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The evolution of jazz. A survey of American art form Scott Joplin too of any interest to me for you. When. You have a tape recorded feature presented under the auspices of Northeastern University by the Lowell Institute co-operative broadcasting Council. Nat Hentoff associate editor of Downbeat Magazine discusses the growth of jazz from its roots in Europe and Africa. And considers the musical as well as the sociological forces that shaped it. Mr. Hentoff last week in discussion of bop instrumentation we had mentioned and illustrated the primacy of Dizzy Gillespie as a bop trumpet player and he still lives as a matter of fact
the authoritative modern voice on jazz trumpet and the course of an article in the French magazine jazz hot French composer and musicologist Andre who wrote as follows in both moderate and rapid tempos does he frequently constructs improvisations using well-formed melodic and rhythmic contrasts. The solo in Swedish sweet recorded in 1949 can be considered as a kind of archetype with Gillespie in chorus. It begins with a series of notes attacked in the high register a species of crisis that's resolved by a progressive descent into the medium register under the form of a phrase of eighth notes played legato. Then an element of contrast arises a phrase in tyed sixteenth notes alternately ascending and descending but his general range is in the medium register then the eighth notes reappear and as he plays that phrase with a maximum of swing follows a new section of sixteenth notes beginning this time in the high register and descending
toward the middle register. Finally calm returns and the solo ends on a phrase of the eighth notes also swinging.
It might be well to repeat that chorus. These. All the nations. They are a continuous tension and relaxation abound in the work of Gillespie
as in all music really. But and the Jazz in the modern jazz of the and particularly in disease. He plays them with a musical intelligence and sense of construction that few jazz soloist equal Desi's rhythmic language is less rich than that of Charlie Parker though it's close to it. The accents more uncommon less striking than Parker's playing are distributed with the same apparent fantasy governed in reality by a profound sense of contemporary rhythmic usage. More uncommon I mean less frequently utilized not stranger the accents fall with equal skill on the strong and weak beats and are of a rhythmic suppleness and richness from which the articulation of each phrase benefits. So right that I hold dear the technical ability by Gillespie has worked a hardship and a sense on his imitators Ross Rossel notes who are prone to lose sight of the fact that he was among the two or three
trumpet players in jazz as early as 1939 and that his later innovations are grounded on a thoroughgoing craftsmanship. Gillespie can move with facility through most of the three octaves on his horn and his intonation everywhere in the register is controlled. Gillespie follows three of major importance. Howard McGee the late Fats Navarro and Miles Davis belongs to the Gillespie generation and is in fact a musician his inspiration was Armstrong turned towards Eldridge around 1958. Early solos with the Andy Craig band like the Magee's special events is a style influenced by both Louis and Roy a favorite of Coleman Hawkins he began to listen closely to the new ideas emerging from the experiments and especially to Glasby at the beginning of the 40s Magee's style change with the times. He's resourceful and disciplined. His execution is phenomenal even among the moderns. He has a powerful great endurance and moves in the upper register with ease. He possesses the equipment and intelligence to
make good use of the new musical language. Solos are of solid constructions. They tend to follow mathematical patterns based on harmony rather than melody. His tone is clear and compressed less like disease and Roy as he plays with great drive and with disease forcing beat but he is not as original or empassioned a musician as Gillespie is an example of McGees work with JJ Johnson on trombone Brue More tenor piano Crilley Russell days and Max Roach on drums. It's an original by pianos called to. Him. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.
Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. In him. Come.
On. So much more on what's going on. Um. Um. Um. Um. Um.
Um. Um. Um. Um. This and. Then it's the Fats Navarro was quieter and more subtle musician very delightful and for a long while badly underrated one. His tone was superb. They are old and haunting yet light and highly personal. Navarro played with a more relaxed beat than McGee and even Gillespie. His phrasing was when he was right nearly faultless much in the manner of Lester Young Navarro constructed long phrases in which staccato multimode passages were balanced against shorter statements where the notes were more hoarsely in tone and dramatically placed. A native of Key West of mixed Cuban negro Chinese parentage Navarro's music presented a
fascinating blend of flavors predominantly those of the jazz and Afro-Cuban tradition. Here is his recording with composer moron on piano Marans Lady Bird in. The. US. In. An.
Office in the. US. And. An earlier chorus from a song called gone. On. In. It's.
