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Gerry Mulligan & Astor Piazzolla – Tango Nuevo (1974)

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    Gerry Mulligan & Astor Piazzolla – Tango Nuevo (1974)

    Sheet Music Download.

    Tracklist:

    [00:00] A1. 20 Years Ago [06:28] A2. Close Your Eyes And Listen [11:04] A3. Years Of Solitude [15:14] A4. Deus Xango [19:02] B1. 20 Years After [23:16] B2. Aire De Buenos Aires Music By – Gerry Mulligan [27:56] B3. Reminiscene [34:29] B4. Summit

    Personnel:

    Bandoneon – Astor Piazzolla Baritone Saxophone – Gerry Mulligan Cello – Ennio Miori Cover, Photography By – Alberto Rizzo Drums, Percussion – Tullio De Piscopo Electric Bass – Giuseppe Prestipino Electric Guitar – Bruno De Filippi, Filippo Daccò Engineer – Tonino Paolillo Executive-Producer – Aldo Pagani Marimba – Alberto Baldan, Gianni Zilioli Music By, Arranged By, Conductor – Astor Piazzolla Piano [Fender Rhodes 73], Electric Piano, Organ – Angel “Pocho” Gatti Producer – Aldo Pagani, Fabio Bellotti, Mario Fattori Viola – Renato Riccio Violin – Umberto Benedetti Michelangeli

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    Mulligan, Gerald Joseph ‘Gerry’ (1927-1996).

    Músico norteamericano nacido en Nueva York el 6 de abril de 1927 y fallecido en Darien el 20 de enero de 1996. Saxofonista barítono y soprano, clarinetista, pianista, director de orquesta, compositor y arreglista, Gerry Mulligan es tal vez el saxo barítono más conocido de la historia del jazz, cuyo impulso musical fue clave para desarrollo del llamado West Coast Jazz y su sucedáneo, el estilo cool, a mediados del siglo XX. Ganador de un premio Grammy en 1986 por su disco Walk on the Water, gran parte de su obra musical se editó en los sellos Verve y Pacific Jazz.

    Aunque nació en Nueva York, pasó su infancia en Filadelfia, donde estudió clarinete y saxo alto, sus primeros instrumentos. Desde muy joven, le tentó la composición y los arreglos orquestales y hacia 1944 comenzó a ganarse la vida con la venta de sus arreglos a una orquesta de radio de su ciudad –Johnny Warringston’s radio band-. Tras un periodo de dedicación exclusiva al mundo de la música -instrumentos y arreglos-, pronto comenzó a destacar como instrumentista, primero con Elliot Lawrence (1945) y, después, ya en Nueva York, como acompañante del genial baterista Gene Krupa, en su famosísima Gene Krupa’s Orchestra (1946). Sus primeros pasos fueron vertiginosos pues resultaba extraordinariamente difícil encontrar a un joven casi sin experiencia que tocara con la calidad que derrochaba Gerry y que además compusiera y arreglara como él lo hacía.

    Tras su extraña colaboración en la orquesta de Gene Krupa (pues en ella tocaba el saxo alto), en 1948 se enroló en la orquesta de Claude Thornhill (donde también tocaba el saxo alto); experiencia que le sirvió para conocer personalmente al paradigma de director de orquesta moderno Gil Evans, quien, además, le presentó al mismo Miles Davis, con quien explotó al fin su faceta como saxo barítono. El trompetista no dudó en ficharlo de inmediato para su octeto, aquel que pusiera de moda el cool en los primeros años de la década del cincuenta con el famosísimo disco The Birth of the Cool, grabado para Capitol en Nueva York en abril de 1949 y marzo de 1950, aunque antes de la publicación de este disco memorable, se editó un Epé, cuyo título era precisamente una composición de Mulligan: Jeru. La labor del saxofonista en el noneto de Miles era doble; por un lado, destacaba como un brillante instrumentista; por otro, componía y arreglaba para el grupo con gran calidad y originalidad. Sin duda, fue uno de los grandes fichajes “blancos” de Miles para su grupo de cool. Mulligan compuso para la formación temas como “Jeru” -archiconocidísimo en el repertorio de Miles de aquellos años y en el del propio Mulligan en solitario-, “Venus de Milo” y “Rocker”. En cuanto a los arreglos, destacaron piezas como “Godchild”, de carácter fresco y rítmico, o “Dark That Dream”. Durante su etapa con Miles, entre 1948 y 1950, coincidió con músicos como Lee Konitz, Bill Barber o Kai Wilding. En este tiempo, de todas formas, también colaboró con Eliot Lawrence (1949), en arreglos y como integrante de su sección de viento.

    De 1951 datan sus primeras formaciones en solitario, cuyas apariciones comenzaron a ser grabadas por Dick Bock para el sello Prestige Jazz, que iniciaba su andadura con Mulligan. La grabación del disco Gerry Mulligan Quartet dio lugar a la famosísima expresión “Pianosless Quartet”, esto es, la formación sin piano que tanto estiló el barítono. En 1952, tras su traslado a Los Ángeles, la fama de Mulligan creció en los EE.UU. para conformar el periodo más interesante de su carrera profesional. La característica musical que predominó en el sonido que proclamaba Gerry aunaba cierta frialdad e interpretación cerebral con una buena dosis de sofisticación y elegancia.

    Su inmediata y reputada fama le llevó a Los Ángeles, donde en 1952 arregló y compuso para el mismísimo Stan Kenton en su elepé New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm. Participó en temas como “Young Blood” -un arreglo sencillo pero con un enorme swing-, “Swing House” y “Walking Shoes”. Su fama como arreglista era notoria, aunque no menor que su calidad como saxofonista barítono, que había alcanzado renombre internacional en este tiempo, tal y como quedaba de manifiesto en las encuestas de las revistas especializadas de jazz (como Down Beat), donde fue votado en distintas ocasiones tanto en su vertiente de instrumentista como de arreglista.

    Ese mismo año en Los Ángeles, y también dentro de la línea “pianoless quartet”, Mulligan puso en marcha una de las colaboraciones que le aportó mayor repercusión internacional, sobre todo en Europa, donde era requerido de continuo. Fue su dúo solista con el trompetista Chet Baker, otros de los iconos “blancos” del sonido cool. Con Baker formalizó después un cuarteto sin piano en el que se alternaron, en distintas fechas de reunión, Bobby Whitlock, Carson Smith, Henry Grimes o Joe Mondragón (al contrabajo) y Larry Bunker, Chico Hamilton o Dave Bailey (a la batería). En principio, las grabaciones aparecían en singles y el primer tema se grabó en el verano de 1952 con el título “Bernie’s Tune”. Sin duda, la colaboración más intensa entre estos dos músicos se produjo entre estos años 1951 y 1953, cuando grabaron algunos elepés de gran repercusión a escala mundial -como Mulligan-Baker (1951) o Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker (1953)-, en los que descollaron los temas “Freeway” (una pieza inusual de Baker, de tiempo veloz); los propios de Mulligan “Soft Shoe”, “Swinghouse” o “Jeru”; temas rápidos, con una línea melódica muy marcada; más otras composiciones, como la balada “My Old Flame”, “Love Me Or Leave Me” o la muy conocida “My Funny Valentine”, de Rodgers & Hart, seña de identidad de Chet Baker al correr de los años, allí donde tocara o grabara. Tras la marcha de Baker, le sustituyó el trompetista Art Farmer. De todos modos, en 1957, se volvió a producir una nueva colaboración entre ambos, que dio como resultado el disco Reunion with Chet Baker, de cuyo repertorio destacó la pieza de Mulligan “Festive Minor”. El último encuentro entre ambos músicos se produciría mucho tiempo después -en 1975-, en el famosísimo Carnegie Hall de Nueva York, donde ofrecieron un concierto memorable, grabado por el sello CTI.

    Lo más característico de este tipo de formación estribaba en que los dos vientos formaban un línea melódica (a veces apoyada por el contrabajo, y con la marcada ausencia de armonía que confería el piano en el jazz) trascrita por simultáneas escalas, en forma de fuga, en cuyo contexto las dos voces creaban pasajes sonoros “fríos”, pero de inusual belleza y de imaginación sorprendente. No debe olvidarse tampoco su reunión con otro miembro de la orquesta de Kenton, el saxo alto Lee Konitz, con quien tocó y grabó el disco Lee Konitz Plays with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet (1953), o sus colaboraciones con Paul Desmond, otro saxofonista alto de la escuela cool y perteneciente al cuarteto de Dave Brubeck, a quien, por otro lado, sustituyó en algunas ocasiones.

    Sus problemas con las drogas alejaron a Mulligan del jazz durante el año 1953, lo que supuso un freno a la actividad de su exitoso cuarteto. Un año después, algo más recuperado, recuperó la esencia de aquella formación, esta vez para participar en el Festival de París de 1954, al que acudió con un nuevo cuarteto constituido por Bob Brookmeyer (trombón), Red Mitchell (contrabajo) y Frank Isola (batería). Qué duda cabe, la incorporación a su banda del trombonetista Brookmeyer implicó un tour de force a su apuesta por el “pianoless”, esta vez ofrecida con dos trombones como ejecutantes de la melodía y la armonía del cuarteto. Tras su no muy exitosa empresa con The Concert Jazz Band en 1960, en 1964 retomaría la citada formación con Brookmeyer para iniciar una gira por Europa.

    Entre 1955 y 1958, su grupo se enriqueció con brillantes instrumentistas, caso del saxofonista de Kenton, Zoot Sims, o del trompetista Jon Eardley, ocasionalmente integrantes de su sexteto, como demuestran los discos Gerry’s Time o Blues in Time, ambos publicados en 1957. Un año después, se sumó al cuarteto el trompetista Art Farmer. Precisamente, en agosto de 1957 tuvo lugar una de las colaboraciones más importantes de Mulligan en toda su carrera musical; un auténtico encuentro de gigantes que reunió a Gerry con el pianista Thelonious Monk, uno de los grandes del jazz de todos los tiempos. La reunión se produjo en Nueva York, quedó registrada en el disco Mulligan Meets Monk y contó con la colaboración del bajista Wilbur Ware y el batería Shadow Wilson. El álbum incluía tres de los éxitos más celebrados de Monk: “Round Midnight” , “Straight, No Chaser” y “I Mean You”, más una composición de Mulligan: “Decidedly”. Conformaba un trabajo original sumido en una atmósfera relajada y llena momentos cumbres del jazz contemporáneo, como refleja la interpretación del tema “Round Midnigth”, donde el saxo barítono de Gerry otorgaba a la melodía del tema (y a su improvisación) un carácter acaso único en la historia de este standar, decenas de veces interpretado por la mayoría de los jazzistas de todos los tiempos.

