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Chapter 3

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MUSC 2140
Howard Spring

Chapter 3 Chapter 6 in website Dissonance dissonance is central to Western musical practice including jazz. For historical and psychoacoustical reasons, certain notes go together in ways that are unstable, that is, they sound as if some other groups of notes should follow, this second group being relatively stable (consonance). When this happens, it is said that the dissonant interval, or chord, or note, resolves to a consonant interval, or chord, or note. Intervals can be dissonant or consonant, chords can be dissonant of consonant because of the kinds of intervals contained in them, and notes can be dissonant or consonant in relation to other notes of the chord. Go to the virtual keyboard (or a piano) and play two notes directly adjacent to each other. This interval (the distance between two notes) is usually considered to be dissonant. Now play two white keys that have one white key between them. This interval is usually considered consonant. First, what is considered to be dissonant and what is considered to be consonant has changed over history. Second, this is not morality. Consonance is not "good", and dissonance "bad". Rather it is the interplay between consonance and dissonance that makes music interesting and gives it motion. Louis Armstrong 1901-1971 This chapter considers the landmark career of jazz revolutionary and pop icon Louis Armstrong and his effect on creating jazz as a solo art. We begin with the arc of Armstrong's career from New Orleans to Chicago and New York, detailing his interactions with the music of his hometown (King Oliver), the new big-band dance music (Fletcher Henderson), and the classic blues (Bessie Smith). We then move back to Chicago and Armstrong's landmark Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings (1926-28), which bridged older, New Orleans-style collective improvisation with the new emphasis on soloing, often aided by pianist Earl Hines. Armstrong influenced two important soloists: Bix Beiderbecke, who represents the pinnacle of young white interest in jazz, and Coleman Hawkins, whose canny understanding of Armstrong's achievements launched a lengthy career Louis Armstrong (1901-1971) He is the most important figure in the history of jazz. He transformed a social music into art and a place where a musician, regardless of race or geography, could find a voice. He was a central influence as an instrumentalist and as a vocalist. He was also very popular at a time when jazz was considered primitive and degenerate. He soothed fears and neutralized dissent Primary Innovations Proved that improvised music could have the weight and durability of written music Blues: established it as jazz's harmonic foundation when most saw it as a mere fashion. He countered the trends of the broadway shows and commercial dance bands. He established the blues scale and blues feeling as jazz’s harmonic foundation Improvisation: established jazz as music that prizes individual expression, above and beyond technique Singing: introduced a jazz vocal style using scat, loose phrasing with lyrics, which influenced later vocal stars such as Bing Crosby and Billie Holliday. -- he was dependant on mastery of pitch and time as well as fast reflexes and imagination. Repertory: created masterworks based on Tin Pan Alley songs, not just original New Orleans themes, showing that jazz could expand musically and commercially. Came from pop tunes, hymns, blues and classical works from the south. Rhythm: introduced swing These five contributions were introduced in ways defying conventional ideas about art and put American music on a par with European and Russian music. Early Years Although he came from bleak beginnings, he had a long and fruitful career in music and later in movies. He did not simply peak during the 1920s. He helped spearhead swing and persevered through bop and fusion even though he disliked them. Born to an unwed teenager in 1902 in a devastated New Orleans area. When his mother showed him her hometown in the country, Armstrong saw a different kind of life. At age seven, he was working two jobs. He received his first cornet from the immigrant Jewish family that owned one of the businesses that Louis worked for. In 1913 he was arrested for shooting blanks and sent to the New Orleans Colored Waif's Home for 18 months, where he received rudimentary musical instruction; he was made leader of the band before he left. After discharge, Louis took lessons from Joe Oliver. Riverboat Years In 1918 he started playing in saloons and parades, often with his own trio (with bass and drums), playing mostly blues. When Oliver left for Chicago, he suggested that Armstrong take his place in the band with co-leader Kid Ory. Later that year he started working on Mississippi riverboat excursions. He spent three years with the Streckfus Steamboat Line under the musical leadership of Fate Marable, who played the calliope. During this time Armstrong: Became a better music reader; learned to adapt New Orleans music to written arrangements Learned songs beyond the New Orleans repertory Experienced a new kind of audience (white) Acclimatized to the life of a traveling musician lifelong pattern With Oliver in Chicago Marable did not let Armstrong sing, so he quit in 1921 to return to Ory's band. He became well known in the area. Ethel Waters, while traveling with her pianist Fletcher Henderson, attempted to lure him to New York, but he stayed in New Orleans. In 1922, he was invited to join Oliver's band in Chicago at the Lincoln Gardens. He usually played second trumpet (there were a few exceptions, such as "Dippermouth Blues"). He astonished musicians with his harmonizing trumpet breaks with Oliver and the brilliance of his timbre. By 1924 he left Oliver with the encouragement of his second wife, Lil Hardin (the pianist in Oliver's band), and went to New York at the invitation of Fletcher Henderson. With Henderson in New York This was a crucial time for jazz and Armstrong. Henderson hired the best black musicians of the day. Armstrong was considered an old-fashioned country rube by the slick New York musicians of the Henderson band, but only until they heard his originality, blues feeling, and rhythmic drive. He also made many recordings with blues divas such as Bessie Smith and others. He recorded with Sidney Bechet on the Clarence Williams Blue Five sessions.  