a study in frustration?

Everything about the swinging music we love to DJ

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julius
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#16 Post by julius » Mon Sep 15, 2003 11:10 am

i dunno, i've heard that swing emphasized the upbeat, and i've also heard that swing smoothed out the beat. i mean, both have to occur to move away from hot jazz, but when i listen to old testament basie the pulse is pretty even from beat to beat. that might be because the drums are usually inaudible thanks to attempts at noise reduction, though.

yeah you might be right about the ONE two -> one TWO transition. the little henderson i know has more of a ONE two feel to me though since the bass is prominent on the downbeat.

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CafeSavoy
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#17 Post by CafeSavoy » Mon Sep 15, 2003 4:10 pm

from another thread:


"I know Benny Goodman has been credited with bringing swing to the front. And I kind of agree with the idea that he was out there, so people heard his music over the radio. [But] in 1927, '28, '29, Fletcher Henderson was really swinging before Benny Goodman became a name. . . . Swing started when the band started to change from the tune that goes BOOM-CHA-BOOM to a bass BOOM-BOOM-BOOM, which is a smoother sound, and from the banjo that you pluck to the guitar that you strum. So when those two things changed, then the rhythm began to change, and it sounded more like swing because it was smooth, rather than staccato. The beginning of swing was when the instruments started to change within the band. I'd say it started about 1928, 1929."
--Frankie Manning

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AlekseyKosygin
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#18 Post by AlekseyKosygin » Tue Sep 16, 2003 6:39 pm

alright well i've been purchasing lots of various fletcher henderson chronologicals by now and although henderon might have been swinging by the late 20's there is nothing recorded to prove so...UNLESS you are talking about a smoother swing on the upbeat...this can of course lead to another debate on whether or not you can call swing music a type of jazz that swings on the upbeat as well as a type of music that swings on the downbeat...i mean many critics talk about how louis armstrong invented "swing" with his approach to playing the trumpet however all of those early recordings are on top of upbeated jazz instead of downbeated jazz...

I highly recommend anyone picking up fletcher henderson 1927-1931 to hear a real transition from an unbeat to a downbeat...andy kirk's mary's idea does not do this because it ranges from 1936-1941 after the downbeated jazz sound was already established for a while...listening to 1927 to 1931 you'll notice alot of what you can call "hybrid" tunes in that, one instrument or several instruments (tuba, drums) will swing heavy on the downbeat while and inconspicous banjo stubbornly keeps swinging on the upbeat (down pick to a heavy up pick), there are also henderson songs where all the instruments are downbeating except for the drums which goes on accenting heavily on the high hat on the upbeat...i don't really consider these hybrid tunes as the real deal but it's real interesting to hear how the real swing downbeat sound was a gradual development instead of an all at once thing...it's not that one day fletcher or other bands decided to go with the upright bass, guitar setup as opposed to tuba and banjo...there was alot of experimentation going on and that's what makes the CD real interesting and great...

That being said the first REAL downbeated swing tune I could find on the Cd wasn't until late 1930, a hot song called "Chinatown, My Chinatown"...when I finally got to it I was like "yea they nailed it!", ok yea I'm a nerd...

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Soupbone
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#19 Post by Soupbone » Wed Sep 17, 2003 5:43 am

AlekseyKosygin wrote:...this can of course lead to another debate on whether or not you can call swing music a type of jazz that swings on the upbeat as well as a type of music that swings on the downbeat..
My answer: hell yes, you can!
Gary

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djstarr
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#20 Post by djstarr » Wed Sep 17, 2003 1:31 pm

I'd say that upbeats and downbeats are only part of the discussion; you also have to consider how the rhythm supports triple steps - i.e. the "swung feel".

I'm listening to the Sidney Bichet Ken Burns Jazz collection right now; it's arranged chronologically (1923 - 1947), and the first half are great charleston songs; w/track 10 "Dear Old Southland" I feel that I would want to lindy hop rather than Charleston to it.

and it's nice of Sidney to help me understand the music better - the song called "Shag" sounds like a great shag song; and "Polka Dot Rag" is exactly that....

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AlekseyKosygin
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#21 Post by AlekseyKosygin » Wed Sep 17, 2003 4:51 pm

djstarr wrote:I'd say that upbeats and downbeats are only part of the discussion; you also have to consider how the rhythm supports triple steps - i.e. the "swung feel".

I'm listening to the Sidney Bichet Ken Burns Jazz collection right now; it's arranged chronologically (1923 - 1947), and the first half are great charleston songs; w/track 10 "Dear Old Southland" I feel that I would want to lindy hop rather than Charleston to it.

and it's nice of Sidney to help me understand the music better - the song called "Shag" sounds like a great shag song; and "Polka Dot Rag" is exactly that....
I know what you mean...good luck finding a song between 1928 and 1930 that has a real smooth swing on a downbeat, most of the real swinging downbeat stuff came later on, however the stuff is great to balboa or shag to! For me looking into the music is a one step at a time thing...I found "Chinatown, My Chinatown", later on in 1934 a song by Fletcher called "Down South Camp Meeting" tends to smooth itself and go a bit slower than most of the tunes and would be more appropriate for a real triple step rhythm...

You know...I've heard nothing but good things about that Bechet CD, I think you may have put me over the edge to pick it up...I'm just bummed theres no St. Louis Blues on it...that live version he actually does on the series is amazing...

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djstarr
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#22 Post by djstarr » Wed Sep 17, 2003 5:23 pm

AlekseyKosygin wrote:You know...I've heard nothing but good things about that Bechet CD, I think you may have put me over the edge to pick it up...I'm just bummed theres no St. Louis Blues on it...that live version he actually does on the series is amazing...
yeah, there are really pretty versions of Summertime and Sweet Lorraine, the stuff with Noble Sissle is really good (Blackstick, Viper Mad, Chant of the Night), and it ends with a great version of Love for Sale.

I also just got the Fletcher Henderson Ken Burns Jazz plus one of the Chronogical - I think 31-32; so after I listen to those perhaps I can contribute more pertinently to this thread......

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Yakov
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#23 Post by Yakov » Fri Feb 06, 2004 9:34 am

i read that Sun Ra picked up "A Study In Frustration" LP set in the 1970's and subsequently changed his entire sound.

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SpuzBal
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#24 Post by SpuzBal » Fri Feb 06, 2004 4:09 pm

AlekseyKosygin wrote:I'm just bummed theres no St. Louis Blues on it...that live version he actually does on the series is amazing...
I think I have that. It's a b&w clip of him playing for a really enthusiastic audience in France in the 50s? The version I have is on a German set called "Hall of Fame." It might be available elsewhere though.
"In my opinion, out of the ten great guitarists in the world, Django is five of them!" - Rex Stewart

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AlekseyKosygin
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#25 Post by AlekseyKosygin » Sat Feb 07, 2004 2:45 pm

SpuzBal wrote:
AlekseyKosygin wrote:I'm just bummed theres no St. Louis Blues on it...that live version he actually does on the series is amazing...
I think I have that. It's a b&w clip of him playing for a really enthusiastic audience in France in the 50s? The version I have is on a German set called "Hall of Fame." It might be available elsewhere though.
Cool actually thinking back on it...I'm not sure if he's playing St. Louis Blues or Dear Old Southland...actually i picked up the dvd set so i'll be able to find out exactly where it's from...i'll post it once i look it up...

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