Our next class on February 1st will be jam-packed with a detailed of some of the basic harmony of jazz music. I’ll start with a deep dive into early jazz harmony, focusing on how improvising players manipulated and exploited the “classical” chromaticism of popular music and the evolved late 19th century European tradition. I’ll talk about interpreting diminished passing chords, secondary dominants, other chromaticism, and some of the ways the complex jazz harmonic tradition evolved from three and four-voice harmony and voice leading. I want to take a look at the classic Ellington piece “East St. Louis Toodle-oo,” and if we have time we’ll get into the more modern polyphonic music of artists like Steve Lacy, the “Downtown” NYC sound, and some music from the 21st century “Trad” jazz movement.
After a short schmooze break I’ll bring up our special guest Joshua Moshier. Joshua is a magnificent jazz pianist and composer, and has become an established presence as composer for film and TV. He’ll discuss his career, his jazz background, how he combines improvisation with composed material, and the process of recording and editing scores which feature improvised music.
About Joshua Moshier: