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C O U R S E 
History of Rock, 1970-Present
John Covach, University of Rochester
C O U R S E   L E C T U R E 
Jazz Rock in the 70s
Notes taken on February 9, 2015 by Edward Tanguay
Jazz Rock is a funny kind of stylistic orphan in the history of popular music
Jazz Rock Fusion
Miles Davis
John Mclaughlin
Return to Forever
most rock historians would say that it is not rock
most jazz historians would say it is not jazz
by the virtue of bringing together rock and jazz music, it falls into a kind of no-man's land between the two so that it is claimed by neither
jazz influences
letting it flow on stage
provided a model for the technical mastery needed for ambitious rock music
when one thought of virtuosos, one thought of:
1. classical music
2. jazz music
John Coltrane
Charlie Parker
jazz, "America's classical music"
a self-conscious attempt to cast themselves as being equal to the classical position
looking at jazz from the rock point of view
both classical and jazz were sources of virtuosity and exquisite musicianship
jazz requires advanced improvisatory skills
jazz is almost exclusively about this
many pop and rock musicians of the 70s were from a jazz background
The Coasters, 1955-1972
producing team of Leiber and Stoller
the studio musician
someone who could read all kinds of music and play it error free on the first take
celebrated as the very top of what it is to be a musical professional and instrumentalist
you can play in any style
jazz rock fed into this idea of the studio musician
Jazz-Rock Fusion
Miles Davis
1970: Bitches Brew
what a long Cream jam would sound like if he got jazz musicians to do it
brought in John McLaughlin
not so much atonal or experimental but the modal jazz that became a standard
Mahavishnu Orchestra
John McLaughlin
interesting blend of East meets West tradition
goes back to Norwegian Wood with George Harrison on the sitar
embraced Indian philosophy and lifestyle
begun during the era of psychedelia
1971: The Inner Mounting Flame
no singing whatsoever
Herbie Hancock
picks up the Jazz Rock Funk connection
1973 Head Hunters
established the archetypal approach to the blending of funk together with jazz and rock
Return to Forever
Weather Report
Frank Zappa
Jazz Funk is probably the place to mention Frank Zappa
he was so stylistically diverse it was hard to find a place to categorize him
his music was technically demanding
used highly skilled studio players as band members
has a penchant for cynical satire that at times challenges good taste
vocals are often cartoonish
references to vulgar aspects but not done in a way that is vulgar
e.g. the song "Dinah-Moe-Humm"
a way of defeating people taking it too seriously, to have lyrics that are satirical and fun-loving
the music itself was often extremely serious
produced classical music pieces, conducted by Pierre Boulez
1973: Over-Nite Sensation
Stevie Winwood
1971 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Jazz and Bluesy soul
Steely Dan
jazz influenced by kept a pop take
performed without a band per se and just used top New York and Los Angeles session musicians
1973 Reelin' in the Years
1977 Aja
their albums such as Aja were well recorded
an example of what stereo is as opposed to the mono wall of sound
horn-based groups
Blood, Sweat & Tears
formed by Al Kooper
produced Lynyrd Skynyrd
1968 Child is Father to the Man
that version of the group broke up
group led by David Clayton Thomas
1969 Spinning Wheel
big band, R&B kind of group
more ambition in terms of the horns
1969 Chicago Transit Authority
Does Anybody Really know what Time it Is?
good example of ambitious horn composition together with a Beatlesque approach to popular song-writing that makes it all look look effortless
a fantastic group and very representative with what was happening with jazz rock from the pop, horn-based genre