Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

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Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby Chupacabra » Fri Dec 02, 2011 6:43 pm

Over the years as my interest in some Jazz music grows I have seen on several recordings from Miles Davis to Duke Ellington (an entire album titled "Blues in Orbit" and his live recording "Live at Newport has several "blues" tracks) to Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and most recently a group called the Kora Jazz Band's "All Blues" album and title song. I've also heard in recorded interviews how some artists say that this track or that track is a blues number. Now, I am not a musician, even by a long shot. To me, the recordings are all out jazz to my untrained ears.

When I'm thinking blues I'm thinking: Pinetop Perkins, Son House, Leadbelly, John Lee Hooker, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, etc.

Are there any jazz aficionados who can give me the 101 on how this little deception occurs? Or could it just be a case of " This is a blues song because I am Duke Ellington and I say it's a blues song."

By the way, you should check out the Kora Jazz Band. Their music is a hybrid of African and Latin styles with some wonderful Kora playing along with piano and xylophone (Manu Djibango, no less) with a beautifully presented yet tastefully restrained percussion section but if you listen to it on headphones or a good sound system you can definitely feel the magic!
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby bongosnotbombs » Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:03 pm

Refers to the jazz tune having the same or similar song structure as a blues tune. Usually they are talking about the chord progression, the relationship of the chord intervals and the number of measures of the chord progression.
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby congamyk » Sun Dec 04, 2011 1:21 am

^ That is correct, it is related to the 12 bar chord progression.
You can google the relationship between jazz and blues and get a good idea of the similarities.

Blues is not a rhythm, it's a "feeling".

The development of jazz into it's modern form occurred in Kansas City Missouri at the time of the depression.
KC was the Crossroads of the country and was not as economically depressed as many other cities for several reasons.
Additionally the city was "wide open" and had an almost "Vegas" feel to it - you could buy or get anything - illegal or not.
Mayor Tom Pendergast allowed legal late-night alcohol service, gambling and prostitution and the city flourished with hundreds of live music venues.
Musicians would pass through KC and find lots of work so they stayed, as a result they shared musical ideas and styles.
KC developed a swinging, bluesy sound with horn riffs that accompanied the soloist - these were all blues based.
Other concepts came out of this; the double bass became the standard replacing the tuba, the guitar replaced the banjo and the saxophone became preeminent over the trumpet and clarinet.

It was in this musical soup that a young saxophonist named Charlie Parker got many of his ideas.
Parker learned from listening to the 3 greatest jazz saxophonists in the world - all in KC; Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young and Ben Webster.
Parker wrote many tunes based on the 12 bar progression and they were referred to as "blues tunes".
Check out these vids and see if you can make the connection.

Blue Monk
http://youtu.be/gPUxdhwjKps

Keith Wyatt: Talkin' Blues
http://youtu.be/Bg81ESektPs

Cool Blues
http://youtu.be/5pVxWdnInWY

Blues For Alice
http://youtu.be/4s5FZBisaf8

Au Privave
http://youtu.be/dvdQYSWOobc

Billies Bounce
http://youtu.be/KS2f2qQWnFo
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby Chupacabra » Tue Dec 06, 2011 2:47 am

Blues is not a rhythm, it's a "feeling".

Well, that kind of gets me a bit closer to understanding it. I will have to try all the links that you provided. Thanks for that!

bongosnotbombs wrote: by bongosnotbombs » Fri Dec 02, 2011 3:03 pm

Refers to the jazz tune having the same or similar song structure as a blues tune. Usually they are talking about the chord progression, the relationship of the chord intervals and the number of measures of the chord progression.


As for the technical explanation, well, I guess I can't avoid learning some basic music theory for much longer if I am to really get the "feel" of how this relationship between blues and jazz really works.

Thanks for the help!
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby Antonio12 » Thu Dec 15, 2011 10:58 am

“From the perspective of musical structure, jazz as we know it would not exist without the blues. The
twelve-bar blues chorus, with its familiar harmonic structure and narrative form, was the single most
popular template for early jazz improvisation, as compact yet profound in its way as the sonnet proved to
be in the realm of poetry.”

Did you hear that?

Blues is to jazz what the sonnet proved to be to poetry.
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby blavonski » Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:52 pm

Antonio12 wrote:“From the perspective of musical structure, jazz as we know it would not exist without the blues. The
twelve-bar blues chorus, with its familiar harmonic structure and narrative form, was the single most
popular template for early jazz improvisation, as compact yet profound in its way as the sonnet proved to
be in the realm of poetry.”

