Tommy Dorsey BandThommy Dorsey Band
Count Ellington, Don Redman, Tommy Dorsey.
The 1930s were very important for the spread of Jazzmusic, which took place mainly through big bands with entertainment and dance music. It is said that the 1930s, at least in America, were the only time when commercial music and quality music were one.
Virtually all the great soloists in the history of jazz have been formed by playing in big bands. Duke Ellington's orchestra has worked at the Cotton Club for years, playing exotic shows and giving the composer and bandleader the opportunity to put his bold harmonic ideas into practice.
Let's listen to an example of his mastery in Daybreak Express (notes from Monday No. 2), where Duke Ellington enjoys transforming his orchester... into a moving train! Another great arranger and composer of the time was Don Redman, who worked with Fletcher Henderson for several years before forming his own big band.
Let's listen to the piece with which he opened the concerts, Chant Of The Weed (note from Monday 73). Another very fashionable band was that of Tommy Dorsey, a trombonist who had a flawless technique and a soft, almost extravagant sound. Let's listen to the song I'm In A Dancing Mood (notes from Monday n.74), a kind of great dance repertoire of the 30s.
The 30s were the moment of maximum development and spread of big bands, which in the 40s were largely replaced by smaller formations, the quartet or quintet, with the advent ofebop. The Big Band is still a typical Jazzband and if you've never heard a live band before, I recommend that you do so.
See you next Monday! The Monday edition of Noten-Musikanalyse is dedicated to the great classics of classical music: every Monday a song with technical notes and curiosities. To start the week off well... and get to know the music better.