform in clubs that served alcohol in NYC? A.Liquor License B.Driver’s License C.Cabaret Card D.Social Security Card ICLICKER Which of the following ID’s allowed jazz musicians to perform in clubs that served alcohol in NYC? A.Liquor License B.Driver’s License C.Cabaret Card D.Social Security Card GERRY MULLIGAN (1927-1996) CHET BAKER (1929-1988) CHET BAKER & GERRY MULLIGAN • Bari saxophonist Gerry Mulligan’s role in the Birth of the Cool recording is often underestimated or overlooked, despite the fact that he wrote six of the twelve arrangements • After Birth of the Cool, Mulligan formed his most famous group, performing on Monday nights in Los Angeles with Chet Baker, trumpet, Bob Whitlock, bass, and Chico Hamilton, drums – Mulligan and Baker developed a style which allowed them to play interwoven melodies and counter-melodies (or COUNTERPOINT) • The group achieved significant critical and commercial success with their first recorded hit, “My Funny Valentine” (1952), and the style they played with throughout their career was representative of cool jazz CHET BAKER & GERRY MULLIGAN • Gerry Mulligan – Light, fleet airy sound – Relaxed, even time feel – Use of bebop vocabulary, but at a soft volume and less emphasis on speed/virtuosity • Chet Baker – Soft, even tone with little use of vibrato – Emphasis low and mid range of the trumpet – Use of bebop vocabulary, but at a soft volume and with emphasis on lyricism – A noted vocalist, whose phrasing as a singer often resembled his trumpet playing GERRY MULLIGAN QUARTET “Funhouse” (1953) • Composed by Gerry Mulligan • Gerry Mulligan, bari saxophone • Chet Baker, trumpet • Carson Smith, bass • Larry Bunker, drums CHET BAKER & GERRY MULLIGAN • Gerry Mulligan – Light, fleet airy sound – Relaxed, even time feel – Use of bebop vocabulary, but at a soft volume and less emphasis on speed/virtuosity • Chet Baker – Soft, even tone with little use of vibrato – Emphasis low and mid range of the trumpet – Use of bebop vocabulary, but at a soft volume and with emphasis on lyricism – A noted vocalist, whose phrasing as a singer often resembled his trumpet playing CHET BAKER & GERRY MULLIGAN • Quartet – The collaboration mostly ended in 1953 – Both had become addicted to heroin, and Mulligan was arrested on narcotics charges – By the time Mulligan returned, Baker had become a star in his own right as a vocalist/trumpeter – They would occasionally collaborate over the years, but less and less after 1974 – Mulligan eventually kicked his drug habit, but Baker never did CHET BAKER & GERRY MULLIGAN • Chet Baker – In the early 60’s, spent over a year in jail in Italy – Was expelled from West Germany and the UK – In 1966, he was beaten while attempting to buy drugs, and his teeth were knocked out – No longer able to play, he worked as a gas attendant – He had to relearn to play the trumpet, and would make a comeback in the 70’s – His drug use continued until his death in 1988 - he fell from a balcony at a hotel in Amsterdam and died LENNIE TRISTANO (1919-1978) • Tristano moved to New York in 1946 and quickly gained critical attention – he was named “Musician of the Year” in 1947 by Metronome Magazine. • His 1949 recordings, featuring his students Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, and Arnold Fishkin were particularly influential • The compositions and solos utilized the bebop rhythmic tradition while largely avoiding melodic cliches • Even when composing contrafacts, as other bebop musicians, Tristano’s music often included surprising harmonic twists, along with dense, complex motivic development LENNIE TRISTANO “Wow” (1949) • Composed by Lennie Tristano, piano • Warne Marsh, tenor saxophone • Lee Konitz, alto saxophone • Billy Bauer, guitar • Arnold Fishkin, bass • Denzil Best, drums “Intuition” (1949) A free, collective improvisation (no pre-set melody, harmony, or meter) – one of the first two ever recorded (the other was also by Tristano). This anticipated the free jazz movement led by Ornette Coleman for a decade. • Warne Marsh, tenor saxophone • Lee Konitz, alto saxophone • Billy Bauer, guitar • Lennie Tristano, piano • Arnold Fishkin, bass LENNIE TRISTANO • “Line Up” (1955) “Line Up” is notable for several reasons: • The drums and bass track was recorded first – Tristano “overdubbed” the extended piano solo. He also recorded it an octave lower, at half speed, and then sped it up. This gives Tristano’s playing a unique style (featuring lots of accents – each note seems to weigh a little differently). Tristano did this long before other jazz musicians were experimenting with recording technology in this way. • Tristano’s solo features sophisticated