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It was on the teddy Hill band. Kenny Clark says that he first began to get away from the study for for drumming. On an arrangement of Swanee River I began kicking playing off rhythms Dizzy Gillespie was fascinated and gave him just the impetus he wanted and I began to build things around it. Writer and Minton's as Kenny developed the idea both as part of the house band as part of the experimental groups of using the bass drum pedal for special accents rather than regular rhythm and the top symbol to maintain the steady Ford beats the hell would imitate the sounds he produced. What's that group mop stuff you're doing and saying that's how it sounded to him and that's what they call the music itself before it became known as bebop fact Kenny acquire the name of a crook can he still call that. Let's analyze the changes in jazz rhythm since we've been talking about Kenny Clarke the changes that came about from these experiments at Minton's and elsewhere around the country as young musicians began to investigate the possibility of changes in the
jazz language. This is from a particularly perceptive series of articles on the morphology of modern jazz written by Ross Russell. For the record changer magazine in one thousand forty seven such emendations as it had to be made since I've done the rhythmic complexity as he writes I've have since for example been somewhat simplified through the usual processes of selection by working musicians over a period of time. But it would be well to deal with them as they were in the 40s when so much of contemporary jazz was taking shape. Yours is termed Bob since it was applied during those years to the younger innovators and in foreign writing especially is used to distinguish men like Parker Gillespie clack from the cool school of gets and even Tristan O and others who follow them. Musicians Today however of both schools which are not anywhere near as divided as the critics like to think I refer prefer all their work to be designated under the label modern jazz or contemporary jazz. The critics in jazz
amateurs should bear in mind Ross Russell begins that it is not about the working musicians who create jazz unauthorized style changes nearly 10 years ago the most able talents among them began gathering at Minton's Playhouse and they're on a new musical language based of course on the jazz tradition protested what appeared to them the thread bareness of the aging style of the 30s the history of jazz since then has been largely that of the Minton insurgents their militant Crusade and the stubborn but eventual recapitulation of jazz. Conservatives to new ideas. Not all of course the 1940s or a period of ferment in which new and old ideas clash and often it was a period in which the entire language of jazz has been questions of tracked it from added to purged and reaffirmed the emergence style can scarcely be accepted as a final form but it is a new level on which the future growth of jazz must be based. Perhaps the most controversial aspect of jazz
is its rhythmic organization. The two leading voices of the new music Parker and Gillespie can be understood more clearly in terms of jazz tradition. Does he derives from the trumpet style of Roy Eldridge who in turn goes back to the father of modern trumpet Louis Armstrong Charlie Parker. Received much of his jazz apprenticeship in Kansas City and owes a great debt to Lester Young in particular. Parker was playing as always melodic and rhythmic and who speaks the language of the blues in the modern idiom is the easiest of the contemporaries to understand or so it appears both to Russell and of myself but I have found listeners who disagree. Bebop rhythmic sorbet of poly red necks have been largely misunderstood and since no jazz can exist without a solid beat the new style has been suspect among many uninformed listener it is they say that Bob has no beat that it is rhythmically incoherent unrelaxed meaningless that it comes from nothing and is directed towards a void. Nothing could be further from the truth the BOP rhythm
section was the most functional in jazz history and scrupulously maintained the basic four for beat upon which all great jazz through the 20s and 30s had been solidly based. Starkly it has roots deep in the jazz tradition. I say through the 20s and 30s though of course the sort of common beat of the common usage of 448 actually came to prominence in the 30s especially less approach by rhythm says Russell by comparing it with its jazz antecedent the rhythm of the 30s. BB rhythm is more complex and places greater emphasis upon poly Rhythmix at first proper rhythm differs emotionally from swing rhythm. It's more a nervous and creates great attention thereby reflecting more accurately the spirit and temper of contemporary emotions. It has however become less tense as musicians became more confident in its use and as the music itself became more generally accepted. Rhythm differs radically in
mechanics from what Russell calls swing rhythm by that he's using the word swing as a noun he means the music of the 30s because bop rhythm swings there say using the word as a verb. The technique of bop rhythm constitutes a new method in the sense of playing drums in the style of the 30s perfected by such drummers as Chick Webb Gene Krupa or Sid Catlett and Joe Jones used as its rhythmic fundamental four beats to the bar on the bass drum. Bob drummers no longer keep time with the bass pedal and in the early days of bop by the way this became exaggerated Dizzy Gillespie tells this story dizzy admittedly one of the originators of at one time. Well as he phrases it a few years ago I was playing at the solo out in Chicago my regular drummer had taken the wrong train so he was the house man. Some cat asked to sit in and I thought I'd give the relief man a rest the cat sat down and began riding the cymbal his bass drum was just stationary.
