1930’s Jazz

  • Transition from small Dixie land groups to large 16-17 piece groups
  • Jazz becoming more popular
  • Bands making more money through radio/albums

People: Fletcher Henderson

  • Famous pianist/arranger
  • Expanded instrumentation/orchestration of Dixie Land Jazz for bigger groups
  • Created arrangement pattern for swing
  • Lead premier dance group in jazz w/ Louis Armstrong, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young

Fletcher Henderson: Big Band Instrumentation

  • 5 Saxophones
  • 4 Trumpets
  • 4 Trombones
  • Rhythm – Stand up bass, piano, drums, guitar

People: Benny Goodman

  • White trumpet player 
  • His x-country tour made hot jazz popular
  • Advocate of integration in Jazz

People: Chick Webb

  • Black band leader – phenomenal drummer
  • Invents the modern drum set
  • First drummer to take solos

People: Glenn Miller

  • Trombone player/arranger – CU Alum!
  • Precise arangement and ensemble
  • Enlists in military – creates service band
  • Dies in friendly fire incident

Style: Kansas City Jazz

  • Riff-based/ “head” arrangements – Jam style
  • Relaxed swing feel
  • Greater focus on solists

People/Style: Count Basie

  • Famous pianist
  • “less is more” in orchestrations – relaxed, rhythmic feel 
  • Riff based – head arrangements
  • Blues based style 

People/Style: Billie Holliday

  • Nicknamed “Lady Day”
  • No formal training – learned from listening to Louis Armstrong/Bessie Smith
  • Didn’t scat
  • Limited range
  • Skill w/ emotional content of songs

People/Style: Ella Fitzgerald

  • “The first lady of song” – takes over Chick Webb’s band
  • Wide vocal range
  • One of the GREAT scat singers

People/Style: Coleman Hawkins

  • “Hawk” or “Bean” – Tenor Saxophone player
  • Influenced by Louis Armstrong 
  • Big sound, wide vibrato
  • Improvisation = vertical, lots of arpeggios
  • First star of the tenor sax

Definition: Arpeggios

  • Playing individual notes in a chord 

People/Style: Lester Young

  • “Pres” – smooth, relaxed/bluesy, light sound
  • Not rhythmically precise – floated over beat
  • Horizontal improv – few arpeggios
  • Long, smooth phrases

Factors: Swing to Bebop Transition (3)

  • WW II draft/economics made big bands hard
  • American Federation of Musicians recording strike – wanted radio royalties
  • Poupularity of other music (R)

Places: 52nd Street

  • Street in NYC w/ many music clubs
  • Swing musicians hang out, play jam sessions

Characteristics: Bebop

  • “Modern Jazz” – Intellectual music
  • Complex harmonies/rhythms – “Music for musicians”
  • Solo-based
  • Played in clubs instead of dance halls

Bebop: Social Component

  • Rejection of mainstream music
  • Rise in black consciousness 

Definition: “Head, Solo, Head” arrangement

  • Head = melody
  • Solo = plays over the structure of the song

People/Style: Kenny Clarke

  • Pioneer of bebop drumming
  • Drums no longer melodically stagnant –> now have a melodic purpose 

People/Style: Dizzy Gillespie

  • Teacher of bebop – exceptional trumpet player
  • Understaning of harmony/rhythm – used unique rhythms
  • Command of upper register
  • Used “chromaticism”

People/Style: Charlie Parker

  • Famous Saxophonist – “Bird” 
  • Incredible facility and rhythmic innovations
  • Suffered from drug use – Died at 33

People/Style: Thelonious Monk

  • Mainly self-taught pianist 
  • His compositions became standard
  • Eccentric – got up to dance during music
  • Difficult to communicate with – speculation over whether he suffered from clinical diseases

Band Members: “All American Rhythm Section”

  • Count Basie – Piano
  • Walter Page – Bass
  • Jo Jones – Drums
  • Freddie Green – Guitar 

Ella Fitzgerald: “Great American Songbook”

  • Interpretation of Tin Pan Alley songs makes her famous 

Term: “Cutting Contests”

  • Jam Sessions
  • Long solos – try to out-do each other
  • Fast tempo, strange keys
  • Motivated players to practice and raise the bar