motivic development throughout, never resorts to a “cliché,” and like Bud Powell/Thelonious Monk, his harmonic vocabulary and ability to create tension through note selection is well ahead of its time MODERN JAZZ QUARTET • • • • Milt Jackson, vibraphone John Lewis, piano Ray Brown, bass Kenny Clarke, drums – The aforementioned musicians made up the original members of the Modern Jazz Quartet – They first came together in Dizzy Gillespie’s big band in 1946 – In 1951, they recorded together as the Milt Jackson Quartet – They were generally considered one of the strongest, most refined groups in cool jazz THIRD STREAM • By 1955, Percy Heath replaced Ray Brown, Connie Kay replaced Kenny Clarke on drums, and the group had begun recording as the Modern Jazz Quartet • In particular because of the influence of pianist John Lewis, the group began to merge elements of jazz with elements of European classical music • His style of counterpoint was inspired by classical composers • Most notably, his use of European forms such as the fugue made the MJQ’s repertoire unique • This fusion of jazz and classical was called “Third Stream,” by composer and historian Gunther Schuller • In 1960, the Modern Jazz Quartet collaborated with Gunther Schuller and the Beaux Arts String Quartet and the Jimmy Giuffre Trio on an album called “Third Stream Music” THIRD STREAM • Versailles (1956) • A notable composition of John Lewis, this piece is a fugue. • A FUGUE is a European form originating in the Baroque Period (1600-1750). As opposed to the AABA and 12-bar blues forms that are common in jazz, a fugue is characterized by continuous development of counterpoint based on a primary melodic theme, called the subject. • Milt Jackson, vibraphone • John Lewis, piano • Percy Heath, bass • Connie Kay, drums THIRD STREAM • Other examples of this sub-style exist with the Gil Evans projects with Miles Davis later in the 1950’s • Miles Ahead (1957) from Miles Ahead • Conceirto de Aranjuez: Adagio (1960) from Sketches of Spain HISTORY OF SEGREGATION • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) established “separate but equal” doctrine which sanctioned Jim Crow laws in the south • State was allowed to enforce separation of people by race • Black Americans were not allowed to utilize the same public facilities, restrooms, drinking fountains, busing, or schools as White Americans BROWN V. BOARD OF EDUCATION (1954) • Rules that segregation is unconstitutional • Orders that schools be integrated, but doesn’t clarify how, leaving room for local jurisdiction and political evasion for years to come LITTLE ROCK CENTRAL (1957) MURDER OF EMMETT TILL (SEPT, 1955) The brutal murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till added increased anger and determination regarding the injustices faced by African Americans ROSA PARKS & MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT In December of 1955, Parks was arrested for not relinquishing her seat at the front of a public bus. • Her arrest was followed by the Montgomery Bus Boycott, led by Martin Luther King Jr., and a legal battle which challenged and overturned the law which allowed for segregated busing HORACE SILVER AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS • The Preacher (1955) – Horace Silver, piano – Kenny Dorham, trumpet – Hank Mobely, tenor sax – Doug Watkins, bass – Art Blakey, drums HARD BOP • Ken Burns “Jazz” • Episode 9, 51:00 HARD BOP • ICLICKER • Who was the drummer that formed the jazz messengers along with pianist Horace Silver? A.Kenny Clarke B.Max Roach C.Art Blakey D.Art Taylor HARD BOP • ICLICKER • True or false: this music was danceable and often played on jukeboxes. A.True B.False HARD BOP • ICLICKER • This music was not known for emphasizing influence from: A.Gospel B.Blues C.Classical D.Soul HARD BOP • Theories of Origin – Reaction to Cool Jazz (aka West Coast Jazz) and Third Stream – Geographic – Cool style was reflective of the West Coast lifestyle and Los Angeles – Hard Bop was reflective of New York City HARD BOP • Theories of Origin – Reaction to Bebop – Blakey & his pianist Horace Silver sought to create music that had groove, blues/gospel influence, and which was more memorable compared to bebop – Natural combination of Jazz with R&B – Rhythm-and-Blues was becoming increasingly popular in the 1950’s, and jazz musicians were incorporating elements of their surrounding musical world in their own music ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS • Art Blakey (1919 – 1990) first formed the Jazz Messengers in 1947, at that time with eight members, after having performed with swing era stylists and bebop musicians