The Evolution of Jazz; 38; Extended Form in Contemporary Jazz, Part Two
This music quite obviously is program music but it is sufficiently good music that it can be meaningful without the accompanying notes however since we have them. I might as well read part of them. I omitted the work song section because that's going to be quite obvious. There say Come Sunday is interesting where the notes are by its Kevin eyes told to or by Ellington come Sunday and there is rest peace as the workers gather in the sun. The church seems to beckon them and they're filled with delight at the light shining through the stained glass windows. They listen to the sounds floating out to them. How unlike a harsh voice of everyday life each Sunday finds in their watching the church drinking in the singing the praising of God their words are muted muffled but their meaning is clear they find their own words as they hum along with the singing weaving counter melodies and rich harmonic patterns. So the spiritual comes to bridge the highly emotional worshipping of God and so on. Come
Sunday is introduced by right Nancy puts you kado. On a violin returning to his bow he continues a solo as one of seven encounter nowadays affecting an organ tone and the whole depicting the movement inside and outside of the church. The theme develops to the time when the workers have a church of their own and in strong contrast Johnny Hodges alto saxophone sings. We have no organ no lovely white church with the steeple shining in the sun but we are singing and we do believe and we shall keep on singing on Sunday. The four. Eat.
You're. A. Oh.
Come on. Ooh. Ooh ooh ooh.
Ooh. Ooh for. You're. Good. A third section of DU going to
going on in Britain is the blues. Blue. Blue. Blue. Blue. Oh oh oh oh oh. Get up.
Oh I. Know. Well cool. Down. Thing.
Yeah. The Blues sung by Joyce Giraud from Duke Ellington's extended work black brown and Bay. Three final excerpts from that work are three dances one a West Indian dance. Dedicated to the deeds of the 700 patients of the famed for entire Legion who came to the aid the Americans at the siege of Savannah in the Revolutionary War and includes among other
elements a tenor baritone to wed in the West Indian manner then emancipation celebration describing the admixture of joyfulness on the part of the young people and the bewilderment of the old on that great getting up MORNING. You exalting exultantly anticipated a lifetime of glorious freedom but age after a long weary years of servitude and a goal of rest and care suddenly found itself ironically free to go but where the initial strain of the dance is meant to capture the spirit of you its graceful awkwardness in abandoning the solos of tricky Sam Nat and on trombone and Junior Raglan on bass. In contrast a trumpet duet follows reflecting the despair and frustration of two old people. Who with but will good hearts hear the stark pronouncement. You are free to go. And finally Sugar Hill penthouse Ellington describes it as representative of the atmosphere of the Sugar Hill penthouse in Harlem which cannot be understood or appreciated when this one is live there.
Now. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. I am. Right.
So anything goes down writes about Ellington's jazz composition such as black brown and age in library is sweet and very rightly I think that they are
alive unexciting and melody and rhythm and instrumental tambour but they also suffer from an incomplete theory and knowledge. The good parts and there are many have quality in the sense that the best of Ellington's dance pieces have a quality of the qualities that made Ellington shorter works completely successful are inadequate for so ambitious a step forward in psychological historical and dramatic content. The music Ellington composes to the dance and song sections of these works together are often simple repeated rhythmic patterns with dissonant chords less moving than is dance music instead of more. He has not evolved enough of a new craft to match is new and exciting idea. These works however are transitional ones. They vary production was made possible by a personal struggle against the circumscribed routine in which a band leader must move a musical life so far and this explains very many of the limitations of some aspects of jazz. My musical life does not make it economically possible for so phenomenal a band as Ellington build up to be permanently
held together. Nor does it make it economically possible for Alington to spend the time necessary to work out a music that could be so valuable in addition to our culture. I'll go into that aspect of contemporary jazz somewhat later. The point is that the evolution of the use of extended form in jazz is has already been in the direction that Ellington said. Not in the Gershwin grand jury Stan Kenton. Pat Ellington was able to combine the pulse of the beat of jazz with space for improvisation with the use of a more formal structure. Ellington is still working on the problem and has been writing a concerto Grosso for his band and a symphony orchestra that may be another forward step. The Jazz Man Of The Gun John Lewis has written a set of two part inventions for himself and the brilliant vibraphone as Donald Jackson with rhythm support hear from Kenny Clark on drums and Percy Heath bass Mr. Lewis on piano.