Did you hear that?

Blues is to jazz what the sonnet proved to be to poetry.


Congamyk, actually the so called Modern form of JAZZ predates the wonders created by the Midwestern territory bands of the thirties onward. Mr. Louis Armstrong, with his Hot Fives and Hot seven Chicago recordings, (ca. 1925-27) ushered in the modern, small ensemble playing (the Boppers picked that up again in the forties), as we know it today. Those recordings catapullted Armstrong to stardom and for the first time in the music, departed from ensemble improvsing and focused on the solo instrumentalist. That music still moves me today and there's some really, way ahead of his time, piano stylings from Earl Hines. And if you listen very closely, on some f the tunes Zutty Singleton stretches the meter from 2/4 to 4/4 at times.

Antonio12,
are you quoting Albert Murray above here. If so, it would be just to give him credit for it.

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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby congamyk » Tue Dec 20, 2011 2:27 am

Look Blavonski, I can tell you're argumentative & consider yourself to be an expert on jazz music.
I am not an expert on jazz music, I listen & play it and learn about it all that I can.
If you're claiming that the music of Chicago during the so-called "Jazz Age" or "Hot Jazz era" was the precursor to modern jazz that's your opinion & you' re certainly entitled to it.

I live in Kansas City and know the history of music here first hand.
Small ensembles were happening everywhere in cities from New Orleans up through Kansas City, Saint Louis, etc. in the 20's.
Jazz was even being played on the West Coast in the 20's. Bands went wherever they could make money.
And though it didn't reach it's heyday until 1930, jazz music was being played in Kansas City long before 1930.

KC developed a swinging, bluesy sound with horn riffs that accompanied the soloist - these were all blues based.
Other concepts came out of this; the double bass became the standard replacing the tuba, the guitar replaced the banjo and the saxophone became preeminent over the trumpet and clarinet.


The blues, horn riffs and instrumental changes that took place in KC ushered in the modern jazz era.
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby vasikgreif » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:03 am

Blues history:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blues

Not an expert on history (altough I had music history lessons), but Wikipedia usually is a good place to start...

12 bar blues form:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twelve-bar_blues

To learn hearing the chord progression, the easiest way is to play it on the piano (or let it play someone to you) and than check some recordings and try to find it - usually the best way to not get lost is to listen to bass.
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby blavonski » Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:02 pm

congamyk wrote:Look Blavonski, I can tell you're argumentative & consider yourself to be an expert on jazz music.
I am not an expert on jazz music, I listen & play it and learn about it all that I can.
If you're claiming that the music of Chicago during the so-called "Jazz Age" or "Hot Jazz era" was the precursor to modern jazz that's your opinion & you' re certainly entitled to it.

I live in Kansas City and know the history of music here first hand.
Small ensembles were happening everywhere in cities from New Orleans up through Kansas City, Saint Louis, etc. in the 20's.
Jazz was even being played on the West Coast in the 20's. Bands went wherever they could make money.
And though it didn't reach it's heyday until 1930, jazz music was being played in Kansas City long before 1930.

KC developed a swinging, bluesy sound with horn riffs that accompanied the soloist - these were all blues based.
Other concepts came out of this; the double bass became the standard replacing the tuba, the guitar replaced the banjo and the saxophone became preeminent over the trumpet and clarinet.


The blues, horn riffs and instrumental changes that took place in KC ushered in the modern jazz era.



What is the world or maybe this forum comming to when someone can be:
1. accused of being argumentative.
2. accused of thinking of themselves as this or that simply for posting a simple, relevant and reasonble response to what someone else wrote?
Sounds like a personal conflict your dealing with Congmyk....please leave me out of it!


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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby congamyk » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:38 pm

^ that's the first time I've ever acknowledged you but needed to respond to your incessant trolling.
Please take your own advice and stop posting the condescending BS after my posts.
Danke.
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby blavonski » Tue Dec 20, 2011 9:47 pm

congamyk wrote:^ that's the first time I've ever acknowledged you but needed to respond to your incessant trolling.
Please take your own advice and stop posting the condescending BS after my posts.
Danke.



