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Analysis and Aesthetics of Contemporary Jazz

13176771

(Bars 121-144)

(Bars 145-160)
This transcription highlights how Stewart indicates form in his solos by stating
themes, and then expanding on an developing these themes to create an
David Sugden

Analysis and Aesthetics of Contemporary Jazz


13176771
overall story arc, rather than sticking to a strict form in the traditional sense
which is displayed in terms of bar lengths such as 12 bar blues form or 32 bar
AABA form traditional of jazz.
One of Stewarts main soloing techniques is his extensive use of
independence between limbs. It is evident from the previous transcription that
Stewart manages to create an intense rhythmic and melodic style by utilizing
each limb independently to each other, as well as performing ostinatos with
certain limbs whilst having other playing melodic lines entirely independently.
This style was described by Jazz drummer and Educator John Riley as
'interdependence', Where each limb knows exactly what the others are doing
and how they work together (Riley,1994 ).
This simple melodic style of soloing is similar to that of a front line jazz soloist
such as a horn player. One of the reasons for this use of space in a front line
soloist is the simple fact that they will need to pause to take a breath. By
keeping a constant ride cymbal rhythm over the top of these simple rhythmic
motifs on the drum set, Stewart has found a unique and creative way to play
melodically, mirroring a front line soloist. This is in contrast to the usual style
of other percussive soloist who perform in a much more dense fashion. This
style also allows Stewart to increase intensity and density much more freely
and clearly. This idea follows Max Roach's approach to drum improvisation
that he explains in Modern Drummer Magazine 'Excluding a wind instrument,
there's always the danger of sounding inhuman. You're not obliged to take a
breath before you do something. Wind instrumentalists are obliged to be
human; they have periods, question marks, exclamation marks, phrases. But
there's always the danger, with people who play piano, percussion, or string
instruments, of not creating phrases that speak out to people. You can just
rattle for hours. That characteristic is not only unmusical, but unnatural as
well.' (Modern drummer, 1979)
On Lage Lund's album 'Foolhardy' his ensemble, featuring Bill Stewart on
drums, perform the Arthur Altman composition 'all or nothing at all'. At '5.13'
Lage and Stewart 'trade eights'. Trading eights is two or more soloists share
soloing duties, where one soloist will perform for 8 bars, followed by another 8
David Sugden

Analysis and Aesthetics of Contemporary Jazz


13176771

David Sugden