Week 5 listening activity

Reaction Log Assignment – 85 words per song minimum

Jazz in the 1960s; 1970s Fusion

Miles Davis – his groups in the 1960’s continued to play in an acoustic format (no electronics other than perhaps a small amplifier for the bass). By 1969, he had moved into electronic jazz fusion music. Listen to the stylistic evolution in these examples drawn from several years, spanning the 60’s and 70’s.

  1. 1960 –Will ‘o the Wisp (Links to an external site.)– album Sketches of Spain– Gil Evans, arranger

– try to identify the instruments you hear.

– Note: This group consists of what is known as a “studio orchestra” – which is a large ensemble containing parts of a traditional big band (trumpets, trombones, trumpets, saxophones, rhythm section) along with extra elements drawn from a classical orchestra: French horn, flutes, percussion – castanets and tambourine, harp.

– Also, you will hear heavy Spanish influences (hence the title of the song/album).

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2) 1965 –

from album of the same name

– Note: This song returns to a quintet format (trumpet, tenor sax, piano, bass, drums).

– Listen for the form – this song has an AB form, though the B sounds very much like the A except for a few notes in the last 2 measures. The melody starts right away, so there is no introduction. Each section (A and B) is 16 measures long. So, the form of this tune is AB, 32 bars long.

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3) 1970 –Bitches Brew (Links to an external site.) from album of same name

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    • Note: Here Miles is now using electronic instruments and electronic effects (reverb) on his trumpet
    • Heavy use of “ostinato” bass as basis for song (meaning the bass concentrates on playing ideas based on one note or chord for extended periods of time)———————————————————————————-

4) Choose one of the following two selections:

     1971 – RIght Off, Pt. 1 from album “Tribute to Jack Johnson” (Links to an external site.)

     1972 –On the Corner (Links to an external site.) from album of same name

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    •  
      • Note: Both tracks use electric instruments and departed from standard 50-‘s era Jazz rhythmic textures.  Right Off is based on a shuffle beat (similar to swing but with a rock interpretation), and On the Corner is played over what may be called a “funk” groove, not unlike grooves many popular bands of the day were also using (Sly and the Family Stone (Links to an external site.)).

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