Billy Holiday: Young and YellowIn my opinion, this music is very helpful in terms of conveying the mood and condition of Billy Holiday. The music uses rich colors of consonance, which is typical for jazz music, and which makes jazz approach different from other music styles. Because of this special use of consonance, they music translates more shades, and therefore sends a better and a clearer message to the audience. In addition to this, the orchestra, in the combination with the voice of the soloist, creates a very relaxed atmosphere. Billy Holiday indeed has a beautiful timbre of voice, which makes the process of listening very pleasurable. Her voice is also rich in terms of reflecting the emotions of the soloist. Finally, because the peak of jazz music was back in the 50s, the song has a tinge of retro style in it, which echoes with my music preferences.
Duke Ellington: Take a Train
Take a Train is a wonderful melody with an easily recognizable imitation of the train at the very beginning of the song. It is perhaps the imitation of the train that made me like this song, and made it acoustically different from other jazz songs. What I like about this melody is that Duke Ellington leads the whole orchestra with the piano. What is no less remarkable and even somewhat mysterious in Take a Train, is a rich, and at the same time gentle and soft, melting sound of unique color and velvety. This feature is common for the majority of Duke Ellington’s works. At the very beginning, this feature was explained by the composition of the performers. However, later, when the majority of musicians of the first composition were replaced by musicians, formed not by Duke, to the general surprise it turned out that the sound of the orchestra did not change at all.
Ornette Coleman: Lonely Woman
This melody is easily recognizable and echoes with the retro atmosphere of old movies. I like the use of saxophone in this melody. Although the sound of saxophone is not one of my favorite musical sounds given that it is typically a ‘heavy’ sound, Coleman uses it in an unassuming way, which does not disturb my ear. It is important to note that Coleman even developed a whole musical philosophy, which he called “harmonic.” Theoretical fundamentals of harmony have remained poorly worked out, although the musician worked on them for several decades, but its essence boils down to a combination of sophisticated compositional technique of European academic music of the second half of the 20th century with an equally sophisticated rhythmic basis of African music and its African-American continuation: jazz, blues, soul and funk. This unique combination is also reflected in Lonely Woman, which makes the melody unusual and somewhat mysterious to the audience.
- Holiday, B. (1957). Fine and Mellow. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKqxG09wlIA.
- Coleman, O. (1959). Lonely Woman. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNbD1JIH344.
- Ellington, D. (1939). Take a Train. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2w2m1JmCY.