Every once in a while they'd throw it in the same static figure plenty of beats but no swing. Finally I turned to him and asked him why he didn't use the bass drum. I asked him again and then he got out and he looked at me indignant and said and you don't play Bach and he just walked off the stand right in the middle of the number. To return the swing style made copious he was of the hi hat cymbal principally for two for after the accents the Bob drummer is generally a band in this device. The drummers of the 30s made sparing use of top symbol is employing them mainly for Crash periods. The top symbol for a time became the main tool of the BOP drummer the swing drummer and play the more staccato beat the BOP drummer strives for a legato sound. What then are the positive aspects of Bach drumming. The prime objective of the BOP drummer is to produce a legato sound. To achieve this legato effect the drummer
made almost constant use of the top cymbal on most tempos the cymbal is striking the Joe Jones manner. Or an accented to hoard time however the Jones technique has been so modified that a rhythmic flow is affected. There is no marking off of accents within the bar. The vibration of the cymbal once set in motion is maintained throughout the number. Producing a shimmering texture of sound that supports agitates and inspires the line that this is the tonal fabric of broth and this particular use of drumming serves as its sustenance. OK. OK. OK. Got it. And that was. The. Right way to.
Get it. Right.
Note that the top symbol is also made to carry the rhythmic fundamental formally maintained by the bass drum. The fluid cymbal sound is actually a force for poets as is the rhythmic base of objects. This top symbol does has a door and serves tonal and rhythmic objectives at the same time. No doubt a sombrero come in after this drum break. To repeat that phrase a rose on this kind of use of the type symbol
produces a shimmering texture of sound of the Gato sound that supports the line then. There are various variations. In the production of the four for fundamental. The right hand stick may shift its attack to the hi hat cymbal which is then downed by pedal action or by the left hand. Some drummers were skillful enough to play six speeds to the bar and damp with the same hand. The right hand they likewise shift its attack to symbols of different pitch and Tambor. Modern drummers pay particular attention to cymbal sound and dynamics. The best of them just hit on this recording of Koko is Max Roach. They prize highly their pet symbols which enable them to produce the tonal effects desired. Finally a drier texture may be obtained by using brushes both hands on the snare. It's little wonder that those who rely on records for their contact with new musical ideas. Should have failed to appreciate the radical change in technique or its objectives for symbols recorded badly on most records the beautiful shimmering sound produced by Max Roach is either lost entirely or mistaken by surface for
surface noise when heard in person these drummers seem to set the air around the motion and have an exhilarating effect on both listener and fellow musician. There he is. Musicians in various symbols rather. Maybe strike four or a glancing blows. Well not dammed and crashing or a sharp stinging sounds create it slams and press rolls may be used for accents. With these devices which allow the drummers to remain free for a variety of improv as a Tory of thanks. Never before envisioned in the use of jazz drums with these devices the drummers of the new school construct their personal styles. The discussion of which is is beyond the scope of this course. However the secondary object of the drama remains that of all jazz drummers before him. Actually it's the primary object I would think to inspire the soloist with exciting patterns and certain general
practices are used to produce them. The bass pedal may be used for accents readily audible on most records. Bass accents are like muffled explosions bombs they used to be called by the drummers. The left hand is used to strike sharp accents on the snare. These accents sounded like pistol shots. All this has become mellowed as I said since the article was written in 47. Occasionally the left foot operated the hi hat pedal to produce a conventional soft chime sound as a random accent. There he is coordinate manual and pedal to the mechanics of more or less conventional nature worked into the overall pattern. Either a stick may strike the Tom for example it now remains to ask what are the roots of the next stated in the simplest terms. The new rhythm section is a modification of the count basi S.. There are others these two changes for four fundamental has been
