John Coltrane, Countdown (John Coltrane), New York, May 4, 1959. John Coltrane, tenor saxophone (ts); Tommy Flanagan, piano (p); Paul Chambers, bass (b); Art Taylor, drums (d)
Topic 1: The order of solos in this piece is: Taylor, Coltrane. Listen to the recording and provide counter numbers for the beginning and end of these two solos. Hint: the melody is played at the end of the piece. Describe their solo styles. Listen to how they phrase or create musical lines. Try to include some detail. How do their solos change and develop over the course of their particular solo? Countdown is part of the album Giant Steps in which Coltrane transformed functional harmony in jazz. The harmonic progression, or chord changes, in this piece cycle through a set of different keys at a very fast tempo. With this Coltrane developed a vertical style of playing the saxophone. This vertical style means that he would play the notes of the chords at such a fast tempo that you can hear the chords or the harmony. Listen closely to Coltranes solo and describe this. Flanagan begins to play the chords with Coltrane about halfway through his solo. Flanagan is cycling through the chords with Coltrane. Describe this. Would you describe the style of these soloists as bop, hard bop, elements of both or something else? Explain in detail using what youve learned from the Lessons about these particular styles.
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