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What is Jazz?


6. IHJ = selection is found on The Instrumental History of Jazz; JIA = selection is found on the Jazz in America website (www.jazzinamerica.org)

II. Jazz Recordings

jazz images 1

Count Basie

jazz images 2

Gillespie & Roach

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Duke Ellington

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Hancock & Carter

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Thelonious Monk

A. Listen


Play a portion of the following six recordings (30-90 seconds each). Announce tune title and artist only. Ask students to write down impressions (anything at all) about each recording. 



"Birdland," Weather Report (IHJ) or "Chameleon," Herbie Hancock (JIA)6 



"Maple Leaf Rag," Scott Joplin (IHJ) or "The Entertainer," Scott Joplin (JIA) 



"Shaw ‘Nuff," Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker (IHJ) or "Blue Monk," Thelonious Monk (JIA) 



"Full Force," Art Ensemble of Chicago (IHJ) or "Lonely Woman," Ornette Coleman (JIA) 



"Mister Magic," Grover Washington (IHJ) or "Change of Heart," David Sanborn (JIA) 



"One O'clock Jump," Count Basie Orchestra (IHJ) or "Main Stem," Duke Ellington Orchestra (JIA) 

Audio Snippets

speakerspacer Chameleon - Herbie Hancock
speakerspacer The Entertainer - John Arpin
speakerspacer Blue Monk - Thelonious Monk
speakerspacer Lonely Woman - Ornette Coleman
speakerspacer Change Of Heart - David Sanborn
speakerspacer Main Stem - Duke Ellington

B. Discuss


Discuss with students what they heard (anything goes at this point, e.g., different instruments, rhythms, emotions, etc.). Finally: what do all these such diverse tunes have in common? It’s all jazz; it all reflects America. 

Video Clips

videospacer Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker - Hot House
the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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