such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, and Dexter Gordon • He formed a new group with pianist Horace Silver in 1955 that again used the name the Jazz Messengers – this was the the true beginning of one of the most influential groups in the history of jazz • The Jazz Messengers recorded “Hard Bop” in 1956, a heavyswinging album that gave the style its name ART BLAKEY ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS • Throughout the rest of his career, Blakey’s Jazz Messengers became an institution, a school for jazz musicians, which would continue to train the next generation of jazz musicians through the 1980’s. Jazz Messenger Alumni would include: • Hank Mobley (tenor) • Kenny Dorham (trumpet) • Horace Silver (piano) • Lee Morgan (trumpet) • Benny Golson (tenor) • Freddie Hubbard (trumpet) • Wayne Shorter (tenor) • Curtis Fuller (trombone) • Cedar Walton (piano) • Keith Jarrett (piano) • Wynton Marsalis (trumpet) and many more!!! ART BLAKEY ART BLAKEY AND THE JAZZ MESSENGERS • Moanin'(1958) – Blakey often gave his musicians space to compose as well as to improvise – this Bobby Timmons composition is representative of the funky/soul jazz movement which started in the late 1950’s. It is also a shuffle, a groove which Blakey was famous for – listen for his hard-swinging feel and the accent he plays on beats 2/4 on his snare drum – Lee Morgan, trumpet – Benny Golson, tenor saxophone – Bobby Timmons, piano & composer – Jymie Merritt, bass – Art Blakey, drums HARD BOP • If I Were a Bell (1956) – Miles Davis, trumpet (with harmon mute) – John Coltrane, tenor saxophone – Red Garland, piano – Paul Chambers, bass – Philly Jo Jones, drums MILES DAVIS MILES DAVIS QUINTET • After Birth of the Cool (1949), Miles Davis succumbed to heroin addiction. – Despite winning critical acclaim in various jazz publications, many thought his best work was in his past • Davis overcame his addiction in 1954, and began making a series of outstanding recordings that helped to revive his career • Davis gained popularity and signed with Columbia Records in 1955 and formed his first great quintet, which remained active until roughly 1958, when its members changed – This first great quintet, would become one of the definitive groups in hard bop, and would have enormous influence on jazz musicians who followed in the coming decades MILES DAVIS QUINTET • Significant contributions – Helped to codify the mainstream jazz approach to the “standard,” a song which is part of most jazz musicians’ repertoire • While some of these came from earlier musicals or were contrafacts based on earlier songs, Miles always also used popular music of his time. For example, “If I Were A Bell,” was a song from the 1950 Broadway Musical hit, Guys and Dolls. • Many of the introductions, song endings, reharmonizations, and arrangement devices would be used by future generations of jazz musicians • Many of their recordings would become the definitive version of that song in a hard bop style, making them an important reference for context regarding later performances of the same repertoire JOHN COLTRANE (1926-1967) • Coltrane was arguably the most important addition to the Quintet – his style seemed to directly contradict Miles – this highlighted the difference in their musical personalities and created greater contrast within each song – Coltrane’s style tended to be more fiery and passionate, compared to Miles’ cool, often muted expression – Coltrane took a different approach to harmony and rhythm, often running fast lines and scales in contrast to Miles’ careful note selection and sparse – Coltrane also played with a harsher, more pointed tone than most of his contemporaries on tenor sax JOHN COLTRANE JOHN COLTRANE (1926-1967) • Initially hired in 1955, Coltrane was fired in 1957 - another jazz musician addicted to heroin, he had become unreliable in Davis’ quintet • Coltrane got the message - he quit his habit • He began performing with Thelonious Monk • He also recorded several albums as a leader • Blue Train (1957) • Soultrane (1958) • Coltrane would be rehired by Davis in 1958 JOHN COLTRANE LISTENING… • Boplicity (1949) vs… • Blue Seven (1956) • Pent-Up House (1956) • Moanin' (1958) SONNY ROLLINS (b. 1930) • Born in 1930 in New York City, Rollins made his first recordings with Bud Powell in 1949. • Highly critical of his own playing, he would sometimes take “sabbaticals,” where he would stop performing for a time before returning – the first of these occurred in 1954, and ended when he joined the Clifford Brown/ Max Roach Quintet in 1955. – During his time with Brown/Roach, he became kn ...
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