Early and Contemporary Arrangements

Early and Contemporary Arrangements

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 23rd, 2009, 6:02 pm #1

<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">In a recent posting,
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1256184011
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Vince alerted us to the importance of arrangers. In another recent posting,
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1255271315
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I copied a letter from Arthur Smith about the key role of arrangers. 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">From time to time, other Forum contributors, in particular Frank v, have emphasized the crucial role of the arranger. Some bands had their own full-time arrangers (Bill Challis with Goldkette, Challis, Grofe, etc with Whiteman). Other bands (California Ramblers, notably) used stock arrangements, but they doctored them (I stole this expression from Vince) to suit their particular styles and strengths.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I was reading The Jazz Age, Popular Music in the 1920 by Arnold Shaw and learned that Red Nicholss Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider, recorded on <span>August 15, 1927</span><span></span>by <span>Red Nichols, Leo McConville, Mannie Klein, t / Miff Mole, tb / Pee Wee Russell, cl / Fud Livingston, ts, a / Adrian Rollini, bsx, gfs / Lennie Hayton, p, cel / Dick McDonough, g / Vic Berton</span><span>, <span> </span></span>was arranged by Lennie Hayton. I listened to the recording again and it is a magnificent jazz ballad. Listen
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIN6C9MT33A
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">The tune was written by black-faced minstrel Eddie Leonard in 1903. Eddie Cantor, whose wife was named Ida, had a big hit with it.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">You will notice that the arrangement of Ida as played by Red Nichols amounts to a sequence of solos. First, the great Adrian Rollini plays some variations on the melody with the two clarinetists in the background. Then we have improvised (?) solos by Red, Miff and Pee Wee. The recording ends with a coda where a sequence of five notes is repeated four times.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">The structure of<span>  </span>Nicholss Ida is similar to that of Bix and Trams Singing the Blues, a sequence of improvisations by Tram, Bix, Jimmy, <span> </span>and a coda that consists of a sequence of two notes by the brass plus two notes by the guitar repeated three times, followed by an additional ca dozen notes.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Note the similarity in the codas (these are wave files, between 1and 2 MB).
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Singin the Blues <span>    </span><embed src="http://bixography.com/SinginTheBluesCoda.wav" autostart="true" width="144" height="72" style="background-color:inherit">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span>Ida <embed src="http://bixography.com/IdaCoda.wav" autostart="true" width="144" height="72" style="background-color:inherit"></span>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span></span> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span></span>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">These arrangements, which feature basically a sequence of solos, contrast dramatically with the arrangements of the early 1920s New Orleans/Dixieland jazz recordings, (ODJB, King Olivers Creole Jazz Band) which feature ensemble work. In 1923 and 1924, the innovative minds of Bix and Louis introduced the solo, but aside from their solos, the main part of the recordings still consisted of ensemble work.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Early jazz was characterized by ensemble work (collective improvisation); contemporary bands use a formulaic structure: a statement of the tune by the ensemble, followed by a sequence of improvisations (often, too long for my taste) by several of the musicians (sometimes each one takes a solo), and then the ensemble comes back to wind up the number.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Now, my question. In between the early jazz ensemble style and the contemporary formula of a sequence of solos, things changed. At first, we had occasional solos (Wolverines 1924, King Oliver 1923), but as time went by, some of the bands went into the structure of a sequence of solos. I gave two examples above, Singin the Blues and Ida.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">When did the change come about, what artists were mostly responsible for the change, and what are the earliest examples of arrangements consisting of sequences of solos?
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 23rd, 2009, 8:55 pm #2


A recording from 1917 by Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orchestra.

http://www.redhotjazz.com/Songs/fuller/ida.ram

Two covers of the sheet music





Eddie Leonard himself singing "Ida." A piece from the soundtrack of the 1940 movie "If I Had My Way."

http://www.archeophone.com/sounds/1006/1006-15.ram

The tune sounds a lot like "Ma' Blushin' Rosie" to me. Listen to the Al Jolson version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpBDMmdG ... re=related

Albert
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vince giordano
vince giordano

October 23rd, 2009, 9:31 pm #3

Hi Albert...many thanx for talking about Red's recording of Ida...one my favorite records !

Red had his band play it in the original key: D! That puts the trumpet, bass sax, and clarinet in their key of E [4 sharps...not exactly a fun key to play jazz in!). Just another fact to show how GREAT those guys were!

I was surprised to see the sole credit for Eddie Leonard on the sheet music you posted. On the original sheet music Leonard is listed as writing the lyrics and Eddie Munson is credited as writing the music. He must have died early on...

I know Eddie Cantor's grandson [ Brian Gari] and he got me to try find out about Munson....I found nothing ! What's the story on Eddie Munson? Maybe one of the folks here on Bix Forum might have better luck than me...
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 23rd, 2009, 10:01 pm #4


Eddie Munson and has a photo of Benny Goodman!!



I'll try to find out something about Eddie Munson. Will report when and if I find somethiong useful.

