Big Bands from Basie to the Present
Chuck Bergeron, Professor of Jazz History and Ensemble Program Coordinator at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami
With its powerful driving rhythms, rich harmonies and ample opportunity for individual solos, big band’s signature wall of sound is one of the most impressive forms of presentation in all of jazz music. Big band’s meteoric rise in popularity from the early 1900s to its peak popularity in the 1930s and 1940s was made possible by advancements in recording technology that allowed for larger ensembles, generally consisting of a saxophone, trombone, trumpet and rhythm section — totaling anywhere from 10-25 musicians. This lecture presents a study of the evolution of large jazz ensembles after the dance band era, from the Count Basie Orchestra to present day bands like the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Gordon Goodwin Big Phat Band, Christian McBride Big Band and others.
This presentation is part of Chuck Bergeron's Jazz History series.