Monson - Jazz - 8. laser; anti Jones 2000, xxix. 9. Iasen...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–10. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 4
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 6
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 8
Background image of page 9

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 10
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: 8. laser; anti Jones 2000, xxix. 9. Iasen anciJones 1998, xxi—xxvi. 10. Harney‘s racial identity is an issue of debate. 11. Jasen andjones 1998, 119—2 1. 12. Magee 1998, 389. 7 13. Berlin 1994, 186. 14. }asen and Jones 2902, 149. 15. ibid, 7. 16. Blesh andjanis 1971, 56*8. l7. Davin 1985, 174. $8. Jasen and}ones 2002, 4—5. is. Vangilcler 1975. . CHAPTER 6 2i}. Jasen and Eones 2002, 27w28. 21. Lindemann and Eskin 1992; see also Lindemann 1985. - 161 2.2.. Morath 1985, 254—65. ' 23. For a descriotion of the Aufderheicle publishing company, see Jasen and Jones _ ~ 2000, 153—7. 24. Blesh andJanis 1971,221. 2.5. Hater 19983., 186. 26. African musicians may be traced in Britain as early as in the eighteenth century. See Wright 1986, 14-24. 2.7. ieliar n.d.; Reiterer mi. 28. Illustrierte Zeitng Leipzig 1903, 202—4. 29. See illustration in Hana! 1993b. 30. I-Iarer1998a,185. 31. “The Cake Walk in Vienna” 1903, S. 32.. Lotz 1997, 297689. For performances in Austria see Harer 199821, 185. 33. Rainer Lotz (1997, 225416) documented Arabeila Fields’ appearances in Europe. ' '_ ' 34. Harer1998a,187. * -_ Ingrld Monson 35. Hater 1999. - . . . . . . . . 36 Rim, 1988 593 . ,iazz 18 Widely regarded as the pinnacle ofAfrican American musrc 1n . , . 37. See 115: of rags pubiishetl in Germany in Lotz 1989. _ the twentieth century, distinguished by the originality of its improvi- 38. Lotz 1939, 102. .\ . - sation, the virtuosity and erudition of its performers and composers, 39. For a discussion of composers and lists of their works, see Cole 1977. and its professionalism and artistry. Many of its practitioners regard 40‘ E51651“ “dim” 1971' jazz as “America’s classical music,” or “African American classical music,” although this definition is sometimes contested. The respect- ability acquired by jazz in the late twentieth century stands in stark contrast to the denigrated status of the music and its practitioners earlier in the century. Several broader sociai forces have shaped the history of jazz and its changing cuitural meaning in the twentieth century inciuding urbanization, racism, the advent of recording and broadcasting technology, modernism as an aesthetic ideology, World Wars 1 and ii, and the Civil Rights Movement. The musical hallmarks of jazz are improvisation, syncopation, a rhythmic propulsiveness knOWn as swing, blues feeling, and harmonic complexity. Unlike most other African American musical genres, instrumental rather than vocal performance has been the most prestigious and influential. Chronological Overview iAZZ AND RAGTlME Several genres contributed to the formation of jazz including ragtime, blues, marches, African American religious music, European classicai Affirm American Music 145 music, American popular song, and musical theater. It is important to remember that these genres overlapped considerably, as the close rela- tionship hetween ragtime, musical theater, and jazz at the turn of the twentieth century illustrates. Although ragtime is mosr often associ- ated with the piano compositions of Scott Joplin (1867—1917), audi— ences of the 1890s associated ragtime with song, especially so-called coon songs featuring lyrics about Black Americans, many of which emerged from the thriving African American musical theater scene in New York. Among the most noted Black American musical theater composers and performers of the day were Ernest Hogan (1860—1909), Will Marion Cook (18694944), Bob Cole (1863—1911), the Johnson brothers (I. Rosamond, 18734954; and James Weldon, 1871—1938), Bert Williams (1874M 1922.), and George Walker (1873—191 i).1 After the success of Ernest Hogan’s “All Coons Look Alike to Me” (1896), which launched a fad for coon songs that lasted until World War 1, many of the pioneers of mainstream American musi- cai theater began composing ragtime songs, including George M. Cohan (1878— 1942) and irving Berlin (3888—1989). Images of African Americans in ragtime song were iargely stereotypical—derived from the representational conventions of minstrelsy and vaudeviile—and ‘ contributed to a debate over ragtime’s merits both within the Black community and mainstream American society. White society ohjecn ed to the popularity of this “lowbrow” art form, while Black elites objected to the denigrating racial images in the songs. Although ragtime made its initial impact on the musical Stage, in- strumental ensembies including dance bands, brass bands, and con- cert bands soon incorporated it into their repertories. Piano versions of ragtime songs were also published and, in time, a distinctive piano repertory emerged whose chief composers were Scott joplin, James Scott, and Joseph Lamb. Perhaps the most famous piano tag is Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” (1899), which was widely performed by pianists and instrumentai ensembles. In addition, both sung and in— strumental versions of ragtime songs were associated with popular - dances of the day, including the two-step, the cakewalk, the turkey trot, and the Texas Tommy.2 By i913, ragtime figured prominently ' in a craze for sociai dancing that witnessed the rise to prominence ' of dancers Vernon and Irene Castle. The castles chose James Reese Europe’s Society Orchestra to accompany them at their dance club known as Castle House. This collaboration led to the first recording ' contract offered to a Black ensemble: Europe’s recording of.