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James P. Johnson
- king of stride pianists
- Fats Waller's teacher and inspiration.
Fats Waller
- light and flexible touch belied his ample physical girth
- Powerful left hand delivering the octaves and tenths in a tireless, rapid, seamless stream. Waller also pioneered the use of the pipe organ and Hammond organ in jazz adapting his irresistible sense of swing to the pedals and a staccato right hand while making imaginative changes of the registration
- good knockabout humor, foot-tapping rhythm and fantastic piano playing
- most significant early records for that label were a series of brilliant 1929 solo piano sides of his own compositions like "Handful of Keys"
Earl Hines
- Once called "the first modern jazz pianist," Earl Hines differed from the stride pianists of the 1920s by breaking up the stride rhythms with unusual accents from his left hand. While his right hand often played octaves so as to ring clearly over ensembles, Hines had the trickiest left hand in the business, often suspending time recklessly but without ever losing the beat
- Hines moved to Chicago where he worked with Louis Armstrong
- Defined Trumpet style piano in large part to his early musical career as a trumpeter and from playing with Armstrong.
- The East Coast stride piano style was based on ragtime, with complete freedom in the right hand, and the left paying harmonic tribute as it strode along, tenths in the bass being common when a strong beat was wanted.
Art Tatum
- pianist with wondrous technique who could not only play ridiculously rapid lines with both hands (his 1933 solo version of "Tiger Rag" sounds as if there were three pianists jamming together) but was harmonically 30 years ahead of his time;
- Unparalleled keyboard virtuoso way ahead of his time.
- Rich harmonic Palette
- Recasted familiar pop tunes of the day
- 600 title recorded legacy
- spent most of his life as a solo pianist who could always scare the competition
Teddy Wilson
- impeccable soloist whose smooth and steady style was more accessible to the general public than Earl Hines or Art Tatum
- discovered by John Hammond
- an informal jam session with Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa resulted in the formation of the Benny Goodman Trio. Although he was a special added attraction rather than a regular member of the orchestra, Wilson's public appearances with Goodman broke important ground in the long struggle against segregation.
Boogie Woogie
– Style distinct from stride piano
- Most often heard in context of 12 bar blues
- Polyrhythms
- Anticipated piano and R & B and Rock n’ Roll
- characterized by a constant repeating rhythmic figure played by the pianist's left hand freeing the right hand for melody improvisation. Sometimes called "barrelhouse" piano, it helped popularize the "walking bass' form of accompaniment,
Meade Lux Lewis
- John Hammond's 1938 Spirituals to Swing concert helped start the boogie-woogie craze
- Lewis achieved little fame until he was brought to New York City by promoter John Hammond in 1938
Fletcher Henderson
- moved to New York City to attend Columbia University for a master's degree in chemistry. However, he found his job prospects in chemistry to be very restricted due to his race, and turned to music for a living.
- or a time his ideas of arrangement were heavily influenced by those of Paul Whiteman, but when Louis Armstrong joined his orchestra in 1924 Henderson realized there could be a much richer potential for jazz band orchestration. Henderson's band also boasted the formidable arranging talents of Don Redman.
- Many of Goodman's hits from the swing music were arranged by Henderson for his own band in the late 20s and early 30s.
- early jazz as leader of the first great jazz big band
- Coleman Hawkins
- Coleman Hawkins was the first important tenor saxophonist and he remains one of the greatest of all time. A consistently modern improviser whose knowledge of chords and harmonies was encyclopedic
- Jimmy Harrison
- Jimmy Harrison played trombone with many historic outfits exploring syncopated music in the '20s
- Influential trombone player
St. Louis Jazz in the 1920’s and other Midwestern jazz
Lot of trumpet players such as Oliver Cobb, Beiderbeck, Charles Creath, Dewey Jackson.
- Ragtime and Blues also flourished
- Bennie Moten Orchestra - fine ragtime-oriented pianist who led the top territory band of the 1920s, an orchestra that really set the standard for Kansas City jazz.
- Bennie Moten is today best-remembered as the leader of a band that partly
became the nucelus of the original Count Basie Orchestra,
Duke Ellington
– Color – Palette of individual sounds, The “Ellington effect” is the blending of those sounds in creative combinations
- Highest voice usually plays melody, but Ellington often put baritone on top.
- Ellington’s rich harmonies fuction as color
- Harmonic choices are subservient to the needs of mood or melody; not to the dictates of traditional functional harmony
- Mood – Ellington’s compositions and arrangements often seek to create a specific mood or variety of moods.
