Appreciating Jazz Part 9 – Bebop

By the 1940s jazz styles had begun to change again.  Moving away from the big bands and the pre-arranged music of the Swing Era, jazz musicians began playing in small groups and emphasizing solo improvisation even more.  This new jazz style, eventually called bebop, moved the focus away from dancing and onto listening.  This podcast covers bebop style and some of the important musicians who pioneered this music, including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clark, and J.J. Johnson.

You can download this podcast in the download link below or through my Podcasts page. You can also subscribe to these podcasts and have them download automatically through iTunes.

Appreciating Jazz Podcast Part 8 – Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington was one of the most significant musicians in jazz.  His influence is particularly far reaching because he was not only an important pianist, but also a highly creative and original composer and also led one of the longest-lived and most stable big bands in jazz history.  This podcast discusses Ellington’s music, personality, and also that of some of the more important sidemen who performed with Ellington throughout his career.

You can download this episode by clicking here, viewing it on my Podcasts page, or by subscribing through iTunes.

Appreciating Jazz Podcast Part 7 – Swing Era

The 1930s and 1940s was jazz’s most popular style period.  Moving away from the collective improvisation of early jazz styles, the Swing Era marked the development of the big band and focused more on the arrangements rather than improvisation.  There were still many notable soloists the developed in the Swing Era and these musicians left important influences on jazz.  This podcast discusses some of the stylistic traits of Swing Era jazz and covers some of the most influential artists and bands from this period.

As with my other podcasts, you can download this episode by clicking here, viewing it on my Podcasts page, or by subscribing through iTunes.

 

Appreciating Jazz Podcast Part 6 – Early Jazz

Beginning around the 1910s and through the 1920s a new style of music emerged in cities like New Orleans and Chicago.  Featuring both collective improvisation and solo improvisation, this music eventually developed into the earliest forms of what we call jazz today.  This podcast covers the development of early jazz styles and discusses some of the most important and influential artists of this period.

This episode can be downloaded by clicking here, going to my Podcasts page, or by subscribing through iTunes.

Appreciating Jazz Podcast Part 5 – Piano Styles

Ragtime, stride, and boogie-woogie were an important influence on early jazz styles and have an enduring impact on music even today.  In this podcast I discuss some of the more notable figures of these three piano styles and talk about some of the musical elements that were adopted by jazz musicians.

You can download this episode by clicking here, by visiting my Podcast page, or subscribe through iTunes.

 

Appreciating Jazz Part 2 – Jazz, Improvisation, and Instruments

Here is the second installment of my Appreciating Jazz podcast series.  This episode covers a little of the origins of the term “jazz,” how improvisation is important to jazz, and the instruments commonly found in jazz.  You can download this podcast here.

As I mentioned in my previous post on Part 1, I plan to make these podcasts and future ones accessible though using iTunes.  As I work out how to best do this I may need to change around how I link to my podcasts.  If, for some reason, the above link doesn’t work for you try downloading it from my Podcasts page.

Appreciating Jazz Part 1 – The Elements of Music

I’ve uploaded the first installment of my Appreciating Jazz podcast series.  This episode is geared to non-musicians and covers the elements of music, specifically melody, harmony, rhythm, texture, and form.  You can download it here.

I’m working on getting these and future podcasts to be accessible using iTunes or other “podcatching” software.  As I figure out how to best do this the above direct link may need to be changed and if it doesn’t work for you try downloading it instead from my Podcasts page.

 

Diatonic and Chromatic Chords: The Blues

Last Friday I tried to answer a couple of improvisation questions I was emailed by Michael.  He also asked some other very good questions about my Jazz Improvisation For Beginners article on the blues form.

In your “Part 3 – the Blues Form” – something seems off.  You say: “Let’s look at a 12 bar blues in the key of C.”  You then go on to give the chords C7, F7, Dm7, G7, and the note Bb.   I have not heard of a B7 or C7 in the key of C.  Nor have I ever seen a flat or sharp in the key of C.  But there is a Bb, of course, in the key of F.  And the 12 bars you give clearly resolve to the F chord, not the C chord, at least to my ear, which is pitch-perfect.  Isn’t this really the key of F?  Or am I not understanding something here?

As I was putting together a response for Michael I found my answers relied heavily on being able to hear the musical examples, so I decided that a podcast format would be the best way to follow up.  It went a little long, almost 17 minutes, but I started with a brief summary to make sure that most listeners could follow along.

Here’s a link that should give you a direct download so you can listen to it on an MP3 player.  Transcript after the break. Continue reading Diatonic and Chromatic Chords: The Blues