Music – jazz and rock

For this week’s response paper, you will first need to watch the YouTube video linked in this module, entitled 1959: The Year That Changed Jazz.  This is a well–produced documentary that chronicles four groundbreaking jazz albums, each released in 1959, and how they not only changed the perception and practice of jazz in the 1960s, but also how these musicians approached the larger issues of the day – namely, the Civil Rights movement and desegregation.

As you watch, organize your notes into four subjects – one for each album.  Within those headings, you should pay attention to the musical characteristics of the album, the historical context in which each was recorded, and the issues that the album causes (outright hatred of free jazz, for example) or addresses (such as the forced desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, AR).

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The video itself is about an hour long, so give yourself time to watch it in an area without distraction and with a decent set of speakers/headphones.  Once you’ve finished the video, please take the time to thoughtfully answer the following questions in your response paper:

  1. Summarize the series of events that took place during the Kind of Blue recording session.  In other words, was it difficult and time-consuming to record?
  2. Describe the initial relationship between Brubeck’s alto saxophonist Paul Desmond and drummer Joe Morello.  How did the relationship improve, or did it?
  3. Describe how Charles Mingus used his music to comment on social problems.  Do you think it had the desired effect?
  4. What was the most interesting part of the video for you, and why?

As always, plan your response in advance and check carefully for proper spelling, grammar and usage before submitting it.  Don’t forget that you need to cite the video (and any other materials you might use to write your response) in the proper Turabian format.  You can use this template for the video itself:

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