Personal Name

Jordan Trent



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Publication Date

Fall 11-16-2014

Year of Release



Jordan Trent, jazz bass

Colten Settle, guitar

Steve Barker, drums

Abby Holmes, violin

Jarohn Grandstaff, alto sax

This performance is dedicated to Mr. John Schott

This recital is presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Jazz Studies. Mr. Trent is a student in the studios of Mr. Steven Heffner and Dr. Şőlen Dikener.

Program Notes

Things Ain't What They Used to Be - Mercer Ellington

Possibly one of the easiest to recognize forms in Western music is that of the 12-bar blues. "Things ... " is a tune that was performed by Duke Ellington's band, but was composed by his son, Mercer. In 1941, there was a strike by ASCAP, (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) this strike caused members of ASCAP to have to put a freeze on the release of new compositions at this time. Since Duke was a member, he turned to his son and Billy Strayhorn to write compositions for Ellington's band, and get credit for them. During this time, Strayhorn wrote compositions such as "Chelsea Bridge" and "Take the 'A' Train". These two tunes, in addition to "Things ... " became some of the Ellington band's most performed works.

Blue Bossa - Kenny Dorham

Bossa Nova music originated in Brazil in the 19SO's, and was popularized in America by people such as Antonio Carlos Jobim and Stan Getz. "Blue Bossa" is an Americanized version of a Boss a Nova, with a slightly swung feel opposed to a straight eight note rhythm. In today's performance, a transcription of a solo by the tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon will be played. His rendition of this song appeared on the 1976 album, Biting the Apple. A transcription is a notated documentation of a piece of music; I transcribed his improvised solo, in order to incorporate more of Gordon's harmonic language into my own personal playing.

You'd Be So Nice to Come Home to - Cole Porter

Most of the songs from the early jazz world started out as showtunes from musicals and cinema. "You'd Be ... " is no exception. Cole Porter wrote it for the 1943 film, Something to Shout About. Porter was one of the flagship composers of the "Tin Pan Alley" musical movement. Tin Pan Alley tunes were often 32 -bar forms following an AABA format. These songs were easy to grasp, with familiar phrasings, which lent themselves easily to the improvisations of jazz musicians. Even though this song is in a minor tonality, it has an uplifting, almost cheery melody. The recording of the Paul Chambers Quartet on the 1957 album, Bass on Top has Chambers interpreting and ornamenting that further illustrates the cheery qualities of the tune.

Blame it on My Youth - Levant & Heyman

A ballad written in 1934 by Oscar Levant and Edward Heyman, this song is also a 32-bar form. Unlike most ballads, this is one with a major tonality, being in the key of E-flat major. It follows an ABAB-prime form, with each sections being 8 bars in length. Each "A" section contains the same harmony and melodic ideas, whereas the "B" section is altered slightly the second time through. The melody contains a repeated rhythmic figure as the tune moves throughout the chord changes.

Confirmation - Charlie "Bird" Parker

"Confirmation" was written by one of the primary figures for the innovation of Bebop style jazz, Charlie Parker. The song is a 32-bar AABA form, a very common form for jazz. For several of his compositions, Parker would reharmonize forms such as a 12-bar blues, and make them more harmonically complex. This tune bears strong resemblance to the blues form in the "A" sections. It begins on the tonic chord, and moving in Parker's signature cycle motion to eventually resolve to the IV chord in the 5th measure. (Exactly like a blues form) This style of reharmonization is known today as "Bird Changes".

Night in Tunisia - Dizzy Gillespie

"A Night in Tunisia" is a tune out of the bebop era that has an unconventional form for tunes composed during this time, an AABAC form through the melody. It maintains an Afro-Cuban feel throughout the "A" sections, and goes to a swing feel during the "B" and "C" sections. The "A" sections have a static bassline to provide the foundation under the melody, and goes to quarter-note feel for the other sections. The improvisations take place over the standard AABA form.

Dark Eyes (Les Yeux Noirs) - Russian Folk Song

"Dark Eyes" is a Russian traditional song that has worked its way into common jazz repertoire. The great Louis Armstrong had an early jazz rendition, but gypsy jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt, popularized it. Gypsy jazz is characterized by an unrelenting quarter-note strum pattern of the guitar, and frequently uses clarinet or violin as the melodic instrument. Django recorded this song twice in 1940, and once in 194 7. The 194 7 recording is the most widely referenced recording for those who play this tune, and features Maurice Meunier on the clarinet. This style often uses the harmonic minor scale and its related modes for the melodic content. The application of these scales and modes yields a more exotic, Eastern European flavor to compositions.


Jomie Jazz Center


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Marshall University Music Department Presents a Senior Recital, Jordan Trent, jazz bass