Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Waters, Keith. “Outside Forces: Autumn Leaves in the 1960s.” Current Musicology 71-73 (Spring 2001-2002): 276-302.

“Outside” playing in the 1960s was defined as the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic influence of newer movements in jazz on more traditional jazz performance. Two groups in the mid-1960s, the Charles Lloyd Quartet and the Miles Davis Quintet, incorporated avant-garde techniques into their improvisations of standard tunes. The pianists for each group, Keith Jarrett and Herbie Hancock, implemented significant harmonic and metrical disruption during their improvisations. Transcriptions of the final chorus-and-a-half for their respective improvisations on Autumn Leaves illustrate a wide variety of such disruptions. Jarrett combines polymeter, accent shift, and chords in conflict with the original harmonic structure at the end of his third chorus; he uses polyrhythms such as triplets in the beginning of the fourth chorus; and he negates the harmonic scheme of the second half of the chorus by transposing chords down by whole step, where the original tune cycled through the descending circle of fifths. At the end of his fifth chorus, Hancock also uses polymeter and accent shift; however, the chorus ends with dissonant chromatic planing instead of highlighting a consonant chord distant from the original harmonic scheme. At the beginning of his sixth chorus, Hancock eliminates any sense of metric identity by playing chords at seemingly arbitrary attack points. Overall, both Jarrett and Hancock use avant-garde techniques to heighten the intensity of the juncture between the second-to-last and last choruses of their improvisations.

Works: Joseph Kosma: Autumn Leaves as performed by Keith Jarrett (285-90) and Herbie Hancock (290-98).

Sources: Joseph Kosma: Autumn Leaves (281-85).

Index Classifications: 1900s, Jazz

Contributed by: Nathan Blustein

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