This thesis considers what could be one of the most important and definitive changes: the change from hard bop to modal jazz. When the band finally gathered again, this time minus pianist Kelly, the first tune recorded was essentially a series of Flamenco- and North African-derived scales. Although precedents exist, modal jazz was crystallized as a theory by composer in his 1953 book. That was quite hard because the record player was over the other side of the room from the piano. Well Tizol did the melody, and he said that, you know, he used to hear those unusual melodies, because in Puerto Rico where he studied, they were very poor and they couldn't afford too much music.
Kind of Blue is an exploration of the possibilities of modal jazz. Jazz musicians were startled by the truly different sound on an album that laid out a clear roadmap for further modal explorations. Davis also drew on his knowledge of the modal qualities in the blues. Similar concepts were the rigid theological notions of good and evil, Descartes' polarity of body and mind, and ultimately the Hegelian thesis-antithesis-synthesis paradigm. Subtract the music and you have just another chronicle of aberrant thought and behavior. Formanek, R, Peterson Casa del Popolo, 4873, boul. In a nutshell, modal jazz is more concerned with exploring scales and modes than with creating melodies based on chord progressions.
Theoretical attempts to describe the modes reach back to Aristoxenus c. These chords repeat throughout the whole song, while the soloists play new, improvised themes over the repeated chord progression. Some, like the Ionian and Aeolian modes, are basically modern major and minor scales, respectively. So first of all: thanks for that! Towards the end of the 1950s, spurred by the experiments of composer and bandleader George Russell, musicians began using a modal approach. The album is Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. This scale is built with half steps between degrees 3-4 and 7-8; the other tones are separated by whole steps.
What of the modes that gave modal jazz its name? For now, this article is sufficient in terms of experiencing and practicing the modal approach. When pioneers like Louis Armstrong brought spirit and form together, the result was timeless jazz. Coltrane took the lead in extensively exploring the limits of modal improvisation and composition with his quartet, featuring drums , McCoy Tyner piano , and and bass. Half steps are between 2-3 and 5-6. Recommendations Jazz Theory Recommendations Click on any product to view at Amazon. With the advent of Bird and Diz's pioneering daredevilry—richly expanding the number of notes available to play within any given chordal structure—there came the need for an even more accurate harmonic compass. Miles had been in at the start of be-bop and then had pioneered other movements like Cool Jazz and Hard Bop.
The social relevance of the modal approach to jazz lies in its reflection on the issues and Zeitgeist of the late 1950s and 1960s--such as the questioning of received Eurocentric perspectives and the emerging of a post-colonial political landscape which, along with the evolving global village, led to a widespread interest in world culture and world music. Although his explorations of modal jazz were sporadic throughout the 1960s, he included several of the tunes from Kind of Blue in the repertoire of his second quintet. Thereafter the subject dropped from view until musicological interest in folk melodies arose in the late 19th century. Context This is part of the collection entitled: and was provided by to , a digital repository hosted by the. The is the with a raised sixth. With Evans, Davis worked up a few basic compositional sketches, and when the musicians arrived at the studio on March 2, 1959, they were given the outlines.
Even musicians like Miles and Coltrane, who adhered more closely to the modal path, suggested chordal patterns in their solos. A mode, on the other hand, implies a series of transposable interval relationships in which harmonies emphasize intervals other than thirds. Davis was at a musical peak in the 1950s and had been preparing the ideas that would become Kind of Blue for years. On the title song of this album Hancock uses solely that are played throughout the entire piece and played with a very open sound due to Hancock's use of fourths in voicing. But Davis 's new music would stay on the same scale for as long as sixteen measures at a time.
Drummer Cobb says it all comes down to simplicity — the reason Kind of Blue has remained so successful for so long. Half steps are between 1-2 and 5-6. My goal here is to show you enough about modal improvisation for you to start jamming along with these guys, as they improvise on this classic tune. It turned out that we also performed this same sextet with Bill Evans who recorded one more album - or at least it was part of an album. What is distinct about modal jazz? When you're based on chords, you know at the end of 32 bars that the chords have run out and there's nothing to do but repeat what you've just done—with variations.
Ashley Kahn, author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, says that the resulting recording possesses an almost spiritual quality as the musicians — particularly Coltrane — seemed to take a reverent approach to the composition. Some people have described it as just wonderful general music - not anything really to do with jazz. By the 1950s, improvising over chords had become such a dominant part of jazz, that sidemen at recording dates were sometimes given nothing more than a list of chords to play from. Musical ideas created from a mode are developed via changes in the character of the mode e. While Miles pondered how to rejig his working group and bring some stability back to the line-up, he got an invitation to go to Europe as a guest soloist. Musical ideas are developed though movement away from and back to the home key, or tonic, which may be either major or minor.
Or like in Latin music, a lot of Latin bands will stay on one chord and these virtuoso trumpet players would really do their thing. And just as younger artists looked to Davis for guidance and inspiration, he looked to them for raw, new talent and innovative musical ideas. I think it still sells 100 - 150,000 copies a year - so the royalties on it must be absolutely astronomical. Modal jazz would become highly influential during the late 50s and early 60s, as an alternative to the chordally-dense argot of bebop. I thought I was quite clever to have done that and then I discovered that plenty of other people had done the same thing.