Alex Stewart's Making the Scene: Contemporary New York City Big Band Jazz PDF

By Alex Stewart

ISBN-10: 0520249534

ISBN-13: 9780520249530

The got knowledge of well known jazz background is that the period of the massive band used to be the Nineteen Thirties and '40s, whilst swing used to be at its top. yet as practising jazz musicians understand, even if large bands misplaced the highlight as soon as the bebop period all started, they by no means fairly disappeared. Making the Scene challenges traditional jazz historiography through demonstrating the important function of massive bands within the ongoing improvement of jazz. Alex Stewart describes how jazz musicians have came upon substantial bands helpful. He explores the wealthy "rehearsal band" scene in ny and the increase of repertory orchestras. Making the Scene combines historic learn, ethnography, and player commentary with musical research, ethnic stories, and gender concept, dismantling stereotypical perspectives of the large band.

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In fact, some jazz compositions that have evolved during performance have been based entirely on riffs. The Count Basie Orchestra of the 1930s was known for such collective composition. A fundamental concern is the structure of the solo section itself. Traditionally, jazz musicians have favored strophic harmonic frameworks in which to improvise. Most often these were based on blues or thirty-two-bar popular song forms. Composers may wish to be free of such restrictions during the composed sections of the work, so that they may more freely explore motivic development and contrapuntal textures.

The wide range of blending styles found in jazz presents special problems to directors of school jazz bands and repertory ensembles that perform diverse repertoires. Now that the availability of arrangements has expanded, educators, in particular, need to understand and be able to convey to their students the very different demands of music played by, for example, the Mingus and the Bob Mintzer big bands. Some may have found, as have I, that students enjoy playing music that permits a degree of abandon and may have difficulty making the transition back to arrangements that require more careful blending.

The band then launches into “Bombshelter Beast,” the first part of an extended suite based on Schneider’s childhood memories. We stay for only one piece so that we can race downtown to the Knitting Factory in time to hear the Oliver Lake Big Band. When Lake is not playing alto saxophone sideways to the audience, he makes strange gestures and hand signs to the band. Apparently the band has learned a secret code, for they respond with glissandos, staccato blips and blaps, long drones, and other unusual effects.

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Making the Scene: Contemporary New York City Big Band Jazz by Alex Stewart


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