Harold Arlen was an American composer of popular music who composed over 500 songs, a number of which have become known worldwide. In addition to composing the songs for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, including the classic "Over the Rainbow", Arlen is a regarded contributor to the Great American Songbook. "Over the Rainbow" was voted the 20th century's No. 1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. Arlen was born in New York, United States, the child of a cantor, his twin brother died the next day. He learned to play the piano as a youth, formed a band as a young man, he achieved some local success as a pianist and singer before moving to New York City in his early twenties, where he worked as an accompanist in vaudeville and changed his name to Harold Arlen. Between 1926 and about 1934, Arlen appeared as a band vocalist on records by The Buffalodians, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti, Leo Reisman, Eddie Duchin singing his own compositions. In 1929, Arlen composed his first well-known song: "Get Happy".
Throughout the early and mid-1930s, Arlen and Koehler wrote shows for the Cotton Club, a popular Harlem night club, as well as for Broadway musicals and Hollywood films. Arlen and Koehler's partnership resulted in a number of hit songs, including the familiar standards "Let's Fall in Love" and "Stormy Weather". Arlen continued to perform as a pianist and vocalist with some success, most notably on records with Leo Reisman's society dance orchestra. Arlen's compositions have always been popular with jazz musicians because of his facility at incorporating a blues feeling into the idiom of the American popular song. In the mid-1930s, Arlen married, spent increasing time in California, writing for movie musicals, it was at this time that he began working with lyricist E. Y. "Yip" Harburg. In 1938, the team was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to compose songs for The Wizard of Oz, the most famous of, "Over the Rainbow", for which they won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song, they wrote "Down with Love", "Lydia the Tattooed Lady", for Groucho Marx in At the Circus in 1939, "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe", for Ethel Waters in the 1943 movie Cabin in the Sky.
Arlen was a longtime friend and onetime roommate of actor Ray Bolger, who starred in The Wizard of Oz. In the 1940s, he teamed up with lyricist Johnny Mercer, continued to write hit songs like "Blues in the Night", "Out of this World", "That Old Black Magic", "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive", "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home", "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "One for My Baby". Arlen composed two defining tunes which bookend Judy Garland's musical persona: as a yearning, innocent girl in "Over the Rainbow" and a world-weary, "chic chanteuse" with "The Man That Got Away", the last written for the 1954 version of the film A Star Is Born. Arlen died of cancer at his Manhattan apartment at the age of eighty-one. 1905 Arlen born in Buffalo, New York 1920 He formed his first professional band, Hyman Arluck's Snappy Trio. 1921 Against his parents' wishes. 1923 With his new band – The Southbound Shufflers, performed on the Crystal Beach lake boat "Canadiana" during the summer of 1923. 1924 Performed at Lake Shore Manor during the summer of 1924.
1924 Wrote his first song, collaborating with friend Hyman Cheiffetz to write "My Gal, My Pal". Copyrighting the song as "My Gal, Won't You Please Come Back to Me?" and listed lyrics by Cheiffetz and music by Harold Arluck. 1925 Makes his way to New York City with The Buffalodians, with Arlen playing piano. 1926 Had first published song, collaborating with Dick George to compose "Minor Gaff" under the name Harold Arluck. 1928 Chaim Arluck renames himself a name that combined his parents' surnames. 1929 Landed a singing and acting role as Cokey Joe in the musical The Great Day. 1929 Composed his first well known song – "Get Happy" – under the name Harold Arlen. 1929 Signed a yearlong song writing contract with the George and Arthur Piantadosi firm. 1930–1934 Wrote music for the Cotton Club. 1933 At a party, along with partner Ted Koehler, wrote the major hit song "Stormy Weather" 1933 Billboard heralded Shakespeare as the most prolific playwright in history, Arlen as the most prolific composer. 1934 Wrote "Ill Wind" with lyrics by Ted Koehler for their last show at the Cotton Club Parade, in 1934, sung by Adelaide Hall 1935 Went back to California after being signed by Samuel Goldwyn to write songs for the film Strike Me Pink.