combined the breezy entertainment of Southern vaudeville with the sweeping exuberance of a lean New Orleans-style ensemble Armstrong recorded more than thirty-six times with Henderson in fourteen months, during which he: Influenced Redman's arrangements Made the blues more a part of the band's sound Increased the prominence of the band's beat with longer solos Set the standard for other players in the Henderson band as well as other bands Because Henderson would not let him sing, he left in 1925 and returned to Chicago. The Hot Five In Chicago he played in a pit orchestra that played for silent movies and intermission music. By the end of 1925 OKeh Records asked to him record as a leader. He chose Lil Hardin and three musicians whom he had worked with in New Orleans: Johnny Dodds (clarinet), Johnny St. Cyr (banjo), and Kid Ory (trombone). Using varying personnel, Armstrong made sixty-five recordings with the Hot Five and Hot Seven. These were very important recordings in that they mark: The change from polyphony to showcasing soloists The move from embellishments to improvisation The move from breaks to full chorus solos or more The move from multiple ragtime-like strains to single-theme choruses of pop songs and blues "Hotter Than That" Recorded in 1927. The thirty-two-bar chorus is based on a New Orleans favorite, "Tiger Rag," originally recorded by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1918. Lonnie Johnson joins in on guitar as a soloist, which was unusual. There is no written melody, just improvisation (including a trumpet solo, scat singing, and trading between Armstrong and Johnson) and complex three- beat figures. Enter Earl Hines (1903-1983) In 1926 Armstrong was asked to be the feature soloist with the Carroll Dickerson Orchestra at the Sunset Café in Chicago. Dickerson also hired pianist Earl Hines. Hines had an idiosyncratic style, which included soloing like a horn, using octaves and tremolos as well as single notes, and accompaniment using playful rhythms combining on-the-beat, boogie-woogie, and stride rhythms. Armstrong and Hines hit it off immediately. Armstrong had him record with the Hot Five in 1928 and took him to New York the same year. These recordings were considered an advance on the earlier Hot Fives. Polyphony generally disappeared (of new Orleans), to be replaced by solos and homophonic textures that characterize jazz to this day. "Weather Bird" Written by Armstrong for Oliver and recorded with him in 1923. It is structured like the traditional three-strain ragtime; each strain is sixteen bars long. A good deal of friendly battling occurs here. The Armstrong Impact: A Generation of Soloists Before Armstrong, bands reflected the abilities of their leaders or took an ensemble approach. Armstrong changed that tradition by inspiring a new generation of musicians, both black and white, who were interested in unfettered improvisation. With Armstrong jazz had the potential to become universal. By 1929, a number of musicians were following Armstrong's example of the starring soloist. Composers also had to make use of these emerging soloists.--> bix birderbecke and coleman Hawkins Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931) Beiderbecke was born in Davenport Iowa. He had an exceptionally good musical ear. He became famous as a cornet player but also knew his way around a piano. He belonged to the generation that learned jazz from recordings. Recordings had three influences on the dissemination of jazz: Young people could hear jazz no matter where they lived. Solos could be learned and memorized through repeated listening to a recording. Recordings helped young players to break away from tradition. At the age of fourteen, Beiderbecke was deeply affected by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band recordings when they first came out. He taught himself the New Orleans style of cornet playing through recordings and live performances on the Streckfus steamers that visited Davenport. Both these activities dismayed his parents. He neglected his schoolwork so in 1921 his parents sent him to a boarding school, which happened to be within train-hopping distance to Chicago. Beiderbecke took full advantage, regularly visiting clubs like the Lincoln Gardens, where he heard King Oliver and Armstrong. He was expelled in 1923 when he joined the first band of northern whites to imitate New Orleans ensembles: the Wolverines. In 1924 they recorded for Gennett. Chicago Style In 1924 he made some recordings with the Sioux City Six, which included C-melody saxophonist Frank Trumbauer (1901-1956). Trumbauer had a strong influence on Lester Young and Benny Carter. Beiderbecke and Trumbauer became close friends and the figureheads for a generation of white musicians referred to as the Austin High School Gang. Other musicians who were associated with this group included Beiderbecke, Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, and others. They created the Chicago style, which started out as an imitation of New Orleans jazz but later became more rhythmic and combined soloing with polyphonic themes. --he introduced a delicacy to the jazz sax that made an indelible impression on several black sax player such as beny carter and lester young For young white musicians, being involved with jazz was an act of rebellion, but for blacks this wasn't the case. Beiderbecke died young from the effects of alcoholism. Although a featured soloist with the popular Paul Whiteman band, he was largely unknown during his lifetime. He recorded between 1924 and 1930, but his career reached its zenith in the recordings made in 1927 with Trumbauer and guitarist Eddie Lang (1902-1933). "Singin' the Blues" This is one of the most imitated records of all time. The performance had three novel aspects: 0 The source is a popular song. 1 The melody is never actually played until after the cornet solo, 2 The tempo and feeling are indicative of a ballad. Both Trumbauer's and Beiderbecke's solos are famous, as is Lang's accompaniment. Fletcher Henderson recorded a version of Trumbauer's solo. His famous trumpeter, Rex Stewart, often played Beiderbecke's solo note for note, and words were put to it in 1935. Beiderbecke is quite different from Armstrong-he is more subdued, yet still swings. Coleman Hawkins (1904-1960) Hawkins ha
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