“Down Home Rag,” made in December 3913. Europe (1880-1919) recorded ' four more pieces in February 1914, including his “Castle House Rag,” which is based on the form of Scott joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag.” The most common trait associated with ragtime is syncopation. To “tag” a piece was to syncopate its melody. Instrumental ragtime made extensive use of 2/4 meter and march form: sixteen-bar strains Afi’ican American Music or themes organized into various patterns. The most common formal arrangement consisted of two themes in the tonic key (AB or ABA) followed by a “trio” section consisting of one or two themes in the subdominant (C or CD). March forms are widely found in early jazz. Mumcal innovations leading to the development of jazz as a distino rive genre occurred within instrumental ensembles that included ragtime as part of their repertory, and New Orleans occupied a special place in this process. New Orleans Aithough the historical narrative of New Orleans as the point of origin for jazz has been suppianted by one that emphasizes the interplay of local, regional, and national musicai trends in the development of jazz, there is no doubt that the city of New Orleans occupies a spe- cial place in the story of jazz. The presence in New Orleans of French Spanish, Creole, and African American (free and slave) popuiatiolns as well as the influx of immigrants from Cuba and the Caribbean, creaied an unusually diverse mixture of cultural influences. Most pertinent to the story of jazz is the tripartite division of New Orleans into White Black, and Creole social spheres. Creoles, who celebrated their French cultural ties whether their heritage included African blood or not had until 1894 been treated as a separate social sphere distinct frond Engiish~speaking African Americans. Creoles ofcoior (the so—calledgem ole canker) under this social system were not considered to he Black. - 1 However, New Orleans joined the trend across the South toward r1g1djim Crow segregation by passing strict segregation iegislation in 1894 that reclassified the gems dc coalear as Black. Downtowri Creole musicians, formerly welcome in White brass and string hands, now had greater incentive to make common cause with their uptown English~speai<ing African American musical neighbors. The emer- gence of jazz has often been explained as the meeting of the uptown African American brass and string hand tradition of blues-drenched aurally transmitted music, with the downtown Creole band tradition of instrumental virtuosity, musical literacy, and training in classics} music. Like aii capsule histories, this story simplifies a more compli— cated reality that includes Creoie musicians who did not have Great musical literacy and Black musicians who did.3 O Among the Creole musicians most important to the develop- ment of jazz are pianist and composer Jelly Roli Morton (Ferdinand LeMothe, 18904941), clarinetist Barney Bigarcl (19064988), trom- bonist Kid Ory (18904973), and clarinetist and saxophonist Sidney Bechet (1897—1959). The uptown musicians most central to the emer- gence of jazz are cornetists Buddy Bolden (1877m1931),Joe “Kine” Oliver (1885—1938), and Louis Armstrong (19014971). 6 A band led by Buddy Boiden (18774931) is often cited as the first jazz band. Bolden was known for his deep feeling for the Jazz 147 blues, improvisational elaboration of melodies> and ability to play so loud that he couid be heard across Lake Ponchartrain. Bolden’s competition in New Orleans included both brass bands and string bands, which featured a variety of repertory including marches, ragtime, and waltzes. 'His ensemble, which inciuded clarinet, corner, trombone, guitar, bass, and drums, played a role in establishing the standard instrumentation for New Orleans jazz. By the early part of the twentieth century, contemporary observers agreed that New Orleans iazz featured an improvisatory style, the blues feeling of uptown Black New Orleans, and new rhythmic interpretations that had transformed a basic march beat into the slow drag and tip—tempo strut, two basic distinctions of New Orleans jazz style.4 Chicago Most ofthe classic recordings documenting the sound of N ew Orleans jazz, including those of Joe “King” Oliver and Louis Armstrong, were made in or near Chicago. Although New Orleans musicians and bands had traveled widely across the United States on variety show circuits between 1907 and 1917, the migration of over 50,000 African Americans during and after World War} established Chicago as a pri- _ mary destination for New Orieans musicians. “' joe “King” Oliver arrived in Chicago in i918 and stayed for the next three years. After a sojourn in California, Oliver returned to Chicago in 1922, booking his Creoie Jazz Band along “The Stroll,” a thriving nightiife district on South State Street that featured several African American—owned ciubs, including the Deluxe Cafe, the Pekin, the Dreamland Cafe, and the Lincoln Gardens.S Louis Armstrong _ ' joined Oliver’s band in 1923, and the two set the town on fire with their vibrant music. 7 Chicago’s Southside clubsalso became sites of racial boundary cross- ing in the 1920s, as interested young Whites came to enjoy and learn the music. These “blacks and tans” attracted many aspiring young White musicians, including saxophonist Bud Freeman (1906— 1991), trumpet- er Jimmy McPartland (1907-1991), ciarinetist Frank Teschemacher (19064932), and drummer Dave Tough (1907-1948). In the early 1920s, Chicago tolerated greater racial mixing in such venues than New York or New Orleans. Nevertheless, racial boundary crossing in Chicago was not reciprocal, because Black musicians were not free to patronize White clubs on the Northside. Even though jazz was a cul- tural arena in which there was greater interracial interaction than in mainstream American society, jim Crow segregation had an enormous effect on the circumstances of interracial contact. Whites in general had greater freedom to cross the color line than African Americans.6 Between 1925 and 1928 Louis Armstrong made a series of re- cordings for Okeh (organized by his wife and pianist Lil Hardin) known as the Hot Fives and Sevens. These are among Armstrong’s Aflican American Music Jmiso (m means pronounced vibrato) F ( E 7 } G m? rm—i '4. nil-.