1937 Composed the score for the Broadway musical Hooray for What!. Married 22-year-old Anya Taranda, a celebrated Powers Agency model and former Earl Carroll and Busby Berkeley showgirl and one of the Original "Breck Girls". 1938 Hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer to compose songs for The Wizard of Oz. 1938 While driving along Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and stopping in front of Schwab's Drug Store, seeing a rainbow appear over Hollywood, came up with the song "Over the Rainbow". 1941 Wrote "Blues in the Night" 1942 Along with Johnny Mercer, he wrote one of his most famous songs, "That Old Black Magic". 1943 Wrote "My Shining Hour" 1944 While driving with songwriter partner Johnny Mercer came up with the song "Accentuate the Positive". 1945 In a single evening's work in October with Johnny Mercer came up with the song "Come Rain or Come Shine". 1949 Collaborated with Ralph Blane
Denzil DaCosta Best was an American jazz percussionist and composer born in New York City. He was a prominent bebop drummer in early 1960s. Best was born in New York City, into a musical West Indian family from Barbados. Trained on piano and bass, he concentrated on the drums starting in 1943. Between 1943 and 1944 he worked with Ben Webster, subsequently with Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet and Chubby Jackson; the drummer was known to sit in at Minton's Playhouse. He took part in a recording with George Shearing in 1948 and was a founding member of his Quartet, remaining there until 1952. In 1949 he played on a recording with Lennie Tristano and recorded with Lee Konitz. In a 1953 car accident he fractured both legs and was forced into temporary retirement until 1954, when he played with Artie Shaw, in a trio with Erroll Garner. Best subsequently played with Phineas Newborn, Nina Simone, Billie Holiday and Tyree Glenn, in 1962 appeared on the first release by Sheila Jordan, he was no longer able to play.
Best composed several well-known bebop tunes, including "Move", "Wee", "Nothing but D. Best", "Dee Dee's Dance", with Thelonious Monk, "Bemsha Swing". Best's composition "45 Degree Angle" was recorded by Mary Lou Williams. Unlike many bebop percussionists, who loaded the musical space with accents against the prevailing meter and thus created rhythmic intensity, Best resumed the legato development of Jo Jones, he played on the beat and used loud accents. Playing in this way he was not only a model for cool jazz but influenced countless bar combos. Best was renowned for his brush work: fellow drummer Jake Hanna said that he "might be the best brush player of all drummers", Elvin Jones listed Best in his top three, he was the drummer on the popular Erroll Garner Concert by the Sea recording, along with bassist Eddie Calhoun. With Erroll Garner Concert by the Sea With Sheila Jordan Portrait of Sheila With Lee Konitz Subconscious-Lee With Phineas Newborn, Jr. Fabulous Phineas With Seldon Powell We Paid Our Dues!
With Lennie Tristano Crosscurrents
On Green Dolphin Street (album)
On Green Dolphin Street is an album credited to jazz musician Bill Evans and released in 1977 through the Victor Music Industries Inc. japanese label as an imprint for Riverside. The songs from this 1959 session first appeared on the 1975 double LP compilation Peace Piece And Other Pieces which included the Everybody Digs Bill Evans album; the title is taken from the 1947 MGM movie Green Dolphin Street and the film's title song, by Bronislau Kaper and Ned Washington, which has become a jazz standard. The CD edition catalogued. Writing for Allmusic, music critic Scott Yanow wrote of the album: "Although lacking the magic of Evans' regular bands, this CD reissue has its strong moments and the pianist's fans will be interested in getting the early sampling of his work. A special bonus is the rare first take of "All of You" from the legendary Village Vanguard engagement by the 1961 Evans Trio." "You and the Night and the Music" – 7:24 "My Heart Stood Still" – 5:25 "On Green Dolphin Street" – 8:12 "How Am I to Know?"