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 23rd, 2009, 11:58 pm #5


I found out that Eddie Leonard wrote his autobiography in 1934. The title is "What A Life, I'm Telling You." The University Library does no have it. I asked the library to get it for me as an interlibrary loan. I should get it in a week or so. Maybe Leonard tells a little something about Eddie Munson.

Albert
Last edited by ahaim on October 24th, 2009, 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Mike
Mike

October 24th, 2009, 1:49 pm #6

<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">In a recent posting,
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1256184011
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Vince alerted us to the importance of arrangers. In another recent posting,
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.network54.com/Forum/27140/message/1255271315
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I copied a letter from Arthur Smith about the key role of arrangers. 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">From time to time, other Forum contributors, in particular Frank v, have emphasized the crucial role of the arranger. Some bands had their own full-time arrangers (Bill Challis with Goldkette, Challis, Grofe, etc with Whiteman). Other bands (California Ramblers, notably) used stock arrangements, but they doctored them (I stole this expression from Vince) to suit their particular styles and strengths.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">I was reading The Jazz Age, Popular Music in the 1920 by Arnold Shaw and learned that Red Nicholss Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider, recorded on <span>August 15, 1927</span><span></span>by <span>Red Nichols, Leo McConville, Mannie Klein, t / Miff Mole, tb / Pee Wee Russell, cl / Fud Livingston, ts, a / Adrian Rollini, bsx, gfs / Lennie Hayton, p, cel / Dick McDonough, g / Vic Berton</span><span>, <span> </span></span>was arranged by Lennie Hayton. I listened to the recording again and it is a magnificent jazz ballad. Listen
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIN6C9MT33A
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">The tune was written by black-faced minstrel Eddie Leonard in 1903. Eddie Cantor, whose wife was named Ida, had a big hit with it.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">You will notice that the arrangement of Ida as played by Red Nichols amounts to a sequence of solos. First, the great Adrian Rollini plays some variations on the melody with the two clarinetists in the background. Then we have improvised (?) solos by Red, Miff and Pee Wee. The recording ends with a coda where a sequence of five notes is repeated four times.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">The structure of<span>  </span>Nicholss Ida is similar to that of Bix and Trams Singing the Blues, a sequence of improvisations by Tram, Bix, Jimmy, <span> </span>and a coda that consists of a sequence of two notes by the brass plus two notes by the guitar repeated three times, followed by an additional ca dozen notes.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Note the similarity in the codas (these are wave files, between 1and 2 MB).
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Singin the Blues <span>    </span><embed src="http://bixography.com/SinginTheBluesCoda.wav" autostart="true" width="144" height="72" style="background-color:inherit">
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span>Ida <embed src="http://bixography.com/IdaCoda.wav" autostart="true" width="144" height="72" style="background-color:inherit"></span>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span></span> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"><span></span>
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">These arrangements, which feature basically a sequence of solos, contrast dramatically with the arrangements of the early 1920s New Orleans/Dixieland jazz recordings, (ODJB, King Olivers Creole Jazz Band) which feature ensemble work. In 1923 and 1924, the innovative minds of Bix and Louis introduced the solo, but aside from their solos, the main part of the recordings still consisted of ensemble work.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Early jazz was characterized by ensemble work (collective improvisation); contemporary bands use a formulaic structure: a statement of the tune by the ensemble, followed by a sequence of improvisations (often, too long for my taste) by several of the musicians (sometimes each one takes a solo), and then the ensemble comes back to wind up the number.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Now, my question. In between the early jazz ensemble style and the contemporary formula of a sequence of solos, things changed. At first, we had occasional solos (Wolverines 1924, King Oliver 1923), but as time went by, some of the bands went into the structure of a sequence of solos. I gave two examples above, Singin the Blues and Ida.
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">When did the change come about, what artists were mostly responsible for the change, and what are the earliest examples of arrangements consisting of sequences of solos?
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;"> 
<p style="margin:0in 0in 0pt;">Albert
It's curious that a mention of Benny Goodman showed up in a different branch of this thread, because I was going to answer Albert's original question ("In between the early jazz ensemble style and the contemporary formula of a sequence of solos, things changed ... When did the change come about, what artists were mostly responsible for the change, and what are the earliest examples of arrangements consisting of sequences of solos?") by mentioning the Benny Goodman small group sides from the 1930's, specifically the great sextet with Charlie Christian. In my opinion, Goodman's small group efforts represent the first consistent example of the contemporary jazz formula of 'head in / solos / head out', with very little group ensemble work.

Goodman probably best exemplifies the trend that began in the 1930's with the advent of the "band within a band" -- e.g. The Goodman Trio and Quartet, Artie Shaw's Grammercy Five, Tommy Dorsey's Clambake Seven, Bob Crosby's Bobcats, etc. Written arrangements and ensemble playing were retained by the full band, but 'head-solos-head' became the format used by the small jazz groups. Of course there were exceptions (Raymond Scott's small group being the best one) but the general tendency that evolved during the Big Band Era was that the bigger groups used arrangements, while the smaller groups concentrated on solos.

