September 19, 2014

Sunday Open Thread: Sunday Jazz Brunch

GOOD MORNING P.O.U.!

As you enjoy your Sunday breakfast/brunch, listen to the musical stylings of The Ink Spots and The Mills Brothers:

The Ink Spots were a popular vocal group in the 1930s and 1940s that helped define the musical genre that led to rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and the subgenre doo-wop. They and the Mills Brothers, another black vocal group of the same period, gained much acceptance in the white community.

Their songs usually began with a guitar riff, followed by the tenor, who sang the whole song through. After the tenor finished singing, the bass would either recite the first half, or the bridge of the song, or would speak the words, almost in a free form, that were not part of the song, commonly using the words “Honey Child”, or “Honey Babe”, expressing his love for his darling in the song. This was followed by the tenor, who finished up singing the last refrain or the last half of the song.

The Ink Spots formed in the early 1930s in Indianapolis. The original members were :-

Orville “Hoppy” Jones (b. 17 February 1902, Chicago, Illinois – d. 18 October 1944, New York City) (bass) (Played cello in the manner of a stand up bass)[1]
Ivory “Deek” Watson (b. 18 July 1909, Mounds, Illinois – d. 4 November 1969, Washington, D.C.) (tenor) (Played guitar and trumpet)
Jerry Daniels (b. 14 December 1915 – d. 7 November 1995, Indianapolis, Indiana) (tenor) (Played guitar and ukulele)
Charlie Fuqua (b. 20 October 1910 – d. 21 December 1971, New Haven, Connecticut) (baritone) (Played guitar)

(SOURCE: Wikipedia)

The Mills Brothers, sometimes billed as The Four Mills Brothers, were an American jazz and pop vocal quartet of the 20th century who made more than 2,000 recordings that combined sold more than 50 million copies, and garnered at least three dozen gold records. The Mills Brothers were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998.

The group was originally composed of four African-American brothers born in Piqua, Ohio, 25 miles (40 km) north of Dayton: John Jr. (October 19, 1910[1] – January 23, 1936) bass vocalist and guitarist, Herbert (April 2, 1912 – April 12, 1989) tenor, Harry (August 9, 1913 – June 28, 1982) baritone, and Donald (April 29, 1915 – November 13, 1999) lead tenor. Their parents were John Huthinson (February 11, 1882 – December 8, 1967) and Eathel Mills. John Sr. owned a barber shop and founded a barbershop quartet, called the ‘”Four Kings of Harmony”‘. John Hutchinson Mills senior was the son of William Hutchinson Mills and Cecilia Simms who lived in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania.[2]

As the boys grew older, they began singing in the choir of the Cyrene African Methodist Episcopal Church and in the Park Avenue Baptist Church in Piqua. After their lessons at the Spring Street Grammar School, they would gather in front of their father’s barbershop on Public Square or at the corner of Greene and Main to sing and play the kazoo to passersby.

They entered an amateur contest at Piqua’s Mays Opera House, but while on stage, Harry discovered he had lost his kazoo. He cupped his hands to his mouth and imitated a trumpet. The success of his imitation led to all the brothers taking on instruments to imitate and created their early signature sound. John Jr. accompanied the four-part harmony first with a ukulele and then a guitar. They practiced imitating orchestras they heard on the radio. John, as the bass, would imitate the tuba. Harry, a baritone, imitated the trumpet, Herbert became the second trumpet and Donald the trombone. They entertained on the Midwest theater circuit, at house parties, tent shows, music halls and supper clubs throughout the area and became well known for their close harmonies, mastery of scat singing, and their ability to imitate musical instruments with their voices.

(SOURCE: Wikipedia)

SUNDAY JAZZ BRUNCH TRIVIA:
Who is the Paper Doll dancer in the “Paper Doll” video? The first person with the correct answer wins one pass from “The Bad Chair”.

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Sunday Open Thread: Sunday Jazz Brunch

GOOD SUNDAY MORNING P.O.U. FAM!

We hope you’re having a safe and restful holiday weekend!

As you enjoy your Sunday breakfast/brunch, listen to the sounds of “So What” by Miles Davis:

“So What” is the first track on the 1959 Miles Davis album Kind of Blue.

“So What” is one of the best known examples of modal jazz, set in the Dorian mode and consisting of 16 bars of D Dorian, followed by eight bars of E♭ Dorian and another eight of D Dorian.[1] This AABA structure puts it in the thirty-two bar format of American popular song.

The piano-and-bass introduction for the piece was written by Gil Evans for Bill Evans (no relation) and Paul Chambers on Kind of Blue.[citation needed] An orchestrated version by Gil Evans of this introduction is later to be found on a television broadcast given by Miles’ Quintet (minus Cannonball Adderley who was ill that day) and the Gil Evans Orchestra; the orchestra gave the introduction, after which the quintet played the rest of “So What”.

The distinctive voicing employed by Bill Evans for the chords that interject the head, from the bottom up three perfect fourths followed by a major third, has been given the name “So What chord” by such theorists as Mark Levine.[citation needed]

While the track is taken at a very moderate tempo on Kind Of Blue, it is played at an extremely fast tempo on later live recordings by the Quintet, such as Four and More.

The same chord structure was later used by John Coltrane for his standard “Impressions”.[2]

The actor Dennis Hopper, in an interview in 2008 with Men’s Journal, claims that Davis named the song after intellectual conversations with Hopper, in which he would reply “So what?.” [3]

(SOURCE: Wikipedia)