- Tries to tell a story
- Melody – Ellington’s melodies expose colorful intervallic shapes and note choices.
- Short melody is everywhere in Ellington’s music: not only in the foreground, but in the inner voices and backgrounds.
- Rhythm- Sonny Greer, swing beat, timpani, bells, gongs, chimes
- Finds voice at the Cotton Club in New York (1927-1931)
- “Black, Brown, and Beige”
Ellington's Sidemen
- Bubber Miley - muted growling sound of trumpeter
- Harry Carney - baritone saxophonist, Harry Carney achieved his goal of making the instrument "necessary" in a big band. His tone was huge and definitive, and his style mixed together Coleman Hawkins and Adrian Rollini; he was also one of the first jazz musicians to master circular breathin
- Johnny Hodges - most beautiful tone ever heard in jazz, altoist Johnny Hodges formed his style early on and had little reason to change it through the decades
- Taught by Sidney Bechet
- Cootie Williams - finest trumpeters of the 1930s, expanded upon the role originally formed by Bubber Miley with Duke Ellington's Orchestra. Renowned for his work with the plunger mute
- Jimmy Blanton - he fractured the 4/4 meter straitjacket that had shackled bass players before him. With his big rounded tone, flexible technique, superb sense of swing, and fluent imagination with both a bow and fingers, Blanton's bass could dance freely around the band and phrase like a horn, all without undermining the music's bass foundation.
- Ben Webster - Duke Ellington's first major tenor soloist out of Kansas City
- Billy Strayhorn - composer, arranger and pianist -- some considered him a genius -- Billy Strayhorn toiled throughout most of his maturity in the gaudy shadow of his employer, collaborator and friend, Duke Ellington.
Chick Webb and his orchestra
- Harlem's Savoy Ballroom;
- admired by drummers for his forceful sense of swing, accurate technique, control of dynamics, and imaginative breaks and fills. Although he was unable to read music, he committed to memory the arrangements played by the band
- Paved way (along with Jimmy Lunceford) for swing as a national phenomenon
- Localized uptown sound
Jimmy Lunceford and his orchestra
- His orchestra lacked any really classic soloists.
And yet, the well-rehearsed ensembles were very impressive, some of the arrangements (particularly those of Sy Oliver) were quite original and the use of glee-club vocalists and short concise solos were pleasing and often memorable. Plus Lunceford's was the first orchestra to feature high-note trumpeters
- Amazing precision and showmanship
- Riffs; no central location
Count Basie and his orchestra
- Defined Kansas City swing (blues, a riff based music, head arrangements)
- characterized by a light, swinging rhythm section that he led from the piano, lively ensemble work, and generous soloing
- Freddie Greene - definitive rhythm guitarist. He rarely soloed (briefly on a few records early on), he stuck to acoustic guitar, and was often more felt than heard
- Walter Page - rarely soloed but his four-to-the-bar walking behind soloists set the standard for bassists in the 1930
- Jo Jones - shifted the timekeeping role of the drums from the bass drum to the hi-hat cymbal, greatly influencing all swing and bop drummers.
- light but forceful playing, as
- Lester young -
a tenor saxophonist who came up with a completely different conception in which to play his horn, floating over bar lines with a light tone rather than adopting Coleman Hawkins' then-dominant forceful approach
- He was with Count Basie for the first time in 1934 but left to replace Coleman Hawkins with Fletcher Henderson
- a cool modernism; and a new rhythmic flexibility to jazz in the freely dancing rhythms of 4-beat swing.
- His unique saxophone sound was light in tone and very un-saxophone-like
- phrasing is smooth, singing and very economical: using a minimum of
notes and is constantly surprising. The notes that he chooses NOT to play
are as important as the notes he DOES play.
- ejecting jazz orthodoxy he focused his energy on the melody line, again
turning away from Coleman Hawkins prevalent approach to sax based on
explorations of harmony, and on technical bravura.
Benny Goodman
- The King of Swing," his popular emergence marking the beginning of the era. He was an accomplished clarinetist whose distinctive playing gave an identity both to his big band and to the smaller units he led simultaneously
- associated with Austin High Gang
- - In 1934 Benny put together his first big band, featuring Bunny Berigan on trumpet, Jess Stacey on piano and Gene Krupa on drums. With the addition of some excellent, sophisticated arrangements by Fletcher Henderson, the “Swing Era” was born.
Django Reidnhardt
- Django was born into the open air, rambling lifestyle of his gypsy parents
- Burnt his hand but was still really good
- First influence of European culture.

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