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caldonia analysis paper

caldonia analysis paper - Eric Russo Musical Analysis...

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Eric Russo Musical Analysis “Caldonia”, Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five 3/24/10 “Caldonia! Caldonia! What makes your big head so hard?” These lyrics could catch ones attention from any distance. Louis Jordan, who is the lead singer and saxophone player in his band Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five, blew his listeners away with a variety of unheard sounds and catchy musical rhythms throughout the 1940’s and still today. People went crazy over his tunes because of their groovy, steady beats which was pleasant to the ears and put people in a mood to dance all night long. He was named “King of the Juke Boxes,” “the Father of Rhythm and Blues,” and “the Grandfather of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” because of his overpowering amount of top hits and influence on R&B and later Rock ‘n’ Roll music. The presentation of his music was fun and respectable and set a sturdy foundation for future music. Louis Jordan was born in Arkansas into a musical family. His father was a teacher of music and also played in a band called the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. Jordan was able to gig with his father who gave him further experience and confidence to pursue his own music. He went to college for music and was quickly becoming a very talented musician. The first band to really get him started was Chick Webb’s orchestra. In Webb’s orchestra is where Jordan really found his vocal abilities. He then went and started his own band, Louis Jordan and His Tympani Five, which was the start of a whole new style of music. Jordan’s musical style was considered “jump blues,” which had a very upbeat blues sound and a steady boogie woogie shuffle progression. A perfect example of “jump blues” is Caldonia. Caldonia, which is in a c major scale, has 4 beats to the measure and is at a moderate tempo. The rhythm section lays down the boogie woogie shuffle and the horns play many upbeat solos and groovy riffs, a sound that literally makes one
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jump. On the piece it says that the song was composed by Fleecie Moore, who was his current wife, but there is some debate on whether she was the actually composer. Caldonia was produced by Milt Gabler who worked with Decca Records. Decca Records was the main producer of the Tympani Five during their run of 54 singles and 18 number one hits in the 1940’s. The first 12 measures of Caldonia are considered the introduction. When listening to the first 12 measures one has no idea what to expect in the rest of the song. The introduction is very simple and keeps one waiting for what could be coming next. The instruments of the introduction consist solely of the rhythm section, which includes a drummer, bassist, and pianist.
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