70 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2023
  2. Sep 2023
    1. In a blues song with a sung text, the lyrics consist of a line that is repeated, then followed by a contrasting line (aab). The melody often follows this structure as well. Blues melodies often leave large gaps to allow for call-and-response between the melodic instrument and other instruments. The blues scale is like a minor pentatonic scale with an additional chromatic passing tone: do–me–fa–fi–sol–te (^1−↓^3−^4−↑^4−^5−↓^7)(1^−↓3^−4^−↑4^−5^−↓7^)(\hat1-\downarrow\hat3-\hat4-\uparrow\hat4-\hat5-\downarrow\hat7). The blues scale can be rotated to begin on its second note, creating a major blues scale: do–re–ri–mi–sol–la (^1−^2−↑^2−^3−^5−^6)(1^−2^−↑2^−3^−5^−6^)(\hat1-\hat2-\uparrow\hat2-\hat3-\hat5-\hat6).
    2. The “major” blues scale Some improvisers find it helpful to think of a major blues scale. The difference between a major and minor pentatonic scale is identical to the difference between the major and minor blues scale: the major blues scale is a rotation of the blues scale of its relative minor. Begin the blues scale on me (↓^3)(↓3^)(\downarrow\hat3), and you will get a blues scale for the relative major. These relationships are summarized in Example 5
    3. Another essential part of blues phrase structure is the notion of call-and-response, a feature likely inherited from the work songs of enslaved Africans and African Americans. The vocal, lyricized melody takes on the role of the “call” while an instrumental filler takes on the role of the “response.” Notice that in “Gulf Coast Blues,” each lyric labeled with an a is sung entirely and exclusively in the first two measures of the phrase. Example 3 annotates a transcription of “Gulf Coast Blues” to show this call-and-response relationship.
    4. This blues scale is used in both major and minor blues tunes, despite the clashes with the underlying harmony.
    5. Much as the harmonies of the blues tend not to stick to one diatonic key, flouting the norms of tonal music, the melodies are similarly chromatic to match.
    1. The poetic structure: it is undoubtedly a structure made of three lines of fourbars each but its organization differs on the levels of prosody, melody, andharmony.The prosodic structure: AAB generally. The phrase (either sung or spoken)during the first line is repeated in the second line and a second phrasefollows in the third line.9The melodic structure: AAB but often AA’B. The same melodic phrase usuallyis repeated but may be subject to variation.The harmonic structure: ABC. As seen above, the three lines have been differentfrom each other right from the most original chord changes. The first linestarts with I, the second with IV, and the third with V
  3. Jul 2023
  4. Jun 2023
    1. As pointed out in the analysis of the tune, blues melodic devices are featured prominentlyin the original melody. In Jones’s solo, the melodic blue notes are integral componentsof his lines. In mm. 14–15, for instance, the pitch D≤4/C≥4 connects two adjacent phrases:≤^3 functions as a ≤7th of E≤7 and then becomes a lower chromatic neighbor preparingthe 3rd of B≤Maj7 in m. 15. The tritone G4–D≤4 in m. 14 provides additional bluesreferences. In mm. 61–62, open-position chords have similar blues underpinnings with≤^3 as the highest note piercing through the characteristic blues voicing. In mm. 94–95,the use of three-note close-position voicings embellished with grace notes enhances thestructural subdominant
    2. The presence of chromaticism is integral to the structure of bebop melodies. Some of thechromatic additions, such as the metrically accented C≥5s in mm. 2, 6, 26, and 30, makesubtle references to the blues
    3. Notice how Jones infusesthe music with the blues elements in mm. 45–48, 61–64, 93–96, or 125–128
    4. The expressiveness of the blues comes from the melodic inflections added to particularnotes. When we listen to various vocal or guitar renditions of the blues, these inflectionsare easily recognizable; they stand out because of their emotional charge and slightly “outof tune” sound. 1 The so-called blues scale approximates the sound of these pitchinflections by altering ^3, ^5, and ^7 of the major scale. Figure 9.3 illustrates the content ofthe blues scale and its derivation from the major scale.The blues scale is a six-note collection with the “blue” notes on ≤3, ≤5, and ≤7. Althoughthe presence of ≤7th suggests a chord–scale relationship with the dominant 7th chord,the use of the blues scale is not limited to this chord only. In the context of the bluesscale, the pitches ≤3 and ≤5 constitute expressive embellishments not bound by anyparticular harmonic function or chord type. The blues scale, then, is an androgynous