transferred from the bass drum to the cymbals with a section sound has become more vertical and more legato. Joe Jones but they see drummer for many years. A great drummer by any standards is also a percussionist of major historical importance. Jones is one of the very first to explore the tonal dynamics of his instrument thereby improving on the dry sound and rather tight beat of drummers like Kaiser Marshall who had tried unsuccessfully to adapt the New Orleans small band style to the early jazz orchestra. Jones is particularly adept by the way at finger drumming and manages to achieve an amazing range of differing Tambora via that method. The first big band swing solidly and consistently was bases and achievement due in part to Jones as cymbal work which contributed vertically to the section sound and unable to leaven the heavy sonority of 10 Reed and brass instruments. However Jones cymbal accents adhere to the two for accent pattern and Jones continue to
maintain his for four fundamental on the bass drum. The second source of contemporary style is cozy Cole Cole superb technical facility rapidity of execution and dry skin sound. I very much a part of Kenny Clark's equipment and also of most other bop drummers. Clark is the important link in the style change. He was one of the charter members of the Minton group and the first drummer to abandon the bass pedal. Clarke's early style is preserved by means of the on the spot recordings you've heard excerpts from made admissions in 1940 and 41. One of Clark's first disciple was Max Roach a drummer in the Jones magic. Once indoctrinated Roche made such rapid progress that he must be credited with important contributions to the evolving style especially at symbol texture. Roach Russell says and I agree with him is the greatest percussionist of modern times and one of the half dozen great drummers in jazz theory can be heard with Bud Powell on piano and Curly Ross on bass.
As you know it isn't trio work of this sort Roach feels it necessary to abandon
the enlarged pride the shimmering legato tops and Oregon feels much freer to experiment with cross rhythms. The drummer. Remains the key man of the rhythm section of course as may be anticipated the change in and his playing have not been without repercussions on the other rhythm instruments. New emphasis has been placed on the string bass in particular. Here it would be well to recall that no significant advance in string bass technique or concept had occurred until the remarkable innovations of the late Jimmy Blanton. Since then Ray Brown has indicated ability to explore beyond Latin as has Charlie Mingus particularly red Michel and several other contemporary basement of import and his friends came on Scoppetta Fred as exemplary as a modern bass player Martin bass work demands a crisp plunging sound rapid execution and a grasp of harmony to match the pianist and line musicians. It's
rather essential that the bass and drums work as a unit. Friction or absence of one mind and this is fatal to the section. Here is a pedophile in a recording called Chasing the bass. Oh. Behind the ban and behind. The. Another excellent bass players on the contemporary jazz scene around the cube and Charlie Jackson Gene
Rainey Crilly Russell Tommy Potter followed fish in Vernon alley read calendar Harry Bettis and quite a few more. One of the most creative. He is both a writer and theoretician as well as a bit as a as an instrumentalist is Charlie Mingus. Here's an example of him in his chorus based on a standard. All the Things You Are A. And I was part of that has also experimented with the use of the cello as a jazz
instrument here and blues for Duke Ellington. You have been listening to the evolution of jazz recorded series prepared and produced by
Nat Hentoff under the auspices of Northeastern University and presented by the Lowell Institute cooperative broadcasting Council. The evolution of jazz was recorded in the Boston studios of WGBH Af-Am. This is the national educational radio network.
The Evolution of Jazz
Episode Number
Transition Continues, Part Two
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program goes further in depth about the major changes occuring in jazz during the late 1940s and into the early 1950s.
Series 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: 55-32-29 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:42
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Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 29; Transition Continues, Part Two,” 1954-05-28, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 22, 2024,
MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 29; Transition Continues, Part Two.” 1954-05-28. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 22, 2024. <>.
APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 29; Transition Continues, Part Two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from