– 6:22 "Woody'n' You" – 4:28 "Woody'n' You" – 4:13 "Loose Bloose" – 5:36 "You and the Night and the Music" 7:20 "How Am I to Know?" 6:22 "Woody'n' You" 4:25 "Woody'n' You" 4:13 "My Heart Stood Still" 5:25 "On Green Dolphin Street" 8:12 "All of You" 8:10Note Track 7 recorded on January 25, 1961 at the Village Vanguard, New York City. Bill Evans – piano Paul Chambers – bass Philly Joe Jones – drums Ron Carter – bass Jim Hall – guitar Zoot Sims – sax Scott LaFaro – bass Paul Motian – drums Jazz Discography entries for Bill Evans Bill Evans Memorial Library discography
Moon Beams is a 1962 album by jazz musician Bill Evans, the first trio album recorded by Evans after the death of Scott LaFaro. With Chuck Israels on bass taking the place of LaFaro, Evans recorded several songs during these May and June 1962 sessions. Moon Beams contains a collection of ballads recorded during this period; the more uptempo tunes were put on How My Heart Sings! In 2012, Riverside released a new remastered edition which includes three unreleased alternative takes. Moon Beams and How My Heart Sings! were released combined as the double album The Second Trio. Writing for Allmusic, music critic Thom Jurek wrote of the album "...selections are so well paced and sequenced the record feels like a dream... Moonbeams was a startling return to the recording sphere and a major advancement in his development as a leader." Bonus tracks on 2012 CD reissue: Bill Evans - piano Chuck Israels - bass Paul Motian - drums Orrin Keepnews - producer Pete Sahula - photographer Nico - photographic model Ken Deardoff - album design The Bill Evans Memorial Library
Thelonious Sphere Monk was an American jazz pianist and composer. He had a unique improvisational style and made numerous contributions to the standard jazz repertoire, including "'Round Midnight", "Blue Monk", "Straight, No Chaser", "Ruby, My Dear", "In Walked Bud", "Well, You Needn't". Monk is the second-most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, remarkable as Ellington composed more than a thousand pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70. Monk's compositions and improvisations feature dissonances and angular melodic twists and are consistent with his unorthodox approach to the piano, which combined a percussive attack with abrupt, dramatic use of switched key releases and hesitations, his style was not universally appreciated. Monk was renowned for a distinct look which included suits and sunglasses, he was noted for an idiosyncratic habit during performances: while other musicians continued playing, Monk stopped, stood up, danced for a few moments before returning to the piano. Monk is one of five jazz musicians to have been featured on the cover of Time magazine.
Thelonious Sphere Monk was born two years after his sister Marion on October 10, 1917, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, was the son of Thelonious and Barbara Monk. His badly written birth certificate misspelled his first name as "Thelious" or "Thelius", it did not list his middle name, taken from his maternal grandfather, Sphere Batts. A brother, was born in January 1920. In 1922, the family moved to 243 West 63rd Street, in Manhattan, New York City. Monk started playing the piano at the age of six and was self-taught, he did not graduate. At 17, Monk toured with an evangelist, playing the church organ, in his late teens he began to find work playing jazz. In the early to mid-1940s, he was the house pianist at a Manhattan nightclub. Much of Monk's style was developed during his time at Minton's, when he participated in after-hours cutting contests, which featured many leading jazz soloists of the time. Monk's musical work at Minton's was crucial in the formulation of bebop, which would be furthered by other artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian, Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis.
Monk is believed to be the pianist featured on recordings Jerry Newman made around 1941 at the club. Monk's style at this time was described as "hard-swinging," with the addition of runs in the style of Art Tatum. Monk's stated influences included Duke Ellington, James P. Johnson, other early stride pianists. According to the documentary Thelonious Monk: Straight, No Chaser, Monk lived in the same neighborhood in New York City as Johnson and knew him as a teenager. Mary Lou Williams, who mentored Monk and his contemporaries, spoke of Monk's rich inventiveness in this period, how such invention was vital for musicians, since at the time it was common for fellow musicians to incorporate overheard musical ideas into their own works without giving due credit. "So, the boppers worked out a music, hard to steal. I'll say this for the'leeches,' though: they tried. I've seen them in Minton's scribbling on the tablecloth, and our own guys, I'm afraid, did not give Monk the credit he had coming. Why, they stole his idea of the beret and bop glasses."In 1944 Monk made his first studio recordings with the Coleman Hawkins Quartet.
