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The following day recorded program of the presentation of the National Association of educational broadcasters. This is the 23rd in a series of programs on the roots of jazz in the United States.
On this program we consider modern jazz. Dad again has a close relative of folk to the folk songs
chants and dances of the Negro people of the South. The instruments were crude and improvised. The voices unschooled primitive. There was the influence of Western civilization in the language used and in the melodies and lyrics paraphrased. But the most characteristic quality of jazz prototypes was the African rhythm and the storytelling urge. Western instruments were introduced in New Orleans and some musicians there actually took lessons before they began playing. In Chicago the encroachment of Western culture became more insistent. Parts were arranged even for small groups musicianship became more important especially amongst the Chicago white school in New York. The Arranger became a necessary adjunct to the big bands and the pianist became the mentor of jazz just as he has long been in the field of
serious music. Styles began to develop in the 30s jazz and mood ever in the direction of increasing order. It wasn't it is now no longer strictly a focus expression. It is an art in the 40s. The artists of jazz some older with a rich heritage from the past. Some young with a strong desire to break styles and become individuals began experimenting with increased freedom in the possibilities of musical expression. Bopp was bawn and progressive jazz in larger groups. Young musicians were on the scene. Experiments that had been nurtured during wartime blossomed in the aftermath of war. Much of the toying around was just that the increase in freedom required a greater artist in order to preserve taste. There were few such men available but there were some. And out of bop came
a new spirit for jazz a new philosophy Some call that change or a change for the worse. They decried the loss of hot solos in favor of cool modulation. They considered Bob and his posts Eden's Reflections of a youth lacking security feeling anxiety and uncertainty. But there were and are others who see what is known as cool jazz as the firmest of foundations upon which artists can build a newer and finer structure of American music. Studs Terkel says. Well this would bring us up to date now and now and come to a very special problem. The times we live in what about you today and jazz like as well. What about it. Well it'll bring us into Bob. We're going to whack Klopp as definition. Well you know the nature of it we know it's a reflection of our times. We know that dissonance is a key to a lot of the nervous and erratic kind of music was at times that the others might be termed
good time it was a good time jazz is bad time music. I'm not saying the music is bad. Saying the times reflected the nervousness and so you today we it's definitely tied in with what we call the youth problem. It's the age problem to mishandling a mis understanding of what is of the young ones today and what their problems are unstable conditions the world over and so is in the music too and so I don't know how well Louis Armstrong draws today as far as he is concerned. But we come to the young musician what are you trying to say Chet Baker as a young trumpet man now very excited when I don't know what he's trying to say but obviously there's something he's trying to say I mean something to him. And of those who listen to him and he's a good artist no doubt but what is it is you saying life was horrible and wrecked or life can be good I don't know where you want to blow saying I was saying that's clear he's saying pretty rough I'd like it better. What this young genius and I don't know.
But modern jazz authority Barry Ulanov says when we were first confronted with the look as well as the sound of cool jazz some of us were dubious about its qualities the company and parts of the look were a relaxation of the body to accompany their restraint of tone and an indifferent facial expression amounting to apathy. The phlegmatic personalities of the Woody Herman band of 1948 suggested that the coolness would soon become frigidity so blasé did these musicians seem as they moved or rather moved about their completion of their appointed tasks. But from the icy stare in the immobile mean something good and positive and musician they did emerge. You're listening to the saxophone of one of the pioneers in cool jazz. Stan
Getz. He states a part of the new philosophy of cool jazz in this quotation. Fast tempos seem unnatural to me. The fastest I like to get is Lady in red. Faster I don't feel it's relaxed. I have to stop and think about the chords my time goes I lose my ideas. When you go slow you can create. I like to play simply to hold back some of my ideas. Listen to Byrd you know he's holding back. That he's always got something in reserve. You can play everything you know. Oh.
