Do your ears play tricks on you?…

Written by on December 12, 2022

FIRST IF YOU MISSED THIS WEEKS EPISODE of JAZZ BASS IN YOUR HEAD (#7):

CLICK >>>>>>>   OSCAR PETTIFORD (Part ONE)    TO LISTEN

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Do your ears play tricks on you?…When you have this idea,”Wait, that sounds like…”

“..{insert comparative music}..”

And then you compare them and over-analyze why you thought that…and maybe even feel embarrassed for making the connection because they don’t sound the same…but yet they DO?

AND then it happens again some other time? I believe my comparison this week might shed some light on why this happens.

(Disclaimer, I am not a music scholar by any means, I just have only an ear that tells me whispers….so my ideas are not scholarship. )

 

Bernard Herman’s classic composition for the Hitchcock film, “North by Northwest” was recorded before it’s release in theaters in 1959. Oscar Pettiford’s major contributions to Jazz were in around the same time and most avidly from 1953-1959.

I made this connection between Herrmann’s score from North by Northwest and Oscar Pettiford’s music, particularly on the song, “Scorpio”,  I played in yesterday’s episode, arranged by pianist/composer Mary Lou Williams. Later I listened to exactly WHY I thought this…

Well, if you listen to Herman’s WHOLE SCORE….I think….you’ll just see what I mean. (Insert long steep tea and an ottoman)

 

Then I thought, but WHY? The two are so different. One is bebop and jazz, the other orchestra. Where are my ears getting this idea?

Well, there’s so much that I DONT understand but there is this hunch…

 

First Hunch. Tritonality and Polytonality are superimposed chords on top of each other. This is not just “dissonance”  this is structured tonality. Herman uses a more minor and orchestral version and Pettiford captures it mostly with the clarinet and sax on the album compositions.

I think this is why I think Herrmann was inspired by the compositions of Pettiford, who died in 1960 after recording a lost album called Baden Baden that I will play a number of pieces from next time on January 8th.

 

Second Hunch. The dotted eighth notes, sixteenth, eighth rhythm like in Bach’s Siciliano are what both Pettiford and Herrmann use in various points in their works…on and off..

 

So, there’s my hunch…and that was YOUR homework?

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Well, you can actually get some ideas from this next time this happens to you.

Music Theory might have some answers .. (no I’m not a music major).. the platform in space and time that enlightened individuals who know music theory have been living on just seems really worth trying to jump on. (Says the DJ).

Have an inspiring Holiday.

 

Here’s a little bonus for reading my blog….a scene where Pettiford is playing in a film called, “The Crimson Canary” (John Hoffman 1945).

 

 

Crimson Canary 1945 Movie Poster

Members of a Jazz Band come under suspicion when a beautiful nightclub singer is murdered. DIR: John Hoffman (1945)

Oscar Pettiford

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See you on January 8th for Oscar Pettiford #2.

 I will explore his other works I didn’t get to play

including a lost album called, “Baden Baden”.

3pm Sunday! Jan 8

JAZZ BASS IN YOUR HEAD

Playlist:

Track

Artist

Album

  • Rhumblues
    Oscar Pettiford
    Oscar Pettiford Sextet (Jazz Connoisseur)
  • Scorpio
    Oscar Pettiford
    Oscar Pettiford
  • Oscalypso
    Oscar Pettiford
    Oscar Pettiford
  • Bohemia After Dark
    Oscar Pettiford
    Oscar Pettiford
  • Edge of Love
    Oscar Pettiford
    Oscar Pettiford Modern Quintet
  • Main Stem
    Teddy Charles; Oscar Pettiford; Hall Overto
    3 for Duke
  • Jack, The Fieldstalker
    Oscar Pettiford
    The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet
  • Tamalpais Love Song
    Oscar Pettiford
    The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet
  • E-Lag - Alternate take previously unissued
    Oscar Pettiford
    Oscar Pettiford Sextet (Jazz Connoisseur)
  • Stardust
    Oscar Pettiford
    Oscar Pettiford Sextet (Jazz Connoisseur)
  • Sophisticated Lady
    Teddy Charles; Oscar Pettiford; Hall Overton
    3 for Duke

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