West End Blues (1928) By Louis Armstong - Part 1

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  • West End Blues (1928) by Louis Armstrong
    • Armstrong helped introduce a new style of solo performance
    • Group improvs replaced by soloists taking it in turn to improvise
    • Instrumentation
      • Tended to involve small groups
      • 7 instruments
      • Trumpet - Wide range (2 octaves and a third) Begins with trumpet cadenza. Uses vibrato on long notes. Lip trills in bar 18
      • Clarinet - Doesn't have own solo. Low pitched (chalumeau). Range of a tenth
      • Piano - Earl Hines. Comping style. Solo at bar 43 - Stride bass in LH. RH=Virtuosic solo in high register
      • Trombone - Solo in 2nd chorus. Range = tenth. Slides
      • 3rd Chorus - Armstrong sings in scat style
    • Texture
      • Begins monophonically with trumpet cadenza
      • Homophonic chord for all instruments bar 6
      • Main tune from bar 7=3 part texture. top 3 parts = unequal. Top part has tune. 2nd part-(clari) mainly in 3rds occasionally counterpoint with trumpet. 3rd part-tromb. Long accomp notes. Piano -comping
        • 4th chorus - similar to 1st. All instruments. Long held homophonic chord for upper instruments and comping below
      • 2nd chorus - melody dominated homophony - trombone solo
        • Piano solo - bar 63 long held dom. pedal in LH
      • 3rd chorus - call and response= clari and scat vocal. Bar 35 they start to overlap. At the end top parts play in compound tritons (dim 5ths. Aug 4ths)
    • Structure
      • Bar 1-6 = Solo trumpet cadenza
      • Bar 7-18 = 1st chorus. Main theme on trumpet
      • Bar 19-30 = 2nd Chorus. Trombone solo
      • Bar 31-42 = 3rd Chorus. Clarinet and Scat vocal
      • Bar 43-54 = 4th Chorus. Piano solo
      • Bar 55-65 = 5th chorus. Trumpet improv
      • Bar 66-68 = CODA

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