Hawkins was one of the earliest established jazz musicians to promote Monk, the pianist returned the favor by inviting Hawkins to join him on a 1957 session with John Coltrane. In 1947, Ike Quebec introduced Monk to Lorraine Gordon and her first husband, Alfred Lion, the founder of Blue Note Records. From on, Gordon preached his genius to the jazz world with unrelenting passion. Shortly after meeting Gordon and Lion, Monk made his first recordings as the Coleman Hawkins Quartet leader for Blue Note, which showcased his talents as a composer of original melodies for improvisation. Monk married Nellie Smith the same year, on December 27, 1949 the couple had a son, T. S. Monk, who became a jazz drummer. A daughter, was born on September 5, 1953 and died of cancer in 1984. In her autobiography, Gordon spoke of the utter lack of interest in Monk's recordings, which translated to poor sales. "I went to Harlem and those record stores didn't want Monk or me. I'll never forget one particular owner, I can still see him and his store on Seventh Avenue and 125th Street.'He can't play lady, what are you doing up here?
The guy has two left hands."You just wait,' I'd say.'This man's a genius, you don't know anything.'"Due to Monk's reticence, Gordon became his mouthpiece to the public. In February 1948, she wrote to Ralph Ingersoll, the editor of the newspaper PM, described Monk as "a genius living here in the heart of New York, whom nobody knows"; as a result, one of PM's best writers visited Monk to do a feature on him, but Monk wouldn't speak to the reporter unless Gordon was in the room with him. In September of the sam
Not to be confused with the actor Victor Sen Yung, sometimes billed as Victor YoungVictor Young was an American composer, arranger and conductor. Young was born in Chicago on August 8, 1900, into a musical Jewish family, his father being a member of Joseph Sheehan's touring opera company; the young Victor began playing violin at the age of six, was sent to Poland when he was ten to stay with his grandfather and study at Warsaw Imperial Conservatory, achieving the Diploma of Merit. He studied the piano with Isidor Philipp of the Paris Conservatory. While still a teenager he embarked on a career as a concert violinist with the Warsaw Philharmonic under Juliusz Wertheim, assistant conductor in 1915–16; when he graduated from the Warsaw Conservatory, World War I prevented him from returning to the USA, so he remained in Poland, earning his keep by playing with the Philharmonic and in a quartet and a quintet. He gave lessons, his future wife, Rita Kinel, who met him in late 1918, used to smuggle food to him, for he had neither enough money to buy it nor time to eat it.
He returned to Chicago in 1920 to join the orchestra at Central Park Casino. He went to Los Angeles to join his Polish fiancée, finding employment first as a fiddler in impresario Sid Grauman's Million Dollar Theatre Orchestra going on to be appointed concert-master for Paramount-Publix Theatres. After turning to popular music, he worked for a while as violinist-arranger for Ted Fio Rito. In 1930 Chicago bandleader and radio-star Isham Jones commissioned Young to write a ballad instrumental of Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust", played, up until as an up-tempo number. Young slowed it down and played the melody as a gorgeous romantic violin solo which inspired Mitchell Parish to write lyrics for what became a much-performed love song. In the mid-1930s he moved to Hollywood where he concentrated on films, recordings of light music and providing backing for popular singers, including Bing Crosby, his composer credits include "When I Fall in Love", "Blue Star", "Moonlight Serenade" from the motion picture The Star, "Sweet Sue, Just You", "Can't We Talk It Over", "Street of Dreams", "Love Letters", "Around the World", "My Foolish Heart", "Golden Earrings", "Stella by Starlight", "Delilah", "Johnny Guitar" and "I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You".
Young was signed to Brunswick in 1931 where his studio groups recorded scores of popular dance music and semi-classics through 1934. His studio groups contained some of the best jazz musicians in New York, including Bunny Berigan, Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Arthur Schutt, Eddie Lang, others, he used first-rate vocalists, including Paul Small, Dick Robertson, Harlan Lattimore, Smith Ballew, Helen Rowland, Frank Munn, The Boswell Sisters, Lee Wiley and others. One of his most interesting recordings was the January 22, 1932 session containing songs written by Herman Hupfeld: "Goopy Geer" and "Down The Old Back Road", which Hupfeld sang and played piano on. In late 1934, Young signed with Decca and continued recording in New York until mid-1936, when he relocated to Los Angeles. On radio, he was Harvest of Stars, he was musical director for many of Bing Crosby's recordings for the American branch of Decca Records. For Decca, he conducted the first album of songs from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz, a sort of "pre-soundtrack" cover version rather than a true soundtrack album.
