In this installment of the Ellington Study Group, we visit Ellington’s “Concerto for Cootie”, continue looking at “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue,” and glean some more scoring and compositional techniques from a time when the only rule was there are no rules. Next we move to Gil Evans’ “Miles Ahead,” and continue our discussion of “Blues for Pablo,” which features a detailed analysis of voicing, composition and orchestration techniques. This piece is a primer in Gil’s techniques, and there are a few choice passages where he moves the music forward through orchestration. This adds a third dimension to the music.
About Scott Healy
Composer Scott Healy leads the The Ellington Study Group in Los Angeles, a hands-on study of scores and recordings of large ensemble jazz music as well as music theory and orchestration techniques. The material is advanced, and is geared toward professional classical and jazz composers, film composers, arrangers, and instrumentalists who want to increase their understanding and appreciation of large ensemble jazz writing. The discussion ranges from the minutia of voicing and harmony, to broader topics like form, pacing, transparent orchestration, compositional intent, and improvisation. Previous classes have included works by Duke Ellington from the 1930’s, Ellington/Strayhorn from the 1950’s, and works by jazz composers, arrangers, and band leaders Gil Evans and Miles Davis, Bennie Moten, Fletcher Henderson, Sammy Nestico, Thad Jones, and Sun Ra. Visit Scott’s website: bluedogmusic.com