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assisted by:

Luke Miller, Austin Seybert, Jeff Smith, Andrew Winter, Craig Burletic, Zack Arborgast and Tyler Stewart

This recital is being presented in partial fufillment of the requirements for a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in jazz studies/ composition. Mr. Hager is a student in the composition studio of Dr. Mark Zanter.

Program Notes

The selections There is No Greater Love (1936) and Beautiful Love (1931) hail from the swing era of jazz during the 20s and 30s. The swing era was the only time in American history where jazz was the most popular form of music and much of the repertoire comes from either musicals written for the Broadway stage, or film. There is No Greater Love, for instance, is featured in the film The Music Goes 'Round. As a result, the song rose to number 20 in the pop charts in April of 1936; the performance featured clarinetist Woody Herman. This was the age of the big band; with touring groups featuring saxes, trumpets, trombones, piano, bass, banjo or guitar, drums, and sometimes vibraphone. The popularity of the swing dance form, romance with the ensemble, and its most popular performers in film helped sustain the most famous big bands including the Glen Miller Band, the Duke Ellington, Woody Herman, and Count Basie Orchestras.

Many of the selections being performed tonight are from the bebop era of jazz. The bebop era started in the 1940s and lasted into the 1950s, but much of the repertoire is still performed today, sometimes with a more modern twist. Many standards of the jazz repertoire are from the bebop era including Confirmation (1953) and Joy Spring (1954) that will be performed on tonight's program. The tunes and performance are characterized by fast tempos, rapid chord changes and key centers, eighth note driven solos, and more complex melodies. Jazz developed into bebop from big band dance music party due to World War II. Dancing was not allowed in many establishments due to a 40% cabaret tax on any club or venue that allowed dancing. Thus, along with other reasons the focus of jazz moved from merely a form of entertainment for dancing to an art form for listening. The level of virtuosity of bebop giants such as Charlie Parker, Lee Morgan, and Clifford Brown was showcased in a small combo setting where their lightning fast solos and. the harmonic complexity of the idiom could shine. However not all songs in the bebop era have these characteristics. Round Midnight (1944) for example, is a popular ballad by Thelonious Monk. Monk was known for his compositions wid1 extended harmonies and percussive piano playing, but not for virtuosic soloing or challenging melodies. Oddly enough he is considered the "high priest of Bop".

The next movement of jazz known as The Cool jazz (circa 1957) was somewhat of a reaction to the aggressiveness of bebop music. The tempos were slower, the melodies more melodic, and the music had a smooth feel featuring softer timbre instruments such as French horn and tuba. Bill Evans' music is a mixture of cool and modal jazz. Evans was featured on Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue (1959) that is the cornerstone of modal jazz where harmonic simplicity is embraced to give the improviser more melodic freedom. Evan's own group has a conversational interaction between bass, drums, and piano with each member playing in response to one another. The drums in many of Evan's tunes are played with brushes rather than sticks to capture the soft intensity that characterizes Evan's compositions such as Very Early (1969). Another tune that comes from the sixties is Lee Morgan's Latin piece Ceora (1965). A large influx of Latin music was becoming popular in the sixties with artists such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, Joao Gilberta, and Sergio Mendes among others. Ceora is heavily influenced by Brazilian styles of Latin jazz characterized by a bossa nova feel, highly syncopated rhythms, and a two beat feel with an emphasis on the second beat.


Jomie Jazz Forum


Arts and Humanities | Fine Arts | Music | Music Performance

Marshall University Music Department Presents a Senior Recital, Wesley Hager, guitar