ISSUES IN JAZZ: A LISTENING AND STUDY CHART
TITLE OF PIECE Summertime COMPOSER: Gershwin / Gil STYLE/S: Evans Symphonic / Cool LEADER: Miles Davis IMPORTANT SOLOISTS: Same as above
FUNCTION OR PURPOSE: Listening / Recording
IMPORTANT DATE/S: Recorded August 15, 1958
TRACK FORM: TIMINGS/ NUMBERS INTRO
OFTEN SET BY THE FORM HEAD BRIDGE SOLOS SOLI TUTTI-SHOUT OUT-CODA
MAJOR MINOR MODAL BLUES RHYTHM CHANGES
DIXIE SWING BOP SHUFFLE FUNKY FREE LATIN ROCK LAID-BACK VIRTUOSIC
COMMUNICATION INTERACTION BACKGROUNDS POLYPHONIC HOMOPHONIC POLY/CROSS RHYTHMS (HETEROPHONY
RANGE PHRASING CONTOUR IMPROVISATION MELODIC VS ARPEGIATTED VOCAL VS INSTRUMENTAL IDEAS
PERSONAL, IDENTIFIABLE OR PECULIAR MANNERS OF PLAYING
OTHER MUSICAL ISSUES:
IMPORTANT SEMINAL DEVELOPMENTS
SOCIETAL/ CULTURAL ISSUES:
RACIAL ETHNIC POLITICAL ECONOMIC RELIGIOUS NATIONALISTIC WORLD/GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS
VOICINGS IMPRESSIONISTIC EXTENSIONS SUBSTITUTIONS
16-bar song form Muted trumpet improvisation
# # # # # # # #
Muted Trumpet with backing small symphonic jazz band, the orchestration is so that the only persistent things heard easily are the muted trumpet and steady ride cymbal and rim of the drum set
The tempo is medium and the dynamic is generally soft with the trumpet being the most prominent thing heard.
This piece is certainly jazz for a Sunday afternoon – it has a bluesy cool feeling and makes one thing of sipping lemonade on a hot late summer afternoon.
The melody is in the higher range for Miles’ typical solo, but stays generally in mid-range. The phrasing is flawlessly executed both maintaining the continuity of the melody and improvisation.
The harmonies come in the background orchestrations of Gil Evans, not in the piano, and the harmonies is based on a repeated ostinato – some interesting unusual chords are heard for this tune, but nothing brash.
The rhythm is completely laid back and almost unnoticeable. It features a steady ride cymbal with the rim on beat 2.
The texture is quite simple – Miles in front, drums second, and orchestrated instruments sound almost in the distance. The balance creates a wonderful mood. Miles and the orchestration are doing a sort of call and response with each other.
The muted trumpet sound is quintessential Miles Davis with the tone and concept of soloing.
This is an important development of using such a large group of instruments in this style, and also no piano usage for harmony.
This was a breakthrough reworking of the song with Gil Evans and Miles collaborating to produce a wonderfully original sound.