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Jazz Elements (symphonic suite-35.33)

Chicago by Gabrielle Hill

1. Creole Moods 76 seconds MP3 sample (599k)

2. Basieland 62 Seconds MP3 sample (488k)

3. Blues Colours 78 Seconds MP3 sample (612k)

4. N.O. Celebration 83 Seconds MP3 sample (650k)

Richard Hill/Chris Barber

Creole Moods; Basieland; Blues Colours; N.O. Celebration

Line-up:-Picc., 2flts, 2obs, Ebclt, 2Bbclts, 2bsns. 6hns, 3tpts, 3tbns,tba. Perc.1[timps], perc.2[various], perc.3[various]. Vlns1[8 desks], vlns2[7], vle[6], celli[5], bassi[4].

Jazz soloists-1.Creole Moods. Clt,tenor sax.,tpt,tbn. 2.Basieland. Tenor sax., elec.gtr, tbn, str.bass, drums. 3.Blues Colours. Elec.blues gtr,tbn. 4.New Orleans Celebration. 2clts, tpt, tbn., tba, sn.drum, bass drum [as New Orleans Marching Band].




JAZZ ELEMENTS is an approachable and highly entertaining symphonic jazz work in 4 movements, featuring jazz soloists together with a full symphony orchestra. Written in the style of New Orleans jazz, in each movement the piece concentrates on a particular aspect, or element, of traditional jazz. A variety of soloists explore the potential of each of these elements, whilst throughout the entire work the symphony orchestra provides a musical framework for these improvisations, illuminating that European influence which contributed so much to the evolution of jazz in terms of harmonic structure, form and melody. Movements may be hired individually.

MOVEMENT 1 - 'Creole Moods' [9.22 approx.] The first movement of Jazz Elements explores the beauty of improvised jazz counterpoint. It is a tribute to the unique gifts which the Creole people brought to the evolving world of early jazz, both in terms of technique and classical discipline. No rhythm section is used and the movement starts orchestrally with no hint of the jazz that is to come. It is the trumpet which seduces the orchestra into the world of jazz and which starts a dialogue with other 'front line' instruments. This improvised 'conversation' eventually draws the whole orchestra back into the piece, creating an ingenious hybrid which allows the free expression of jazz lines to meld with the disciplined, and pre-written symphonic score.

MOVEMENT 2 - 'Basieland' [5.49 approx.] The title of this movement reveals the element which is to be its dominant feature. It is the element of swing. The main solo instrument is the tenor saxophone but the string bass and snare drum with brushes play throughout, providing a swinging foundation on which the whole movement is built. The orchestra perform the role of 'the big band' and the explosive 'shot chords' which are heard throughout the movement are a tribute to the Kansas City sound of perhaps the tightest, most accurate swing machine ever heard, the Count Basie Orchestra.

MOVEMENT 3 - 'Blues Colours' [9.35 approx.] Trombone and blues guitar are in the forefront of this exploration of both the minor and major blues. The movement starts in almost 'Beethovian' fashion and the improvised jazz trombone acts as a kind of musical commentator in this fusion of European and New Orleans styles, set in D minor. The blues guitar joins in half way through the piece, and with a key change into the major the blues colours change into a style which is inspired by the music of Big Bill Broonzy. After the guitar solos again into the minor blues the two instruments combine with the orchestra to finish the movement on a note of optimism in G major.

MOVEMENT 4 - 'New Orleans Celebration' [7.37 approx.] This final movement of Jazz Elements is dedicated to the spirit of the city of New Orleans in the early days of jazz. The element featured is the marching band and the main jazz soloist in this movement is the clarinet. The piece begins with bass drum and snare drum playing a typical New Orleans march rhythm. Backed by high strings the clarinet joins in with some beautiful, liquid improvisation. It is some time before the audience realises that this improvisation has evolved into the tune of 'Over in the Gloryland', on which the whole movement is based. From then on orchestra, marching band and soloist join together in a happy tribute to New Orleans jazz. During the piece the marching band parade around the concert hall, adding an authentic visual contribution which brings Jazz Elements to completion in a mood of joy and celebration.



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