3 several of the more creative and restless musicians

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Unformatted text preview: of jazz, a typical jazz band would have had perhaps five instruments and a “big band” would have consisted of eight or nine instruments. By the late 1920s, largely due to the influence of Fletcher Henderson in New York, the bands had expanded to thirteen to sixteen pieces and the instrumentation placed new emphasis on saxophones. Available in different ranges (e.g., soprano, alto, tenor, bass), composers and arrangers would form three- , four- , or five- instrument sections within the larger ensemble. These larger ensembles created a sense of strong rhythmic propulsion and provided the flexibility to mix what had become the two prevalent jazz styles: “hot” jazz (with its blistering, shouting soloists) and “sweet” jazz (with the mellow sounds of the reed instruments or muted brass). Examples of the early big swing bands were those led by Luis Russell and Earl Hines and somewhat later by Woody Herman, Lionel 5 Hampton, and Count Basie. Swing music became enormously popular with the younger generation and was heard at dances and at all of the “hot” parties. As more whites were exposed to jazz, they began to form their own bands in imitation. One of the early white musicians was Bix Beiderbecke who had begun playing in the early 1920s with a suave, white jazz/dance band called the Wolverines, modeled after another white band called The New Orleans Rhythm Kings. He later worked with Paul Whiteman’s orchestra, an orchestra that played a jazz- flavored symphonic sound and which premiered Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1924. Another important white band was led by Benny Goodman, born and raised in Chicago. Following a career as a free- lance musician that had begun when he was only 13 years old, he formed his first big band in 1934. This orchestra was featured on a program of the National Broadcasting Company called “Let’s Dance” and it was an instant success. Goodman would hire black arrangers such as the brothers Horace and Fletcher Henderson, Benny Carter, and Jimmy Mundy who would create for him arrangements that would be a combination of written- out orchestrations for the full ensemble with some room for solos. In addition to Benny Goodman’s band, other white groups such as those...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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