    5. Chapter 19 provides an analysis of Charlie Parker’s “Moose the Mooche” and Hank Jones’simprovised solo on the tune. This chapter also proposes a pedagogy of rhythm changesimprovisation.
    6. Chapter 17 analyzes three blues progressions from the Bebop Era and proposes additionalapproaches to blues improvisation
    7. The blues is an American art form. Originally, blues were primarily sung, with one of theobjectives being to tell a story as vividly as possible. To tell stories, blues singers usedsimple repeated phrases charged with a variety of expressive devices. The ability to tell thestory from one’s perspective came to represent blues performance practice in particular,and jazz improvisation in general. The familiar saying that “your solo should tell a story”takes on a completely different meaning when we consider whence it came and howintricate life’s stories can really be. Early blues practitioners were unconstrained by theform of the blues as the duration of improvised lyrics often influenced the length of
    8. Chapter 10 embarks on a study of improvisation. After some introductory remarks, theimportance of melody in improvisation is discussed. A few basic improvisational strategiesinvolving blues riffs, guide tones, and motifs are closely examined and implemented inpractice
    9. The progression shown in Figure 9.9 exemplifies the structure of a minor blues.4The chord structure of the minor blues is characterized by the presence of traditionaltonal progressions. For instance, the tonicization of iv in m. 4 uses a secondary dominant7th, V7/iv, and the motion to V 7 in m. 10 is prepared by the ≤VI7 chord. This particularpreparation of the dominant 7th, ≤VI7–V7, is one of the harmonic trademarks of the minorblues.
    10. Figure 9.8 establishes a couple of chord–scale relationships for the basic blues progressionin the key of B≤. Figure 9.8a uses major and minor blues scales and Figure 9.8b combinesblues scales and modes
    11. In the most fundamental form, the generic blues consists of only three chords: I7, IV 7,and V 7. These harmonies control the structure of the blues, even though in some chordprogressions, particularly those from the Bebop Era, they might be disguised, substituted,transformed, or omitted all together. The generic or three-chord blues, without anyadditional chord changes, was often employed in early jazz, particularly in Early Blues,Boogie-Woogie, and different New Orleans styles.3 We will now examine the harmonicstructure of a slightly modified blues (one that is probably the most common in jazz),
    12. Having examined the structure of the blues scale, we can now explore the tonal potentialof the scale.2 Figure 9.4 illustrates the structure of G blues scale.This scale has a minor feel to it; notice the use of ≤3, ≤5, and ≤7. By starting the scale onB≤3 and continuing through the octave, we are able to generate a major scale that, inaddition to having the “blue” 3rd, also contains the major 3rd needed for major anddominant 7th chords. A major blues scale, shown in Figure 9.5, starts on ≤3 of the regularblues scale, contains a perfect 5th, major 6th, and major 9th, and establishes a convincingchord–scale relationship with the B≤6/9, B≤13 or other B≤–based dominant 7th chords.In addition to more generic usage of the blues scale (where a single scale is used in thecontext of different chords), we can be more discerning and assign a regular blues scaleto minor chords and a major blues scale to major and dominant 7th chords.
    13. The musical depiction of the lyrics from Figure 9.2 illustrates an additional aspect of bluesperformance practice—the use of call and response. Originally practiced by a large groupof people, this improvisational technique involves sharing ideas between the leader andher/his followers. Mastering the call and response technique is especially important at thebeginning of our encounter with jazz improvisation. It engages us in a meaningfuldialogue that includes exchanging and communicating musical ideas. The communicativeaspect of call and response is relatively straightforward in the context of verbal conversation.

