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Unformatted text preview: career as a ragtime pianist. In late 1927, King Oliver declined an invitation to play at a nightclub called the Cotton Club and Ellington’s jazz band got the job instead. The Cotton Club catered to white audiences, and staged elaborate dances (frequently set in a jungle scene) for which Ellington provided the music. His band became very popular, and helped in the spread of jazz to the white community. In addition to using his many talented musicians to contribute musical ideas, he brought his pianistic style to orchestration (for example, using the parallel blocks of sound that he played on the piano and voicing them for his instruments) and he expanded the formal structures beyond the commonly used 32- bar song form or the various blues forms. His exceptional musicianship (beyond jazz, he also excelled in other genres such as blues and classical music) helped jazz transcend to a true art form. Listen to these two classics: “Satin Doll” and “Take the A Train.” Listening Examples: Satin Doll and Take the A Train John Coltrane Do you know any musicians considered to be a saint? Coltrane, also known as “Trane,” was canonized by the African American Orthodox Church) for his deep spirituality. Believing that there was a universal structure to music that transcended race and ethnicity, he was an early explorer of ‘world music’ as he sought to channel music’s mystical power. A composer and a saxophone player, he had a seminal influence on the development of hard bop and was a figurehead of avant- garde jazz. His influence spans generations and genres, and is continuing indirectly through the work of his son, Ravi Coltrane (named after the sitar master Ravi Shankar), a contemporary jazz musician. Listen to his recording “Giant Steps,” considered by most jazz experts to be among the top jazz recordings of all time, and the “Part 1, Acknowledgement” track from his spiritual album, A Supreme Love. Listening Examples: Giant Steps and A Love Supreme, Acknowledgement, Part 1 Miles Davis The most influential jazz musician of the last half of the 20th century was Miles Davis, who was instrumental in issuing in several distinct styles of jazz, including hard bop, cool jazz, free jazz, rock jazz- fusion an...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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