The Evolution of Jazz; 34; Collective Improvisation and Cool Jazz, Part Two
You have men like Sonny Rollins Dexter Gordon Sonny Stitt among others while gifted have so far brought little new to jazz. While often powerfully communicated they lack the originality of Parker tend to run to broad cliches in many of their solos. On the other hand the musicians have added another sound another approach to contemporary jazz. It happens that at first many of them were right and so it's the opinion of some French critics of this is the first time in the history of jazz that a sizable group or a school of white musicians have made a contribution of major importance to jazz as distinct from the many individual contributions of import by White Jazz men through the years. I find it difficult in fact impossible to think in terms of Negro and white and so I find this theory of no major significance but since it is widely held in Europe. I thought I would mention it in any case these cool musicians and there seem to be as many negroes as whites among Miles Davis for a time could be called a leader of the sound are also influenced by Lester and certainly by the Harmonic and rhythmic innovations of the early days. Parker Gillespie and the others they're dead to rise to those especially more so than in the
case of the punters to use the French term again. Their sound has a light rather than heavy timber they have a broad I was tightly controlled and it's far less amplitude than that of the punchers and is less frequently apparent in any case. Their command of the technique of their instruments is of a high level extraordinarily high in many cases they have really broad cliches. They place great importance on attaining a fresh sound and as a result of a sound that is unmistakable. Listening to present day jazz I'm going to replay a few bars of the Sonny Rollins as an example the puncher and then one of the coolest of the cool tenor is Stan Getz. Let them.
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Are.
You going to thank those early primacy of sounds in cool jazzman a primacy that has since become somewhat tempered actually lead to sound as such as well as harmonic and melodic and rhythmic basses influencing the course of a solo. The suggestion of sounds a French critic called it and used it to illustrate a theory by French writer John lived in the Drew that there is a prime can an action with the shape of a phrase and the sound of the horn producing it. In any case there is another element in the cool style and that is a kind of sobriety I reserve in the playing of these young jazz men as a French critic put it. There are no cries were to it as cries no romantic different rounds hand on heart but the functional sonic material for a swinging musicality. There is as much passion as another jazz but it's more introverted than had been too true previously and cool jazz avoids much of the portamento of the growl of the facts of most of their
jazz predecessors. In summary the sonority of the cool jazz man is pure writers smoother and as opposed to the roughness and strongly vibrated sounds of let us say Coleman Hawkins. Some think that the cool jazz men lose a lot of vigor thereby. I think it's fortunate that there are jazz men of both persuasions in contemporary jazz so that what we do lose that way can be heard in the work of other men. Our news on all points out of the word cool itself has been part of the language within jazz for some time. It doesn't mean cold but means calm fresh can mean always poised as in the phrase Keep cool man or in the lot of Tory description. There was a cool cat meeting a man who was never fazed a cat in jazz parlance as almost any sentient being including a cat Renault underlines the fact that certain of these. Characteristics
of the cool school were to be heard in earlier jazz men clarinet is Jimi noone from New Orleans who played in Chicago in the 20s at a con fluid style of excellent taste and a feeling of restraint Bix Beiderbecke also played very loosely with a lighter and less fiber a vibrating sonority than the trumpeters and cornutus of his era. And he too had the feeling of right and see in his work but the man who created the strain was Lester Young whose nickname for that reason among musicians is the president full of praise. And because of Lester's intense swing his influence also kept the cool musicians constantly aware that Paris a more advanced time Onyx by itself but were insufficient without a swing beat until Lester came into prominence Hawkins was the ruler of the tenor sax style where he had been the first to develop the instrument while with Fletcher Henderson's band as a major jazz instrument. Young replaced Hawkins in the Henderson band in 1904 when he was 25 and the
unhappy Lester was constantly cajoled to play like Hawkins which he refused to do. Between sets Henderson's wife often would make him listen to records of Hawkins and Lester finally left to find himself to fulfill themselves with Count Basie. You've got to be originally told a jazz interviewer and I couldn't see you copying the hawk or any of the others you got to have a style that's all your own. There was at first in the use of the tenor as a jazz instrument. Hawkins wide with Brando and rough direct almost extrovert ish approach. Oh. Lester however brought to the tenor sax the subtler lighter cooler
use of the instrument. Or.