      In a musical setting, however, when spoken words and sentences are replaced with motifs and melodic phrases, the structure of the call and response might not be as obvious. To be a good communicator, we have to know how to listen, pay close attention to what the other musicians are playing, and try to be receptive to their ideas. In certain scenarios, however, the use of call and response technique might create less than desirable effects. For instance, when the call and response takes the form of exact and immediate repetition, it might be impressive but not necessarily in keeping with the surrounding musical context. A much more subtle way of thinking about the call and response technique involves musical interaction at the level of the entire performance in which non-adjacent sections relate to one another, and where the flow of the performance is regulated by logically introduced musical ideas. In creating a musical narrative, then, we can also respond to each other’s playing, but these responses are not as obvious as simple repetitions tend to be. We can demonstrate our listening skills, for instance, by incorporating an idea that we have previously heard (i.e. a rhythmic motive from the drummer, or a melodic gesture from the guitarist) and develop it in such a way that leads to a more satisfying musical discourse. The call and response aspect of improvisation means that musicians understand each other’s intentions, have an unspoken agreement, so to speak, and project them with a high level of personal expression and musical commitmen

    14. Chapter 9 discusses the most important form in jazz, the blues, examines the structureof the blues scale, and provides chord–scale relationships for the basic and minor bluesprogressions
    1. the American swing style combined with the repetitive blues-like marabi style gavebirth to mbaqanga – also referred to as ‘African jazz’ in the 1940s and a style thatReddy incorporated into his clazz style from the 1980s onwards
  5. May 2023
    1. the American swing style combined with the repetitive blues-like marabistyle gave birth tombaqanga–also referred to as ‘African jazz’in the 1940sand a style that Reddy incorporated into his clazz style from the 1980sonwards.
  6. Mar 2023
    1. There was ‘New Stop And Listen’ by the Mississippi Sheiks on Paramount 13134, one of the greatest violin blues records of all time—hell, it’s one of the greatest blues records, period.
    2. Sam Charter’s LP anthology on Folkways, The Country Blues. This opened up a rabbit hole that still has no end. The LP was meant as a supplement to Charter’s book of the same name, although I didn’t read the book until much later. I first heard the album cold, with no historical context or biographical information. The music was stunning. ‘Careless Love’ by Lonnie Johnson I played over and over again. To this day I love Lonnie Johnson. There was ‘Fixin’ To Die’ by Bukka White and ‘Statesboro Blues’ by Blind Willie McTell. Masterpieces! These performances knocked my socks off. And Gus Cannon’s ‘Walk Right In’—I remembered that as a radio hit by the Rooftop Singers, only this was a thousand times better. The Country Blues anthology gave me an appetite to hear more of this stuff, and to find out more about these musicians.
  7. Jan 2023
  8. Nov 2022
  9. Jul 2022
  10. Nov 2021
  11. Jul 2021
    1. Billy: And jazz helped me discover that because it's like a chain. African American people help each other out through their music, that helped other people out, that helped me out. Eventually I took my friend out of a heroin addiction because of that, because of the music. And I started crying when he told me. He was like, "Dude, I just wanted to thank you because you took me out of my heroin addiction." I actually did something. So that music was really important for me. It gave me an identity.Anita: So, you were attracted to African American blues and jazz?Billy: Yeah, because my brother was listening to it and so I'm like, "Dude, what are you listening to? This is weird We usually listen to rock." He's like, "Man, this is called blues, bro. This is a really cool music, and it has to do with African American people back in the day and it tells the story of America."Billy: So, I just looked into it and I became obsessed with it. I couldn't stop. Once I discovered Louis Armstrong, that was just it. I could not stop playing jazz and so yeah, in North Carolina, I was just feeling kinda crappy and that music came at the perfect time.