    Otras colaboraciones de Mulligan con ‘grandes’ del jazz en este periodo de la segunda mitad de los años cincuenta, fueron los trabajos con Paul Desmond, Stan Getz, Ben Wester o Johny Hodges. Con Desmond presentó Gerry Mulligan Quartet/Paul Desmond Quintet (1956), adelanto de colaboraciones futuras, y con Getz y Desmond grabó Mulligan and Getz and Desmond (1957), una obra estéticamente cool y de una belleza inconmensurable. Junto a Ben Wester firmó una más que felicísima colaboración en Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Wester (1959), que aupó a Mulligan a lo más alto de la popularidad en el ámbito del jazz, al tiempo que con Hodges editaba Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges (1960), también otro disco memorable, muy a pesar de los divergentes estilos de ambos músicos.

    Al margen de estas brillantísimas colaboraciones, Mulligan llevó a cabo a principios de los sesenta una feliz unión con el saxofonista Paul Desmond. El fruto de esta comunión de dos de los saxofonistas más representativos del sonido cool fue la edición de varios elepés importantes, como Quartet y, sobre todo, Two of a mind (1962). Este último trabajo mostraba a las claras la maestría de ambos músicos, en temas como “Stardust” (verdaderamente genial), “Out of Nowhere” y el espléndido “All the Things You Are”, en una versión sencilla y emotiva, sofisticada y elegante.

    Al margen de sus trabajos tanto en solitario como en compañía de otros jazzistas de envergadura, Gerry grabó para la televisión, en 1958, el clásico Sound of Jazz, al tiempo que apareció en la película I Want to Live and the Subterraneas.

    De cualquier manera, a comienzos de la década de los sesenta se iba a producir un nuevo giro en sus propuestas musicales, cuando Gerry creó una banda de trece músicos, cuya apariencia surgió bajo el nombre de The Concert Jazz Band, ambicioso proyecto en el que colaboraron figuras de la entidad de Bob Brookmeyer, Bill Holman, Al Cohn o George Russell. Mulligan salió de gira con esta banda que, precisamente, en sus directos daba cuenta de su mayor contundencia interpretativa. De ahí que fueran formidables los conciertos en vivo Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band at Live (1960), Concert Zoot Sims (1961), Mulligan ’63 (1963) o At the Village Vanguard (1960), un disco, este último, de elevado gusto musical, con arreglos de Johnny Mandel y Al Cohn, y con dos instrumentistas especialmente inspirados: Clark Terry y Bob Brookmeyer. Esta experiencia, a medio camino entre un ensanchamiento lógico de su cuarteto “pianoless” y un guiño a las orquestas blancas de cool, le sirvió al saxofonista para, además de escribir para orquesta sus propios temas y arreglos, tocar el piano de forma alterna con el saxo barítono.

    A partir de 1968, se integró de manera ocasional en el famoso cuarteto de Dave Brubeck, quien continuaba desarrollando el sonido cool “blanco”. Mulligan ingresó en la formación, donde participaba el baterista Joe Morello, para sustituir precisamente al saxo alto Paul Desmond, su antiguo colaborador. Durante el periodo comprendido entre 1968 y 1972, Mulligan grabó y salió de gira con Brubeck. La personalidad del barítono era tan fuerte que el cuarteto, tras su inclusión, se rebautizó como The Dave Brubeck Trio featuring guest star Gerry Mulligan. Con Brubeck grabó cinco álbumes, entre los que destacó el famoso Live at the Berlin Philharmonie, The Last Set at Newport o Together Again For the First Time.

    En los años setenta, Mulligan seguía tentado por la big band y grabó el majestuoso Age of Steam (1971), iniciándose en el novísimo mundo del jazz electrónico, donde probó fortuna con el saxo soprano. También en ese periodo destacó su colaboración con el bandoneísta argentino Astor Piazzolla, autor que logró converger los sonidos de la música popular, el clásico y el jazz, con quien grabó el disco Gerry Mulligan/Astor Piazzolla (1974), para el sello Accord.

    Al tiempo, incluyó en sus grupos al vibrafonista Dave Samuels (con el que se unía a cierto tipo de jazz fusión, como en su colaboración con Grover Washington), mientras, en 1986, grabó con el saxofonista Scott Hamilton el disco Soft Ligths and Sweet Music. Más tarde, en 1987, participó con su cuarteto en la grabación del disco Symphonic Dream, en el que se hizo acompañar por la Houston Symphony Orchestra. De entre los temas más representativos cabe señalar la serie de piezas “The Sax Chronicles” o “K-4 Pacific”.

    Ya en los noventa, sus actuaciones se redujeron mucho, dado su delicado estado de salud. Sin embargo, se decidió a realizar una gira con su nuevo proyecto, Rebirth of the Cool Band, que simultaneó con la labor en su cuarteto “pianoless”. Con el citado proyecto recuperaba la estética cool de principios de los cincuenta, donde interpretaba en directo aquellos temas inolvidables del noneto de Miles Davis. Prueba de ello fueron sus trabajos Re-Birth of the Cool (1992), Dream a Little Dream (1994) o Dragon Fly (1995).

    El domingo 21 de enero de 1996, tras una complicada operación de rodilla, por la que sufrió una larguísima convalecencia, Gerry Mulligan murió en su casa de Darien (Connecticut), con lo que se apagaba la voz del saxo barítono más importante de todos los tiempos. Tras su muerte, la Gerry Mulligan All-Star Tribute Band le rindió merecido homenaje en los álbumes Thank You, Gerry! y Plays Mulligan.

    Gerry Mulligan es el barítono líder del jazz de todos los tiempos. Un instrumento que, en principio, estaba destinado más como coro grave de las orquestas de jazz, Mulligan le concedió un sonido propio, solista e improvisador con un carácter sofisticado y a la vez elegante. El sonido de Mulligan, muy unido desde sus inicios, es cierto, a la escuela californiana de cool (Costa Oeste), ha sido calificado como sumamente expresivo, refinado y con tendencia a una absoluta calma interpretativa. Clásico en su forma de tocar -en este sentido se le asoció a músicos como Ben Wester o Lester Young-, sus improvisaciones, por el contrario, estaban llenas de modernidad y elegancia y soberbia intelectualidad. No es gratuito que Miles Davis le fichara para su revolucionario Birth of the Cool, cuando Mulligan sólo contaba con 22 años de edad.De este modo no es extrañoque Mulligan se confiara a encuentros del todo dispares; desde el clasicismo de Ben Wester o Johny Hodges a la vanguardia de sus encuentros, breves, pero intensos, con Charles Mingus o Thelonious Monk.

    Sin estar inserto dentro del llamado West Coast Jazz, es obvio que Gerry Mulligan influyó sobremanera en estos músicos “blancos”. Su estilo, lleno de sencillez y al tiempo de una tensión y colorido extraordinarios, se hizo inmensamente popular, hasta el punto de que resulta casi imposible no reconocerle tras el comienzo de unas de sus improvisaciones, tal y como ocurría con otros nombres ligados a su estilo, como Paul Desmond, Chet Baker o Lee Konitz.

    Por otro lado, si Mulligan revolucionó el arte de tocar el barítono en jazz, siempre tuvo muy en cuenta a músicos anteriores, tales como Serge Chaloff (importante músico de Woddy Herman) o Harry Carney (de los grupos de Count Basie); aunque más importante fue, sin duda, su heredad confirmada en músicos de la talla de Bob Gordon, Cecil Payne o Pepper Adams, tal vez, este último, el más importante tras Mulligan.

    Al margen de su importancia como saxofonista, deben apuntarse las extraordinarias dotes del Mulligan compositor y arreglista. Como compositor quedan temas suyos de la importancia de “Jeru” o “Decidedly”, “Walkin’ Shoes” o “Swinghouse”. Como arreglista resultó clave su conexión con el jazz de la Costa Oeste, o su participación en orquestas como la de Stan Kenton. Arreglos siempre brillantes y originales, aunque no exentos de cierto pragmatismo cerebral, del que se le acusó algunas veces.

    Recibió un Premio Grammy a principios de los ochenta por su disco Walk on the Water (1980), realizado con su cuarteto de siempre y acompañado por una orquesta. El galardón puso la guinda a una importante labor musical ejercida durante cuatro largas décadas dedicadas al jazz en su más alta expresión.

    Discografía

    Como sideman

    Birth of the cool (con Miles Davis), Capitol, 1956.
    New Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm (con Stan Kenton), Capitol, 1952.
    Road Show (con Stan Kenton), Capitol, 1959.
    Quartet (con Paul Desmond), Verve, 1962.
    Two of a Mind (con Paul Desmond), RCA Victor, 1963.

    Como colíder

    Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Jazztone, 195?
    Mulligan / Baker, Prestige, 1951.
    Lee Konitz Plays with the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Pacific Jazz, 1953.
    The Gerry Mulligan Quartet/Paul Desmond Quintet, Fantasy, 1956.
    The Gerry Mulligan Quartet with Chet Baker/Buddy DeFranco Quartet, Gene Norman, 1957.
    Reunion with Chet Baker, Pacific Jazz, 1962.
    Broadway (con Kai Winding y Red Roney), New Jazz, 1963.
    Gerry Mulligan/Astor Piazzolla, Accord, 1974.
    The Carnegie Hall Concert, Volume 1 & 2 (con Chet Baker), CTI, 1976.

    Como solista

    Gerry Mulligan Blows, Prestige, 1952.
    Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Gene Norman, 1952.
    Mulligan Too Blows, Prestige, 1953.
    Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Pacific Jazz, 1953.
    Gerry Mulligan and His Ten-Tette, Capitol, 1953.
    Presenting the Gerry Mulligan Sextet, Emarcy, 1955.
    Gerry Mulligan Sextet, Pacific Jazz, 1955.
    The Original Mulligan Quartet, Pacific Jazz, 1955.
    Mainstream of Jazz, Emarcy, 1956.
    Mulligan Plays Mulligan, Prestige, 1956.
    Paris Concert, Pacific Jazz, 1956.
    What Is There to Say?, Columbia, 1959.
    A profile of Gerry Mulligan, Mercury, 1959.
    Nigthwatch, United Artists, 1960.
    The Genius of Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Pacific Jazz, 1960.
    Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Wester, Verve, 1960.
    Getz Meets Mulligan In Hi-Fi, Verve, 1960.
    Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges, Verve, 1960.
    Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band, Verve, 1960.
    Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band at the Village Vanguard, Verve, 1960.
    Konitz Meets Mulligan, Pacific Jazz, 1962.
    California Concerts, Pacific Jazz, 1962.
    Blues in Time, Verve, 1962.
    Gerry Mulligan ’63. The Concert Jazz Band, Verve, 1963.
    Timeless, Pacific Jazz, 1963.
    Spring Is Sprung, Philips, 1963.
    Nigth Lights, Philips, 1963.
    Spring Is Sprung, Philips, 1963.
    Historically Speaking, Prestige, 1963.
    Jeru, Columbia, 1963.
    Butterfly with Hiccups, Limelight, 1964.
    The Essential Gerry Mulligan, Verve, 1964.
    If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Join ‘Em, Limeligth, 1965.
    Feelin’ Good, Limeligth, 1965.
    Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Limeligth, 1966.
    Concert Days, Sunset, 1966.
    Gerry’s Time, Verve, 1966.
    Jazz Fest Masters, Scotti Bross, 1969.
    Age of Steam, A & M, 1971.
    Gerry Mulligan Meets Enrico Intra, Pausa, 1975.
    Lionel Hampton Presents Gerry Mulligan, Who’s Who in Jazz, 1978.
    Walk on the Water, DRG, 1980.
    La Menace, DRG, 1982.
    Symphonic Dreams, Intersound, 1987.
    Lonesome Boulevard, A & M, 1989.
    Plays, Fantasy, 1991.
    Re-Birth of the Cool, GRP, 1992.
    Paraiso-Jazz Brasil, Telarc, 1993.
    Dream a Little Dream, Telarc, 1994.
    Dragon Fly, Telarc, 1995.
    News from Blueport, Lazz Hour, 1996.
    Two Times Four Plus Six, Jazz Band, 1997.
    In Sweden, Jazz, 1999.
    Jazz Casual: Gerry Mulligan & Art Pepper, Koch, 2001.
    Swing House, Past Perfect, 2002.

