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    Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)


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    Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)

    Post by Mace2theO on Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:29 am

    OK, it's still June but am posting a little early 'cuz...well, the next Triple Threat Podcast is a special treat and coming out soon, Ymaginatif is recording again and P may release an album so wanted to clear the decks Very Happy

    Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)

    Swingin' with Big Band Jazz

    The big band is a type of musical ensemble associated with jazz, a style of music which became popular during the Swing Era from the early 1930s until the late 1940s. Big bands evolved with the times and continue to today. A big band typically consists of approximately 12 to 25 musicians and contains saxophones, trumpets, trombones, singers (or vocalists), and a rhythm section. The terms jazz band, jazz ensemble, stage band, jazz orchestra, society band and dance band may be used to describe a specific type of big band.

    There was a considerable range of styles among the hundreds of popular bands. Many of the better known bands reflected the individuality of the bandleader, the lead arranger, and the personnel. Count Basie played a relaxed propulsive swing, Bob Crosby more of a dixieland style, Benny Goodman a hard driving swing, and Duke Ellington’s compositions were varied and sophisticated. Many bands featured strong instrumentalists, whose sounds dominated, such as the clarinets of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Woody Herman, the trombone of Jack Teagarden, the trumpet of Harry James, the drums of Gene Krupa, and the vibes of Lionel Hampton. The popularity of many of the major bands was amplified by star vocalists, such as Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey, Helen O'Connell and Bob Eberly with Jimmy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb, Billie Holiday and Jimmy Rushing with Count Basie, Dick Haymes and Helen Forrest with Harry James, Doris Day with Les Brown, Toni Arden and Ken Curtis with Shep Fields and Peggy Lee with Benny Goodman. Some bands were society bands that relied on strong ensembles but little on soloists or vocalists, such as the bands of Guy Lombardo and Paul Whiteman.

    Swing music, also known as swing jazz or simply swing, is a form of jazz music that developed in the early 1930s and became a distinctive style by 1935 in the United States. Swing uses a strong rhythm section of double bass and drums as the anchor for a lead section of brass instruments such as trumpets and trombones, woodwinds including saxophones and clarinets, and sometimes stringed instruments such as violin and guitar; medium to fast tempos; and a "lilting" swing time rhythm. Swing bands usually featured soloists who would improvise on the melody over the arrangement. The danceable swing style of bandleaders such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie was the dominant form of American popular music from 1935 to 1945.

    The verb "to swing" is also used as a term of praise for playing that has a strong rhythmic "groove" or drive.

    With the wider acceptance of swing music around 1935, larger mainstream bands began to embrace this style of music. Large orchestras had to reorganize themselves in order to achieve the new sound. These bands dropped their string instruments, which were now felt to hamper the improvised style necessary for swing music. This necessitated a slightly more detailed and organized type of composition and notation than was then the norm. Band leaders put more energy into developing arrangements, perhaps reducing the chaos that might result from as many as 12 or 16 musicians spontaneously improvising. But the best swing bands at the height of the era explored the full gamut of possibilities from spontaneous ensemble playing to highly orchestrated music in the vein of European art music.

    A typical song played in swing style would feature a strong, anchoring rhythm section in support of more loosely tied wind, brass, and later, in the 1940s, string and/or vocals sections. The level of improvisation that the audience might expect at any one time varied depending on the arrangement, the band, the song, and the band-leader.

    The most common style consisted of having a soloist take center stage, and improvise a solo within the framework of her or his bandmates playing support. As a song progressed, multiple soloists would be expected to take over and individually improvise their own part; however, it was not unusual to have two or three band members improvising at any one time.

    Swing jazz began to be embraced by the public around 1935. Prior to that, it had had limited acceptance, mostly among African American audiences. Radio remotes increased interest in the music, and it grew in popularity throughout the States. As with many new popular musical styles, it met with some resistance from the public because of its improvisation, fast erratic tempos, lack of strings, occasionally risqué lyrics and other cultural associations, such as the sometimes frenetic swing dancing that accompanied performances. Audiences who had become used to the romantic arrangements (and what was perceived as classier and more refined music), were taken aback by the often erratic and edginess of swing music.

    In the US, by the late 1930s and early 1940s, swing had become the most popular musical style and remained so for several years, until it was supplanted in the late 1940s by the pop standards sung by the crooners who grew out of the Big Band tradition that swing began. Bandleaders such as the Dorsey Brothers often helped launch the careers of vocalists who went on to popularity as solo artists, such as Frank Sinatra.

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    Re: Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)

    Post by fkkScoop on Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:54 am


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    Re: Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)

    Post by purpleblues1 on Fri Jun 25, 2010 12:02 pm

    AH .. a podcast that Mrs PB won't reject.
    That's 2. She was a bit partial to the oldies on the Broadway one, so if this is half as good, it's twice as cool Cool

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    Re: Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)

    Post by jaytap on Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:01 pm

    another classic Maceo podcast.

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    Re: Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)

    Post by Ymaginatif on Fri Aug 13, 2010 2:34 pm

    Somehow this one didn`t click with me ... Embarassed
    But I`ve only heard it once - so maybe next time it pops up on my ipod, I might appreciate it better? So much depends on the mood of the moment ...

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    Re: Maceo Musicology Webcast (July'10)

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