      Time in the US, Pastimes, Music; Feelings, Despair, Hope

    2. Anita: That's pretty cool.Billy: Yeah, I'm sorry for doing that just, I have to burst out and sing.Anita: Yeah, no that was great. That was fantastic. So, as you can tell, Billy is a musician.Billy: I love music, I love to sing. It's just... it's like a form of therapy for me. Yeah. It really is.Anita: Do you sing Mexican stuff or just...?Billy: You know what, it's embarrassing because a lot of people tell me, "Oh, sing this Jose, Jose song or Mexican traditional songs,” and I don't know them and so it's like, "Bro, I'm sorry. I don't know it." I only play grandpa music.Anita: But it's grandpa American music?Billy: It's American music history and if it wasn't for that there wouldn't be a lot of genres today. I really like that old stuff, for sure.Anita: And how did you get exposed to that old stuff?Billy: So, that was in North Carolina. I was actually going through a really big depression. I didn't know what to do anymore, being illegal in the U.S, not being able to find jobs, not being able to go into college was difficult for me so I was falling into a depression. And then I came across this guy called Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson is the king of the Delta blues. He's one of the most important American musicians, ever.Billy: So, I started listening to his music and just the pain and the story of him uplifted me. He was letting me know, "You know what, you're healthy. You're young. Look at these African American people back in the day, what they went through and compared to what you're going through? Don't be a sissy and don't complain."Billy: So that music just uplifted me, and it gave me energy and it let me know, "Bro, you don't have to just be this kid with”—because I had a lot of anxiety—"This kid with anxiety. You can play music and make people feel good." And so that helped me out a lot and eventually that led me to, and this is going to sound weird but, it led me to discover the purpose of what a human is because, listen to this, when you play music, you're helping other people out, right? And you're really contributing to the change that you want to live in the future.Billy: And I was, like, "Dude, what's the purpose of a human being? Why are we here?" And it's simply to help others. That's all it is. It is to contribute to the change you want to live in and it's very fulfilling when you help somebody. And so that let me know, "Dude, you're here to help others and, yeah, just do it."

      Time in the US, Pastimes, Music, Playing, Favorite; States, North Carolina

  12. Feb 2018
    1. I believe in the sweetness of Jesus And Buddha - I believe, In St. Francis, Avaloki Tesvara,

      Religious eclecticism: multiple faiths. This is from the collection of poems Mexico City Blues. In an interview, when asked to whom he prayed, Kerouac replied: "I pray to my little brother, who died, and to my father, and to Buddha, and to Jesus Christ, and to the Virgin Mary" (Carlisle 205). This is the link to the book: https://books.google.ie/books/about/Moral_Powers_Fragile_Beliefs.html?id=C6j45qICcO4C&redir_esc=y.

      Famously, Kerouac remained, throughout his life, a Christian, and always considered himself one. It would be interesting to look into the contrast between Christianity and Buddhism as concerns suffering (one elevates it, while the other aims at its annihilation) and how Kerouac approached it too. I remember one article which talked about Kerouac as mainly "a sufferer", possibly from The Times: find it again.

  13. Jun 2017
  14. Jul 2016
    1. Within the workings of the informal economy bullying and violence is rife. The harshness of these conditions, and the sword of damocles of deportation, is precisely why this labour is so cheap, and so many businesses opt for it. Bullying makes workers subservient, and scares them away from industrial organising (although there are now amazing unions now fighting for workers in these sectors - the IWGB, IWW, and UVW.) It is not just those businesses that do well out of this exploitation. It makes things cheaper for everyone, and oils the cogs of the whole economy. Many people are happy to reap this work’s benefits without ever taking responsibility for the suffering it causes. 
    1. Uber is synonymous with its “surge pricing” policy—when cars are scarce and rides in high demand, users are warned that the cost of a ride may be much higher than normal. It’s then up to them whether to pay the premium or find another way to get where they’re going.
    1. Luca and his colleagues found requests with African American sounding names were roughly 16 percent less likely to be accepted than their white-sounding counterparts. They found discrimination across the board: among cheap listings and expensive listings, in diverse neighborhoods and homogenous neighborhoods, and with novice hosts as well as experienced hosts. They also found that black hosts were also less likely to accept requests from guests with African American-sounding names than with white-sounding ones.