    Piazzolla, Ástor (1921-1992).

    Compositor y bandoneísta argentino nacido en Mar del Plata el 11 de marzo de 1921 y fallecido en Buenos Aires el 4 de julio de 1992. Ha dejado un extraordinario tesoro musical, entre tangos instrumentales, piezas para guitarra y para flauta, canciones de tango, bandas sonoras y música para orquesta. Entró en contacto desde muy joven con la música popular de su país de la mano de Aníbal Troilo, un especialista del género. También estudió música clásica con el compositor argentino Alberto Ginastera, en Buenos Aires.

    Revolucionario con excelentes credenciales como tanguero, como demostró en la época en la que vivió en Buenos Aires hasta los años 50, o bien después tocando en la banda de Aníbal Troilo, e incluso posteriormente con su propia banda, Piazzolla absorbió, por otra parte, la cultura del jazz en la época en la que residió en Nueva York. Pero mientras tocaba tangos en Buenos Aires, Ástor intentaba que su música fuera diferente de la de los demás, y tal objetivo se convirtió en su obsesión. Aníbal Troilo le tuvo que decir en muchas ocasiones que sus arreglos eran demasiado complejos incluso para que los tocaran sus músicos, de manera que Ástor decidió dedicarse al dominio de la música clásica y abandonó el tango.

    Este giro en su carrera llegó con su composición Sinfonía Porteña, ganadora de varios premios, entre ellos una beca para estudiar en París. Fue la legendaria profesora Nadia Boulanger quien le dijo que se apoyara en el tango y la música de Buenos Aires. De esta manera comenzó una nueva época en el tango con composiciones nuevas como “Picasso”, “Chau París”, etc. y con nuevo grupo, el Octeto Buenos Aires, que combinaba todos estos elementos.

    Su vida, sin embargo, era difícil, porque se atrevía a realizar cambios contra los gustos establecidos en la música y en varias ocasiones el público reaccionó fuertemente en su contra, por lo que Piazzolla se convirtió en una figura maldita, muy odiada. Años después se ganaría la fama internacional, pero nunca pudo olvidar aquellos tiempos difíciles y aquella gente cuya estrecha visión le hizo reaccionar en contra de su música y casi abandonar ésta para montar una hamburguesería en los peores momentos de desesperanza; afortunadamente no lo hizo.

    La música de Ástor Piazzolla tiene se caracteriza por pertenecer a Buenos Aires y al siglo XXI. A pesar de que compuso música contemporánea y de tango, Piazzolla suele encontrarse en la sección de jazz de las tiendas de música. Esto nos da una idea de su versatilidad y de las cualidades de improvisación de su música, que rompió moldes antiguos. Fue el creador del nuevo tango, que se llamó Tango Sinfónico y que rompía con las formas clásicas de este género. Su talento como compositor se plasma en muchos temas que se han convertido en clásicos del repertorio del tango.

    Él mismo ha interpretado muchas de sus canciones en sus discos y a veces ha grabado diferentes versiones de una misma idea musical. Le gusta producir distintas obras con la misma idea, al igual que los pintores abstractos, con la misma inspiración y diferentes variaciones. Se desenvolvía igual en la música clásica que en la popular. Dentro de su obra podemos destacar la Rapsodia porteña, para orquesta, compuesta en 1952; la sinfonía en tres movimientos Buenos Aires, de 1953; Oda íntima a Buenos Aires, para recitante, canto y orquesta; Tango sinfónico, Tangata para orquesta, un concierto y una suite para bandoneón y orquesta y La serie del ángel. Dentro del tango, destacan títulos ya clásicos como “Balada para un loco”, compuesta en 1953; “La muerte del ángel”, “Adiós nonino” y “Verano porteño”. En 1934 grabó la banda sonora de la película El día que me quieras, en la que actuaba cantando Carlos Gardel. Renovó de forma decisiva el género del tango, introduciendo nuevas estructuras armónicas y rítmicas que eran extraídas tanto de la música clásica como del jazz; esto dio lugar a lo que se denominó “música contemporánea de Buenos Aires”.

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      Scrapper Blackwell: Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

      Francis Hillman “Scrapper” Blackwell (February 21, 1903 – October 7, 1962) was an American blues guitarist and singer, best known as half of the guitar-piano duo he formed with Leroy Carr in the late 1920s and early 1930s. He was an acoustic single-note picker in the Chicago blues and Piedmont blues styles. Some critics have noted that he veered towards jazz.

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      Biography

      Blackwell was born in Syracuse, South Carolina, one of sixteen children of Payton and Elizabeth Blackwell. He was part Cherokee. He grew up in and spent most of his life in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he first relocated at the age of three. He was given the nickname “Scrapper” by his grandmother, because of his fiery nature. His father played the fiddle, but Blackwell was a self-taught guitarist, building his first guitar out of a cigar box, wood and wire. He also learned to play the piano, occasionally performing professionally. By his teens, Blackwell was a part-time musician, traveling as far as Chicago. He was known for being withdrawn and hard to work with, but he established a rapport with the pianist Leroy Carr, whom he met in Indianapolis in the mid-1920s, and they had a productive working relationship. Carr convinced Blackwell to record with him for Vocalion Records in 1928; the result was “How Long, How Long Blues“, the biggest blues hit of that year.

      Blackwell also made solo recordings for Vocalion, including “Kokomo Blues”, which was transformed into “Old Kokomo Blues” by Kokomo Arnold and later reworked as “Sweet Home Chicago” by Robert Johnson. Blackwell and Carr toured throughout the American Midwest and South between 1928 and 1935 as stars of the blues circuit, recording over 100 sides. “Prison Bound Blues” (1928), “Mean Mistreater Mama” (1934), and “Blues Before Sunrise” (1934) were popular tracks.

      Blackwell made several solo excursions. A 1931 visit to Richmond, Indiana, to record at Gennett studios is noteworthy. Blackwell was dissatisfied with the lack of credit given his contributions with Carr; the situation was remedied by Vocalion’s Mayo Williams after his 1931 breakaway: in all future recordings, Blackwell and Carr received equal songwriting credits and equal status in recording contracts. Blackwell’s last recording session with Carr was in February 1935, for Bluebird Records. The session ended bitterly, as both musicians left the studio mid-session and on bad terms, stemming from payment disputes. Two months later Blackwell received a phone call informing him of Carr’s death due to heavy drinking and nephritis. Blackwell soon recorded a tribute to his musical partner of seven years (“My Old Pal Blues”). After the death of Carr, Blackwell did a few recordings with piano player Dot Rice, without much success; the song “No Good Woman Blues” shows Blackwell as the singer. A short time later Blackwell retired from the music industry.

      Blackwell returned to music in the late 1950s. He was recorded by Colin C. Pomroy in June 1958 (those recordings were released in 1967 on the Collector label). Soon afterwards he was recorded by Duncan P. Schiedt for Doug Dobell‘s 77 Records.

      Blackwell was then recorded in 1961, in Indianapolis, by the young Art Rosenbaum for the Prestige/Bluesville Records label. The story was recounted by Rosenbaum as starting three years before the recordings were made. When he was growing up in Indianapolis, Rosenbaum knew an African-American woman who said that he “had to meet a man that she knew, who played guitar, played blues and christian songs, they’ll make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.” Rosenbaum subsequently met Blackwell: “I met the gentleman across the street from the Methodist hospital in Indianapolis”. Blackwell’s friend said, “well he hasn’t got a guitar”, so Rosenbaum said, “well I got a guitar.” Blackwell than said that he needed some “bird food“. Rosenbaum did not understand what he was referring to, so Blackwell explained, “you gotta get some bird food for the bird, before the bird sings… beer!” Rosenbaum said, “I’m too young!” Blackwell continued, “we’ll buy the beer, you just give us some money.” Rosenbaum recalled, “So we did, and he started playing these beautiful blues. I didn’t realize he was Scrapper Blackwell til I mentioned his name to a blues collecting friend”, when the friend exclaimed, “you met Scrapper Blackwell!?”

      Blackwell was ready to resume his blues career, when he was shot and killed in a mugging in an Indianapolis alley, in October 1962.[3] He was 59 years old. The police arrested his neighbor at the time for the murder, but the crime remains unsolved. Blackwell is buried in New Crown Cemetery, in Indianapolis.

      Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out

      Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” is a blues standard written by Jimmie Cox in 1923. It is written in a Vaudeville-blues style. The lyrics sung in the popular 1929 recording by Bessie Smith are told from the point of view of somebody who was once wealthy during the Prohibition era, reflect on the fleeting nature of material wealth and the friendships that come and go with it. Smith was the preeminent female blues singer of the 1920s and 1930s. Since her 1929 recording, the song has been interpreted by numerous musicians in a variety of styles.

      Lyrics and composition

      When composed in 1923, the “Roaring Twenties” were coming into full swing. Cox’s publisher Clarence Williams Music Publishing Co. filed a copyright registration, December 17, 1923[1] listing the title as “Nobody knows you when you are down and out” (no contraction).[2] After the post-World War I recession, a new era of prosperity was experienced in the U.S. and elsewhere. However, in the face of all the optimism, the known lyrics form a cautionary tale about the fickle nature of fortune and its attendant relationships:

      Once I lived the life of a millionaire, spendin’ my money I didn’t have a care
      I carried my friends out for a good time, buying bootleg liquor, champagne and wine
      When I begin to fall so low, I didn’t have a friend and no place to go
      So if I ever get my hand on a dollar again, I’m gonna hold on to it ’til them eagles grin
      Nobody knows you, when you down and out
      In my pocket not one penny, and my friends I haven’t any

      The song is a moderate-tempo blues with ragtime-influences, which follows an eight-bar progression Play (help·info):

      I – III7VI7ii – VI7iiIV7♯ivo7I – VI7II7V7

      It features chromaticism through the use of secondary dominant and leading-tone chords: II7 = V7/V VI7 = V7/ii = V7/V/V III7 = V7/vi = V7/V/V/V ♯ivo7 = viio7/V

      Early recordings

      Although “Nobody Knows You When You Are Down and Out” was copyrighted in 1923, the first known publication did not appear until a recording of 1927. Piedmont blues musician Bobby Leecan, who recorded with various ensembles, such as the South Street Trio, Dixie Jazzers Washboard Band, and Fats Waller‘s Six Hot Babies, recorded “Nobody Needs You When You’re Down and Out” under the name “Blind Bobby Baker and his guitar”, with his vocal and fingerpicking-style guitar. His version, recorded in New York around June 1927, is credited on the record label to Bobby Leecan and has completely different lyrics from the popular 1929 version, with emphasis on being poor, including a verse about being cheated playing “The Numbers“.

