Rhythm melody and harmony rhythm is the foundation

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Unformatted text preview: jazz, and hard bop had given way to new trends in jazz, but they have continued to exert a strong influence on contemporary jazz and their styles constitute the kind of music most people today recognize as “jazz.” The 1960’s and 70’s: The Avant- garde, Free Jazz and Fusion In the mid 1950s, Miles Davis (who had earlier worked with the bebop groups led by Charlie Parker and had later initiated the cool jazz stage) formed his own quintet and in 1959, this group recorded one of the landmark albums in jazz history, Kind of Blue. One of the revolutionary characteristics of this recording was that Davis selected tunes, which, at some points, remained as many as sixteen measures on a single chord. This was radically different from the bebop style of using complex chords and substitute chords to achieve a fast- moving harmonic rhythm. To provide the basic context of improvisation, Davis used modes over the chord, thus shifting the emphasis away from the harmonic context (which had become standard in bebop) to a melodic context. This shift laid the foundation for Coltrane’s emphasis on melody and also paved the way for the extreme melody- based improvisations in free jazz. As the 1960s progressed, the avant- garde movement in jazz became strongly linked to the situation of Blacks in general. Jazz was conscientiously re- claimed by Blacks and became both highly political and highly emotional. It was seen as an expression of uniquely Black feeling, especially intense anger, which white players could imitate or augment, but not honestly create. This new jazz was consequently not easy to listen to: it was challenging musically and emotionally, and it demanded a level of concentration and attention from its audience that was far removed from the earlier, easy entertainment of swing bands. Four of the most influential musicians in this style were the reed players Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler, and Pharoh Sanders. By the late 1970s, the avant- garde had given way to music that was more accessible and philosophical, but its core characteristics- - - freedom from the strictures of 15 traditional form, harmony, and rhythm along with intense emotion- - - continued to influence more mainstream jazz. Fusion While the avant- garde was esoteric and appealed primarily to a small group of jazz aficionados, another movement was bringing...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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