- - , . tau-winnmmmmmfl “Ii—Hm“ mu“ most celebrated recordings and they virtualiy defined the expansive improvisational style that was to become the hallmark of early jazz. Armstrong moved away from melodic paraphrase to a more eiaborate improvisation guided by the underlying harmonies rather than the melody aione. Armstrong’s solo on “Potato Head Blues” (Figure 6.1) offers an excellent example of his classic style. Note the expressive use of vibrato at the ends (and sometimes beginnings) of phrases, Armstrong’s use of arpeggiation (mm, 2, 6, 8, 22), and chromatic fills between chord tones (min. 16—17). Armstrong’s bandmates in the Hot Fives included Lil Hardin, piano; johnny Dodds, clarinet; Kid Ory, trombone; and johnny St. Cyr, banjo (the last three were oid friends from New Orleans). The Hot Sevens addedjohn Thomas, trombone, Baby Dodds, drums; jazz Figure 6.1 Louis Armstrong’s solo on “Potato Head Blues” {1928). 149 Pete Briggs, tuha, and Earl Hines, piano. Despite the fact that these recordings were made in Chicago and that there are many earlier recordings by other bands that include improvised solos, Armstrong’s style set the Standard for New Orleans jazz style. The Hot Fives and Sevens recordings also established Armstrong as a cultural hero, especially in African American communities where his tremendous success contributed to a communal sense of pride.7 COMPOSERS, ENSEMBLES, AND BIG BANDS Although the emergence of the improvising soloist is the hallmark of jazz, it is important to note that the development of the jazz ensemble (large and small) was also key. Indeed, a particular sound produced through distinctive rhythmic, harmonic, melodic, and timbral vocabu- laries of the ensemble are just as crucial in defining jazz as a genre. Among the eariyjazz composers and arrangers who contributed to this emerging sound were }eliy Roll Morton, Duke Ellington (18994974), Fletcher Henderson (1897—1952), and Don Redman (190011964). jelly Roll Morton’s 1926 recordings for Victor provide examples of the creative use of the ensemble in early jazz. Among the most highiy regarded compositions from these sessions are “Black Bottom Stomp,” “Grandpa’s Spells,” “The Chant,” and “Smokehouse Blues.” Unlike the Hot Fives recordings, which omitted bass and drums, on Morton’s 192.6 recordings the listener can hear one ofthe best rhythm sections in early jazz: Morton, piano; John Lindsey, bass; Andrew Hilaire, drums; and Johnny St. Cyr, banjo. In “Black Bottom Stomp,” Morton and his band deploy a full range of early jazz time feels to provide contrast and excitement to the well-planned architectural shape of the performance. The A sections of the piece proceed with a two—beat feel in cut time (bass notes on 1 and 3). TheB sections include examples of two-mea— sure solo breaks, stop time (repetition of a short pattern as the sole ac— companiment), and extended solos. One B section proceeds partly in a four-heat time feel played by the bass, a technique foreshadowing the classic walking bass line that became standard in jazz of the 1930s. This passage is also an example of double time, a section in which the rhythmic pulse of the piece is doubled for dramatic effect (although the actual length of the measure remains the same; in a 4/4 measure, switching from a bass line that is played on beats 1 and 3 to a walking bass on heats l, 2, 3, and 4 appears to double the pace of the music). Morton’s final chorus might also be said to foreshadow the ubiqui— tous “shouuchorus” of swing band arrangements. Here Morton’s ensemble uses a back beat feel (drum on 2. and 4) for a rousing final chorus featuring trumpet and trombone.8 In New York of the 19205, Fletcher Henderson and Don Redman ' developed a big band sound by incorporating jazz soloists such as Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins (1904—1969) into a dance _ . band of larger instrumentation than the typical New Orleans jazz African American Music ensemble. Henderson’s band featured three trumpets, a trombone, three reeds, and a rhythm section. Henderson and Redman worked as a team, developing an arranging style that featured call-and-response between the brass and reed sections and the use of one instrumental choir as a background accompaniment (often featuring a riff) for the other. Redman also wrote ensemble sections in the style of impro~ vised jazz solos. All these devices and techniques became staples of big band arranging in the 1930s. The composer who developed the most unique style for jazz ensembles in the 19203 was undoubtedly Duke Ellington {i899—1974), Bllington’s singular style combined. the “sweet” (i.e., not blues inflected) dance band styie, the exuberaiit New Orleans and blues- inspired trumpet style of New Yorker Rubber Miley (19034932), and Ellington’s own stride and ragtime-based piano style. Miley pioneered the growling trumpet sound that became a trademark of Ellington’s so-called jungle sound. To produce this sound, Miley used a pixie mute (a small straight mute) over which he fanned an ordinary rubber bathroom plunger; the growling effect could be additionally enhanced by gargling with the throat and/or simul— taneousiy humming a pitch into the horn. Eilington’s recordings of “East St. Louis Toodle»Oo” and “Black and Tan Fantasy” from 1926 and 1927 provide excellent examples of Miley’s “talking” brass effect. Tricky Sam Nanton (1904w1946) adapted this sound to the trombone, and thereafter mastery of the growl sound was an essen- tial for brass players in the Ellington band.9 These new brass sounds Were oniy one aspect of Eliington’s in- terest in timhral variety and unusual orchestration. “Mood Indigo,” one of the composer’s most famous ballads, features an opening trio of muted trumpet, muted trombone, and clarinet that is as easily identifiable by timbre as thematic content. The trumpet plays in a comfortable middle register, while the trombone plays in a higher tessitura and the clarinet in the low register, creating a combina— tion of relaxation and tension in a beautifully harmonized passage (Figure 6.2.). Eliington makes careful use of contrary motion, aug- mented 9th sonorities (with the 9 in the bass), and chromatic voice leading to produce an unforgettable moment. Although Ellington’s musical effects are interesting from the vantage point of musical analysis, Billy Strayhorn (Ellington’s com— positional collaborator) argued that there is something more to Ellington’s sound: Each member ofhis band is to him a distinctive tone color and set ofemotions, which he mixes with others equally distinctive to produce a third thing, which [like to call the “Ellington Effect.” Sometimes this mixing happens on paper and frequently right on the bandstand. I have often seen him exchange parts in the middle of a piece because the man and the part weren’t the same character. Ellington’s concern is with the individual musician and what happens when they put their musical characters together.” jazz 1S1 “Moodlncligo” (1938). . ‘ a ‘ __ Flgure 6.2 WM “. in 1927, Duke Ellington got his first major break when he was hired at the Cotton Ciub, a Harlem nightclub catering to a Whitesm nation. The club’s regular radio broadcasts during Ellington’s tenure (1927— 1 931} brought the Ellington Effect into America’s living rooms and made him into a national figure.” BROADCASTING AND THE SWJNG ERA Radio broadcasts from major hotels, clubs, and dance halls were crucial in establishing and maintaining the reputations of bands such as those led by Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington. There were two types of radio broadcasts: “sustaining programs” originating late at night from hotels and clubs and featur- ing a variety of bands, and “sponsored programs” for which a com- .pany such as Coca—Cola or LuckyStrike hired particular bands for long-term contracts. Access to these radio opportunities was racially structured, with White bands at an advantage in both types of engage- ments. White bands were more likely to be booked at hotels and ciubs with radio broadcast capability because most had segregated booking policies. Even so, many Black bands were able to make appearances on sustaining programs from locations that did hire Black bands, such as the Cotton Club, the Savoy Ballroom, or Chicago’s Grand Terrace. Sponsored programs were out of the question for Black bands. Not until the late 19405 was there an all—Black sponsored radio program (NBC’S KingCole Trio Time), and even guest appearances on White prom grams by prominent Black musicians were rare.12 The segregation of the pubiic arena caused interracial collaboraw tions of various kinds to occur in less visible ways. Hiring arrangers from across the color line was one; recording (but not appearing) with a mixed ensemble was another. Fletcher Henderson’s compositions and arrange“ ments, which Benny Goodman (1909—1986) bought in i934, served as the principal component of his band’s repertory as it established its African American Music national profile. Goodman iater hired African Americans Henderson and jimmy Mundy as Staff arrangers for the band and defied the per- formance color line by hiring Lionei Hampton and Charlie Christian. Teddy Wiison (19124986) recorded with the Benny Goodman trio a year prior to his famous 1936 appearance with the bandleader ar Chicago’s Congress Hotel. Although a considerable amount of mixing had taken place in Black venues from the very beginning, mixing in a predominantly White setting made this event newsworthy.13 The ambivalent reception of Benny Goodman’s title of “King of Swing,” especially later in the tWentieth century, stems from the racially structured aspects of his rise to prominence. Goodman’s story serves to illustrate several themes in ongoing debates over the relationship between Black and White jazz. In late 1934, Goodman was offered a regular slot on NBC’S Let’s Dance, a program sponw sored by the National Biscuit Company. In choosing Goodman, NBC overlooked many prominent Biack bands including those of Duke Ellington, Earl Hines, andjimrnie Lunceford. Goodman’s success on the show was fueled by Fletcher Henderson’s compositions and ar- rangements, and many White audience members came to know the swing music of an African American composer through the medium of White performance. Consequently, to the broader White public, swing did not appear to be Black music. This perception was rein— forced byjim Crow barriers that kept African American bands from being heard through the same high—visibility broadcast channels. That Goodman as an individual took actions facilitating the empioyment of African Americans in mainstream White dance bands (generally in advance of other White bandleaders) cannot be denied; yet he was also a beneficiary of the raciai status quo in the music industry.” During and before Worid War II there were several successful all~women swing bands, among them the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, the Darlings of Rhythm, and Phil Spitalny’s House of Charm. These ensembles offered many women the opportunity to perform professionaily at a time when participation by women in both big bands and small groups was rare. Among the most highly regarded players were trumpeters jean Ray Lee, Tiny Davis, and Thelma Lewis, and saxophonists Roz Cron and Josephine Boyd. A few women succeeded as instrumentalists during the swing years, including pianist and arranger Mary Lou Wiiliams (1910»« 1981}, who worked with the Andy Kirk band, and vibraphonist Marjorie Hyams (1923“), who played with Woody Herman.15 Swing Music The major big bands of the swing era served as important training grounds for younger musicians. Many improved their music-reading skills, understanding of harmony, ensemble skiils,and (for some) com— posing and arranging skills, under the tutelage of more experienced musicians. One hallmark of swing music is the extensive use of riffs J, m” ,_ _ Figure 6.3 (short ostinato figures) as ensemhie textures. Riffs were used in many "' i" w“ ”§:—== Txlicvo shout choruses ways, including: (1) as melodies, (2.) in caii—and—tesponse with another goriztnéiiijjynsem . . . . . I I ‘ riff or an improVised passage, (3) as a continuous supporting texture WimgugEL—sgg—aflggamegfi {1933) underneath a soloist ot'written passage, and (4) in layers. Two shout choruses of Count Basie’s (1904—1984) “Sent for You Yesterday” (1938) illustrate these usages (Figure 6.3). In chorus 7, two riffs are presented in ca§i~and-tesponse between the hrass and the reeds. The drums piay the classic swing ride rhythm on the iii-hat and the bass plays a walking bass, four to the bar. In chorus 