Music reflection paper for discussion board. Arts Essay (Essay Sample)
Every participant will have time to craft a thoughtful initial post of about 300 to 350 words in length.
The video comes from this website, it starts from the beginning and end at 6:00. You can choose either topic one or topic two~
Miles Davis, “Sivad” (Miles Davis), Live at The Cellar Door, Washington, DC, December 19, 1970. Miles Davis, trumpet (t); Gary Bartz, soprano and alto saxophones (ss/as); John McLaughlin, guitar (g); Keith Jarrett, electric piano and organ (ep/o); Michael Henderson, electric bass (eb); Jack DeJohnette, drums (d); Airto Moreira, percussion (per)
Topic 1: This piece was performed by many of the musicians that performed on Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew.” How many soloists are there in this piece? Please list them by name and instrument. Now listen closely to Miles Davis who solos at various sections in the piece. Where do these sections occur? Provide counter numbers. Now listen where Davis first enters at 00:50. What does his trumpet sound like? Is it a guitar? Jimi Hendrix was very influential with his use of a wah-wah electronic effect on his electric guitar. Davis adopted this effect with his trumpet. He also uses the wah-wah effect from 05:04 to 07:58. Describe Davis’ phrasing in this section. Describe the other accompanying musicians during this section. Does their accompaniment have rock elements? Is there a hypnotic pulse? Does the bass line function as a pedal point? Do the bass and other accompanying instruments give this piece a modal quality? What happens to Davis’ trumpet sound at 08:06? What characteristics of Davis’ fusion solo in “Sivad” are different from other Davis solos you have heard with his earlier (pre-fusion) jazz groups? What aspects of his fusion solo are similar to his previous solos?
Topic 2: This piece was performed by many of the musicians that performed on Miles Davis’ “Bitches Brew.” How many sections do you count in this piece? Provide counter numbers for the beginning of each section. Does this piece have a melody like other jazz pieces you have heard? This piece is a good example of Miles Davis’ first experimentation in the fusion style of jazz. “Sivad” presents examples of the jazz-rock fusion style such as: 1) the use of electrified instruments, 2) straight rock beats instead of swing and the swung 8th note, 3) repetitive funk-style riffs, 4) highly dissonant, multi-layered textures, 5) hypnotic pulse. Listen to the piece and provide counter numbers where all five of these aspects can be heard. Describe in detail how these aspects support the different sections and form of the piece. How does this piece end? Does this piece sound composed? Are the musicians in this group playing written parts as it was traditionally done in earlier jazz ensembles? Describe how these musicians collectively created this piece. How does Davis lead the musicians in this group as they play collectively?
Weather Report, “Birdland” (Joe Zawinul), Hollywood, 1976. Wayne Shorter, soprano and tenor saxes; Joe Zawinul, keyboards, piano, vocal, melodica; Jaco Pastorius, elec. bass, mando-cello, vocal; Alex Acuna, drums; Manolo Badrena, tambourine. [First issue: Heavy Weather, Columbia CK 34418]
Topic 1: “Birdland” is a famous jazz-rock fusion piece by Weather Report. The order of solos in this piece are: Zawinul, Shorter, Zawinul. Regarding the solos of Shorter and Zawinul (his keyboard solo after Shorter): Listen to the recording and provide counter numbers for the beginning and end of these two solos. Provide detail of how they phrase or create musical lines. What is your impression of this piece? Describe the keyboard and piano accompaniment during Shorter’s solo. How would you compare/contrast the solo style of Shorter in “Birdland” with his tenor solo in “E.S.P.” from the Lesson 11 Supplementary Recordings? How would you compare/contrast the solo style of Zawinul in “Birdland” with that of Herbie Hancock in “E.S.P” from the Lesson 11 Supplementary Recordings? Briefly describe the general differences between the solos in “Birdland” with the solos in Davis’ “Bitches Brew.” Do these jazz rock-fusion soloists of “Birdland” have any ties to the hard bop style or the free style of jazz?
Topic 2: This piece begins with a keyboard introduction by Zawinul. How many bars is this intro? The melody, or “head,” begins at 00:18 and ends at 02:46. How many sections are in this melody? Use letters to designate the sections. How does this group arrange the melody? Which instrument has the melody in each of the sections? Now listen to Zawinul’s first keyboard solo from 02:47 to 03:08. Does his solo occur over the form of the piece? Describe the vamp or repeated pattern that is played under his solo. Now listen to Shorter's tenor sax solo. Does his solo occur on the form of the piece? Describe the riffs that are played in the keyboard and sax, starting at 03:36 and ending at 4:59. Zawinul begins to solo again at 05:00. Describe Pastorius’ bass line during this solo? Does it sound like a repeated pattern? Briefly compare and contrast this jazz-rock fusion piece with that of Davis’ “Bitches Brew.” What are the general characteristics of this piece that are different from the hard bop and free groups you have heard?
In the first two parts of this piece, I could hear the voices of several jazz-rock fusion players, who were performing along with Miles Davis. The most notable musicians, according to my observation, are Bennie Maupin, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, John McLaughlin, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Airto Moreira, and Keith Jarrett.
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