Movie Music turned into Jazz Arrangements

Joe Hisaishi, japanese movie composer for a majority of Miyazaki films, re-arranges his scores into jazz arrangements in the album “All That Jazz”. Check out “A Town With an Ocean View” from Kiki’s Delivery Service! Feel free to compare the rest of the album as well.

A Town With An Ocean View (Original)

All That Jazz (A Town With an Ocean View at 3:00)

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Three Cohens

I’m not sure what concert this video is from, but it has Anat Cohen and her two brothers Avishai and Yuval playing horns.  I liked the organic nature of the piece, how it evolved from a simple piano solo to a small piano, bass, and drums trio, to finally the whole ensemble.  I also noticed, especially during the trumpet solo, how the rhythm section was paying attention and very much a part of his solo. There was a section when he held out a note several times, and the rhythm section picked up on that and filled in the ‘gaps’ with more active, accented comping. After he went back to a more active line, the rhythm section dropped back to a more supportive role.  I also liked how during the tenor solo, she anticipated the other horns’ descending backup line, and instead of playing over it, she played through it so that their line complemented her solo and vice versa.

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Cottontail by Two Saxophones

It seemed appropriate to post something about Cottontail… I really like the interaction between Mr. Hamilton and Mr. Allen. Similar to our last class, they really seem to be utilizing call and response. There’s a nice balance between repeating a previous motif and introducing new material. Also, I really like 7:43 where they play the same thing in a dissonant interval. Throughout the piece, they seem to be really enjoying themselves.

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Ella Fitzgerald: Scat Singing

Considering our recent discussion about jazz syllables and vocalization, I thought it would be appropriate to post an example of scat singing. I posted this particular clip because it is an impressive demonstration of Ella Fitzgerald’s ability to convey a distinct musical idea with her choice of syllables.

One example of this is at 3:02 where Fitzgerald starts her “drum solo”. She uses sounds like “shah, pah, diggidy-diggidy-boom, and rrrrrrrrrha-huh” that to me sound like plausible sounds for a drum kit. A second example is around 5:03 where she throws in (what I am interpreting as) a “trombone solo” that has a very brassy sounding “bwwwweeeeee-bop-biiii-bweeeeee-bop”.

Along with being an entertaining performance, I am impressed by Fitzgerald’s ability to sing in a way that reminds the listener of other instruments. She obviously has a thorough understanding of (or at least exposure to the music of) a variety of jazz instruments from which to draw inspiration. Having this understanding of other instruments can help us to really internalize the melodies, rhythms, and styles of the music we play.

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This is a video of Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival.  This video was interesting first and foremost because in all of the camera shots, the performers look like they’re having fun.  It’s almost seems like their primary goal is to have fun and the music and entertainment aspect just happens to how they’re having fun.  The vocal style that Armstrong and Teagarden use in “Rockin’ Chair” was also really interesting.  It was sort of a cross between singing and speaking, and so “Sprechstimme” was the first word that I thought of to describe the vocals.  This isn’t an operatic context, so that description may not be totally accurate, but I was struck by how I could hear phrasing and musicality in the lyrics, even though their voices sounded like they were just talking to each other.

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Rhythm Changes

It’s Randy!

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Welcome to the new MUS 340 Blog

Welcome to the new blog site for MUS 340 Jazz Improv II. Please post your videos and comments here.

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