      The second known recording of the song was on January 11, 1929 by an obscure vocal quartet, the Aunt Jemima Quality Four, first to use the now familiar title, “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out”. The lyrics in this recording can be heard to track roughly with the well known lyrics and are partially spoken, as if being read.

      Four days later, influential boogie-woogie pianist Pinetop Smith recorded “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” in Chicago, crediting Cox as the author. In it, lyrics (again quite different from either Bobby Leecan’s or Bessie Smith’s) are spoken rather than sung, by Pinetop Smith and Alberta Reynolds, to Pinetop’s piano accompaniment. The song is one of 11 known recordings by Smith, who died two months after he recorded it.

      Lyrics

      Once I lived the life of a millionaire
      Spending my money and I did not care
      Carryin’ my friends out for the good time
      Buyin’ bootleg liquor, champagne and wine

      Lord, but I got busted and I fell so low
      Didn’t have no money and nowhere to go
      This is the truth, Lord, without a doubt
      Nobody wants you when you’re down
      I mean, nobody wants you when you’re down

      Lord, the other day I asked the man for my rent
      He told me, boy, the money he had spent
      But I tried my best to try one or two
      That’s everything that I could do

      Lord, nobody let me have one lousy dime
      I’m out there worryin’ now all the time
      But I’m gonna tell you this is true, Lord, without a doubt
      Nobody wants you when you’re down
      Nobody wants you when you’re down

      Lord, if I could get my hands on a dollar again
      I would hold it ’til that eagle grins
      I would try him just for one little house
      Nobody knows me when I’m down and out

      Lord, I’ll try for another day
      To make my troubles in my own way
      But I’m gon’ tell you the truth, Lord, without a doubt
      Nobody knows me when you’re down
      I mean nobody knows me when you’re down

      Categories
      Musical Analysis Jazz & Blues Music

      The Piano Improvisations of Chick Corea: A musical analysis (1/2)

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      Table of Contents

        This monograph is an analysis of the first five pieces from an album by Chick Corea, Piano Improvisations, Volume One. The titles of the individual pieces are Noon Song, Song for Sally, Ballad for Anna, Song of the Wind, and Sometime Ago. These pieces, which form a suite of sorts, were chosen for a variety of reasons. High quality transcriptions are available, the pieces have never been dealt with in detail, and they embody an intriguing mixture of classical styles, jazz styles, improvisation, and composition.

        Chick Corea sheet music pdf

        Chick Corea: Lite and Works

        Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea was born June 12, 1941, in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He became interested in music at an early age, beginning piano study at the age of four.

        His first training came through his father Armando, a jazz trumpeter and bandleader in the Boston area. At age seven, Corea began lessons with Salvatore Sullo, a concert pianist in the Boston area. With Sullo, Corea studied traditional piano technique and repertoire, including Bach, Beethoven, and Chopin. Corea was also exposed to jazz from early on. His influences include Bud Powell, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, and Bill Evans.

        He was particularly interested in the music of Horace Silver, transcribing many of Silver’s tunes and solos.3 After graduating from high school, Corea attended the Juilliard School of Music for a short time before
        leaving to pursue jazz as a full-time career. Some of Corea’s first significant professional engagements were with the Latin bands of Willie Bobo and
        Mongo Santamaria, and Corea has retained a strong affinity for Latin music throughout his career. Other musicians with whom Corea worked early in his career (ca. 1964-67) include trumpeter Blue Mitchell and saxophonist Stan Getz.

        Corea joined Miles Davis’s band in 1968, replacing Herbie Hancock as the keyboardist. This was a major event in Corea’s career, giving an international reputation. At that time Miles Davis and his band played a form of free jazz that involved group improvisation, polytonality, and use of electronic instruments.

        After playing with Davis for three years, Corea left to pursue his own nonelectronic approach to free jazz, forming a band called Circle in the early seventies. According to Ian Carr, Circle “went even more deeply into
        the European vein of abstraction. It created an acoustic music which often had no relation to Afro-American forms such as the blues or gospels, no coherent physical rhythmic grooves, but which featured much scurrying and chittering non-tonal improvisation.”

        According to Corea, Circle was based on communication, both between players and with the audience. The group engaged in free improvisation with few limits and no pre-planning. Eventually the music seemed to be unrelated to anything, particularly the audience. Reflecting on his decision to leave, Corea said, “When I see an artist using his energies and technique to create a music way beyond the ability of people to connect with it, I see his abilities being wasted.” Corea’s departure from Circle coincided
        with his discovery of Scientology and the writings of L. Ron Hubbard. Corea was particularly interested in

        Hubbard’s ideas on communication. Regarding communication with the listener, Corea said, “My own particular code as a performer is this: it’s up to me to do something for an audience.”

        In musical terms, Corea’s desire for greater communication with the audience led to a more accessible, lyrical style. A direct result of this was the recording of two volumes of Piano Improvisations in 1971.11 Shortly
        thereafter, Corea formed a band called Return to Forever, which existed with various personnel throughout most of the seventies.

        Return to Forever tended toward electric jazz rock or fusion, often combined with a Latin style. Corea also continued to play more traditional jazz on occasion. Return to Forever broke up in 1980. Since then, Corea has been involved in a wide variety of musical pursuits, including solo performances, duos, and ensembles. Musicians with whom he has collaborated include pianists Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, and Friedrich Guida and vibraphonist Gary Burton. He has also recorded Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra and composed his own three movement piano concerto.

        The most noticeable quality in Corea’s output is the wide variety of musical styles in which he has operated. It is noteworthy that this versatility has not come at the expense of quality. 1^ Ian Carr sums up the consensus of many writers: “Corea ranks with Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett as one of the leading keyboard virtuosi and composer-bandleaders since the late 1960s. He is one of the most original and gifted composers in jazz.” In
        addition to the general admiration for Corea’s work, the Piano Improvisations in particular were given a glowing review in Down Beat magazine. The review begins discussing Corea’s ensemble playing and then moves to the Piano Improvisations’.

        “Chick is an original and a giant. His playing is total; his harmonic thinking, melodies and rhythmic phrasing are so interwoven that everything he plays is complete.
        That may be the reason why he has at long last recorded a solo album. Piano Improvisations Volume One, which happily implies that there
        will be a volume two. His work there is truly beyond words. This is one of the most important piano albums I have heard.”

        The review goes on to praise Corea’s use of a variety of styles.

        The variety of styles in Corea’s output is not surprising, given the diversity of his training and influences. Corea describes his earliest musical training
        with his father, where he learned “how to read and write music, which was all very important groundwork. He’d [i.e. Corea’s father] often write out arrangements of popular tunes that he played with his own band, but he’d
        write them for my level, so I learned notation in a very meaningful way.”

        In addition to jazz and Latin music, Corea was also influenced by a wide variety of classicalmusic. Asked about his repertoire for piano practice,
        Corea replied, “Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata is one of myfavorite piano works. I’ll play anything by Bach, some ofChopin’s etudes, Mozart sonatas, or Messiaen’s pianomusic.”17 Corea’s more experimental music with Miles
        Davis’s band and Circle reflects the influence of otherpractitioners of free jazz, such as Ornette Coleman, andalso the influence of avant-garde composers like KarlheinzStockhausen and John Cage.18 Corea’a use of quartalharmonies could be linked to sources as diverse as Alban
        Berg,-McCoy Tyner,- Horace Silver, and Paul – H i n d e m i t h.

        The eclectic nature of Corea’s style and output is reflected in his opinions on musical style. For Corea, barriers between styles are based not on genuine musical differences so much as they are on artificial social constructs. When asked whether certain fully notated music qualified as jazz, Corea replied, “You have one aspect of this backward, to my way of thinking. The user is the one who creates the style. I don’t ask myself,
        ‘does this work as jazz?’ I’ll create the music I need without thinking about style.” Corea is even more emphatic in a later interview:

        “I’m trying to break down the barriers, actually, between jazz music and classical music. There’s such a rich tradition and a rich esthetic in both areas that I love to operate in. I see no barrier, myslef . …”

        Certainly the Piano Improvisations are as much a manifestation of this philosophy as any of Corea’s works.

        Piano Improvisations: General Comments


        While the Piano Improvisations embody a wide varietyof styles, there are certain aspects that they all share. In the most basic sense, they all have the same texture: melody and accompaniment. Within that framework there is
        considerable variety.

        One of the most striking features of the Piano Improvisations is the degree to which they make use of both classical and jazz styles. Though the line between jazz and classical styles is sometimes indistinct, many elements in the Piano Improvisations can be traced to one tradition or the other. Jazz Influences, There are many characteristics of jazz that occur
        frequently in the Piano Improvisations. The harmonies in jazz are extended or altered the majority of the time. It is very rare to have triads with no added tones. As a result, the extended tones are often omitted in the labeling. For example, a chord labeled as “II” can be assumed to contain a 7th and possibly a 9th without actually labeling the chord as “II7/9. ” The present study follows this convention, in that not every extended note is labeled. An attempt is made to provide as much detail as is necessary to understand the subject at hand.

        The voicings reflect the importance of the extended chord tones. The 7 th, 9th, and 6th (or 13th) are prominent, while the 5th (unless it is altered) and even the root are often omitted. For example, the following would be a common jazz voicing of a C major chord:

        chick corea sheet music

        This sonority could also be interpreted as a quartal harmony based on E. The context can clarify the role of a harmony; for example, the chord above might be preceded by a clear dominant harmony on G. There are cases in the Piano Improvisations in which there is no clear context,
        leading to a certain amount of ambiguity.

        The practice of omitting the root is probably derived from playing in ensembles with a string bass. The piano often leaves out the root to avoid clashing with the line created by the bass player. In solo playing, rootless
        voicing may also be used for pragmatic reasons: it can be difficult to play a bass line, complex harmonies, and a melody simultaneously.

        Rootless voicing of dominant 7th type harmonies leads to a peculiar ambiguity known in jazz as tritone substitution. Two of the main two notes of a dominant 7th chord, the 3rd and the 7th, are a tritone apart. Since
        the tritone does not change when inverted, it is impossible to tell which is the 3rd and which is the 7th in a rootless voicing. This implies two possible roots, a tritone apart: a rootless dominant 7th chord on V could just as easily be interpreted as a dominant 7 th chord built on flat II. The example below shows two different possibilities for the same pitches and their resolutions.