Yeah. Why. Up to the 1940s speed and temperature had constantly risen in jazz performances. Everyone is familiar with the fluid runs of clarinet
s such as Artie shore and Benny Goodman. The machine gun staccato of Trumpet is like Harry James and Ziggy on even the alto saxophone has been treated to its share of 16 notes and any number of pianists have run up one side of chords and down the other fingered out several scales in seconds and even thumb the entire keyboard. The question often raised and rightly so is how much of this musical gymnastic exhibition is jazz in the sense of it being creative art. The answer of those who play cool jazz is very little. As Stan Getz indicates it is difficult enough to get worthwhile ideas while playing a slow ballad let alone doing something meaningful and flying home. So one ingredient of cool jazz is a relaxing of the tempo. Another is the lengthening of the improvised line. The artist playing a slow tempo
is not restricted to the short half dozen to baker's dozen notes in which to state his feeling. There is time. Time to add one idea to another. With increasing subtlety. Time even to reflect and take a new path. Choruses are found to be developments of one idea flowing into another or leading to a final sense of completion. Another ingredient of this new philosophy is its increased borrowing from
the innovations of serious musicians and composers. Many of the leaders of cool jazz have studied serious music at high levels. They've graduated from the New England Conservatory the American Conservatory in Chicago Juilliard in New York and any number of colleges and universities across the country where the teaching of Music has long been established in the western civilization sense. They've studied under such contemporary masters as Paul Hindemith a Yale Darrius Meo at Mills and Ernst talk at the University of Southern California. These influences have revived interest in exploring the basic forms so federally examined and developed over 200 years ago by one Johann Sebastian Bach. The Fugue the Toccata the expressions in counterpoint are all being re-examined by these cool jazz musicians.
Added to this resurgence of interest in Bach modes is the act tonality and poly tonality with the latter the most current interest. There are several groups in this country that have developed this latest phase of jazz. And for the remainder of this program will listen to recordings of some of these groups. First Lenny Tristana a blind pianist who graduated from the American Conservatory and who more than any other has served as a fountain head of ideas and rationales for cool jazz. Here he plays with leek on its alto saxophone Billy-Bob guitar on hold fished and bass and Shelly Mann drums. Yeah. Yeah.
This is the Jerry Mulligan quartet. With a mulligan on baritone sax and the trumpet of it Studs Terkel mentioned earlier in the program. On trumpet.
Thorough hurt.
You're. A.
This is the Stan Getz want to withstand on Thomas sax and Al Haig. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
This is the sensitive topic Miles Davis. And now one of the earliest efforts at multi instrument improvisation
in jazz. This is the early Dave Brubeck octet. With Dave Brubeck at piano and Paul Desmond on the alto saxophone. The boob.
Tube. Then the sounds of. The latest of the many of
which are American art. One. More great one as with a contemporary. This has been a 20 a series of programs on the roots of jazz in the United States.
The roots of jazz as written produced by Norman Cleary in the studios of WOR Radio easy was the reader and a man of God know the sound technician. This is Norman Cleary speaking. The preceding program was tape recorded. This is the end of a radio network.
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Roots of jazz
Modern jazz
Producing Organization
Iowa State University
WOI (Radio station : Ames, Iowa)
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program discusses the state of jazz in the 1950s.
Series Description
Music-documentary series in 26 parts, covering various aspects of jazz.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Director: Cleary, Norman
Engineer: Gardner, Merv
Host: Clark, Kenneth Bancroft, 1914-2005
Interviewee: Terkel, Studs, 1912-2008.
Performer: Getz, Stan, 1927-1991
Producing Organization: Iowa State University
Producing Organization: WOI (Radio station : Ames, Iowa)
Speaker: Geesy, Ray
Writer: Cleary, Norman
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-24-23 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:00?
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Chicago: “Roots of jazz; Modern jazz,” 1956-12-02, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 1, 2024,
MLA: “Roots of jazz; Modern jazz.” 1956-12-02. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 1, 2024. <>.
APA: Roots of jazz; Modern jazz. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from