4 decades of Jazz

4 decades of Jazz:


1920-roaring 20s

1930- swing era

1940- big band

1940 cont...-bebop


  • Created by: Jemima
  • Created on: 29-05-14 11:43

LIVERY STABLE BLUES- 1910, Original Dixieland Jazz

4 bar intro

Tune A- trumpet main melody, clarinet countermelody (repeated)
Tune B-trumpet drained out by clarinet, drum crashes (repeated)
Improv fill in, gliss on cornet leads to...
Tune C- animal noises; clarinet=cockrel, cornet=horse, trombone=cow (repeated)

Tune A
Tune B
Tune C (repeated)

1 bar coda;  2 chords, perfect cadence

RHYTHM SECTION= tuba, sausaphone, guitar, double bass, banjo, drums, piano

MOOD= energetic, excited, busy

CONTEXT= 1910's, improvisation, New Orleans, Hot Jazz, Ragtime & Blues influences, 12 bar blues, sold over a million copies worldwide, polyphonic style 

1 of 19

DEAD MAN BLUES- 1926, Jelly Roll Morton

'humerous' dialogue
funeral march by Chopin as intro
12 bar blues in Bb major

collective improvisation

Tune A- clarinet solo
Tune B- cornet solo
Tune C- clarinet trio
Tune D- clarinet trio plus trombone countermelody 

percussive crashes bars 2, 4 and 6 on the 4th beat of choruses
more collective improv
2 bar coda- clarinet trio based on Tune C

RHYTHM SECTION= piano, double bass, drums, banjo

MOOD=slightly more subdued, still upbeat

CONTEXT=vaudeville, comical twist, structurally typical, influenced by Dixieland style.

2 of 19

WEST END BLUES-1928, Louis Armstrong

Cadenza on trumpet as intro
dominant 7th chord to lead into 12 bar blues (roughly)

Tune A= trumpet melody with clarinet harmonising + trombone countermelody  

Tune B= trombone collective improvisation-slurring 

Tune C= **** singing in antiphony with the clarinet playing 'chalumeau' register

Tune D=Complex piano solo, hark back to Tune A, thinner rhythm section

Sequenced falling figure in piano
Grand brass stabs
Rising piano scale to end. 

RHYTHM SECTION= piano, drums and double bass

MOOD=laid back, relaxed, bluesy feel, **** singing adds interest- trademark of Armstrong

CONTEXT=more complex, free style than Dead Man Blues, New Orleans. 

3 of 19

SAVOY BLUES- 1927, Louis Armstrong

straight into Tune A- trumpet melody, instead of a head in
Tune B- slurred melody trumpet and trombone
Harmonic wall of sound

Guitar fill in
Guitar finger picking solo (unusual)

Trumpet solo
clarinet and trumpet playing in 3rds harmony, trombone glissandi  (antiphony)
trumpet solo over collective improvisation

mini trumpet solo as coda, guitar chord (9th) to end 

RHYTHM SECTION= piano, guitar, um-cha rhythm. 

MOOD=cheerful, laid back, simple

CONTEXT= 20s, composed by Kid Ory, pure instrumental, influenced by Dixieland style. 

4 of 19

IT DON'T MEAN A THING- 1931, Duke Ellington

violin solo
piano descending um-cha chords as intro

vocals enter
trumpet fill ins

trombone solo (with mute)

**** singing

trumpet (with mute) solo + violin

large, loud instrumental, Big Band Style

RHYTHM SECTION= drums, piano & double bass

MOOD=frenetic, excitable, energetic, grand

CONTEXT=in the charts for 6 weeks, predicts 'Swing Era', classical/jazz bridge, prohibition of alcohol, virtuoso playing, improv, syncopation, blues notes introduced 

5 of 19

MOOD INDIGO- 1930, Duke Ellington

chromatic, complex piano intro
rapid, dissonant chord changes, lots of decoration

slurring melody- brass instruments (trombones, soprano sax)

clarinet solo, improvised
trumpet solo (with mute)
piano solo- fast runs, lots of instrumentation

collective improv section before slurring melody reoccurs

brass stabs and climaxial chord to end

RHYTHM SECTION=piano, double bass and drums

MOOD=laid back, weary, slurred

CONTEXT=introduced into Cotton Club, New York in 1930, unconventional use of instruments, prohibition of alcohol, virtuoso playing, improv, syncopation & blues notes introduced. 

6 of 19

STOMPIN' AT THE SAVOY- Benny Goodman, 1936

4 bar introduction, 32 bar blues

1st chorus-classic 'swing' sound,
A phrase-low register unison saxophones
muted trumpets on every 3rd beat.
B phrase- slightly more active trumpets 

2nd chorus
A phrase-sax's lead, melody 2 notes per phrase, more elaborate response from trumpets
B phrase- Goodman plays clarinet solo over sax accompaniment 

3rd chorus
A phrase-trombone solo over saxophone layer.
B phrase- tenor sax solo, trombone returns in higher register

4th chorus-key change, trumpets take melody. Then another clarinet solo from Goodman.

