IMPORTANCE OF NEW YORK AS A CENTER OF DEVELOPMENT Commercial – entertainment infrastructure. Sociological – diversity of cultures (immigrant communities), musical styles, people willing to combine and adapt musical influences Musical: styles specific to New York (stride piano) New York receptive to modern developments in jazz (bebop, avant-garde growth of big bands and swing; interest in social dancing during the 1920s and 1930s
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATIONS IN THE 20 TH CENTURY 1920s Recordings Radio Movies 1940s – televison 1980s – digitalization
RECORDING Electrical recording (1925) much higher fidelity than acoustic recording. drums, cymbals, and polyphonic textures were much clearer. Phonographs and discs became much cheaper.
RADIO AND MOVIES the carbon and condenser microphones radio broadcasts became much clearer, starting around 1921. NBC and CBS became national networks in 1926 and 1927, respectively. people stayed at home to listen to the radio, bought records. Jazz spread very quickly Movies – using sound beginning in 1927 ( The Jazz Singer ).
PROHIBITION Amendment 18 (the Volstead Act) “After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.” Result - a vast web of illegal drinking establishments usually controlled by organized crime. Club owners hired the best entertainers they could afford, including jazz musicians.
DANCE BANDS In New York, jazz co-existed with pop music (Tin Pan Alley), New Orleans jazz imitators, marching bands, and vaudeville, including comic saxophone ensembles, blues singers, and jazz and ragtime dancers. ballrooms and concert halls.
PAUL WHITEMAN Possibly the first pop superstar, called the “King of Jazz” during the 1920s. 1924 concert at Aeolian Hall in New York: classical music can uplift lowbrow jazz. George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. http://youtu.be/jEgJZ7inUrY symphonic jazz – Whiteman attempted to “make a lady out of jazz.”
WHITEMAN (CONT.’D) Considered hiring “some jazz musicians, preferably black” in 1926. Advised against it by his manager, but used arrangements by Fletcher Henderson and William Grant Still. Hired Bing Crosby, who had been influenced by Louis Armstrong. Hired jazz instrumentalists such as Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Eddie Land, and arranger Bill Challis. some innovative jazz recordings from 1927 to 1929.
FLETCHER HENDERSON Born into middle-class family, studied music with his mother. Received a degree in chemistry and mathematics at Atlanta University, moved to New York in 1920 to establish career as a chemist. Song demonstrator for the Pace- Handy Music Co. Music director for Black Swan. Offered a position at the Roseland Ballroom
INNOVATIONS: Initially Henderson's band was primarily a dance band. Brought in Louis Armstrong as a "jazz specialist" in 1924. Don Redman, the band's music director until 1927, established a basic format for big band arrangements: Sectional writing; interplay of reeds and brass. Use of call-and-response. Solo sections interspersed between arranged sections. good soloists and the ability to make written arrangements swing. a primary model for big bands until the mid-1930's.
FLETCHER HENDERSON (CONT’D) Henderson's band broke up several times due to poor management. in 1934 sold most of his best arrangements to Benny Goodman. a full-time staff arranger for Goodman from 1939-1941. Impediments to greater success: Passive temperament. Lack of understanding of salesmanship and promotion. Inability to control or keep players, who were frequently lured away by other bandleaders.
HARLEM RENAISSANCE period from end of WWI to about the middle of the Depression. as a literary movement, contributions of African American writers to poetry, fiction, drama, and essay. notion of "twoness“ or divided awareness of identity - "One ever feels his two- ness - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled stirrings: two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.“ (W.E.B. Du Bois, a founder of NAACP and author of The Souls of Black Folks (1903). Common themes: alienation. marginality. use of folk material, blues tradition, problems of writing for an elite audience.