Generally performers create rhythms that are

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: c, which helped him to be accepted by white, mainstream America during a time when the country was deeply divided along racial lines. As the first major “cross- over” African American entertainer, his importance in American history extends beyond music. Here are two of his most instantly recognizable recordings – one highlighting his singing, the other his trumpet playing. Listening Examples: What A Wonderful World and La Vie en Rose Billie Holiday The first jazz singers were the great blues singers such as Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith, but as jazz developed its own unique musical characteristics, Billie Holiday emerged as the greatest and most influential of the new jazz singers. She was born Eleanor Fagan, the illegitimate daughter of a prominent jazz musician and nicknamed “Billie” after the actress Billie Dove. Holiday had begun singing in the late 1920s in New York and, in 1933, the legendary producer John Hammond heard her and arranged for her to record with Benny Goodman. Throughout the 1930s and 40s she continued to record and perform, and her conception of jazz phrasing and her ability to affect audiences influenced a large number of jazz and pop singers. Also nicknamed “Lady Day,” she was a master improviser and had a distinctive style that was instantly recognizable. Her tragic life, which included drug addiction, became the subject of the movie “Lady Sings the Blues.” She did not write much of her own music, but the ones she did became standards. One of her most famous is “God Bless the Child” (consider listening to Blood, Sweat and Tear’s cover of the song) and “Strange Fruit,” which she didn’t write but so identified with this powerful condemnation of lynching that she apparently thought she had written it. Listening Examples: God Bless the Child and Strange Fruit 28 Crossroads: Music of American Cultures (Barkley) Kendall Hunt Publishers, 2013 Duke Ellington A pianist, composer, and bandleader with a career that spanned over 50 years, Duke Ellington is considered a pivotal musician in the history of jazz. He was given his nickname “Duke” as a child because of the dignified, proud manner in which he held himself. He started his musical...
View Full Document

This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online