Look at the link above before Class Two, if you have time. I will explain it in class, but thinking about it beforehand will help you see how it becomes relevant to informed listening to jazz (or music in general). The subject matter is how music is structured which is what enables musicians in a band to know where the other musicians are playing, even if they're improvising. It also helps you to know where the musicians are in the song.
Reinforcing hearing the characteristics of jazz .
Click on the tune titles below for link to a performance (or find the tune through your music streaming service for better audio quality.) Most of the links below are intended to emphasize specific characteristics of jazz that were discussed in class.
Reinforcing the speech-like use of instruments: Cannonball Adderley, "Stars Fell on Alabama." The "architecture" of this song is a standard 32-measure popular song in 8-measure phrases.
A second example: Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra capture the spirit (and vocalized brass section) of Duke Ellington's: "Black and Tan Fantasy." "Black and Tan Fantasy" is a blues in its form, but so complex you would not guess it. Reinforcing displacement of time in a composition: Charlie Parker, "Au Privave" (Architecture: This is a standard 12-measure blues -- the kind you would hear a blues band play. But the melody is so heavily "syncopated" it takes some practice to hear the structure.
Reinforcing Rhythmic Complexity: Cannonball Adderley, "Jive Samba>" Also, The Charles Mingus Band, "Moanin'"
Reinforcing syncopation specifically as a form of rhythmic conflict: Erroll Garner Trio. "I Get A Kick Out of You." A delightful performance melodically you can hear in the tune itself and the improvising how the pianist is "playing with time" to create a virtually new composition.
Reinforcing dissonance as part of jazz harmony: Thelonious Monk, "Lulu's back in Town" Thelonious Monk from Jazz Icon series, available on You Tube.
Also reinforcing the appropriation of the Blues as a folk form, listen to Thelonious Monk's, "Blue Monk," which uses the straightforward form of the blues. It also includes an amazing piano solo (starting at 5 minutes in) showing Monk's off-beat (literally) rhythms and dissonant harmony.
Reinforcing the idea of improvising as establishing a unique identity.One could argue that any improvised solo does that. I particularly like the originality with which Josh Redman handles the blues. Josh Redman, "Blues on Sunday" -- try to count the 12 measure in each chorus.
Bibliography (click to see a selective reading list) There are no reading assignments for "Exploring Jazz" but if you are interested in reading more about the music historically or biographically, This is a list of good to choose from.
CLASS PLAYLIST Here are a few of the selections played in class. Most are on Youtube. A few of them are linked to on my "Listening Sources" page also.
Class Playlist Here are some of the tracks I played in the class. I have not embedded the direct links in this case Type the artist and title into a Youtube search field and you should be able to find the examples.
Josh Redman. "Body and Soul" Miles Davis contrasted with classical trumpet: "Blues by Five." Duke Ellington vocalized trumpet ex.: "Black and Tan Fantasy" Miles Davis. "Bye Bye Blackbird" (one of five different recordings he made of that tune). Josh Redman. "Blues on Sunday" Harold Lopez Nussa (Unfortunately, the concert in the Swiss Alps that I showed in class is no longer on Youtube. It has been labeled "Private." But there are many other performances under his name, a couple of them in Boston.) Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers "A Night in Tunisia" (1958) Rev. Martin Luther King's last speech. Billie Holiday jam session of "Fine and Mellow.'
NOTE on Playing music at home.
Nearly all tunes referred to below are available via YouTube, but the audio quality will be better on music-streaming sites or CDs. The music streaming services i recommend are Spotify or iTunes. Spotify has the most comprehensive jazz inventory in my opinion. (It costs about $10/mo, but it enables you to listen to any type of music, not just jazz.)
If possible, listen to music through head phones ormultimedia speakers, attached to your audio output port. The sound is so much better. You can get a decent set of speaker for under $50. The built-in speakers on a computer are better than nothing but not very satisfying once you've heard the alternatives.