1 beginnings of jazz 2013

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1 beginnings of jazz 2013

  1. 1. Beginnings of Jazz Week 3 2013 •  From New Orleans to Chicago •  Precursors •  The context •  The mixing of styles •  The personalities •  The impact
  2. 2. Readings •  Burkholder, Grout and Palisca, pp. 844-864 also bits in chapter 30. •  Ted Gioia, The History of Jazz, pp. 3-54 •  Ed. Mervyn Cooke and David Horn, The Cambridge Companion to Jazz, CUP, 2002, pp. 9-32 •  Gunter Schuller, Early Jazz, 1968, pp. 63-133
  3. 3. Congo Square Dance
  4. 4. Prehistory •  Congo square dances of black slaves in early 19th century New Orleans. The ring shout. Rhythmic content of African music. •  Video 1 •  Ragtime and Scott Joplin. Starts in the 1890s as a piano style full of syncopation. Died with Joplin in 1917. Revived in the 1960s and 70s. •  Extract 1 - The Cascade – by Scott Joplin
  5. 5. The Blues •  Country Blues and classic blues. Country blues dominated by big names of Delta blues singers. Classic by female singers – Ma Rainey •  Video 2 – 1890s and blues •  Extract 2 Robert Johnson
  6. 6. Ma Rainey •  Titanic Man Blues
  7. 7. The Blues
  8. 8. New Orleans Context •  Industrial Port of the 19th century. It had been Spanish and then French, then American with the Louisiana purchase of 1803. •  Imported slaves to work on the plantations of the south. •  Steam boats of Mississippi opened up New Orleans as a major port for shipments made from the central states of the USA. Population increased 4 fold between 1825-75
  9. 9. Mortality •  Blacks lived on average 36 years – whites only 46. •  Pestilence – city below sea level, no sanitation or sewage until 1892. Mosquitoes ever present. •  Fascination with death and funeral processions. •  Huge red light district. To cater for drifting population. •  Storyville the birthplace of Jazz. •  Passion for marching bands throughout 19th century. Sunday concerts, dances and funeral processions. •  Video 3 Feeling the Blues
  10. 10. Feeling the blues
  11. 11. Blending •  Opera house in New Orleans from 1792 – a new one opened in 1859 and was the best in the New World. •  Creole musicians traversed cultural divides. Steeped in the classics and could read at sight. •  Bordellos brought all races together.
  12. 12. Buddy Bolden •  Father of Jazz – but no recordings or music survives – just a name. •  Dates 1877- 1931 •  Took up the cornet in 1890s – played in mixed band of strings and wind. Career in decline by 1906. Declared insane. Applied syncopations of ragtime and tonality of blues to a new range of compositions. •  Video 4 Blues on Brass
  13. 13. Blues on Brass
  14. 14. New Generation •  Uptown cornettists – Bunk Johnson, Joe ‘King’ Oliver, Mutt Carey and Louis Armstrong – took over from Bolden. •  Creoles also took up the new style – Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory and white musicians - Papa Jack Laine, Emmet Hardy, Nick LaRocca. •  By early 1920s the first recordings were made.
  15. 15. Bands develop •  Band improvisation •  Video 5
  16. 16. Bands
  17. 17. Original Dixieland Jazz Band •  All white band that made the first recordings – joined in Chicago in 1916 and opened in New York in 1917. The band travelled widely and played a wide selection of music – but not really the ‘real thing’, but did much to expose the new music to the world.
  18. 18. Nick La Rocca – Tiger Rag
  19. 19. Jelly Roll Morton •  ‘World’s Greatest Hot Tune Writer’. •  Flamboyant character of New Orleans. •  Real name Ferdinand LaMenthe b.1890. Highbrow Creole family. Became a piano ‘Professor’ of the bordellos. Made hundreds of piano rolls. Lead a band called the The Red Hot Peppers. His music full of surprises and changes of direction. Known for its structural complexity. •  Extract 3 - Perfect Rag
  20. 20. The Move to Chicago •  By early 1920s the centre of Jazz had moved to Chicago – but the Chicago scene was dominated by players and bands from New Orleans. •  Millions of blacks moved north in search of work and a better life. •  Joe ‘King’ Oliver and his King Oliver Creole Band perhaps the best known today for their recordings. Background of marching bands of New Orleans. Took on a second cornettist for recordings of 1923/4 - Louis Armstrong. •  Extract 4 Froggie Moore - King Oliver
  21. 21. Louis Armstrong •  1900 illegitimate son of New Orleans prostitute. Arrested in 1913 for shooting off a gun - put in a Home of boys - with military band traditions - given a cornet and taught to play. Drove a coal wagon and played on this side - included in many bands.
  22. 22. Band balance •  Group rather than individual solos - interweaving of front line parts - cornet, clarinet, trombone.. •  Trombone takes lower register bass melody; clarinet plays complex figurations in high or middle register; Cornet plays less complex figures but in the middle register and pushes the band forward. •  Each instrument tried to emulate the human voice - like talking and singing. •  Rhythm section - piano, banjo, drums - possibly also bass or tuba.
  23. 23. Move towards Big Bands and Soloists/Leaders •  Armstrong was clearly a more virtuosic player than Oliver - who saw Jazz as collective and inter- dependent. Armstrong was constrained within the band. •  Individualism of Armstrong calls attention to itself. •  Death knell of New Orleans style - and arrival of big band format. In place by 1925 and in full flow by 1930.
  24. 24. Impact •  1920s the ‘Jazz Age’. •  Phonograph, gramophone and radio all in place by 1920s. Tin Pan Alley still important and lots of music was transcribed and sold as sheet music. •  Dance craze of the era. One step, Two step, Blackbottom, Stomp, Charleston, etc. Records allowed people to dance at home. •  Musicians throughout the world aware of Jazz - world wide impact. •  Gerswin’s Rapsody in Blue 1924. Big impact in Paris and on French composers. Extract 5I
  25. 25. Records •  By 1909 12 million dollars of records and cylinders sold in USA, by 1921 thus had increase 4 fold. •  Jazz arrives as a recorded product in the early 1920 and is our main source of knowledge of the genre from then on.
  26. 26. Radio •  Early records - 78 had to be 3 and half minutes. •  No electric microphones before 1925 so sound quality was poor and the recording process crude. •  Radio preferred to a have a live band - often a house ensemble to produce music on tap. •  Quality of sound on radio was better than on record in general - early shellac records deteriorated quickly and were easily broken.
  27. 27. Bix Beiderbecke •  White boy growing up in Davenport Iowa, in the mid West. From a German musical family - but with no connection with Jazz in his musical heritage. •  His understanding and enthusiasm came from hearing records. - ODJB and the cornet playing of LaRocca in particular. •  Played by ear - never learnt to read music well. •  Sent to school near Chicago but played truant to hear and play with bands. •  First band the Wolverines got their first records in 1923. In second sessions of 1924 he was still only 21. He moved to New York in 1924.
  28. 28. Big Band Era •  Chicago to New York. •  Period of Jazz legends. •  Increasing importance of singers with use of microphones. •  Collapse of record sales and dominance of radio. •  Crash of 1929 - the depression and prohibition.

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