The album featured Judy Garland and the Ken Darby Singers singing songs from the film in Young's own arrangements. He composed the music for several Decca spoken word albums, he received 22 Academy Award nominations for his work in film, twice being nominated four times in a single year, but he did not win during his lifetime. He received his only Oscar posthumously for his score of Around the World in Eighty Days. Thus, Victor Young holds the record for most Oscar nominations before winning the first award, his other nominated scores include Anything Goes, The Big Broadcast of 1937, Artists and Models, The Gladiator, Golden Boy, For Whom the Bell Tolls, The Uninvited, Love Letters, So Evil My Love, The Emperor Waltz, The Paleface and Delilah, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Our Very Own, September Affair, My Favorite Spy, Payment on Demand, The Quiet Man, Something to Live For, The Country Girl, A Man Alone, The Conqueror and The Maverick Queen. He contributed two tone poems, "White" and "Black", to the 1956 album Frank Sinatra Conducts Tone Poems of Color.
His last scores were for the 1957 films Omar Khayyam, Run of the Arrow and China Gate, which were released after his death. The last was left unfinished at the time of his death and was finished by his long-time friend Max Steiner. "The Call of the Faraway Hills", which Young had composed for the film Shane, was used as the theme for the U. S. television series Shane. Young won a Primetime Emmy Award for his scoring of the TV special Light's Diamond Jubilee, which aired on all four American TV networks on October 24, 1954; as an occasional bit player, Young can be glimpsed in The Country Girl playing a recording studio leader conducting Bing Crosby while he tapes "You've Got What It Takes". Young died in Palm Springs, California after a cerebral haemorrhage at age 56, he is interred in the Beth Olam Mausoleum in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Hollywo
Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression, it emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes and response vocals and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms"; as jazz spread around the world, it drew on national and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation.
In the 1930s arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music", played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines; the 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter and formal structures, in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues and blues in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay.
Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Afro-Cuban jazz. The origin of the word "jazz" has resulted in considerable research, its history is well documented, it is believed to be related to "jasm", a slang term dating back to 1860 meaning "pep, energy". The earliest written record of the word is in a 1912 article in the Los Angeles Times in which a minor league baseball pitcher described a pitch which he called a "jazz ball" "because it wobbles and you can't do anything with it"; the use of the word in a musical context was documented as early as 1915 in the Chicago Daily Tribune. Its first documented use in a musical context in New Orleans was in a November 14, 1916 Times-Picayune article about "jas bands". In an interview with NPR, musician Eubie Blake offered his recollections of the slang connotations of the term, saying, "When Broadway picked it up, they called it'J-A-Z-Z', it wasn't called that. It was spelled'J-A-S-S'; that was dirty, if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies."
The American Dialect Society named it the Word of the Twentieth Century. Jazz is difficult to define because it encompasses a wide range of music spanning a period of over 100 years, from ragtime to the rock-infused fusion. Attempts have been made to define jazz from the perspective of other musical traditions, such as European music history or African music, but critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt argues that its terms of reference and its definition should be broader, defining jazz as a "form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of the Negro with European music" and arguing that it differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time defined as'swing'". Jazz involves "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role" and contains a "sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician". In the opinion of Robert Christgau, "most of us would say that inventing meaning while letting loose is the essence and promise of jazz".
A broader definition that encompasses different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, group interaction, developing an'individual voice', being open to different musical possibilities". Krin Gibbard argued that "jazz is a construct" which designates "a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition". In contrast to commentators who have argued for excluding types of jazz, musicians are sometimes reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, said, "It's all music." Although jazz is considered difficult to define, in part because it contains many subgenres, improvisation is one of its defining elements. The centrality of improvisation is attributed to the influence of earlier forms of music such as blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of African-American slaves on plantations; these work songs were structured around a repetitive call-and-response pattern, but early blues was improvisational.
Classical music performance is evaluated more by its fidelity to the musical score, with less attention given to interpretation and accompaniment. The classical performer's goal is to play the composition. In contrast, jazz is characterized by the product of i