RHYTHM SECTION=piano, drums, guitar, bass
MOOD=fun, catchy, 'swing' feel
CONTEXT= contrafact, 'king of swing', prohib. of alcohol, virtuoso style. 

7 of 19


straight into main theme- chromatic clarinet and saxophone melody
muted trumpet counter melody, wind instruments playing harmony         = section 1

chromatic piano melody     =section 2

section 1 repeated
section 2-  climbing chromatic melody
section 3- tune shared betwen muted trumpet + clarinet and woodwinds
section 1- ff, antiphony, open harmonies

clarinet solo- lots of decoration

Section 1 back, with closed harmonies, ff
single chord to end

RHYTHM SECTION=simple plodding bass, swing rhythm on drums, piano

MOOD=rich, merged sound as opposed to earlier jazz-definite tune & accomp.

CONTEXT=bad quality of life, frequent turnovers, segregation, struggle to establish oneself.

8 of 19

IN THE MOOD, 1940, Glenn Miller

saxophone syncopated figure based on arpeggio
answered by brass stabs & percussive crashes on drums     =intro

wood winds main melody based on arpeggio + rythmic puncutation in brass
wood winds melody in antiphony with trumpet
-short fill in based on the introduction, fanfare style, trumpets, loud-
phrases shared by 2 saxophones, 'tenor battle'

trumpet solo, lots of slides, jazzy feel

main melody back in- 'famous fade out'- no mutes just skillful control
everyone back in ff signalled by a nod, trombone tonic pedal
climbing chromatic scale with climaxial chord and tonic note to end

RHYTHM SECTION-drums, trombone, piano, bass

MOOD=catchy, suspense and tension building, excitable, energetic

CONTEXT=bad quality of life, frequent turnovers, segregation, based on a famous riff, topped charts in 1940, based on broken chords, written by 'Manone', made famous by Miller.

9 of 19

GROOVIN' HIGH- 1945, Dizzie Gillespie

sax playing a bar of melody over walking bass = intro

main motif= falling 3rd idea in antiphony with the piano     =head in

virtuoso saxophone solo

trumpet plays melody- irregular phrases

guitar solo- unusual

coda- rythmically free character, high register trumpet played by DG himself
over a 12 bar blues pattern

RHYTHM SECTION=bass, drums, piano

MOOD=fast, complex, energetic

CONTEXT= rationing, struggle with war, travelling was a problem, Musicians Union formed in New York, based songs on jazz standards, example of a 'contrafact', famous trumpeter.  

10 of 19

SALT PEANUTS-1947, Dizzie Gillespie

Lots of irregular phrases

fast paces

virtuoso playing

highly unusual syncopation

accents, lots of 'dropping bombs'

hook line- salt PEAnuts, salt PEAnuts

RHYTHM SECTION- piano, drums, bass, guitar

MOOD=irregular, catchy, frantic

CONTEXT= war, rationing, travelling difficult, musicians union new york, based on jazz standards.

11 of 19

MISTERIOSO-1958, Thelonius Monk

4 bar intro solo piano =introduction

section 1- 12 bar blues, sixths on vibraphone, free rhythm section

section 2- 12 bar blues, collective improvisation, 15th on vibraphone, sustained notes

section 3-12 bar blues, piano, drum percussive crashes & bass. crushed notes, wholetone scale
trills, complex, disjointed melodic phrases spanning over 2-3 octaves

section 4- 12 bar blues, 6ths on vibraphone, piano playing rhythmic interjections

Rallantando, rapidly descending piano scale, returns to rising 6ths.

RHYTHM SECTION=bass, drums, piano

MOOD=disjointed, odd, dissonant

CONTEXT=  post war, travelling still difficult, jazz standards.

12 of 19

ORNITHOLOGY-1946, Charlie Parker

 2 bar drum solo as introduction

trumpet and saxophone share main melody, complex
piano sequencing figure
unison melody with short fill ins                           = head in

alto sax solo played by Parker himself
drums dropping bombs
muted trumpet solo, complex

tenor sax - raspy sound
return to head for 2 bars
sequencing figure 
abrupt finish

RHYTHM SECTION=piano, drums, bass, guitar

MOOD=complex melodies, energetic, classically fast melodies

CONTEXT=example of a contrafact, post war (just), travelling difficult, Musicians Union, regarded as the song of the nightingale by Stranvinsky- harmonically + rhythmically complex.

13 of 19

RHAPSODY IN BLUE- 1924, Gershwin

clarinet glissando leads to Tune A
Tune B answered by brass
Tune A muted trumpet
Tune C piano solo
Tune A whole orchestra
Tune C ellaborated by piano, with hints of tune A, virtuoso, Gershwin himself
Tune A, C, A in whole orchestra, rhythmically different each time.

