Rhapsody in Swing
SWR Big Band
Tr. 1 Unbekannt: A Swingphonic Collection (arr.: Sammy Nestico)
Tr. 2 Georges Gershwin: Rhapsodie in Blue (Orig. Jazz Band Version)
Tr. 3 Duke Ellington: Harlem (arr.: Maurice Peress)
Perhaps no other musical style has exerted a greater influence on the culture of the first half of the 20th than did Jazz. This utterly American music, with its spontaneity, syncopated rhythms and unabashed sensuality travelled to every corner of the globe: from Shanghai to St. Petersburg; from New Orleans to New Dehli, from Harlem to well... Haarlem.
The list of composers who experimented with bringing jazz into the concert hall reads like the syllabus for a music appreciation course: Debussy, Stravinsky, Ravel, Copland, Antheil, Martinu, Hindemith, Shostakovich... even the usually dour Arnold Schoenberg was not immune to jazz.
While classical composers embraced the rhythmic vitality and melodic freedom for their own compositions, African-American composers, like Edward Kennedy 'Duke' Ellington, William Grant Still, James P. Johnson and others sought to legitimate jazz in the concert hall.
While the debate about jazz continues, one thing is for certain: Jazz is HERE to stay!