8, the reeds play a continuous supporting riff whiie the brass riff (functioning as the melody) continues in call~and—response with improvised drum breaks. Here the call—and—response of the brass and drums is layered against the continuous accompanying riff in the reeds. Shout choruses such as these were often used at the very end of a piece as a climax. The art— fui use of repetition, which served as a solid anchor for dancers, was one hallmark of swing style. Many virtuosic soloists emerged in the 19303, from small groups as well as hig hands. Expanding on Armstrong’s lead, musicians strove ._ - to extend the scope of solo improvisation. Among the most promi~ ‘ nent soloists were Roy Eldridge (19 1 14989), trumpet; Lester Young (1909—1959) and Coiernan Hawkins (19044969), tenor saxophone; and Art Tatum (19094956), piano. Vocalist Billie Holiday ( 19 15 ~195 9), whose inventive paraphrases of melody and timing inspired many, in— cluding Lester Young, also became prominent in the iate 19305, record— ' ing with many aiumni of the Count Basie orchesrra.‘6 am-aemails-é“:eaaéiaiémfitfifiéefi = meme Eebop With World War II came not only a new aeSthetic in jazz, but a new attitude in African American communities as weil. The Double V campaign (which called for victory over racism at home as well as victory for democracy in Europe) perhaps symbolized the transi- tion best, as African Americans deemed fit to risk their lives in battle . chafed at the giaring racial injustices at home. As Scott DeVeaux has noted, professional jazz musicians were a relatively privileged elite who worked in an industry that accorded greater personal freedom, mobility, and prosperity than most occupations available to Black Americans. The symbolic vaiue of that hard-won success and freedom to the broader African American community was enormous.” _ During the war years, musicians who had become frustrated with ' the limited possibilities For extended improvisation in big bands and dismayed by the dominance of White bands in the popular music mar— ket forged an ambitious improvisational style that came to be known as bebop (musicians first called it modern music). No longer content to be entertainers, the younger jazz musicians demanded to be taken seriously as artists. The heroes of this movement were Charlie Parker W mmm_—-—___--~mmmmmmm mu—uuau—u-wm—mmm-wmmmn-uu fiméfiafififia Afiican American Music _ 155 Figure 6.4 The standard ride rhythm. Figure 6.5 Charlie Parker’s legendary soio on “Koko” (based on the chord changes to “Cherokee"). (19204955), alto sax; Thelonious Monk (1917—1982), piano; Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), trumpet, Kenny Clarke (1914—1985), drums; Max Roach (2924—), drums; and Bud Powell (1924—1966), piano. The series of legendary jam sessions that are said to have created the style took place in Harlem at Minton and Monroe’s Uptown House.18 The musical innovations of bebop affected several dimensions of the music: instrumental virtuosity, harmony, phrasing, rhythmic feel, timbre, and tempo. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie reharmonized and/or wrote new meiodies for standard jazz tunes“ such as Cherokee,” “I Got Rhythm,” and “What Is This Thing Called Love”—increasing the harmonic rhythm and the tempo and improvising highly subdivided phrases that set a new standard for instrumental virtuosity in the music. Drummers Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, picking up where Count Basie’s drummer Jo Jones left off, transferred the standard ride rhythm (Figure 6.4) from the hi~hat cymbals to the suspendedwride cymbal, altering both the timbral color of the time«keeping pattern and increasing its volume. They also began “breaking up the time” by inserting off—beat accents on the bass drum and snare, creating greater rhythmic variety and dialogue in the rhythm section accompaniment.” Charlie Parker’s legendary solo on “KoKo” (based on the chord changes to “Cherokee”) illustrates many of the signature features of be- bop melodic style (Figure 6.5). Notice the long succession ofup-tempo eighth notes (throughout), the use of chromatic approach notes often alternating with arpeggiation (Figure 6.5a), and the use of sequences (Figure 6.5b). Parker’s particular penchant for interpolating com» piex figurations around skeletal melodies can be seen in his famous bridge to the second chorus of “KoKo” where a varied melody of “Tea for Two” serves to anchor a rapid series of arpeggiations (Figure 6.5c). Parker was also widely admired forhis varied accentuation of iong suc» sessions of eighth notes in a manner that served to emphasize the most harmonically pleasing moments of the voice leading. Dizzy Gillespie’s m r ‘--1r- I;- T". J'ln—Jl .1- rim-r. phrasing style was similar but made greater use of whole-tone scales and the fabled “fiatted fifth” alteration of the dominant chord. Among Parker’s most celebrated recordings are “KoKo” (1945), “A Night in Tunisia” (1946), “Parker’s Mood” (1948), and “Embraceable You” (1947). For Gillespie, the most admired recordings include several made with Charlie Parkerm“Shaw ‘Nuff” (1945), “Salt Peanuts” (1945), “Hot House” (1953)~»as weii as many under his own leader« ship, including “Woody ’n You” (1946), “A Night in Tunisia” (1946), “Manteca” (1947), “Cubana Be, Cubana Bop” (1947, a collaboration with George Russell and Chano P020), and “Con Aima” (1967). Gillespie’s trademark goatee and beret were widely emulated by fans of the new music, and by the late 1949s bebop had acquired a subcultural quality that shunned mainstream “squares.” Bebop style included the use of “bop talk” (drawn from African American vernacular speech), a critique of the raciai status quo, and the unfor- tunate fashionability of heroin. Charlie Parker’s well-known addic— tion set the example, as many young musicians seemed to conclude that Parker achieved his genius because of, rather than in spite of, the drug. Many musicians suffered arrest, loss of their New York caba— ret cards, jail time, or death in pursuit of a habit that was rumored to intensify one’s hearing. Aithough the drug addictions of severai prominent African American musicians (Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins) are more wideiy known, several prominent White musicians (Stan Getz, Chet Baker, Art Pepper) share similar stories.20 in contrast to Parker and Gillespie, Thelonoius Monk’s (1917-1982) reputation stems more from the originality of his compositions than his virtuosity as a soloist. In 1947, Monk made a series of recordings for the Blue Note label that inciudecl many of his most famous com~ positionsw‘Thelonious,” “Ruby My Dear,” “Round Midnight,” “Weli You Needn’t,” and “In Walked Bud” among them. Although greatly admired within the jazz world of the late 1940s (pianist Mary Lou Williams was among his earliest champions), Monk did not achieve broader prominence until the late 19503 and early 1960s. Monk’s loss of his cabaret card in 1951 certainly contributed to his margin- ality, but perhaps a more important factor was the great difference between his aesthetic and that of mainstream bebop.21 If Parker and Gillespie’s music emphasized dazzling virtuosity, Monk’s own solo- ing seemed to argue that less is more. A celebrated example ofMonk’s ability to say more with less is his Christmas Eve 1954 recording of “Bags’ Groove” with Miles Davis. Over nine choruses of the biues, Monk uses spare means to build a compelling larger shape for the solo. The openings of the first three choruses illustrate one way in which Monk accomplishes this. Each chorus begins with a riff that is developed over twelve bars (Figure 6.6). Notice that the riff for the first chorus begins with eighth notes, the second with triplets, and the third with sixteenth notes. Monk’s use of rhythmic displacement (shifting a Figure 6.6 Opening of the first three choruses of “Bags’ Groove” (1954). Afiican American Music figure’s position within a bar) as a means of variation is apparent in the triplet and sixteenth-note passages in choruses 2 and 3. Cool jazz and Hard Bop The improvisationai style of Miles Davis (1926—1991) aiso leaned to— ward an aesthetic of less is more. Davis’s solo career was iaunched by the celebrated Birth oftbe Cool recordings made in 1949 and 1950. The Birth ofth Cool project emerged from a think tank of composers and musicians who met in arranger Gil Evans’s (19124988) apartment in the late 19405 to expiore musical ideas and theories with potential application to jazz composition. The aesthetic that emerged from the group emphasized coloristic timbral effects achieved through unusu- al pairings of inscruments (trumpet and alto sax, French horn and trombone, tuba and baritone sax), vibratoless tone, and a seamless integration of written and improvised music, which often disguised the formal sectional boundaries of the music.22 Birth of the Cool was an explicitiy interracial project that disrin— guished itself from many others of the period by being under the leadership of an African American artist. In the early 19.50% the jazz community tended to embrace a colorblind ideology in opposition to prevailing societal segregation. Miles Davis’srstatement that “music has no color: It’s a raceless art. I don’t care if a musician is green as iong as he’s taiented,” was typical of the way in which this ideology was publicly expressed.23 Later in the 195 Us, the aesthetic of cool jazz—emphasizing lyrical melodic style and softer tonal colors—wbecame coded as a “White” sound, contrasted with hard bop, which was coded as a “Black” Sound. Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers (the quintessential hard bop band) often served to define the hard bop alternative. Historians emphasize Blakey’s and Horace Silver’s active embrace of African American roots through the exuberant expressive resources of blues, gospel, and rhythm and blues. Notable exampies of this style can be found on Art Blakey’s Moanin’ (i958).24 Obscured by this simple op- position is that prominent White saxophonists associated with the cool (or West Coast) sound (Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Paul Desmond) often modeled themselves on the lyrical piaying and laidmback swing of African American artists such as Lester Young and Johnny Hodges. Also ignored by this binary contrasr is that one of the most prominent ensembles with a cool sound was the Modern }azz Quartet, an African American group. Pianist Dave Brubeck’s (1920—) tries and quartets dominated the listeners’ polls for a considerabie portion of the 19503. Like Benny Goodman, historical ambivaience toward Brubeck’s towering suc- cess stems from the raciaiiy structured advantages that benefited the group. Brubeck’s appearance on the cover of Time magazine in 1954, his popularity on White coiiege campuses, and the comparative lack of attention to worthy African American musicians in. the media all contributed to hard bop’s emphasis on African American roots.25 D THE CIVIL RiGHTS MOVEMENT By the mid—19505, the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement exerted pressure on musicians to do their part in supporting efforts to end Jim Crow. The Black community expected musicians to demonstrate their commitment to the larger cause of racial justice, and they public- ly shamed those artists (such as Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong) who continued to accept engagements in performance venues that segregated audiences. The issue of audience segregation was far more important to civil rights organizations than whether or not a para ticuiar band had mixed personnel. Southern White audiences, after all, had iong been comfortable with Black and mixed entertainment as long as segregated seating remained. The activist climate emerg- ing from the principal events of the Civil Rights Movementmthe Montgomery bus boycott (1956), the desegregation of Little Rock’s Central High School (1957), the independence of Ghana (1957), the student iunch counter sit—ins (1960), the Freedom Rides (1961), the campaign to desegregate Birmingham (1963), and the assassination of Malcolm X (l965)—had important consequences for jazz of the 19505 and 19603.25 The jazz community reacted in various ways to civil rights events, including the performance of benefit concerts, the recording of aibums with political themes, attributing political meaning to particular jazz aesthetics, the exploration of African and other non-Western musical and religious ideas, and engaging in highly charged diaiogues about race and racism in the jazz industry. Among the most weii—knowu works exemplifying these themes include Wilbur Harden’s “Gold Coast” (1958), Max Roach’s We Insist! Freedom Now (1960), Charles Mingus’s “Original Faubus Fables” (1960), Randy Weston’s Ulmm Afiika (1960), Art Blakey‘s Freedom Meier (1961), andjohn Coltrane’s “Africa” (1961). The emergence of several of the most revered figures in jazz and the aesthetics they represent—among them Miles Davis, John Coittane (1926—1967), Charles Mingus (1922—1979), and Ornette Coleman (1930—)wtook piace against this volatile historical backdrop. 