From here on out I can only speculate, but my guess would be that top soloists and improvisers enjoyed soloing more than playing ensemble parts, and with the advent of bebop and its heavy emphasis on soloing, along with the commercial demise of large dance bands, the small group 'head-solos-head' format became the standard for jazz. About the only time ensemble playing turns up in mainstream jazz these days is if the band is playing a jazz tune written by a musician (as opposed to a standard written by a songwriter) and the tune itself includes ensemble parts in the head.

Perhaps something else to consider is the size of bands in the 1920's. There were few "big bands" during that time. Most dance bands were 5 - 10 piece outfits. Size-wise, they may visually resemble today's mainstream jazz groups (two or three horns, piano, bass, guitar, drums) but functionally they operated very differently. Most dance bands of the 20's consisted of musicians who were not skilled improvisers, and relied on written arrangements almost exclusively. Audiences expected (and still expect!) to dance to recognizable tunes. The melody was in demand, in other words. In that regard "Singin' The Blues" is a remarkable record, simply because the improvising starts without the band ever stating the melody. In fact, we don't hear the melody until the out chorus. But today, mainstream jazz groups play primarily for listening, not dancing. Audiences expect to hear improvisation, and are more interested in solos than in listening to the melodies of standards.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of another performance like "Singin' The Blues" (introduction, improvisation, melody only shows up in the out chorus) from that era. Jazz historians tend to point to Bird's record of "Embraceable You" as a landmark, because he begins improvising without stating the melody, but Bix and Tram blazed the same trail twenty years earlier.

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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 24th, 2009, 5:17 pm #7


Thanks, Mike, very good. Indeed, the bands within the bands of the 1930s when the guys wanted to play "real" jazz and improvise.

I am still interested in 1920s recordings that consisted of almost exclusively a sequence of solos:

Before the bands within the bands in the 1930s there were examples in 1927; I gave "Singin' the Blues" and "Ida." I am looking for earlier examples

Louis Armstrong's "Gut Bucket Blues" (11/12/25) could be an example (banjo, piano, trombone, clarinet, cornet), but there is too much ensemble work, both at the begining and at the end.

Specifically, are there examples before Feb 4, 1927 when the immortal "Singin' the Blues" was recorded?

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 24th, 2009, 6:04 pm #8

Hi Albert...many thanx for talking about Red's recording of Ida...one my favorite records !

Red had his band play it in the original key: D! That puts the trumpet, bass sax, and clarinet in their key of E [4 sharps...not exactly a fun key to play jazz in!). Just another fact to show how GREAT those guys were!

I was surprised to see the sole credit for Eddie Leonard on the sheet music you posted. On the original sheet music Leonard is listed as writing the lyrics and Eddie Munson is credited as writing the music. He must have died early on...

I know Eddie Cantor's grandson [ Brian Gari] and he got me to try find out about Munson....I found nothing ! What's the story on Eddie Munson? Maybe one of the folks here on Bix Forum might have better luck than me...
....  to Eddie Munson as composer. That is terrible. I learned, as a beginning graduate student at USC in 1954, that giving credit to those responsible for the creation of a work (article, composition, etc) is standard operating procedure. Failing to do so  is viewed as academic dishonesty.

The following  images come from Enrico. Thank you, Enrico, for your great generosity.





In the page above, the note reads, "The First Choirus A Trio for Trombone, Alto and Tenor Sax's [sic]. In Absence of Trombone, Tpt May Play Melody." The 1927 recording had bass sax and clarinets.

I wonder if the arrangement of "Jazz Me Blues" includes Bix's solo in his record with the Wolverines. I remind you that Red copied Bix's solo, note for note, in his recording of "You'll Never Get To Heaven Those Eyes" with George Olsen.

Albert
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 24th, 2009, 8:28 pm #9


Steve kindly sent the following.

<em>Jazz Me Blues
 
I don't have Red's arrangement of JAZZ ME BLUES, but I doubt he used Bix's solo in it.   Only on the Olsen record, which he was reading from Eddie Killfeather's arrangement.
 
All the other versions of JAZZ ME BLUES that Red recorded...radio, transcriptions, records he did not use that solo.   Actually kind of surprising that he didn't.   He would from time to time, pay tribute to Bix, quote Bix, as a salute to him.   Red always kept Bix in the <span class="yshortcuts">public eye</span>, even though they (the public) had no idea what he was doing.   I also think jazz historians, critics, etc, misinterpreted this....thinking he was copying Bix.  However, he was trying to keep Bix alive...his music, his style, and being a friend of Bix.  
 
Red always insisted that the research be done correctly and accurately.   He took great strides to make sure Woody, Phil, and dad had accurate information...especially regarding Bix and himself.  Without Red's help, it is hard to imagine where all of our knowledge (our all of us..collectors, researchers, etc) would be at now.
 
BTW...Red recorded and broadcasted IDA quite a few times.   In the late 20s it was his theme song, until <span class="yshortcuts">WAIL</span> OF THE WINDS.  
</em>

Thank you, Steve.

Albert
Last edited by ahaim on October 24th, 2009, 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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