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Summary unit 9.docx

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Department
Music
Course
MUSC 2140
Professor
Howard Spring
Semester
Winter

Description
Unit 9(Miles Davis and John Coltrane) Modes  a sort of scale—not a major or minor scale…a sort of a combination of major and minor notes.  there are 7 different modes Modal Jazz  a modal piece does not have a lot of chord changes (in contrast to bebop)  this is so the soloist does not have to consider implications of different chords for chosen notes  Usually have 1-2 chords so the soloist can focus on linear + modal aspects of improve  ie// Miles Davis’ “So What”  (there is a video clip under the Musical Terms Unit 9 demo-ing Modes)  Fewer chords, less concentrated harmonies  Emerged as a specific technique in reaction to busyness of bop harmony *Textbook Notes* Miles Davis(1926-1991)  “The Sorcerer”  5 Major Changes Davis Made to Jazz 1. 1949-1950-the “cool Jazz movement” (ch 12) 2. 1954-“Walkin”—an impetus for development of hard bop, an “antidote” to cool jazz’s delicacy 3. 1957-1960—3 major collaborations with Gil Evans enlarged the scope of jazz 4. 1959-Kind of Blue replaced bebop’s harmonic complexity with melody and nuance 5. 1969-Bitches Brew—initiated jazz-rock fusion(ch 17), shifting focus from melody to rhythm  From 1949-1969, Davis redefined harmony, melody, rhythm and instrumentation  Trumpet playing remained consistent  Personality—belligerent, independent, reclusive at times, distant, unflappable, romantic charismatic Childhood  Took private trumpet lessons from St Louis symphony member  Sat in with Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker—he ended up dropping out of Juilliard to study with Parker 1945-1949  1945—Hired by Parker to play in his quintet o Soloed on “Now’s the Time” and “Billie’s Bounce o Replaced by Gillespie for “Ko-Ko”, due to insufficient technique o Found difficulty standing out under the shadow of Gillespie and Parker’s virtuosic playing  Davis also toured with Benny Carter and Gillespie (big bands)  Many felt he could not match the talent of Gillespie, Fats Navarro  1949-Left Parkers quintet, started playing with musicians who would create the “birth of cool” movement Style  Davis preferred the middle register (rather than high), with focus on timbre and melody— playing fewer and longer notes  Tried to compensate with complexity (“Sippin’ at Bells”) with lots of chord changes  Recognized for emotional and rhythmic restraint of solos 1954  After leaving Parker’s quintet, Davis fell into a heroin addiction for 4 years  During addiction, completed Birth of Cool  1954, stopped heroin  Recorded with Prestige Records—collaborated with: Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, JJ Johnson, Milt Jackson, Lucky Thompson. Rhythm Section: pianist Horace Silver, bassist Percy Heath, drummer Kenny Clarke  Recordings revealed: a street-wise musician, evenly phrased solos, meaningful silences  “Walkin”-12-bar blues, with no high-note/speed-demon techniques of bebop trumpet  Harmon Mute-held in place by a cork ring, forcing the musicians entire air column into the mute to produce a thin, humming sound 1955  Signed to Columbia after a successful show at the Newport (Rhode Island) Jazz Festival  Round About Midnight features an iconic cover—Davis photographed under a red lens, wearing dark glasses, embracing his trumpet  Davis’ band on the album: tenor sax-John Coltrane, pianist—Red Garland, bassist— Paul Chambers, drummer—Philly Joe Jones  Notable about the album: 1. Davis solos and Coltrane’s virtuosity contrasted just as Davis and Parker had, this time favouring Davis 2. Rhythm section assertive independence—due to Jones insistent attack and Chambers authoritative pulse/harmonic skill 3. Combined original pieces with pop songs from 1920’s + or borrowed from broadway.  Davis opened up the repertory of jazz by revamping old broadway songs 1957  Second Columbia release: Miles Ahead-an orchestral album arranged by Gil Evans. -19 piece ensemble -french horns, tuba, flutes, piccolos and harp -Davis the only soloist -There were links between the sections (never done before) to make it seem there were no breaks -Splicing and overdubbing used to compensate for lack of rehersal  Davis’ quintet disbanded  He visited Europe, expecting to play shows; instead, he was offered a film score -He was told to improvise -he improvised on scales instead of chords—his “eureka” moment -D minor scale 1958  Recruited Cannonball Adderley (alto Sax), his old rhythm section (Garland, Chambers and Jones) and formed a sextet  Recorded Milestones using techniques used in the film score  He then recorded a Gershwin opera and a Jazz/Spanish classical/folk fusion record(1960) with Gil Evans, which appealed to those who didn’t have patience for long jazz improvisations  Released Kind of Blue between the Gershwin and the Spanish recordings Kind of Blue  Kind of Blue utilized the modal approach he used during the film score recording  Very influential to other musicians  Became one of the best selling jazz albums of all time  Showed off Davis’ laid back style and the exuberance of the sax (esp Coltrane)  Replaced Jones with Jimmy Cobb on drums Bill Evans (1929-1980)  Studied classical piano, didn’t become devoted to jazz until after college graduation  “Waltz for Debby”(1956) put him on the map as a composer  1959-worked on Kind of Blue with Davis, released his own 3 album  Voicing-refers to the way notes or instruments are combined  Evans developed an original approach to voicing harmonies, finding ways to modulate from one chord to another by thinking of the chords as loosely connected to their roots  Formed a trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian  The trio put more emphasis on the bassist than previous similar trio compositions  Quartal harmonies-built on fourths rather than thirds—helped to define the modal achievement of Kind of Blue John Coltrane(1926-1967)  Tenor Sax  Considered the leader of avant-garde jazz of the 1960s  Made no significant recordings until 1955 (although he was the same age as Davis)  Sheets of Sound—rapid-fire attack in an attempt to play every note in every chord  He had an obsession with scales  Criticized for harsh tone and lengthy solos 1957  After being fired by Davis twice for drug use, Coltrane cleaned up his act  Spent the year working with Thelonius Monk 1959  Signed with Atlantic Records  Recorded with Davis on Kind of Blu
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