MUSC 2140 Study Guide - Dexter Gordon, Hard Bop, Cootie Williams
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Unit 7 History of Jazz Review (Chapter
Jam sessions could run for hours,
they had cutting contests where
players would duel against each other
until someone gave up. Giving up
meant you had more to learn with
your education. It was a way for
players to relax. Generally used to
keep inexperienced musicians out
using obstacles like playing very fast
or play in a different key
Dropping Bombs at Minton’s
Minton’s playhouse, in Manhattan.
Drumming styles changed with
Kenny Clarke technique developed
when he played with Teddy Hill’s
swing band. He shifted the pulse to
the ride cymbal this made the sound
more light and flexible for a
foundation and the bass drum was
able to fill in holes in the bands
Wasn’t accepted at first, the band let
him go but then he played for the
playhouse with Hill after his band
went downhill (hill didn’t want to let
Clarke go to being with)
This all took place during WWII they
called his drum explosions as
Max Roach, Art Blakely- drummers
who adopted this style
Over the drum beat the soloists
played disorienting and unpredictable
rhythms. Fast notes ending abruptly
with scat syllables
Old musicians didn’t like it
Pianists dropped stride technique and
went for coming- a rhythmically
unpredictable skein of accompanying
chords that complemented the
drummer’s strokes and added a layer
to the rhythmic mix.
Guitarists were more syncopated
now rather than just chunking away
Bass remained the same role.
Jimmy Blanton (Duke Ellington band)
was matched by Oscar pettiford.
In jam sessions bassists were asked to
take a solo.
Nobody plays those changes
Bebop was famous for its complex
Art Tatum made pieces complicated
making other musicians shake their
heads in wonder
Body and soul illustrates how to use
dense chromatic harmonies in
Challenging in bebop was translating
dissonant harmonies into vocabulary
all musicians could share.
The new harmonies fastened onto
dissonances like tritones in the
middle ages it was known as devil
music and during the bebop era it
was known as the flattened fifth.
Keeping track of the harmony was a
pain, and demanding task. Thus
players had to KNOW what to play
not FEEL what they were doing
On the road
Race and economic issues were
driving musicians out of swing into
the unknown future. These formed
the basis for the revolutionary view
Black bands prevented by racial
prejudice from two jobs, prime time
radio show with a commercial
sponsor and job at a major hotel
ballroom or dance hall in New York
Thus black bands were forced onto
the road on rattletrap buses.
They had to eat at coloured
restaurants, sit in the filthy Jim Crow
car of a railroad, and avoid eye
contact with white women. These
conditions caused musicians to be
bitter. Thus most talented musicians
quite swing bands out of both
exhaustion and disgust.
Bebop was a way to find some energy
to carry on their music outside the
system. It was subversive uppity
daring and hell bent on social change.
Kenny Clarke “whatever you go into,
go into it intelligently… the idea was
to wake up, look around you, there’s
something to do.”
Charlie Parker (1920-1955)
The most gifted alto saxophonist in
Nickname is “bird”. On the road a car
hit a chicken he went back to get it
then when it died they ate it so they
called him “yarbird”
Grew up in Kansas City touring with a
local territory band led by Jay
At first played baritone in high school
marching band. He took up
saxophone teaching himself to play
songs by ear. But he sucked at it
During the summer in Ozarks he
learned how to play fluently in every
key. Lester Young was his model and
by the time he returned to Kansas his
rhythm was supercharged.
He then got a spot in Jay McShann
After a car accident he began to
become addicted to morphine and
He was bluesy and modern
Showed that he can be a model
citizen in a swing band, blending in
the saxophone section and devising
endlessly varied riffs behind soloists
during head arrangements.
Drugs eventually took over his life. He
found a network of musicians
similarly attuned to what he once
called the real advance New York
style of modern jazz. Among them
was Dizzy Gillespie.
Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993)
John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie.
His solo lines crackle in the upper
register, accelerating to speeds not
though possible, matching Charlie
Parker note for note.
50 year career
He was the pied piper of modern jazz.
He pulled the style into shape like a
Grew up in Cheraw South Carolina
which his pops was a bricklayer. He
taught himself trumpet so badly his
neck muscles protruded (frog like)
when he played.
Got a scholarship in North Carolina
where he studied both trumpet and
Jam sessions could run for hours, they had cutting contests where players would duel against each other until someone gave up. Giving up meant you had more to learn with your education. It was a way for players to relax. Generally used to keep inexperienced musicians out using obstacles like playing very fast or play in a different key. Kenny clarke technique developed when he played with teddy hill"s swing band. He shifted the pulse to the ride cymbal this made the sound more light and flexible for a foundation and the bass drum was able to fill in holes in the bands arrangements. Wasn"t accepted at first, the band let him go but then he played for the playhouse with hill after his band went downhill (hill didn"t want to let. This all took place during wwii they called his drum explosions as. Max roach, art blakely- drummers who adopted this style.