        The unplayed root is shown in parentheses:

        chick corea sheet music

        Even the additional extensions of the chord can fit into either interpretation. For example, A-sharp (the raised 9th of the G7 chord) becomes B-flat (the added sixth of the D-flat7 chord). The actual root of the chord cannot be determined and is, in fact, immaterial, since the
        resolution and voice-leading are identical in both cases.

        In traditional jazz, as in classical music, there is a tendency toward root movement down a 5th or up a 4th. The most definitive chord progression in jazz is ii – V – I, very similar to IV – V – I in classical music. The rhythm in jazz tends to be more complex than is the norm in common practice classical music. Syncopation is used quite frequently. There is also a common occurrence known as “swing rhythm” or “swinging eighth
        notes.” When this occurs, the rhythm as notated below:

        chick corea sheet music

        would be performed in approximately the following manner:

        chick corea sheet music

        This is somewhat similar to the use of “nqtes inégalés” in French baroque music. The Piano Improvisations make some use of swing rhythm, but not to a great extent.

        Another convention of jazz, found somewhat more frequently in the Piano Improvisations, is Latin rhythm or bossa nova. Latin rhythm uses straight, rather than swung eighth notes. In this convention the left hand establishes a groove or beat, possibly involving syncopation but still with a perfectly steady pulse. The right hand plays off the relative steadiness of the left
        hand, playing lines that are more syncopated. This often involves the superimposing of ternary figures on a duple meter, as demonstrated by Barry Kernfeld in the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz:

        chick corea sheet music

        This blend of jazz and samba originated in Brazil and became popular in the USA in the 1960s.

        Classical Influences

        Classical conventions are also an important influence in the Piano Improvisations. One of the most obvious manifestations of this is the approach to form. The typical jazz tune form of two verses, a bridge, and a repeat of the verse (AABA) is noticeably absent in the Piano Improvisations. The structures used are similar to traditional classical forms. Corea often uses forms that are conducive to improvisation, such as rondo form or variations on a repeated harmonic progression.

        Some of the more complex harmonies, including altered chords, highly extended chords, polychords, and quartal harmonies, have their origins in late 19th- or 20thcentury classical music. This is also true of the use of
        a wide variety of scales and modes. Many of these traits began to be integrated into jazz before the Piano Improvisations. As a result, it is not always possible to determine whether these influences derive from 20thcentury classical music or from jazz that had already incorporated these elements. In Corea’s case there are indications, such as his familiarity with works of Berg and Messiaen, that he might have encountered this harmonic language in both idioms.

        Individual Pieces: Noon Song

        The tonic of Noon Song is D major, with some emphasis on P major as well. For the most part, the piece remains within the realm of traditional functional harmony. The form is driven by a series of variations on a repeated harmonic progression. This sectional form is cast in a
        large two-part structure. The texture is reminiscent of a Chopin Nocturne, in that the left hand plays an arpeggiated accompaniment with lots of pedal, while the right hand plays a florid melody. There are motives that
        appear throughout the piece, but there is little in the way of consistent “themes” or melodies.

        Throughout most of the piece, there is no meter or sense of pulse, somewhat like the unmeasured preludes of the French clavecinists. There are what sound like downbeats, usually the low notes in the left hand, but in between, there is no consistent beat. The eighth notes are straight rather than in swing rhythm; the tempo is medium slow. There are some areas of the piece that depart from the general tendencies; these sections have more of a sense of meter, a faster tempo, and a different texture.

        The title of Noon Song is appropriate: it is perhaps the brightest of the Piano Improvisations in mood and the only one in an unambiguous major key. Noon Song strikes the listener as an exuberant outpouring of spontaneous melody, but it is also based on a well defined formal
        structure.

        At the most basic level. Noon Song is a continuous set of free variations, each based on the same chord progression. There is no melodic theme on which the variations are based; formal articulations are created by changes of tempo, rhythm, texture, and local harmonic activity. The piece contains eight variations, and is divided into two large sections of four variations each. This creates a structure in which two different formal approaches or levels exist simultaneously. The use of a repeated chord progression provides continuity and unity, while the two-part structure of the piece is based on contrast and division.

        Though these two trends contrast with each other, they are not mutually exclusive. The coexistence of these two formal approaches is central to the nature of the piece. Virtually every element of the music helps to create this mixture, or is subject to it. This is true of

        the form, harmonies and tonal areas used, motivic
        activity, rhythm, and texture.
        The following chart shows how this is manifested in
        the form and tonal areas used:


        There are several formal elements that add to the unity of the piece. The most obvious of these is that every variation uses the standard chord progression and ends in the tonic key of D major. Furthermore, every
        variation, regardless of how it begins, eventually returns to the music of the opening section.

        Other formal elements show the two-part nature of the piece. Part one never leaves the tonic key. Indeed, the F major chord at m. 13 (which is not tonicized) is the only harmony in part I that is foreign to D major. Part two, on the other hand, contains many departures from the tonic. These range from the unprepared F# major harmony at the beginning of the variation 5 to tonicizations F major and its dominant in variations 6-8. Though each variation in part two ends in D major, they all begin away from the tonic.

        As the piece progresses, the variations depart more radically from the original harmonic progression. These departures, along with the tonal and harmonic elements, are the main factors that establish a binary division of
        the piece. Variation 1 presents the standard chord progression
        in its original form:

        chick corea sheet music

        This is a very traditional, tonal harmonic progression which can easily be expressed in terms of functional harmony: I V7/vi vi V7/V V7 I. Other than the movement from D to P-sharp 7, the motion is guided by the
        circle of 5ths.

        In addition to the chords themselves, the voicings generally remain the same throughout the piece as well. Note that even though the harmonies are tertian, the use of extended chords allows for quartal voicings. This is
        the case in the upper three notes in all the chords except those in m. 4. The areas of D major harmony in this variation, and indeed throughout the piece, are often prolonged using a neighbor chord (also voiced in 4ths) which alternates with the D major chord. In variation 1 this occurs in mm. 1 and 6:

        The sound of this chord has the effect of not quite being either on or off the tonic, similar to a dominant chord over a tonic pedal. Variation 2 also adheres closely to the standard chord progression, though the full progression is preceded by a partial statement at mm. 7-10. The most noteworthy change is the appearance of an F major chord at m. 13:

        Though F is not tonicized here, its appearance forecasts significant areas of F major later in the piece. The way in which the chord is used— as a neighbor chord between two F-sharp 7 chords— also foreshadows the manner in which other excursions from the tonic will be treated.

        Variation 3 (mm. 18-24) proceeds through the progression normally until m. 21, where the usual dominant harmony is replaced by an A major seventh chord. After a prolongation of A major 7, the progression backtracks to the F-sharp chord at m. 22 and then ends in the usual way.
        In variation 4 several new chords are interposed into the standard progression (mm. 25-30):

        G major (IV) appears at m. 26, between D major and F-sharp. When F-sharp arrives it is F-sharp minor, which is prolonged until m. 30 where it is converted to the standard F-sharp dominant sonority. The cadential area which is usually harmonized with V7 I, now contains the following progression (mm. 31-35):

        Note that the E chord is now minor rather than major, hence no longer functioning as V/V. The following chord is not A (V), but G minor (borrowed iv). This is the chord preceding the tonic, resulting in a plagal cadence (with minor iv) rather than the standard authentic cadence. These changes, especially when combined with the crescendo in dynamics and the particularly long time spent on the tonic after its arrival, make for a more dramatic close for this section than for any so far. This is appropriate, as this variation brings part one to a close.

        Variation 5 (nun. 36-43) is quite audibly different from that which comes before. One of the main reasons for this is the change in rhythm. Beginning at m. 36 the slow sensa misura feel gives way to a fast tempo with definite beats and a feeling of 5/4. The texture also changes, from florid melodies accompanied by arpeggiated chords with lots of pedal, to a jumpy staccato melody accompanied by staccato block chords. There is also a change in the treatment of the progression. Variation 5 goes through
        the standard progression twice, beginning each time on V7/vi rather than I. The overall effect of this is that even though the standard progression is in use, B minor rather than D is emphasized.

        The main harmonic variation in variation 5 occurs at the beginning of the section; the end of the section returns to the tonic. This is the paradigm for variations 5 through 8.

        In variation 6, beginning at m. 46, the tonality shifts towards F major (flat III). There has been some preparation for the key of F through the F major chord at m. 13 as well the use of a G minor harmony (ii in F) at m. 34. The move to F is accomplished by using the D major harmony at the end of m. 45 as a dominant. This sets off a progression through the circle of fifths, leading to a strong cadence on F at m. 49. There is a slight detour at m. 47: a “premature” arrival on P. (mm. 45-49):

        At m. 50 F major slides up to F-sharp 7 (V/vi), returning to the standard progression. This half-step motion is identical to that which occurred where F first appeared at m. 13-14. The chromatic neighbor concept has been expanded from a single chord to an entire section. From m. 50 the progression continues in the usual manner, ending on the tonic at m. 53.
        Variation 7 also begins off the tonic, gravitating towards the dominant of F, C major. After beginning on a B-flat major 7th chord, the harmony descends a half step to A minor. At this point, a circle of fifths progression is initiated (reminiscent of the approach to F major in the variation 5), culminating in an ii V I cadence in C major at m. 57 (mm. 54-57).

        At m. 58 C major slides down to B minor. This is similar to the manner in which the two F major sections were “resolved.” Though the movement is down rather than up, the chromatic neighbor concept definitely applies. When B minor (vi in D) is reached, the tonality returns to D major and the standard progression. The progression is completed from the point of return to B minor, and then repeated in its entirety. In the tonic cadences of both statements, A7 (V) has been replaced by G minor (iv).

        This is identical to the plagal cadence used at the end of the fourth variation. It is also similar in that the dynamics are loud and there is a long denouement on the tonic. As in the previous case, this helps to provide a
        more dramatic close to the section. Again this is appropriate, as this section ends the main body of the piece.

        The Coda or variation 8 is similar to variation 6. The left hand accompaniment in the two sections is nearly identical, (m. 46; m. 68):

        The rhythm and contour of the melody are also similar. In terms of harmony, both sections begin on a version of the ii chord in F (ii? at m. 68, V/V at m. 46) and go on to strong cadences in F major.

        At m. 71 F major descends to E minor, ii in D major. Once again a section outside of D major “resolves” by half-step to a chord in the diatonic progression. This time the motion is down to ii (similar to mm. 57-58)
        rather than the usual motion up to V/vi. The remainder of the section follows the standard progression.

        While there is no secondary key area equal in significance to that of a sonata form, for example, F major fulfills a similar function in this piece. Rather than serving as the tonic of a large section, F major guides the tonality of several short sections of music. This creates a structure with several small departures from the tonic, rather than one main departure. These areas of tonal departure are also distinctive in other ways: motives used, texture, rhythm, etc.