Congamyk,
Wow! I have to honestly express absolute astonishment and a not a little disapointment in your choice of response here. What exactly do you mean by trolling? Also, your admitting to acknowledge me for the first time, suggests that you have, in the past, ressisted doing so out of principal. I think resistance is the key word here. However, whatever the cause of your immature and venomous attack, you can put this in your pipe and smoke it big guy.
As long we both are members of a supposedly democratic process as that which this forum proposes to represent, I will as long as I make no intentional purpose to offend, abuse and or heap unfounded, reactionary accuasations, along with mind reading and now name calling (condescending) upon you or anyone else as you have me, reserve the right to post what I want when I want. If you have a problem with that, then you have a problem.

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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:16 pm

Well I guess that answers that!...hahahahahaha.....hey Elvis Welcome Back!...HAHAHAHAA...
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby congamyk » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:04 am

Don't forget bluesy jazz ballads.

http://grooveshark.com/s/Loverman/2CBASC?src=5
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby Chupacabra » Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:28 am

Holy guacamole Elvis! That's quite an in-depth lesson on how blues becomes integrated with jazz. I'll have to print it out and try to find the time to figure out what most of it means. All the links and examples from everyone are greatly appreciated and it will no doubt be an interesting journey for me! I don't have any background in music theory, as previously stated, but I am familiar with some of the terminology so that should help.
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Re: Blues in Jazz: I'm not hearing it.

Postby blavonski » Wed Dec 21, 2011 1:19 pm

Chupacabra wrote:Holy guacamole Elvis! That's quite an in-depth lesson on how blues becomes integrated with jazz. I'll have to print it out and try to find the time to figure out what most of it means. All the links and examples from everyone are greatly appreciated and it will no doubt be an interesting journey for me! I don't have any background in music theory, as previously stated, but I am familiar with some of the terminology so that should help.


Chupacabra,
In my opinion, you don't need a background in music theory to be able to hear the blues in Jazz. You just have to become a conscientious listner.


At the risk of being tarred and feathered, I would like to add something to what Elvis posted that pertains more directly to Blues in Jazz.

Given the fact that Jazz is the result of the coalescing all of the musical phenomenon created by the Negro or African-American, (depending on what generation you are from), mixed with the European musical traditions, then naturally is Blues a fundamental element of what makes it what it is. As I’ve written here someplace else, most if not all of the great innovators in Jazz have been, for good reason,those musicians who were greatly rooted one way or another in the Blues tradition. With that said, I think that if any one is seriously interested in being able to audibly and not just theoretically identify Blues elements in Jazz, then they would do good to listen the recordings of early New Orleans Musicians like Joe King Oliver, Sidney Bechet, jelly roll Morton etc.. and move on to Louis Armstrong when it began to swing all the way through big band swing to Bebop and lastly and particularly what is known as Hard Bop.

The Blues and Gospel elements are readily recognizable in Hard Bop,( what Soul/Funk grew out of), due to its focus on the African American roots of the Music as a direct or indirect rebuttal to what the so called cool or west coast Jazz musicians were attempting to divest the music of. Incidentally, not all of the Jazz being made and played at that time on the West coast was cool, in fact much of it was anything but. At any rate, although Hard Bop made obvious use of Blues and Gospel, it is still recognizable through the advance Harmonies in its predecessor Be-bop or Modern Jazz to some in the works of Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Booker Little, Dizzy Gilespie, Herbie Nichols and Sonny Rollins to name a few. Given the fact that Blues was a vocal music (with instrumental accompaniment), it is no surprise that Black musicians began to play it on their horns as the surplus of Brass instruments from the Civil war made them readily available. Also, theoretically speaking, there really is no true Blues scale. The flatted, third and sevenths and the omission of the second and sixth degree were the closest that the European notation system, (minor pentatonic scale) could come to attaining the sound being song or played on the guitar. A real Blues note is not just a Flatted 3rd, 5th or 7th, ( the point at which blues singers bent there notes vocally or instrumentally in relation the a pentatonic scale), but can be any note that is sufficiently bent or slurred or somehow manipulated to express a particular human emotion. And that musical aesthetic is a descendant of African vocalizing.

List of some other Musicians/ Composers whose music bear an obvious “Blues Connotation”:

Horace Silver
Oliver Nelson
Joe Henderson
Freddy Hubbard
Lee Morgan
Julien Cannon Ball Adderly
John Coltrane
Tina Brooks
Roy Hargrove

I hope this also helps!

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