159 Figure 6.7 The vamp to John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Piano Things” (3960), as played by pianist McCoy Turner. Modal Jazz Among the most important musical innovations between the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1956) and the Civil Rights Act (£964) was the development of modal jazz. Exemplifted by Miles Davis’s album Kind of Bins (1959), modal compositions reduced the number of harmonic changes, allowing soloists to improvise for an extended period of time over one or two chords. “So What?” (1959), which has become the prototypical modal composition, is an AABA tune com- prised of two chord changes, one for the A section (Dm7) and one for the B section (Elm?) Davis explored the use of the Dorian mode (DBFGABC) to harmonize these sonorities and construct melodies. The more open harmonic background, in addition, allowed soloists greater freedom to superimpose a wide variety of modes, scales, voic- ings, and melodic ideas over any particular sonority.27 The conceptual father of a modal approach to harmony in jazz is George Russell 6923—), whose books Lydian Concept of Tonal Organization (1953) and Lydian Chromatic Concept ofTonnl Organization (1959) offered the improviser and composer a complex system of as- sociating chords with scales organized by their degree of consonance or dissonance. Russell emphasized the multiple choices available to \- performers and was widely known in the jazz community for his ex- pertise in modes and scales. Both Miles Davis and pianist Bill Evans (who appeared on Kind of Blne) were familiar with Russell’s ideas. The “Lydian Concept,” however, was intended as a more general approach to harmony that could be applied to harmonically dense as well as harmonically sparse musical settings.” Modal jazz also came to imply a more open~ended approach to form and harmonic voicings. instead of observing a chorus structure, jazz musicians explored pieces that allowed a soloist to play indefi~ niter over a recurring chord pattern or rhythmic vamp. The vamp to john Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” (1960), as played by pianist McCoy Tyner (1938“), provides one example (Figure 6.7). Notice the prominent use of fourths (perfect and augmented) in the structure of the chords. By the omission of certain tones (especially the tonic), these more open voicings served to articulate more than one harmony, a hallmark of modern jazz piano style. Charles Mingus’s Pithecnntbropns Erectns (1956) and Art Blakey’s extended percussion solos on Orgy in African American Music Rhythm (1957) and Holiday for Skins (1958) provide additional exam- ples of a more open~ended conception of form. Blakey’s collabora— tions with Afro-Cuban musicians on these albumsmincluding Sabu Martinez, Patato Valdez, and Ubaldo Nietowtook place at the time of Ghana’s independence, when there was much discussion of Africa in the African American press. In the early i9603,john Coltrane shifted from a well-developed modern bebop style featuring harmonically dense compositions such as “Giant Steps” (1959) to an open-ended modal \conception that actively explored not only African, but also Indian sources of musical and spiritual inspiration. Coltrane’s legendary ensemble, featuring McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones (19g7-) on drums, and Jimmy Garrison (1934—1976) on bass (among others), developed the rhythmic as well as harmonic implications of open-ended modal approaches to improvisation, something that Miles Davis’s quintet (1963—1968) did also. Freed from the necessity of delineating frequently chang~ ing harmonies, bassists expanded their use of pedal points, pianists accompanied long sections with intricate Vamps and riffs, and drum mers played with greater rhythmic densityand cross-rhythms than had been customary in earlier styles. Among the recordings-exempli- fying this sound are John Coltrane’s My Favorite Things (1960), Africa Brass (1961), India (1961), Crescent (1963),-A Love Supreme (1964) and Miles Davis’ My Funny Valentine (1964), Miles in Berlin (1964), and Live sit the Flagged Nickel (196.5). Free Jazz A major aesthetic controversy erupted in the jazz world in early 1960 when alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman emerged on the New York scene. Coleman’s dissonant harmonic style and abandonment of chorus structures and fixed harmonic changes as a means of orga- nizing improvisational flow was claimed by some as the Shape offline to Come (1959) (the title of Coleman’s first release after his arrival in New York), by others it was decried as the destruction of jazz, and by still others it was championed as a music of social critique. Over the next seven years, an aesthetic community of jazz musicians, commio ted to what was variously termed “free jazz,” “The New Thing,” or “avant—garde jazz” emerged on the New York scene. Among them were Coleman, Cecil Taylor (1929—), Albert Ayier (1936—1970), Archie Shepp (1937»), Sun Ra (1914—1993), and john Coltrane. Coltrane’s turn toward free jazz gave considerable prestige to the burgeoning move- ment. The new approach also fostered the creation of collective musi- cal organizations such as Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM; 1965) and, later, St. Louis’s Black Artists Group (BAG; 1968).29 Its advocates claimed free jazz as the left~wing of jazz expression— its musically adventurous means were taken as