        One manifestation of the tension between D major and F major is the conflict between the pitches A# and B-flat. Though A# is not diatonic in the key of D, it is, of course, present in every P#7 chord (V7/vi). A-sharp is also present in almost every appearance of the V7/V chord, as an added sharp 4th (or 11th). B-flat, on the other hand, is crucial to the tonicization of F major, functioning as both the 7th in the dominant chord and the
        3rd in the ii chord. In the case of the plagal cadences at the end of
        variations 4 and 7, G minor serves as the borrowed subdominant in D major. The appearance of B-flat in the context of D major, particularly at such important points in the form, helps to form a link between P major and D major.

        The treatment of form and harmony/tonality plays a major role in creating the mixture of contrast and unity in Noon Song, but motivic elements are equally important in this regard. The same motives are used throughout the piece, but they are used differently in parts one and two.

        The main motive, designated x, is a descending stepwise figure in one of the following rhythms:

        The interval spanned by the motive varies, though it is usually a fourth or a major third. There is often a stepwise ascent over the dominant leading up to the motive, which occurs over the tonic. The first occurrence of this
        is at mm. 5-6:

        This motive, or a version of it, appears at virtually every tonic arrival in the piece. While there are arrivals on the tonic within sections (mm. 11, 39, and 59), the most important cadences are at the ends of the sections (mm. 6, 18, 24, 35, 44, 53, 67, and 75). The treatment of the x motive at these points is another feature that supports the binary division of Noon Song.
        The cadence at the end of variation 1, seen in the previous example, uses a version of the motive that A A A A descends through 8 7 6 5. This version of the motive, designated xl, is used at the cadential points in all of part one: variations 1-4. The motive is varied slightly in variation 2 where the motive begins one step higher than usual, (m. 18):

        The cadences in part two use the x motive, but in new versions. The end of variation 5, for example, uses the following version of the motive, designated x2 (m. 43):

        Variation 8 also uses this version of the motive in the cadence at m. 75. The x2 motive covers a major third (3 2 1) rather than a fourth (8 7 6 5). The descent to 1 gives x2 a more final quality than does the movement from 8 to A 5 in xl. This corresponds logically with the placement of xl in the beginning of the piece and x2 at the end.

        The version of the motive used in the cadences of the variations 6 and 7 is a hybrid of xl and x2. It spans a A A major third like x2, but uses scale steps 7 6 5 rather than 3 2 l–similar to a truncated xl. This version,
        designated x3, first appears at the end of the variation 6 section at m. 53.

        It also appears at both tonic cadences of variation 7 at mm. 62 and 67.
        The chart below provides an overall view of the motives used relative to the form.

        In this format, it is easy to see the motivic contribution to the binary division of Noon Song. Various versions of the x motive also appear at
        other, less important structural points, including tonic arrivals in the middle of sections (mm. 11, 39, and 62) and in various prolongations of final harmony (mm. 6, 44 and 45, and 67).

        Other manifestations of the x motive play a lesser, though significant, role in the piece. One of these, designated x4, consists of two descending eighth notes, often a third or fourth apart: basically the skeleton of
        the other x motives. Considered in isolation, it would be difficult to hear a relationship between x4 and the other X motives. The context in which x4 appears makes the relationship much more viable. Like the other occurrences of X, x4 is used at points of climax— generally strong
        harmonic arrivals. The most striking example of this occurs at the first strong cadence on F major at mm. 48- 49.

        This example, in which x4 is basically the skeleton of xl, also shows another contextual relation to xl. The stepwise ascent in the melody over a dominant harmony is the standard cadential formula throughout the piece. The ascent invariably leads to some form of the x motive. The other occurrences of x4 share these same attributes, though the harmonies involved are not necessarily a local dominant and tonic. The x4 motive also appears at mm. 13 and 15, and becomes the basis of an area of music from mm. 60 to 66.

        The versions of the x motive are the most important motivic material of the piece. There is, however, another motive that plays a substantial role. This motive, designated y, consists of three notes: a beginning note descends to a repeated tone. The rhythm is generally even, often with the feel of a triplet. The lower notes are usually chord tones, while the first note is an upper neighbor. The y motive is first seen at the last note of
        the right hand of m. 1, and the first two notes of m. 2. It is seen below in a more basic form (without the intervening barline and in a lower register):

        The y motive appears in several forms and contexts. It often occurs as part of the ornate melody in the right hand. It is also the origin of the theme at m. 7.

        A small section of music in measure 21 is also based on y , this time in retrograde form.

        At m. 5 the motive is heard in an inverted form which is then extended upwards. This generates a stepwise ascent which is part of the cadential formula used throughout the piece, (m. 5):

        The melody at the beginning of variation 6 is a variant of the y motive in augmentation, (mm. 45-46):

        The next section uses the y motive in a decorated version. This occurs at the cadence in C major and again at the return to the vi chord in the diatonic progression in D major (mm. 57-58).

        The contour and rhythm provided by the added note create a hybrid of the x and y motives.

        The discussion of the x and y motives has centered on their appearance at important points in the structure. They are also part of the melody in many other places of lesser importance, which are too numerous to mention.

        The X and y motives are used throughout the piece. There is another theme that is important only in variation 5.It first appears at m. 36.

        Though the contour and intervallic content vary, the rhythm and articulation are constant. This theme is repeated several times forming a consistent phrase structure from m. 36 to m. 40. This regularity, a quality
        lacking in variations 1-4, is a significant factor in creating contrast between parts one and two.

        Rhythmic characteristics also play a role in distinguishing the two sections of the piece. The first section is in a moderately slow tempo, almost entirely without a regular pulse. There are what seem to be downbeats–the low notes of the left hand–but between them there is no consistent pulse. The second section contains a substantial amount of music that does have a regular beat. This contrast is especially evident at the beginning of the B section, which has a strong metric feel of 5/4, as well as a fast tempo.

        Other areas with a regular beat are mm. 36-42, mm. 46-48, mm. 54-58, mm. 60- 66, and mm. 68-69.

        Along with the contrast in rhythm, there is a corresponding difference in texture. In the non-metric sections of the first part, the left hand generally plays some sort of arpeggiated figure while the right hand plays a highly ornate melody. In the more metric sections of the second part, the left hand plays more bass notes followed by block chords in a regular metric pattern.

        There are qualities of Noon Song, particularly the use of the theme-and-variation genre, that are typical of improvised music. However, in many ways Noon Song is extraordinary. The gradual introduction of a secondary
        key area is unusual, as are the subtle ways in which the contrast between the two key areas is played out. The economy of motivic materials provides coherence, while the variation of motives adds contrast and definition. The
        unusual aspects of Noon Song are not ends in themselves, but contribute to the creation of the two-part form. All these musical elements, common and uncommon, interact to form a balanced, multilevel, formal structure. This skillful layering of different formal approaches permeates the music and is the most fascinating quality of Noon Song.

        Chick Corea, “Noon song“, album Piano improvisations vol. 1, 1971

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        Keith Jarrett – Someone to Watch Over Me (with sheet music)

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        Keith Jarrett – Someone to Watch Over Me (with sheet music)

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        Someone to Watch Over Me

        Someone to Watch Over Me” is a 1926 song composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, assisted by Howard Dietz who penned the title. It was written for the musical Oh, Kay! (1926), with the part originally sung on Broadway by English actress Gertrude Lawrence while holding a rag doll in a sentimental solo scene. The musical ran for more than 200 performances in New York and then saw equivalent acclaim in London in 1927; all with the song as its centerpiece. Lawrence released the song as a medium-tempo single which rose to number 2 on the charts in 1927.

        Initially, “Someone to Watch Over Me” was written by George Gershwin for the musical Oh, Kay! as a “fast and jazzy” up-tempo swing tune– marked scherzando (playful) in the sheet music – but in the 1930s and 1940s it was recorded by singers in a slower ballad form, which became the standard. The definitive slow torch song version was first released by Lee Wiley in 1939, followed by Margaret Whiting in 1944.

        Howard Dietz, who was involved in composing other songs in Oh Kay! while Ira Gershwin was hospitalized for six weeks for a ruptured appendix, claimed he helped write the lyrics to “Someone to Watch Over Me”. He was not named in the song credits, and he was paid very little for his contribution. Dietz said in his 1974 memoir that the title of the song was his invention, a fact that was first revealed by Ira in his 1959 book Lyrics on Several Occasions.

        Lawrence’s performances of the song in 1926 and 1927 were presented in a solo scene at the beginning of Act II, with Lawrence wearing a maid’s uniform and singing to a rag doll that she held in her hand. The rag doll was described in male gender terms by George Gershwin in 1934, saying “I don’t know where he is now… he certainly did his part well.” George said he found the doll in a toy shop in Philadelphia where the play was in development, and he thrust the doll upon Lawrence to use as a prop in the scene, to increase the sense of her character’s vulnerability. This late addition surprised the play’s director.

        The song was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1946 for his first album The Voice Of Frank Sinatra, and again in 1954 for the film Young At Heart. Sinatra’s popular recordings helped cement the standard slow style.[9] “Someone to Watch Over Me” was notably covered by Ella Fitzgerald (1951), Chet Baker (1955), Sarah Vaughan (1957), Dakota Staton (1960), Blossom Dearie (1961), Barbra Streisand (1965), Ray Charles (1969), Willie Nelson (1978), Rickie Lee Jones (2000),

        Elton John (2002) and Amy Winehouse (2008) Nelson Riddle arranged two lush orchestral versions, one backing Keely Smith in 1959 on Swingin’ Pretty, and the other for Linda Ronstadt in 1983 on What’s New – the latter album winning a Grammy Award. The song was also used prominently in the film Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995) with vocals by Jean Louisa Kelly in the film and Julia Fordham on the film’s soundtrack.

        More than 1,800 recordings of the song have been published, almost all of them performed in the slow ballad style.

        Keith Jarrett

        Keith Jarrett (born May 8, 1945) is an American jazz and classical music pianist and composer.

        Jarrett started his career with Art Blakey, moving on to play with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. Since the early 1970s he has enjoyed a great deal of success as a group leader and a solo performer in jazz, jazz fusion, and classical music. His improvisations draw from the traditions of jazz and other genres, especially Western classical music, gospel, blues, and ethnic folk music.

        In 2003 Jarrett received the Polar Music Prize, the first recipient of both the contemporary and classical musician prizes, and in 2004 he received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize. His album The Köln Concert (1975) became the best-selling piano recording in history.

        In 2008, he was inducted into the Down Beat Jazz Hall of Fame in the magazine’s 73rd Annual Readers’ Poll.

        Jarrett has been unable to perform since suffering a stroke in February 2018, and a second stroke in May 2018, which left him partially paralyzed and unable to play with his left hand.

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        Bill Evans – Waltz For Debby LIVE (London, 1965)

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        Bill EvansWaltz For Debby LIVE (London, 1965)

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        Waltz for Debby is a live album by jazz pianist and composer Bill Evans and his trio consisting of Evans, bassist Scott LaFaro, and drummer Paul Motian. It was released in 1962.