Under the influence of Lester then. The Raj group of young musicians evolved in their attempts to play more subtly more carefully with less rough sonorities Billie Holiday by the way had a cool sounding approach long before the modernists as did Teddy Wilson and in a way Benny Goodman many of the men in the Basie band like Buck Clayton. From Western derived young Sims Wardell gray Herbie Stuart Allen eager Gene Ammons Paul Kane to Chet Stan Getz and many others baritone as Gerry Mulligan and Sweden guitarist Jimmy Raney through Charlie Christian influences as well. Al Haig on piano through Teddy Wilson and Sarah Vaughan in a sense Miles Davis These men have their own styles but this kind of cool approach is evident in all and also the constant overlapping in jazz should not be forgotten I would not ever say that Parker and Gillespie aren't are never cool or that the cool man or an afro Hi again we're just using these categories as indices of style and a sense of temperament not as authoritative
markings. In discussing the way Herman van we brought its history up to one hundred forty six when he reformed at the end of 47 and had his second major modern large jazz band arrangements again by Ralph brands with more and more by Al Cohen and Shorty Rogers rivals Terry Gibbs was important and chubby Jackson again on bass Bill Harris on trombone later basis Redd Mitchell and many other able jazz men but the band was best known for its youthful sax section and composed various times of Stan Getz. Now an eager Zoot Sims Herbie Stuart. They were called the four brothers after a record of that name and they began to become important in making the cool sax nationally known in its modern version. Here is the recording of four brothers with solos in the following order. So it zooms tenor baritone Herbie steward tenor and Stan Getz tenor a quartet of cool song. A.
cluck. Cluck. Cluck ILY ILY ILY ILY ILY ILY ILY. ILY. ILY. ILY. Ily ily. ILY ILY ILY ILY ILY
ILY. Stan Getz who has become the best known and most musically advanced of all the four brothers whose records are avidly collected all over Europe as well as here and has become the first major voice on the tenor saxophone since Lester Young has worth more detailed listening one of his best records. And I particularly moving example of the loveliness the cool sound can attain and of gets his melodic lyricism. Here's his solo on Woody Herman's
early autumn written by Ralph Burns and. Lord.
I characterise think of the cool jazzman are many of them is that they're apt to remain closer to the original melody than the BOP musicians did the boppers having been more interested in building a largely new melody on the chords of the old and gets his work especially. There's an economy of construction that brings Lester Young to mind in a sense as Eric says he simplifies the original theme breaks down breaks it down into its melodic elements and has an acute ear for melody and a gift for melodic improvisation. During a triumphal tour of Sweden a couple of years ago he recorded with a number of excellent Swedish musicians particularly the brilliant pianist bank holiday. And here is an example of his closeness to the melodic line in Flamingo. They.
Say. That. During the course of the recording sessions in Sweden. Stan Getz also
illustrated another facet of his melodic gifts as in this recording with Jack Norman on drums good eye Johnson bass and then Talbot piano he plays a song that is believed based I believe on a Swedish folk song stand an AVM. Look. At. That.
Whatever relationship that may have to a folk tune I think it is rather tenuous since I recognized several American popular imprints but it still is an excellent illustration of Goetz's improv as it improves ational conception of the way. The way to construct a chorus and a good man presents this
interesting critical theory in connection with the work of guests though is style comes from Lester Young. He's developed his own and he also has several points in common with Coleman Hawkins in that both are romantics but Hawkins romanticism is dramatic while gets his lyric going the Beiderbecke tradition. To summarize so far as one can the melodic aspect of the cool jazz man and their phrases are simpler than those of the boppers they often use fewer notes and their phrasing is apt to be more subtle and subtle. You know here again however that the commanding figure of this era continues to be elder statesman Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie remains the authoritative modern trumpet writes. But the cool school is influenced more and more younger musicians in terms of melodic approach. Ironically the cool man to follow the boppers in investigating advanced harmonic potentials rhythmically there has been even greater rhythmic continuity in their performances less bombs less sudden offbeat accents of early Bob because of the fact that the cool solos tend to play more legato and so they need a more continuous rhythmic foundation. Like the boppers However at least the best of the boppers the cool jazz man and all modern jazz men always keep
something in reserve in reserve they give a feeling of latent power beneath even their impassioned solos. In a conversation with Stan Getz had this to say. When you go slow you can create. I like to play simply to hold back some of my ideas listen to Charlie Parker You know he's holding back Lou he's always got something in reserve and you can't play everything you know. Here's a recent recording by Gets again he was chosen and infrequently played one of the great melodic charm as he is apt to do. And he introduces a new valve trombonist still in his early 20s who is also a pianist and arranger and plays in the cool style Broad Brook Meyer. Have you met Miss Jones. That.
Was. Her. You have been listening to the evolution of jazz. I 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
- Producing Organization
- WGBH Educational Foundation
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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- Episode Description
- This program explores the growth of collective improvisation in jazz.
- 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.
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- Jazz musicians--United States--Biography.
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Host: Hentoff, Nat
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-34 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 34; Collective Improvisation and Cool Jazz, Part Two,” 1954-07-02, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 10, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bv79x259.
- MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 34; Collective Improvisation and Cool Jazz, Part Two.” 1954-07-02. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 10, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bv79x259>.
- APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 34; Collective Improvisation and Cool Jazz, 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 http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bv79x259