a sign of revolutionary jazz 161 social critique, spiritual awareness, and freedom. The political mean- ings attached to the genre must be viewed in dialogue with the rivet— ing events of the Civil Rights Movement that took place during its emergence. Shortly after Ornette Coleman’s New York debut in late 1959, the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins occurred (February 1960), iaunching the most activist phase of the Civil Rights Movement. For many, the dissonance of the music was taken as a sign of sociai dis— sidence. For modernist-oriented jazz critics such as Gunther Schuller and Martin Williams, the appeal of free jazz lay in its parallel with the historical development of Western classical music.30 Schuller stressed that musical rather than historical and cultural logic determined the organic evolution of jazz from simple to complex, from tonai music to avant~garde. Here, free jazz was of interest for its modern avant~garde aesthetic, rather than its political radicalism. Among the greatest champions of free jazz as a political music was playwright, poet, and critic Amiri Baraka (b. LeRoi Jones, 1934—), whose Blues People viewed free jazz as the logical outcome of the Black musician’s centuries of struggle with racism in America. Blues People was the first major book by an African American author to advocate for a sociological and culturally contextualized view of Black musia cal history. Among musicians, Archie Shepp publicly raised the issue of racism in the jazz industry, in outspoken pieces such as his i965 “An Artist Speaks Bluntly.” Max Roach raised comparable issues and shifted towards free jazz in the 19605 as well. Later, Frank Kofsky’s Blade Nationalism and the Revolution in Music (1970) took a political view of avant-garcle j 3.22.“ For many avant-garde artists, however, the politics of free jazz expression was a byproduct of its spiritual implications. For Albert Ayler, john Coltrane, and Sun Ra, Spiritualcommunion (a differ» ent kind of liberation) through avant-gartie expression was a pri» mary motivation for their expressive choices. Ayler’s work drew heavily upon the African American gospei and folk traditions, turnw ing familiar hymn melodies into abstract wails and pleas of deep emotional intensity. Both john Coltrane and Sun Ra were drawn to non-Western modes of spirituality. Both men were widely read in spiritual traditions from locations as far ranging as Africa, India, China, and West Asia (the Middle East}. Sun Ra’s aesthetic appealed to both ancient Egypt and outer space as metaphors for liberation and spiritual depth.” Critics of free jazz failed to see “progress” in the atonality and indefinite time feels of the music. T hey viewed the avant-garde as a decline in the music, brought on by young musicians who “didn’t do their homework” or pay their dues in the tradition. An observer for Muhammad Spa-ales, the organ of the Nation of Islam, even suggested that avant—gardists like Coltrane were pandering to White critics.33 Observers from the mid~l960s confirm that as the music became Afiicon American Music increasingly atonal and less danceable, many Black audience mem- bers defected to the immensely popular Motown and soul sounds, or to soul jazz—the classic organ trio or quartet sound popularized by jimmy Smith (1925"), Stanley Turrentine @934"), and~Shirley Scott (1934—)—leaving a disproportionately White audience for free jazz.34 (Historians generally agree that the separation of jazz from dance began during the bebop era, partially as a result of musical changes such as faster tempos and breaking the regularity of the beat with syn- copated accents, and partially due to the desire to present jazz as an art music. Free jazz, which made greater use of out»of-tirne passages than mainsrream jazz, simply took the separation from danceable musics further.) During the Black Power years of 19664970, a tense dialogue between a militant African Ameliican radical intelligentsia and radicai White audience members and musicians often took place through free jazz petfornriances.35 TH E SEVENTI ES The reiease of Miles Davis’s Bitches Brew in 1969 augured a new direction for jazz in the 19705 that combined an embrace of popu» lat music styles with the freedom and open-ended improvisational ethos of mods}. and free jazz. Widely heralded for its creative syn thesis of jazz improvisation, rock and roll, electric instruments, and textural experimentation, Bitches Brew explored straight eighth-note time feels, as weli as many of the post-production techniques of popular music, including overdubbing and looping. Davis was espe- cially inspired by guitarist limi Hendrix (1942—1970}, whose blister- ing guitar pyrotechnics dazzled the countercultural scene of the late 19603. Although several jazz musicians, including Tony Williams and Charles Lloyd, had experimented with rock musicians and styles between 1966 and 1969, the popular success of Bitches Brew (it sold over half a million copies} and. the prestige of Miles Davis ensured that experiments in fusing extended jazz improvisation and rock music would be a continuing trend in of the 19703. indeed, many of the most prominent fusion hands of the i9703 in- ciuded alumni of Miles Davis’s bands: John McLaughlin’s (1942—) Mahavishnu Orchestra, Wayne Shorter (193%) and Joe Zawinul’s (1932“) group Weather Report, and Chick Corea’s (1941*) Return to Forever. Although some critics have dismissed this trend as blatantly commercial, the music played by these groups, which included exm tended instrumentai solos and experimental timbres and textures, sounded little like mainstream rock music.36 ' Miles Davis was also interested in soul and funk—especially the music of Sly and the Family Stone and James Brown—and explicitly sought to reach a younger African American audience for his music in the early 19708. Davis’s A Tribute to fade fobmon (i970) and On the Corner(1972) both included passisr Michael Henderson (1951—), jazz 163 ...
View Full Document

Page1 / 10

Monson - Jazz - 8. laser; anti Jones 2000, xxix. 9. Iasen...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 10. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online