        The album was the fourth and final effort from the unit—LaFaro died in a car accident just ten days after the live date at the Village Vanguard from which Waltz for Debby and its predecessor, Sunday at the Village Vanguard, were taken. The loss of LaFaro hit Evans hard, and he went into a brief seclusion. When Evans returned to the trio format later in 1962, it was with Motian and bassist Chuck Israels.

        The title track, a musical portrait of Evans’ niece, became a staple of his live repertoire in later years. It originally appeared as a solo piano piece on Evans’ debut album, New Jazz Conceptions. It remains what is likely Evans’ most well-known song,[citation needed] one that he would play throughout his career.

        The CD reissue of the album contains several outtakes. The entire day’s recordings were released in 2005 as The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961.

        Reception

        This album is widely considered to be one of the best in the Evans canon, and the type of emotive interplay between the musicians that at some points seemed almost deconstructed has served as a model for piano trio play.

        Writing for AllMusic, music critic Thom Jurek wrote of the album: “While the Sunday at the Village Vanguard album focused on material where LaFaro soloed prominently, this is far more a portrait of the trio on those dates… Of the many recordings Evans issued, the two Vanguard dates and Explorations are the ultimate expressions of his legendary trio.” C. Michael Bailey of All About Jazz wrote “Along with Bassist wunderkind Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian, Evans perfected his democratic vision of trio cooperation, where all members performed with perfect empathy and telepathy… It is these performances, currently available as Sunday at The Village Vanguard and Waltz for Debby that comprise the number one best jazz live recording in this present series.”

        It was voted number 465 in the third edition of Colin Larkin‘s All Time Top 1000 Albums (2000).

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        The Entertainer (A Ragtime two steps) by Scott Joplin

        The Entertainer (A Ragtime two step) by Scott Joplin – with sheet music to download from our Library.

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        Scott Joplin – the man and his music

        It is with good reason that Sedalia, Missouri has become central to the Joplin story and the site of the annual Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival. While Sedalia was Scott Joplin’s home for only a few years, it was a home with a special meaning for him. 

        There is no question as to Joplin’s greatness, his talent, his importance in the history of ragtime and American music overall. Yet, for all his prominence and recognition, many of the facts regarding his life still elude us.

        We are not quite sure, for example, when or where he was born. It seems he was born in Texas, probably in the northeast part of the state as U.S. Census records locate him there in July 1870 as a two-year-old child. As he was already two at that time (and was twelve when the next Census was taken, in June 1880) indicates that the frequently-cited and celebrated birth date of November 24, 1868 is incorrect.

        So then, when was he born? Available documents point to a birth between June 1867 and mid-January 1868.

        When he was still a young child, Joplin’s family left the farm on which his father (formerly a slave) worked as a laborer. They moved to the newly established town of Texarkana, which straddles the Texas-Arkansas border. The Joplins lived on both sides of the border.

        Anecdotes relate that the young Scott Joplin gained access to a piano in a white-owned home where his mother worked, and taught himself the rudiments of music. In support of this story, we note its reflection in details of Treemonisha, an opera that Joplin published in 1911. 

        Joplin’s talent was noticed in Texarkana by a local German-born music teacher Julius Weiss who instructed him further by placing special emphasis on European art forms, including opera. Weiss’ influence may be the foundation of Joplin’s desire for recognition as a classical composer.

        In the 1880s, the teenage Joplin lived for a while in Sedalia and attended Lincoln High School in the black neighborhood north of the railroad. He may have resided with one of several black families named “Joplin” that lived in Sedalia. Unconfirmed anecdotes tell also of his starting a musical career in the 1880s and traveling to St. Louis, which was to become a major center of ragtime.

        The first documented sign of Joplin’s musical career is in the summer of 1891 when, as reported in newspapers, he was back in Texarkana working with a minstrel troupe. In 1893, he was in Chicago at the time of the World’s Fair, leading a band and playing cornet.   After the fair, he returned to Sedalia, established it as his home, and played first cornet in the Queen City Cornet Band; a local ensemble of black musicians. His membership in the band was for about a year, and on leaving he formed his own band, working at dances and other events. While retaining Sedalia as his home base, Joplin continued the life of an itinerant musician. In 1895 he traveled as far East as Syracuse, NY with his Texas Medley Quartette, a vocal group. 

        When not traveling, Joplin worked in Sedalia as a pianist, playing at various events and sites, including the town’s two social clubs for black men, the Maple Leaf and Black 400 clubs (both founded in 1898). He also taught several of the local young musicians in town, most notably Scott Hayden and Arthur Marshall, with whom he later wrote collaborative rags.

        In 1896, it appears that he attended music classes at George R. Smith College in Sedalia. Since the college and its records were destroyed in a fire in 1925, we have no evidence of the extent of Joplin’s studies, but anecdotes suggest that until the end of the 1890s he still lacked complete mastery of music notation.

        This technical deficit did not prevent him from developing as a composer. In 1896 he published two marches and a fine waltz. Late in 1898 he tried to publish his first two piano rags, but succeeded in selling only Original Rags. This publication experience was not satisfactory as he was forced to share credit with a staff arranger. Charles N. Daniels’ name was added as “arranger,“ and was cited as composer on the copyright and in some newspaper advertisements.

        Before Joplin published his next rag, he obtained the assistance and guidance of a young Sedalia lawyer, Robert Higdon. In August 1899 they contracted with Sedalia music store owner and publisher John Stark to publish the Maple Leaf Rag, which was to become the greatest and most famous of piano rags. The contract specified that Joplin would receive a one-cent royalty on each sale, a condition that rendered Joplin a small but steady income for the rest of his life.  Sales in the first year were slight, only about 400, but by 1909, approximately a half-million copies had been sold, and that rate was to continue for the next two decades.

        Within weeks of the Maple Leaf’s publication, Joplin completed The Ragtime Dance, a stage work for dancers and singing narrator. It is a folk-ballet of sorts, illustrating the type of dancing done in the Black 400 and Maple Leaf clubs. Stark announced its publication in September 1899, but then delayed issuing it until 1902. However, the work was staged at Wood’s Opera House in Sedalia on November 24, 1899, performed by a group of talented, young Sedalians from the Black 400 Club.

        Joplin published one more rag while in Sedalia, Swipesy, a collaboration with his student Arthur Marshall. He then moved, in 1901, to St. Louis with his new wife, Belle, the widow of Scott Hayden’s older brother.

        In St. Louis, Joplin associated with ragtime pioneer and saloon owner Tom Turpin and with other ragtimers, but he performed little, preferring to devote his time to composition and teaching. His publisher John Stark had also moved to St. Louis, and Joplin frequently passed time at the publishing office talking with other ragtimers and with Stark’s daughter Eleanor, a highly accomplished classical piano recitalist. Eleanor was part owner in her father’s firm and was his major musical adviser. Her influence on both her father and on Joplin seems to have been significant, for Stark called his publishing firm “The House of Classic Rags,” and Joplin further developed his aspirations as a classical musician. 

        Among Joplin’s significant publications in St. Louis were Sunflower Slow Drag (a collaboration with Scott Hayden), Peacherine Rag, The Easy Winners (all in 1901); Cleopha, The Strenuous Life (a tribute to President Theodore Roosevelt), A Breeze from Alabama, Elite Syncopations, The Entertainer, and The Ragtime Dance (all in 1902).

        Early in 1903 he filed a copyright application for an opera, A Guest of Honor. A few months later, he formed an opera company with personnel of 30, rehearsed the work at the Crawford Theatre in St. Louis, and embarked on a tour scheduled to take him to towns in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Early in the tour, someone associated with the company stole the box office receipts, seriously damaging the company’s financial position. It was a few weeks later in Pittsburg, Kansas that the tour ended with Joplin unable to meet his payroll. Furthermore, unable to pay for the company’s board at a theatrical boarding house, all of his possessions, including the music from the opera, were confiscated. Copies of the score were never filed with the Library of Congress and the music has never been recovered.

        Comments in newspapers reveal what the opera was about: black leader Booker T. Washington’s dinner at President Roosevelt’s White House in 1901. This was an event that polarized the nation, with African-Americans, naturally, taking pride in the event. It was for this reason that Joplin paid tribute to Roosevelt with his piano rag A Strenuous Life, and attempted to memorialize the event with his opera.

        Joplin had expected Stark to publish the opera, and indicated this in his copyright application. Stark’s decision not to publish it may have caused a temporary break between the two, leading Joplin to publish with other firms in 1903.

        Following the failed opera tour, Joplin went to Chicago for a few months, and then returned to Arkansas. There, he met Freddie Alexander, a 19-year-old woman, and was so taken with her that he dedicated The Chrysanthemum to her.  The music was published by Stark in the early spring of 1904, and in April,  Joplin returned to Sedalia, where he distributed copies and gave several concerts. From there he went to St. Louis for the opening of the World’s Fair, where his Cascades, written for the Fair, received much play. Two other significant rag publications from this year are The Sycamore and The Favorite.

        n June, his marriage with Belle having ended, Joplin returned to Arkansas and married Freddie Alexander in Little Rock. Following the marriage, the couple traveled by train to Sedalia stopping at towns along the way so that Joplin could give concerts. Early in July they arrived in Sedalia where Joplin continued to perform. Tragically, Freddie developed a cold that progressed into pneumonia, and died at the age of 20 on September 10, 1904, ten weeks after their marriage.

        After Freddie’s funeral, Joplin left Sedalia and never returned. Through the next few years his career seems to have floundered and, having lost much of his money on the failed opera, he was ​ in a poor financial condition. He spent most of the time in St. Louis, picking up insignificant playing jobs for little money. His Binks’ Waltz was written as a commission from a local businessman. Still, he issued several outstanding works during this period. In 1905, his publications included the ragtime waltz Bethena, the ragtime song Sarah Dear, Leola, in which he further develops musical ideas first used in Maple Leaf and The Rosebud March, dedicated to his friend Tom Turpin, who operated the Rosebud Bar. Of these, only The Rosebud was published by Stark, although Leola was issued by a company that may have been associated with Stark. In 1906 Stark issued the march Antoinette and a piano version of the Ragtime Dance. Eugenia, a significant rag, went to a Chicago publisher.

        Joplin spent part of 1907 in Chicago, living for a while with his Sedalian friend Arthur Marshall. While in Chicago he collaborated with Louis Chauvin, a brilliant young pianist he had met in St. Louis, and together they composed Heliotrope Bouquet, one of the most enchanting of all rags. Chauvin died several months later, Heliotrope being his only published rag.

        In the summer of 1907 Joplin went to New York to make contacts with new publishers and to find financial backing for Treemonisha, an opera he had been working on for several years. Stark was also in New York at this time, and Joplin renewed his friendly relationship with the publisher and his family. It was while at the store connected to Stark’s office that Joplin met Joseph Lamb, a young white man who composed ragtime as an avocation. The two became friends and on Joplin’s recommendation Stark published Lamb’s Sensation in 1908. Lamb went on to become one of ragtime’s great composers and during the rest of the ragtime years published only with Stark.

