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The Circuitous Path of Jazz in the 20 th Century: Fusing Music, Dance & African-American Poetry. AXIOM ASUNDER Four Episodes for Jazz Orchestra, Narrator, Dance Company & Choir __________________ Composed & Orchestrated by Buzz Jones ASCAP Poetry by Langston Hughes.

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the circuitous path of jazz in the 20 th century fusing music dance african american poetry
The Circuitous Path of Jazz in the 20th Century: Fusing Music, Dance & African-American Poetry
  • AXIOM ASUNDER

Four Episodes for Jazz Orchestra, Narrator,

Dance Company & Choir

__________________

Composed & Orchestrated by Buzz Jones ASCAP

Poetry by Langston Hughes

langston hughes 1902 1967
Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
  • Hughes came of age as a poet and novelist

during the Harlem Renaissance. He cites Walt

Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Claude McKay, & Paul

Laurence Dunbar as early influences. Several of

his masterful works include The Weary Blues (1926),

The Ways of White Folks (1934), as the lyricist for

Kurt Weill’s Street Scene (1947), and two auto-

biographical volumes - The Big Sea (1940) and I

Wonder As I Wander (1956). Arnold Rampersad

notes “his art was firmly rooted in race pride and

race feeling even as he cherished his freedom as

an artist.” Langston Hughes was passionate about

jazz. He wrote convincingly about the art form and

the musicians who risked so much to bare their souls.

slide6

NOCCA

New Orleans Center for Creative Arts Riverfront

episode 1 oceans apart
Episode 1 OCEANS APART

Elegua was a god

worshiped by the

Yoruba people of West

Africa. The music is

based on the Afro-Cuban

folkloric style of Bembe

and the Clave rhythm.

POETRY - Negro & Poem (1)

episode 1 oceans apart8
Episode 1 OCEANS APART
  • Cape Roca speaks to three rhythmic grooves that evolved in South America, Latin America and the Caribbean – Bossa Nova, Calypso, and Mambo.
  • POETRY - Our Land & Caribbean Sunset
episode 2 northern tangents
Episode 2 NORTHERN TANGENTS
  • Konkombaliterally means “poor man’s brass band.” A solemn chorale springs to life as the Second Line percussion beat propels a New Orleans funeral procession. The Dixieland combo focuses on collective improvisation while the dancers interpret the story.

POETRY

As Befits A Man

episode 2 northern tangents12
Episode 2 NORTHERN TANGENTS
  • Red Dawn Bluesisa “gut bucket” 12 bar blues tune featuring a solo vocalist and the band singing the refrain. Chicago was a hotbed of activity for emerging jazz voices in the 1920s such as Louis Armstrong and Earl Hines.
  • POETRY

Saturday Night

episode 2 northern tangents13
Episode 2 NORTHERN TANGENTS
  • 18th and Vine pays tribute to Bennie Moten and Count Basie. Southwest of Chicago lay Kansas City and a collection of jazz clubs located at 18th and Vine Streets. Swing dancing ruled the day in the 1930s as territory bands crisscrossed the country serving up “hot” rhythms for dancers of all ages.
  • POETRY Boogie 1 am Gone Boy
episode 3 coast to coast
Episode 3 COAST TO COAST
  • Lenox Avenue at Midnight is a sultry ballad featuring alto saxophone supported by a broad palette of nocturnal colors. Hughes’ poetry transports us to Harlem roof-tops where “the moon is shining” and the “night sky is blue.”

POETRY

  • Lenox Ave: Midnight Harlem Night Song
episode 3 coast to coast16
Episode 3 COAST TO COAST
  • In the1940s, jazz players began to push to boundaries of conventional swing music and Bebop was the result. Dig and Be Dug is a bop tune for septet that you would have heard at Minton’s Playhouse – pyrotechnics and virtuosic solos abound.
  • POETRY – Jazzonia

& Motto

episode 3 coast to coast17
Episode 3 COAST TO COAST
  • Silver Rainis a passacaglia

and fugue in triple meter. Cool

and Third Stream jazz began to

surface on both coasts by the

early 1950s. Smoother textures,

less angular melodic lines and

use of classical forms defined

the music as a reaction to Bebop.

  • POETRY

In Time of Silver Rain

episode 4 groove machine
Episode 4 GROOVE MACHINE
  • Lulu was a madam who organized

the most notorious brothel in New

Orleans’ Red-Light District of Storyville

at the turn of the 20th century. A reprise

of the Afro-funk motive and a free jazz

section leads directly to the finale.

  • Poetry – Afro-American Fragment
episode 4 groove machine19
Episode 4 GROOVE MACHINE
  • Text for The Old Tan Pathis taken from the Old Testament books of Isaiah and Daniel. The dancers join the orchestra and choir for a joyous gospel “shout.”
  • POETRY-Tambourines