In its. Own. Miles Davis said of along to the new generation of modern musicians so fast that jazz develop a generation influenced by Gillespie and Parker and the older boppers. But
a generation that is evolving its own extensions on modern jazz language for a time it appeared that Miles might become the leader of the next school of trumpet playing. But his work recently has been very erratic. It is true that Miles Davis even though only 27 has influence still younger musicians are the cool school which we'll be describing shortly. Davis seldom uses the upper register and preferring to play almost wholly within the staff. His tone is broad and warm. An excerpt from his work was the chorus in Charlie Parker's bird of paradise we played recently Davis's sound and his sense of chord changes and rhythm suspensions very close to the Charlie Parker Alto style he has played much with Parker as an idea man and an influence that Miles Davis has an enormous potential. Here is a relatively early recording with Charlie
Parker Miles Davis and Barbados. And could the. The.
Indy. It's its own.
Trumpet players like Charlie Shavers Peanut's hall and Kat Anderson and others are often called Brass men but they're not mistake is usually made by reason of their high note work or pyrotechnical delivery which has nothing to do with any of these musicians to not phrase in the contemporary style and are essentially working in the language of the 30s and early 40s. There are many many many trumpet players of merit we haven't mentioned and won't have a chance to illustrate musically. Benny Harris one of the pioneers of the Bach mobile movement Shorty Rogers who played with Woody Herman for time Kenny Durham whose tone is one of the better ones and Bob Rae Lynn first trumpet player who plays studio jobs on the West Coast and several others some of which we'll get to in later lectures on contemporary jazz. As for miles one talking about the cool jazz I'll display a
clear example of miles style. Here are three examples of evolutionary Bach trombone. Here again the tone is light airy the execution brilliant. The idea is complex harmonically and rhythmically. JJ Johnson's own composition afternoon in Paris. Note how his ideas are carried on and developed by one of the major modern pianists can be categorized as Barcoo or anything else he is just a thoroughly important jazz pianist John Lewis. Yes yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes
yes yes. The. A. PHD. As.
Far. As. We.
Are on. I should amend my previous remark about John that was to point out that it is as a composer and arranger that he has been of particular importance. He's a gifted pianist but he's an arranger his piano is as the phrase is and generally has not received the recognition his piano talents deserve except by fellow musicians and other major trombonist. Now one of the major contemporary jazz trombonist still is Benny Green. Here is a set of green variations on pennies from heaven. Us.
For. You.
To. See. And another example of trombone might be wind. And this recording a sweetness.
Shot is Ross Russell sums it up. Bob Rassman have further extended the range of their instruments they've added to the virtual Bossidy of their instruments. The speed of execution and brilliance they've produced a tone that's lighter and rounder and along with other men have explored harmonic and rhythmic potentialities to continue Russell's essays which I've been adding to and omitting from. In all fairness to him that should be noted. When we come to examine Bob Reed instrumentation we find the influence of Lester Young even more dominant than fragment and Reed playing stems from a man who for years has been the most revered of the musicians of the 30s and 40s. Lester Young the president as he's known by musicians do individual voices of the 30s Goodman Wilson Eldridge and brought about an improvement of technique sophistication refinement and involvement of. Teddy Wilson and refine the punching
orchestral piano of Heinz Baldridge elaborate of the fantastic style of the later Armstrong period. Benny Goodman was a clarinetist who phrased in the Chicago tradition of known and Peshmarga but he went far beyond his models and musicianship. Great changes had come to be associated with these musicians but they had not actually introduced a new way of playing jazz. The challenge sounded by Lester Young side a vision point in jazz history. Most of the critics and musicians of the past 15 years and more fall into two groups the traditionalist who hold with the old models the classic jazz of Armstrong Hawkins and Goodman and the moderns who follow the path of a young dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker an understanding of the cism will simplify the appraisal not only of music of the music but jazz criticism since the late 30s early 40s. There are however many eclectic like myself as I hope I demonstrate in the course of these lectures. Who refuse to make a division and appreciate equally
The Evolution of Jazz
Episode Number
Bop Instrumentation, Part One
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program continues to look at the elements of bop, particularly the instrumentation common in the genre.
Other Description
Jazz historian Nat Hentoff presents a series that traces the history of jazz, from its musical and cultural roots to its contemporary forms. "The Evolution of Jazz" was originally broadcast from WGBH in 1953-1954, and was re-broadcast by the National Educational Radio Network in 1964.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Jazz musicians--United States--Biography.
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Host: Hentoff, Nat
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-31 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:12
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Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 31; Bop Instrumentation, Part One,” 1954-06-11, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed January 22, 2022,
MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 31; Bop Instrumentation, Part One.” 1954-06-11. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. January 22, 2022. <>.
APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 31; Bop Instrumentation, Part One. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from