Tune D trumpets punch out tune with bright chordal decoration on the piano
Tune B hinted at during this calmer section, clarinets playing it.
Tune B whole orchestra, short bluesy solo breaks for clarinet, muted trumpet & muted trombone. 
Tune E reeds and brass, piano chords punctuating
Tune E developed by whole orchestra
Tune B piano cadenza, added blues notes and decoration
Tune B solo piano then reeds with piano decoration and nod to tune C
Piano solo cadenza passage leads to tune E
Tune F, building up intensity, slower section, chromatic countermelody on piano
Tune F whole orchestra, suddenly faster tempo, fast repeated notes on the piano
Ascending scale leads to Tune B, orchestra syncopated punctuation

Tune A whole orchestra, finale, huge crescendo ff. 

14 of 19

RHAPSODY IN BLUE- 1924, Gershwin cont...


-wrote a lot of musical theate music, well known for Porgy and Bess

-Paul Whiteman organised concert 'Experiment of American Music' and asked Gershwin to write this Jazz influenced concert piece

-Swing and syncopated rhythms, clarinet solos, chromaticisim, improvised feel, blues notes & extension chords all features of Jazz. 

-no standard form

-slower sections indicative of that in the slow movement of a concerto e.g. Rachmaninov (Romantic era)

-was premiered in 1924, Gershwin hadn't finished writing it so signalled with a 'nod' to Whiteman to bring the orchestra back in. Rachmaninov in the audience- great pressure for Whiteman

-essentially, the length of a classical concerto with Jazz influences.  

15 of 19

Shostakovich Jazz Suite

playful atmosphere
melodies passed between muted trumpet, soprano sax & trombone with countermelody on violin 
change to a major key mid-way
antiphony- melody passed on every couple of bars between violin and tenor sax 
piano fill ins
violin playing minor scalic patterns- give a 'klezmer' feel
harmonising sax family

playful xylophone solo, gliss as intro, comical, over tonic/dominant bass line
snare drum rolls- mockingly military feel
frequent key changes
sequenced melody, octave jumps
spiccato strings play opening melody

beat is punctuated
blues notes 

16 of 19

Shostakovich Jazz Suite cont...

...lyrical melody on alto sax
large, loud, decorated sections
violin solo- several transitory modulations
haiwaiin guitar solo- experimental
trombone gliss accompaniment, trumpet countermelody
trombone solo
staccato, chordal accomp. throughout
minor pedal point, violin solo and glockenspiel countermelody
drum roll/cymbal crash to finish.

composed and premiered in 1934
Shostakovich was interested in the Jazz scene of the USSR
Was asked to write a piece for a Leningrad dance jazz band

3 x saxophones, 2x trumpets,1x trombone, 1x violin, 1x double bass, 1x piano, 1x hawaiin guitar, 1x banjo, 1x glockenspiel, 1x xylophone, 1x snare drum, 1x cymbal, 1x woodblock. 

17 of 19

EBONY CONCERTO, Stravinsky, 1946

complex & rhythmically aggressive style- hallmark of his orchestra writing e.g Rite of Spring
brass stabs, rhythmic interjections, harmonic dissonance
melody is subservient to rhythmic style & absent for large parts of music
dialogue between brass and woodwinds

more lyrical style
blues like melodies in solo clarinet, woodwinds and muted brass
essentially 'tonal', some of the harmony is chromatic.
disturbed, dissonant feel

alternates between slow and fast sections
menacing bass melody on baritone sax and double bass (archo-unusual for classical style)
fast, rhythmically lively sections- fragmented effect, tempo changes and sequenced melody
use of jazz effects; mutes, glissandi, flutter tonguing.
4 climax chords to end
drum fill ins throughout
syncopated rhythmic interjections 

18 of 19

EBONY CONCERTO, Stravinsky, 1946 cont

see many of techniques used in Rite Of Spring- e.g fragmented melody, dissonance
Reciprocal influences Stravinsky and Jazz artists, e.g Charlie Parker
Stravinsky was Russian but spent last 32 years of life in USA
held in high respect by Jazz world
Experimental approach influenced Bebop
innovative use of rhythm, harmony- appealed to experimental Jazz musicians
Ebony Concerto was his first Jazz composition
not premiered by Benny Goodman until 1955, recorded and played prior to this however.

written for solo clarinet  (ebony stick- Jazz term) and Jazz Band; tenor, alto & baritone sax, 5x trumpets, 3x trombones, french horn, piano, harp, guitar, double bass, percussion. 
Written in standard 3 movements (fast, slow, fast)
Semitonal- used non-diatonic melody and unusual tonalities (although it is in a key)
rhythmically interesting.  

19 of 19


No comments have yet been made

Similar Music resources:

See all Music resources »See all 4 decades of Jazz resources »