Here we dive back into large ensemble voicing, first by revisiting “Diminuendo and Crescendo in Blue” by Duke Ellington. Duke’s work in the mid 1930’s predicted and influenced the “modern” big band arrangers. Then…it’s Thad, Thad, and More Thad (Jones, that is)…this time with an emphasis on jazz theory and harmony. His sound is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Swing Era prophecy. This new sound is rich with thick harmony and intense harmonic movement…and impeccable voicing and balancing technique. We’re going to see lots of “college chords” and some challenging jazz theory. We also refer to examples from “Inside the Score” by Rayburn Wright.
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