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Duke Ellington, Cotton Tail.pdf

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Matthew Woolhouse

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Duke Ellington (1899 (Washington D.C.) - 1974, age 75) • Studied piano as child, became interested in ragtime (Scott Joplin - "The Entertainer") • From 1927-1930 bandleader at most vibrant jazz club, famous Cotton Club in NY (upscale nightclub in Harlem) • Brass players were famous for using "wha-wha" and the "growl style" as part of their technique • 1930s and early 1940s golden age for big band music - Ellington's band among the best • During this time many classic Ellington recordings were made, such as Cottontail, or Baby • Wrote fim scores, concertos, concert pieces, theatre • Considered to be america's best jazz composer Cotton Tail • Written and recorded by Ellington in 1940 (big-band music) • Big Band: trumpets, coronet, trombones, saxes, clarinet, guitar, bass, and drums. Duke was on the piano z z a•J ◦ evolved from ragtimes, blues, and other styles ◦ African-American musical style ◦ Improvisation using syncopation ▪ Syncopation: unexpected off beat rhythms  • Duke wrote basic chords (actually stole it from someone else), but most melodies were improvised (all band members are bosses) • Rhythm changes (chord progression) ◦ "borrowed" from Gershwin's "I got Rhythm" ◦ uses sequence (short passage repeated at higher or
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