        Joplin published Nonpareil with Stark in 1907 as well as Fig Leaf Rag and Heliotrope Bouquet with him in 1908, but sought out new publishers for his other works. In 1907, Searchlight Rag and Gladiolus Rag (another Maple Leaf clone) with Jos. W. Stern, and Rose Leaf Rag. In 1908 he self-published his ragtime manual School of Ragtime but turned it over to Stark and others to market it. His most significant new publisher became Seminary Music, a firm that shared office space and was closely associated with Ted Snyder Music, a publisher that employed the young Irving Berlin, destined to become America’s greatest songwriter. Seminary issued Joplin’s Sugar Cane and Pine Apple Rag in 1908, and in 1909 Wall Street Rag, Solace, Pleasant Moments, Country Club, Euphonic Sounds, and Paragon Rag. The last was dedicated to the Colored Vaudeville Benevolent Association (CVBA); an organization that he had just joined and with which he would be active during the next few years.

        Joplin published only one rag in 1910, Stoptime Rag (with Stern), but completed his opera and tried to get it published. He told his friends that he had turned it over to Irving Berlin at Snyder/Seminary, but that Berlin rejected it a few months later. The following spring, in 1911, Irving Berlin published his greatest hit song up to that time, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, and Joplin complained to friends that the song’s verse was taken from the “Marching Onward“ section of “A Real Slow Drag“ in Treemonisha

        Joplin then altered that section and published the opera himself in mid-May, 1911.   The opera’s story relates how Treemonisha, the only educated member of her community, leads her townspeople out of the bondage of ignorance and superstition. The story is an allegory of how Joplin viewed the problems of the African-American community of his time, proposing the view that racial equality would come with education.

        Joplin gave a copy of the score to the editor of the American Musician and Art Journal, an important music magazine. In the June issue the magazine published a lengthy review of the score, declaring it to be the most American opera ever composed.

        Encouraged by this review, Joplin set about to arrange a performance of the opera, but he was unsuccessful. Through the next four years, he announced several full productions, but none were realized. He never witnessed a completely staged performance of his opera.

        His futile efforts to have the opera produced apparently detracted from his other creative work. Stark published Felicity Rag in 1911 and Kismet Rag in 1913, two works that Joplin had composed in collaboration with Scott Hayden a decade earlier. In 1912 Stern published Scott Joplin’s New Rag. In 1913 Joplin formed, with his new wife Lottie, his own publishing company, and they issued Magnetic Rag in 1914. During the next two years, Joplin composed several new rags and songs, a vaudeville act, a musical, a symphony, and a piano concerto, but none of these were published and the manuscripts have been lost.

        By 1916, Joplin was experiencing the devastating physical and mental effects of syphilis, a disease he had probably contracted almost 20 years earlier. By mid-January, 1917, he had to be hospitalized, and was soon transferred to a mental institution where he died on April 1, 1917.

        Scott Joplin was the most sophisticated and tasteful ragtime composer of the era. But he aspired to more. His goal was to be a successful composer for the lyric stage and he continually worked toward this end.

        That he called himself “King of Ragtime Writers,” omitting a claim for his piano playing, reveals his recognition that not all of his music musical skills were on the same high level. His piano playing was described as mediocre, perhaps due to early effects of syphilis. He also played cornet and violin, but put little effort into developing himself on those instruments. He is reported to have had a fine singing voice, and performed at times as a singer. He also had perfect pitch and, on becoming proficient at music notation, composed away from the piano.

        As a person, he was intelligent, well-mannered and well-spoken. He was extremely quiet, serious and modest. He had few interests other than music. He was not good at small talk and rarely volunteered information but if a subject interested him he might become animated in his conversation. He was generous with his time and was willing to assist and instruct younger musicians. He had a profound belief in the importance of education.

        At the time of his death, he was almost forgotten. Interest in ragtime, too, was quickly waning as the new style of “jazz” took center stage. But Joplin never slipped totally into oblivion. His Maple Leaf Rag continued to exercise its magic on successive generations of musicians and music lovers.

        In the 1940s, a group of jazz musicians seeking to revitalize their art with the spirit of the past, included ragtime in their development of “traditional jazz.” This inspired a “ragtime revival,” and though it was slight, it continued to slowly gain adherents. The revival peaked in the 1970s as new recordings of Joplin’s music, produced for the first time on classical labels, set classical sales records. At the same time, the notated music became available through reprinted collections, most notably a two-volume set issued by the New York Public Library and Treemonisha was successfully staged; finally reaching Broadway.

        This quickly growing presence inspired George Roy Hill to use Joplin’s music in his film The Sting, which became immensely popular and brought Joplin to the notice of the mass public. The result was unprecedented in music history. Led by music that Joplin had composed more than a half-century earlier, ragtime became a current and universally loved style. Piano recitalists programmed it alongside Chopin mazurkas, dancers stepped to its rhythms in discos, and pop artists played it in stadiums. Recordings of Joplin’s music reached the top rungs of the marketing charts for both classical and popular categories. Ragtime was back. In recognition of his significant achievements, the Pulitzer Committee in 1976 issued a posthumous award for Scott Joplin’s contribution to American music.

        The frenzy of the 1970s revival is long over, but Scott Joplin and ragtime are not about to be forgotten. Ragtime has once again become a living language, and its substantial public is not about to relinquish it. Ragtime is now a permanent part of the American musical landscape.

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        Bill Evans plays Emily (with sheet music transcription)

        Bill Evans plays Emily (with sheet music transcription)

        bill evans sheet music

        EMILY – The Jazz Standard

        “Emily” is a popular song composed by Johnny Mandel, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It was the title song to the 1964 film The Americanization of Emily. (The song wasn’t sung in the movie, which is the reason that it couldn’t be nominated for an Academy Award.) It has since been recorded by numerous artists, notably Bill Evans, Tony Bennett, and Barbra Streisand.

        Frank Sinatra recorded it twice, for his 1964 album Softly, as I Leave You and again in the 1970s for an unreleased album. His second recording was released on The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings.

        Andy Williams released a version in 1964 as the B-side to his hit “Dear Heart” and it was also included in his album Andy Williams’ Dear Heart (1965).

        Jack Jones for his album Dear Heart and Other Great Songs of Love (1965).

        Paul Desmond recorded the piece on his album Summertime.

        Tony Bennett – The Movie Song Album (1966)

        “Emily” became particularly associated with Bill Evans, who recorded it for the first time for his 1967 album Further Conversations with Myself. Evans also performed it live with saxophonist Stan Getz; it appeared on the album But Beautiful.

        Barbra Streisand included the song on her album The Movie Album (2003)

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        Jazz & Blues Music

        Irving Berlin: Puttin’ on the Ritz Jazz Arrangement with sheet music

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        Irving Berlin: Puttin’ on the Ritz Jazz Arrangement with sheet music

        irving berlin free sheet music & scores pdf

        Puttin’ On the Ritz” is a song written by Irving Berlin. He wrote it in May 1927 and first published it on December 2, 1929. It was registered as an unpublished song August 24, 1927 and again on July 27, 1928. It was introduced by Harry Richman and chorus in the musical film Puttin’ On the Ritz (1930). According to The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, this was the first song in film to be sung by an interracial ensemble. The title derives from the slang expression “to put on the Ritz”, meaning to dress very fashionably. This expression was itself inspired by the opulent Ritz Hotel in London.

        Hit phonograph records of the tune in its original period of popularity of 1929–1930 were recorded by Harry Richman and by Fred Astaire, with whom the song is particularly associated. Every other record label had their own version of this popular song (Columbia, Brunswick, Victor, and all of the dime store labels). Richman’s Brunswick version of the song became the number-one selling record in America.

        The song was featured in the 1974 Mel Brooks horror/comedy Young Frankenstein. The song is performed by Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his monster (Peter Boyle).

        The song also received renewed popularity in 1982 when Taco, a Dutch musician, recorded and released a new version of the song. Taco’s version was accompanied by a music video, which aired on MTV and other music video networks and programs.

        Musical structure

        The song is in AABA form, with a verse. According to John Mueller, the central device in the A section is the “use of delayed rhythmic resolution: a staggering, off-balance passage, emphasized by the unorthodox stresses in the lyric, suddenly resolves satisfyingly on a held note, followed by the forceful assertion of the title phrase.” The marchlike B section, which is only barely syncopated, acts as a contrast to the previous rhythmic complexities. According to Alec Wilder, in his study of American popular song, for him, the rhythmic pattern in “Puttin’ On the Ritz” is “the most complex and provocative I have ever come upon.”

        Lyrics

        The original version of Berlin’s song included references to the then-popular fad of flashily dressed but poor black Harlemites parading up and down Lenox Avenue, “Spending ev’ry dime / For a wonderful time”. In the United Kingdom, the song was popularized through the BBC’s radio broadcasts of Joe Kaye’s Band performing it at The Ritz Hotel, London restaurant in the 1930s. The song was featured with the original lyrics in the 1939 film Idiot’s Delight, where it was performed by Clark Gable and chorus, and this routine was selected for inclusion in That’s Entertainment (1974).

        Columbia released a 78 recording of Fred Astaire singing the original lyrics in May 1930 (B-side – “Crazy Feet”, both recorded on March 26, 1930). For the film Blue Skies (1946), where it was performed by Fred Astaire, Berlin revised the lyrics to apply to affluent whites strutting “up and down Park Avenue“. This second version was published after being registered for copyright on August 28, 1946.

        Lyrics

        If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to
        Why don’t you go where fashion sits
        Puttin’ on the ritz
        Different types who wear a day coat
        Pants with stripes
        And cutaway coat, perfect fits
        Puttin’ on the ritz

        Dressed up like a million dollar trouper
        Trying hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
        Come let’s mix where Rockefellers walk with sticks
        Or “umberellas” in their mitts
        Puttin’ on the ritz

        Have you seen the well-to-do up and down Park Avenue
        On that famous thoroughfare with their noses in the air
        High hats and Arrow collars white spats and lots of dollars
        Spending every dime for a wonderful time

        If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to
        Why don’t you go where fashion sits
        Puttin’ on the ritz
        Different types who wear a day coat
        Pants with stripes
        And cutaway coat, perfect fits
        Puttin’ on the ritz

        Sheet Music download here.

        Categories
        Jazz & Blues Music

        Bill Evans, Medley My Favourite Things/Easy to Love/Baubles, Bangles and Beadsfrom with sheet music

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        Bill Evans, Medley My Favourite Things/Easy to Love/Baubles, Bangles and Beadsfrom with sheet music

        bill evans sheet music score download partitura partition spartiti 楽譜

        Sheet Music download here.

        The Solo Sessions Volume 1 Jan.10, 1963

        Categories
        Jazz & Blues Music

        Bill Evans – Waltz for Debby with sheet music Jazz Play Along

        Bill Evans – Waltz for Debby with sheet music Jazz Play Along – Play Jazz Standards

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        bill evans free sheet music & scores pdf