Please answer all questions in full sentences. 1.       In the late 1920s The Chicago jazz scene begins to fade. Which city becomes the focal point for nightclub work, music publishing, radio, recording and dance hall jobs for professional musicians?2.       Describe what was happening in Chicago at that time. (In relation to organized crime and musician opportunities)3.       In what year did the stock market crash, leading to The Great Depression?4.       What does a big band arranger do? Why was one needed for swing bands?5.       Describe the differences between a “hot” band of the 1920s and a hotel dance/society band of the same era.6.       Where was the Cotton Club located (City AND neighborhood)?7.       Which famous bandleader got his first big gig and break at the Cotton Club?8.       Duke Ellington’s composing method/style is often described as___________.9.       Fletcher Henderson’s composing method/style is often described as________.10.   What early swing era band did Louis Armstrong join for a short period in 1924 and 1925?
Please answer all questions in full sentences. 1. In the late 1920s The Chicago jazz scene begins to fade. Which city becomes the focal point for nightclub work, music publishing, radio, record
Duke and Fletcher Two of the main characters in the development of swing in the 1920s are Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson. The New York Scene The Manhattan neighborhood of Harlem had become a cultural center for a new African American middle class. Arts, literature, theater, poetry and music, by blacks for blacks, were emphasized. Actually this new middle class did not embrace jazz. It reminded them of the South and the lower class status they had come to Harlem to escape. The music of dance h alls and speakeasies was not the “high art” that the new citizens of Harlem wanted to be associated with. The clubs that white people experienced when they took the 15 minute ride to Harlem were largely created by white gangsters. Jazz was an integral par t of the stylized, exotic African American experience that nightclubs like “Connie’s Inn”, “Small’s Paradise” and the “Cotton Club” were selling. These were, in effect, segregated clubs simply because of the prices. A night out might cost $20 in a club li ke this. In 1929 that was a LOT of money! The “Cotton Club” was the top dog of them all. A vestige of the ol d south, the name itself was a slap in the face to African Americans. The exterior of the club had a log cabin façade and the stage was a replica o f a plantation house. Big floor shows with “jungle” themes brought in thousands of customers. The great Duke Ellington had his first big gig as the house band at the Cotton Club. Duke chose to ignore the incredible racism and just write great music that no body could resist. Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington (1899 -1974) is known as one of the most important figures in jazz history or even the history of American music. Born and raised in Washington D.C., young Edward enjoyed a very upwardly mobile middle class upbringing. His mother instilled manners, poise and elegance. His father instilled self confidence and the expectation of excellence. His friends noticed his easy demeanor and poise and started to call him “Duke”. Duke Ellington is famous as a composer. H e ran his band from the 1920s through 1974 and composed constantly the whole time. His arranging style is often described as “orchestral”. Duke would write for individual instruments and players in the band. He would mix and match them in any way he felt l ike. Duke had no formal training in arranging for large bands . Nobody told what he could and couldn’t do. The more common “sectional” arranging style treats each section as a unit (trumpets, saxes, etc.). Musicians are interchangeable in the parts. Obvious ly, Duke had the last laugh and has gone down as one of the greatest composers in the history of music. Here at the Cotton Club, Duke is responsible for all of the music for the floor shows and the music between them. The shows constantly change and Duke g ets a chance to master his craft. Here is a cut from some very early Duke Ellington.
Please answer all questions in full sentences. 1. In the late 1920s The Chicago jazz scene begins to fade. Which city becomes the focal point for nightclub work, music publishing, radio, record
Paul Whiteman Fletcher Henderson Early Swing Conclusion The earliest New Orleans “jass ” bands were generally rough and tumble small groups of players with little formal training. As jazz moved up the Mississippi to Chicago, the grou ps go t bigger and the musicians had more skills. As the Chicago sound and influence makes its way to the New York area the bands get larger still and, in some cases, the music gets “watered down ” (Society dance bands). This “watering down ” is not necessarily a bad thing because it does introduce many people to, at least, some form of jazz. People, who wouldn ’t dare go to a downto wn club in which black band might be playing a more exuberant style of jazz , would at least get a safe introduction through bands such as Pau l Whiteman ’s. The two names we focused on for this early swing band period were Fletcher Henderson ’s and Duke Ellington ’s. Fletcher and his colleague, Don Re dman , helped to standardize a me thod of arranging that would accommodate large bands (sectional arranging). This allowed for relatively simple arrangement s that could swing hard and still allow space for soloists to shine. Fletcher Henderson ’s arrange ments and methods would be used by Benny Goodman to start the “Swing Era ”; a time when jazz mus ic was America ’s popular music. Duke Ellington is one of America ’s greatest composers. His early beginnings at Harlem ’s Cotton Club set him off on an astonishing career of constant composing and touring. A live radio simulcast of his Cotton Club shows make s him a household name and also helps to break down racial barriers . While his early Cotton Club compositions are fairly raw and raucous , Ellington ’s style develops into one of pure sophistication. His “orchestral ” arranging style is studied and admired by serious jazz composers to this day.
