My 20th Century prof

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by eisprl, Feb 8, 2006.

  1. eisprl

    eisprl Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 26, 2004
    Halifax, NS CANADA
    Wow, you guys are all so smart, its no wonder why I post here :-)

    But let me give you a bit more info. I am writing a paper om "Third Stream Music (Jazz and Classical)". I made a private appointment to meet with him to talk about the topic. He told me that it was a fad in the 50's (like WSS) and said that Gunther Schuller started it all (which I agree with). However I was asking question to him like, "How about Gershwin?" He said that since Gershwin died in the 30's, it does not classify as third stream (however there are certain jazz elements in there for sure, which is my oponion, not his). Then I asked, "What about Bernstein and West Side Story?", to which he relied, "To be honest, I have never heard one lick of Jazz in West Side Story".

    And yes 'bas', he is a narrow minded nuckleheaded academe, you nailed that one on the head.

  2. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    I strongly suspect he really does not know WSS.
    Play the "Dance at the Gym" section of WSS, there is a small combo section that is straight from John Kirby.
    Ask him about rhythm changes, does he know where they come from.
    Ravel, Milhaud, Ibert, Walton, Stravinsky used jazz in their compositions before the so-called Third Stream writers.
    Don't push the professor, but know that he/she does not know much about jazz.
  3. PH

    PH Mezzo Piano User

    Dec 2, 2003
    Bloomington, Indiana
    Gunther Schuller coined the term third stream and proceeded to define the music and encourage a repertoire that bridged the gap between jazz and "classical" music. The big coming out party for this was when Gunther was masterminding the Brandeis University Festival of the Arts in the late 1950s.

    Try and find the CD called "Birth of the Third Stream". This combines two LPs: One was called "Modern Jazz Concert" some of the pieces commissioned for the 1957 Brandeis Festival (by people like George Russell, Jimmy Guiffre, & Schuller...unfortunately the Milton Babbitt piece isn't on the CD version). The other LP was a 1956 recording featuring Miles Davis as soloist on pieces by J.J. Johnson, John Lewis, Schuller, and others. The ensemble is basically a brass choir with jazz rhythm section. This group is one place where you can find Miles Davis, Joe Wilder, Papa Joe Alessi, Ted Weis, John Ware, Mel Broiles, Bernie Glow and others among the trumpets. I guess all the really good cats had gigs that day! :shock:

    I agree with you, however. There is a lot of music that meets the criteria to be called "Third Stream" that pre-dates the coinage of the term. Most of Gil Evans stuff (like Sketches of Spain or even a lot of his work for Thornhill) is 3rd stream IMO. I also agree with you that early Gershwin is really 3rd stream, as is a lot of the music of Paul Whiteman (for whom Gershwin wrote Rhapsody in Blue, american in Paris, and at least one of the piano concerti). Whiteman's band had strings and a rhythm section and soloists like Bix, Frank Trumbauer, and Joe Venuti. He had a ton of people we now think of as American "classical" composers writing for him and also arranging pop tunes: Gershwin, Ferde Grofe, Morton Gould, & William Grant Still to name a few.

    I adamantly agree that much of Whiteman's repertoire is third stream music. That doesn't change just because the music predated the coinage of the term. Did Handel call his music Baroque?

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