This is an example then of John Lewis two part invention. Yeah. Need to burn invention by John Lewis would be quite
obvious grid lines to the 19th century. Oscar Peterson has composed a work for his trio an orchestra also concerto Grosso as well as a minuet in jazz that begins and ends in classical form both works allowing for improvised sections. Today Cohen has been writing in more complex forums as has Jerry Jerry Mulligan and Lenny Tristan and the early Brubeck octet sides indicate that Brubeck and Dave and Crete are also potential contributors to this new era of jazz. I'd rather wait until next week to play some of the more complex compositions of Cohen Hall Overton and Jimmy Raney mom again. It was one of the examples of those who have been working in simpler forms as potentially a contributor his quartet sides have been overpraised there. The amount of counterpoint they contain has been over it and for size. But the workings of Mulligan's musical mind are of interest because
they're characteristic of the kind of thinking that is now being done in contemporary jazz circles not necessarily along these specific lines but let me read you his explanation of why he didn't have a piano and doesn't have a piano in his quartet. The idea of the band without a piano is not new he writes the very first jazz bands didn't use them. How could they they were either marching or riding in wagons. I was first made aware of the possibilities of a piano less rhythm section by Gail Madden a person who possesses a most refreshing and evolutionary conception of the rhythm the rhythm section and its function. I agreed with her wholeheartedly as to the misuse of the piano with the rhythm section to have an instrument with a tremendous capabilities of the piano reduced to the role of crutch for the solo horn was unthinkable. Gale organized and rehearsed a piano less rhythm section consisting of drums bass and Morocco's which she played herself in a swinging musical way with a variety of sounds and rhythm feeling she got from her three p.s. was a breath of air for jaded ears jaded from overly aggressive drummers and non listening piano players. I use this rhythm section successfully on many
dates in Long Island in New Jersey. This was the birth of the piano this band and contemporary jazz though Gael is not playing with the present group I'm indebted to her for her for her influence. I consider the string bass to be the basis of the sound of the group the foundation on which the solo builds his line. The main thread around which the two horns weave their contrapuntal into a play. It's possible with two voices to imply the sound or in part the feeling of any chord or a series of go chorus as Bach shows us so thoroughly and enjoyably in his inventions. When a piano is used in a group it necessarily plays the dominant role. The horns and bass must tune to it as it cannot tune to them making it the dominant tonality. The piano is accepted function of constantly stating the chords of the progression makes the solo horn a slave to the whims of the piano player. The Soloist is forced to adapt his line to the changes and alterations made by the pianist in the chords of the progression. It's obvious that the bass does not possess as wide a range of volume and dynamic possibilities as the drums and horns and it's therefore necessary to keep the overall volume in proportion to that of the
bass. In order to achieve an integrated group sound. Also characteristic of the constant polemical nature of contemporary jazz experimentation there are many jazz musicians who say that there is nothing Mulligan is accomplished without the piano. That would not have sounded as well if not better with it. In any case here is another example of the Mulligan experiment. A. I am.
I am. I am. I am. Next week further examples of the use of extended form than contemporary jazz.
You have been listening to the evolution of jazz a 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 FM. 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 usage of extended form in improvisation.
- 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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- Asset type
- Jazz musicians--United States--Biography.
- Media type
Host: Hentoff, Nat
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-38 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 38; Extended Form in Contemporary Jazz, Part Two,” 1954-07-30, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 9, 2023, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-f18sgb95.
- MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 38; Extended Form in Contemporary Jazz, Part Two.” 1954-07-30. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 9, 2023. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-f18sgb95>.
- APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 38; Extended Form in Contemporary 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-f18sgb95