Jazz Activity

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Listening Activity 2- Jazz Composition

Part I

The genre was New Orleans hot jazz, which was why his early bands were named Louis Armstrong Hot Fives and Hot Sevens.
A brief instrumental introduction by the ensemble gives way to a wonderfully swinging chorus by Armstrong on cornet; he dances playfully around the melody, keeping his audience guessing where he might be leading them. At the break, clarinetist Johnny Dodds, a talented musician in his own right, takes up the challenge, doing what he can to keep pace with Armstrong's virtuosity.
It begins with a section of free polyphony followed by improvised solos.
The song is built around a 32-measure tune written by Lil Hardin. The 32-measure chord pattern is repeated several times, and the performers improvise all their melodic lines over this stable chord structure. The end of each 16-measure section is played as a break everyone drops out except the soloist, who leads the song into the next half of the chorus or into the next chorus itself. The basic structure of the performance is shown here:
Intro: full ensemble (8 bars)
Chorus 1: trumpet solo with rhythm section (32 bars)
Chorus 2: clarinet solo with rhythm section (32 bars)
Chorus 3: vocal with guitar (32 bars)
New material: vocal and guitar duet (16 bars)
Chorus 4: trombone solo with rhythm section (16 bars) full ensemble (16 bars)
Coda: trumpet and guitar

Armstrong sings a repeated figure that sounds like triple meter and superimposes it over the duple rhythm maintained by Johnson's guitar.
First it starts with a faster temp in 2:11 it low down to slower tempo then continuous with faster tempo.
Collective improvisation so important in earlier New Orleans style is restricted to the introduction and the last of four choruses.

Part II

One of the greatest jazz recordings of all time. My impression was the most Jonny Dodds on…...

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