Please answer all questions in full sentences. 1. In the late 1920s The Chicago jazz scene begins to fade. Which city becomes the focal point for nightclub work, music publishing, radio, record
Prohibition ends -1933 Fletcher Henderson Early Swing -The Beginnings of the Swing Era By the late 1920s Chicago’s jazz scene was starting to show signs of weakness. There were a number of factors at work. Perhaps the biggest reason was New York City, 1,000 miles to the east. New York was becoming the center of everything. There were hundreds of job opportunities in nightclubs, theaters, dance halls and private engagements. Also, this is where the music publishing industry and the newly burgeoning radio and recording industries were located . New York was happening! Chicago was in the midst of a crackdown on organized crime. Police raids on speakeasies and internal gang violence against each other made the club scene dangerous for musicians and patrons alike. The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, in 1929, had solidified support for a crackdown. By 1931 Al Capone was sent to prison and Mayor “Big Bill” Thompson was defeated in a reelection bid. In 1933 prohibition was repealed and in 1934 John Dillinger was killed. Octobe r 1929 marked the crash of the stock market and the beginning of the Great Depression. The era of loose morals, the cheap thrill of speakeasies, and endless optimism was over. When jazz fans talk about the “swing era” they are us ually talking about the period of approximately 1935 to 1945. This was a period in history when jazz music (swing) was also America’s popular music. It was also a period in which America’s teenagers and young adults strongly influenced popular tastes and e xerted considerable financial power with their buying of records and all things related to the swing bands. Actually, the swing band style had been developing for over ten years before that 1935 date . Fletcher Henderson was running a young, energetic, ever growing band as early as 1924. A young Louis Armstrong was in his band for fourteen months through that period. His influence on the New York dance band scene was undeniable. Longer solos, a stronger beat, more blues influences and that irresistible rhyth mic drive of swing were all a result of Louis Armstrong’s short stay in New York. These types of bands were often described as “hot” bands. Paul Whiteman The “sweet” hotel bands of leaders like Paul Whiteman (actually a good friend of Fletcher Henderson) played a much more tame style of dance music . Many of the “sweet” band leaders and musicians admired the more energetic and exciting “hot” bands but the audiences at the hotel ballroom and “society” gigs they played were not quite ready for the unrestrained power of new big band swing sound. Here is a good article and web page on early swing music. Read the article and poke aro und the site a little. There are a lot of fun, original articles from the 1930s with advertising and great pictures.
Please answer all questions in full sentences. 1. In the late 1920s The Chicago jazz scene begins to fade. Which city becomes the focal point for nightclub work, music publishing, radio, record
While Duke Ellington was doing his thing at the Cotton Club, another bandleader, Fletcher Henderson, was laying the groundwork for the swing band style that became America’s #1 popular music. Fletcher Henderson and one of his arrangers, Don Redman standardized a method for arranging swing band music. These bands of the mid 1920s were getting bigger and bigger. When a st andard, 5 or 6 piece, Chicago style jazz group like King Oliver’s would work up a tune they could just talk about it and make up their parts themselves. Now that the bands were much bigger, you couldn’t just have everybody make up their own parts. It would be chaos. These larger bands needed more structure and direction to keep all of these musicians from clashing with each other. They needed someone to arrange who was going to play what where. An arranger figures out and decides what each member of the ban d is going to play and writes out the part for each of them. There are many approaches to how you deal with a large band like this. Fletcher Henderson and Don Redman came up with a simple and effective method. Their method has become known as sectional arr anging. The idea is that each section is treated as a unit. The saxes all play together when a sax line is written, the trumpets all play together when a trumpet line is written. In a Fletcher Henderson arrangement you would very rarely or never see a sing le trumpet combined with a single sax/clarinet or trombone. The whole sections would interplay with each other. That’s not to say the sections would not play at the same time, they would just work as complete units (or sections). Of course , another result of this method was that jazz musicians had to be much more schooled than before. You had to be able to read music if you wanted to play in a swing band. Many of the “old school” players did it “by ear” which was fine in a small group but wouldn’t work whe n you are playing parts within a large band. In 1924 Fletcher Henderson brought Louis Armstrong to New York to play in his ba nd. Although Armstrong’s time in Fletcher’s band was relatively short (barely one year), his impact was immediate. Armstrong brings a raw, adventurous, joy of living, happy to be playing style to Henderson’s band. Armstrong’s virtuosity is clearly evident, but it his approach that really changes everything. He basically shows everybody that having a whole bunch of fun and making peopl e smile is a very good thing. Listen to this version of “Shanghai Shuffle” with Louis Armstrong. The song starts out kind of staid and straight laced. On ce Louis comes in with his solo the whole band picks up and plays with much more joy all the way throu gh to the end. Armstrong’s influence reverberates throughout the dance band community of the New York area and forever changes the way bands and musicians approach their music. Fletcher Henderson’s band with Louis Armstrong. That’s Louis third from the left and Henderson fifth from the left. After “Shanghai Shuffle” comes a cookin’ version of Henderson’s “Hotter than ‘e ll” from New York, September 25, 1934. This is ten years after Louis’ time in the band, but you can still hear the joy and swinging style that he brought New York. This style of playing and arranging is what Benny Goodman adopts to end up becoming swing mu sic’s first big star.




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