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V.I.C - Wobble (Official Music Video)
Instruments[ edit ] Typical seating arrangement for a piece big band Big bands have four sections: Guitar replaced the banjo , and double bass replaced the tuba. In the s, Stan Kenton 's band and Woody Herman 's band used up to five trumpets, four trombones three tenor , one bass trombone , five saxophones two alto saxophones , two tenor saxophones , one baritone saxophone , and a rhythm section. An exception is Duke Ellington, who at one time used six trumpets. Boyd Raeburn drew from symphony orchestras by adding to his band flute, French horn , violin, and timpani. Each iteration, or chorus, commonly follows twelve bar blues form or thirty-two-bar AABA song form. The first chorus of an arrangement introduces the melody and is followed by choruses of development. This development may take the form of improvised solos, written soli sections, and " shout choruses ". Many arrangements contain an interlude, often similar in content to the introduction, inserted between some or all choruses. Other methods of embellishing the form include modulations and cadential extensions. A head arrangement is a piece of music that is formed by band members during rehearsal. They experiment, then memorize the way they are going to perform the piece, without writing it on sheet music. During the s, Count Basie 's band often used head arrangements, as Basie said, "we just sort of start it off and the others fall in. Photo is from sheet music cover in the collection of Fredrik Tersmeden Lund, Sweden. Before , social dance in America was dominated by steps such as the waltz and polka. As jazz migrated from its New Orleans origin to Chicago and New York City, energetic, suggestive dances traveled with it. During the next decades, ballrooms filled with people doing the jitterbug and Lindy Hop. The dance duo Vernon and Irene Castle popularized the foxtrot while accompanied by the orchestra of James Reese Europe. This intermingling of sections became a defining characteristic of big bands. Whiteman was educated in classical music, and he called his new band's music symphonic jazz. The methods of dance bands marked a step away from New Orleans jazz. With the exception of Jelly Roll Morton , who continued playing in the New Orleans style, bandleaders paid attention to the demand for dance music and created their own big bands. Fletcher Henderson 's career started when he was persuaded to audition for a job at Club Alabam in New York City, which eventually turned into a job as bandleader at the Roseland Ballroom. At these venues, which themselves gained notoriety, bandleaders and arrangers played a greater role than they had before. Henderson and arranger Don Redman followed the template of King Oliver , but as the s progressed they moved away from the New Orleans format and transformed jazz. They were assisted by a band full of talent: Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone, Louis Armstrong on cornet, and multi-instrumentalist Benny Carter , whose career lasted into the s. Walter Page is often credited with developing the walking bass , though earlier examples exist, such as Wellman Braud on Ellington's Washington Wabble from This type of music flourished through the early s, although there was little mass audience for it until around Up until that time, it was viewed with ridicule and looked upon as a curiosity. After , big bands rose to prominence playing swing music and held a major role in defining swing as a distinctive style. Western swing musicians also formed popular big bands during the same period. There was a considerable range of styles among the hundreds of popular bands. Many of the better known bands reflected the individuality of the bandleader, the lead arranger, and the personnel. Count Basie played a relaxed, propulsive swing, Bob Crosby more of a dixieland style, Benny Goodman a hard driving swing, and Duke Ellington's compositions were varied and sophisticated. Many bands featured strong instrumentalists whose sounds dominated, such as the clarinets of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw , the trombone of Jack Teagarden , the trumpet of Harry James , the drums of Gene Krupa , and the vibes of Lionel Hampton. Some bands were "society bands" which relied on strong ensembles but little on soloists or vocalists, such as the bands of Guy Lombardo and Paul Whiteman. By this time the Big Band was such a dominant force in jazz that the older generation found they either had to adapt to it or simply retire. With no market for small-group recordings made worse by a Depression-era industry reluctant to take risks , musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines led their own bands, while others, like Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver, lapsed into obscurity. Bridging the gap to white audiences in the mids was the Casa Loma Orchestra and Benny Goodman's early band. Glenn Miller , a major in the U. Army Air Forces during World War II, led a piece military band that specialized in Swing music White teenagers and young adults were the principal fans of the Big Bands in the late s and early s. They danced to recordings and the radio and attended live concerts. They were knowledgeable and often biased toward their favorite bands and songs, and sometimes worshipful of famous soloists and vocalists. Many bands toured the country in grueling one-night stands. Traveling conditions and lodging were difficult, in part due to segregation in most parts of the United States, and the personnel often had to perform having had little sleep and food. Apart from the star soloists, many musicians received low wages and would abandon the tour if bookings disappeared. Personal problems and band discord affected the group. Drinking and addiction were common. Turnover was frequent, and top soloists were lured by more lucrative contracts. Sometimes bandstands were too small, public address systems inadequate, pianos out of tune. Bandleaders dealt with these obstacles through rigid discipline Glenn Miller and canny psychology Duke Ellington. Many musicians served in the military and toured with USO troupes at the front, with Glenn Miller losing his life while traveling between shows. Many bands suffered from the loss of personnel and quality declined at home during the war years. The —44 musicians' strike worsened the situation. Vocalists began to strike out on their own. By the end of the war, swing was giving way to less danceable music, such as bebop. Many of the great swing bands broke up, as the times and tastes changed. Modern big bands[ edit ] Although big bands are identified with the swing era, they continued to exist after those decades, though the music they played was often different from swing. Bandleader Charlie Barnet 's recording of " Cherokee " in and "The Moose" in have been called the beginning of the bop era. Woody Herman 's first band, nicknamed the First Herd, borrowed from progressive jazz, while the Second Herd emphasized the saxophone section of three tenors and one baritone. In the s, Stan Kenton referred to his band's music as "progressive jazz", "modern", and "new music". He created his band as a vehicle for his compositions. Kenton pushed the boundaries of big bands by combining clashing elements and by hiring arrangers whose ideas about music conflicted. This expansive eclecticism characterized much of jazz after World War II. During the s and '70s, Sun Ra and his Arketstra took big bands further out. Ra's eclectic music was played by a roster of musicians from ten to thirty and was presented as theater, with costumes, dancers, and special effects. Other bandleaders used Brazilian and Afro-Cuban music with big band instrumentation, and big bands led by arranger Gil Evans, saxophonist John Coltrane on the album Ascension from and bass guitarist Jaco Pastorius introduced cool jazz , free jazz and jazz fusion , respectively, to the big band domain. Modern big bands can be found playing all styles of jazz music. Some large contemporary European jazz ensembles play mostly avant-garde jazz using the instrumentation of the big bands. Examples include the Vienna Art Orchestra , founded in , and the Italian Instabile Orchestra , active in the s. In the late s, there was a swing revival in the U. The Lindy Hop became popular again and young people took an interest in big band styles again. Big bands maintained a presence on American television, particularly through the late-night talk show, which has historically used big bands as house accompaniment. Typically the most prominent shows with the earliest time slots and largest audiences have bigger bands with horn sections while those in later time slots go with smaller, leaner ensembles. Big band remotes on the major radio networks spread the music from ballrooms and clubs across the country during the s and s, with remote broadcasts from jazz clubs continuing into the s on NBC's Monitor. Others challenged him, and battle of the bands became a regular feature of theater performances. Gloria Parker had a radio program on which she conducted the largest all-girl orchestra led by a female. She led her Swingphony while playing marimba. Other female bands were led by trumpeter B. The bands led by Helen Lewis, Ben Bernie , and Roger Wolfe Kahn's band were filmed by Lee de Forest in his Phonofilm sound-on-film process in , in three short films which are in the Library of Congress film collection.
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