- Jazz originates from South America in the early 20th century, sung by African slaves.
- Main feature of jazz, across all types of jazz, is improvisation.
- Miles Davis was one of the best known Jazz trumpeters, and he developed modal Jazz, which All Blues is an example of.
- Bebop jazz is a fast and virtuosic type of jazz, with improvisations based on complex chord progressions.
- Modal, however, is more laid-back and uncomplicated.
- All Blues is from the album Kind of Blue, which was recorded in New York on 2 March and 22 April 1959.
- From a sextet, a group of 6 players.
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Instrumentation and Instrumental Techniques
- Frontline- the main melody and prominent solos-
- Trumpet-Miles Davis
- Alto sax-Julian Adderly
- Tenor Sax-Paul Coltrane
- Rhythm section-harmonic and rhythmic backing-
- Piano-Bill Evans
- Bass guitar-Paul Chambers
- Drums-Jim Cobbs
- Snare drum-wire brushes are used at the start of the piece but then are changed to sticks later on.
- Bass guitar-completely pizzicato all the way through.
- Trumper-Harmon mute is used for the head meoldy, with its stem removed.
- Piano begins comping in the solos; accompanying the solos with chords and short melodic ideas.
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- The structure is a head arrangement. A head is the main melody, which is based on the 12 bar blues, played by the muted trumpet. One cycle of the 12 bar blues is a chorus.
- Introduction: Introduction and riff(played by saxes in minor thirds)
- Head 1 and riff
- Head 2 and riff.
- Trumpet solo (4 choruses) and riff
- Alto sax solo (4 choruses) and riff
- Tenor sax solo(4 choruses) and riff
- Piano solo (4 choruses) and riff
- Head 3 and riff
- Head 4 and riff
- Muted trumpet solo.
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- Introduction: piano plays clusters of semi-quavers: E, Fnatural, G, A.
- The riffs by the saxes move in steps, and in a very narrow range.
- The head melody is simply, with rising 6ths from D to B, which mirrors the falling leaps in the bass guitar.
- Trumpet solo: Short, syncopated motifs. Ghost notes are used, which are very faint and quiet. Glissandos are used for 'fall offs'.
- Alto sax solo: Wider range and quicker notes, full of scales and arpeggios.
- Tenor sax solo: Quick runs and fast scales.
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Harmony and Tonality
- It is in G major, with a flattened 7th, which means it is is Mixolydian mode.
- Usual 12 bar blues in G:
- G, G, G, G
- C, C, G, G
- D, C, G, G
- The 12 bar blues chord progression sequence in All Blues:
- G7, G7, G7, G7
- Gm7, Gm7, G7, D7
- Eb7#9/D7#9, F/G, F/G6
- The saxes play in minor thirds in the intro riffs.
- Extended chords (adding notes on top of normal chords) are used, a common feature of jazz.
- For example, Eb7#9 Is Eb, G, Bb, Db, F#. Db is the 7th note above 3B and F# is the sharpened 9th note above Eb.
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Rhythm, Metre and Tempo
- It is a jazz waltz, with 'swing quavers' as performance directions-this enhances the jazz feel.
- It is in 6/4, which is unusual for jazz music, which is normally in 4/4.
- Syncopation occurs all the time.
- In the intro, the piano plays tremolo-like notes.
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