[o] other: Lecture Notes
Big Bands and Swing Bands
A. Concept Review: Harmonic Changes
B. African American Music at the Turn of the Century - Trumpet and piano dominated - independent African American Economy
1. James Reese Europe (Clef Club, Frogs, Unions, Society Gigs)
2. Scott Joplin - publiching, producing (Treemonisha)
3. TOBA = Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Sippie Wallaca = after Minstrels
4. Country = Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lead Belly
5. Trad. "Jazz"- Dixieland, King Oliver, Lil Hardin, Louis Armstrong
6. Riverboats = Fate Marabel
7. Emerging Piano soloist = Earl Hines, Art Tatum, "The Lion"
8. Spirituals - styled after Fisk Jubillee Singers & church choirs
9. A few minstrel-styled films with African American stereotypes
Music performed primarily in African American Neighborhoods - children heard the music - not much talk of drug use
C. The Swing Era
1. Big Band vs. Swing Band (Orchestra)
2. Music for Dance - Commercial Requirements
3. Different Social Aesthetic yields different musical results
4. Jim Crow Segregation and Black & White Books (arrangements)
5. Large Ensembles of African American musicians employed - Independent leaders (Mills Co. Promotors = Ellington)
6. African American Dance Halls, juke joints, house parties, etc. throughout the country
7. A few films about African American subjects - fewer stereotypes with Ellington, Basie, Billie Holiday, etc.
Music performed primarily in African American Neighborhoods - Children Heard the music - NOT MUCH TALK OF DRUG USE
THE SWING ERA
Jimmie Lunceford - music educator who built a band based upon precision and discipline who used a varied instrumentation (temple blocks, timpani, celeste, etc.), emphasis on melodies with unpredictable phrasing, and colorful solo devices (timbral contrasts, dynamic contrasts, etc. to create a style the moved in a direction different from that of Henderson's.
Bennie Moten - Leader of one of the leading bands in the Midwest who trained Count Basie in the Kansas Blues style that became the foundation his development in later years (after taking over Moten's band after his death. Developed a riff style (after Armstrong's combo riff style) and later a tradition of trading fours, and other economical devices. His band too was often in dire straights even when recording, but established the swing feel that dominated the Big Band era. Also borrowed sophisticated chord structures from popular songs.
Count Basie - Played for silent films, accompanied Bessie Smith & Clara Smith, played with the Blue Devils and Bennie Moten before becoming a band leader. Carried forward the Kansas City style with bands who included the most influential individual instrumental and vocal stylist of the day (Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, etc.). Established a comping piano style that would influence many generations of pianists.
Soloists!! Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young
Duke Ellington - Became the most celebrated jazz orchestra composer/leader in the world. Move his very steady bands (little turnover) through many developmental transformations and took the jazz orchestra into symphonic directions while always maintaining the tradition. Did not follow the riff style, but set new standards on almost all levels of the big band phenomenon (soloists = bass in melodic role)
Chick Webb - Drummer whose style of driving a big band was second to none who led one of the most significant bands in Harlem. Got his big break when Duke Ellington got him a opening at the Black Bottom Club. Found Ella Fitzgerald at the Appolo (amateur night) and hired her on the spot.
Also had Louis Jordan in his band.
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Music 80E: History