Jelly Roll Morton
-pianist and composer from New Orleans who played both ragtime and jazz
-associated with the development of swinging eighth notes
-his piano-playing often fulfilled the roles of a trumpet, a clarinet, and a trombone. his piano solos featured horn-like lines.
-the best known band he led was the Red Hot Peppers
-he was the most important jazz composer; other bands covered his compositions
-he claims to have invented jazz
-his arranging practices with his small group were frequently implemented during the Big Band Era
stride style
a type of piano playing with its roots in ragtime, in which the musician plays percussive figures with his left hand and melodic embellishments with his right
Chicago Jazz Scene
There were three main categories of musicians in Chicago:
1.) transplanted New Orleans blacks
2.) transplanted New Orleans whites
3.) young, white natives, known as the Chicago School, who played in a more hurried way.
–many of the young natives were also called The Austin High Gang, because they attended Austin High School in Chicago.
Joe “King” Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band (1920s)
A group of black musicians led by trumpeter Joe “King” Oliver. The band included trumpeter Louis Armstrong, clarinetist Johnny Dodds, and drummer Warren Dodds.
Original Dixieland Jazz Band (1910s)
The band that made the first jazz recording.
-All white musicians from New Orleans who organized as a band in Chicago in 1916 and played in NYC in 1917.
-Musicians in the band played cornet, clarinet, trombone, piano, and drums.
-The band was led by cornetist Nick LaRocca.
Early Forms of Jazz
-featured collective improvisation with all musicians playing at the same time.
-musicians had set roles:
–the trumpet played melody
–the clarinet decorated the trumpet’s melody. this is called obbligato.
–the trombone outlined chord pitches by filling in low-pitched harmony notes
How Jazz Differed from Ragtime, Blues, and Brass Band Music
1.) Much of each performance was improvised.
2.) The music was looser, as it had a more relaxed rhythmic, or “swing,” feeling.
3.) The music was increasingly complex, as a result of improvisation.
Aspects of Jazz
1.) syncopation– provocative rhythms that contribute to swing feeling
2.) improvisation
3.) harmony
4.) choice of instruments– brass section and guitar and bass derived from European music, banjo derived from Africa.
5.) prominent role of percussion
6.) rough sounds, buzzes, ringing: “growl style”
7.) extensive repetition of brief patterns, aka ostinato
8.) polyrhythms– the sounding of different rhythms at the same time; rhythmic contrast
9.) decoration of tones through changes in pitch and vibrato
10.) blue note– out-of-tune 3rd of 7th
11.) call and response
Factors that Contributed to the Birth of Jazz
-work songs
-African American religious music
-expressive variations in pitch and voice quality used in New Orleans street vendors
-the blues, a genre marked by simple chord progressions and repetitive lyrics
-European music
-the popularity of live music, which was sponsored by churches, social clubs, fire departments, and plantation owners
-military bands
-ragtime– music arranged similar to military marches with rhythms borrowed from African American banjo music
–ragtime features syncopation. it is 1890s written piano music, often associated with Scott Joplin. there is limited improvisation and no swing feeling.
-New Orleans party atmosphere
History of New Orleans
-The city was built by France in 1718.
-In 1719, 147 black slaves were brought to New Orleans. By 1722, free blacks were present in the city.
-Louisiana was given to Spain in 1722. Spain continued to rule even thought they ceded the land back to France in 1801. In 1803, the United States bought Louisiana from France.
-It was under Spanish rule that free blacks became their own class.
-But, after a slave revolt in Haiti led to a massive influx of free blacks, making free blacks the majority in the city, the whites set up “black codes” which eliminated the favored status of free blacks. Free blacks were then seen as Negros.
Ways African Tastes and Traditions Are/Were Apparent in U.S. Culture
1.) rhythmic, physical children’s games that involve playing the body as a drum; highly syncopated games.
2.) African American church songs (which may be modified versions of European hymns)
3.) idiosyncrasies of speech patterns
–rhythmic aspects caused by placing emphasis on syllables that wouldn’t receive emphasis if spoken by an Anglo-American.
–the fusing of words together in speech
4.) public performances of African music
5.) popularity of blues singing
6.) popularity of music from Latin America and the Caribbean.
A pianist’s accompaniment for a soloist.
–the pianist improvises chords in a pitch range this is easy to hear
–when a pianist comps for himself, he uses his left hand to comp and his right hand to play melodic lines
a drummer whose purpose is to play coloristically, rather than to keep time.
Three Essential Musical Practices that Caused the Birth of Jazz
1.) The practice of taking liberties with the melodies and accompaniments of tunes as they are being performed (now known as improvisation).
2.) The practice of taking liberties with tone qualities, adding rough and raspy sounds (dirty tone).
3.) New African-American genres: ragtime, blues.