A survey of the great American art form, Jazz, covering styles from 1920 to the present. We will bring the music and main movers and shakers to life through readings, intensive study of recordings, videos and class lectures. Several topics are studied in depth: listening to Jazz, the quality of swing, group interaction, the development of solo improvisation, the blues, and the evolution of jazz performance practice. As a life-long Jazz musician, the instructor hopes to also provide a behind-the-scenes viewpoint of how the music works, what inspires Jazz musicians, and how performers acquire the necessary expertise to thrive in this improvisational world. Students will write several short papers including an artist vignette, a blues lyric assignment, two track reviews and two live performance reviews. There will be mid-term and final exams that have both written and listening components. Weekly Listening Reactions enhance auditory perception. Students who successfully complete this seminar will receive course credit for MUSI 161 and satisfy one half of the Human Thought and Expression area of inquiry requirement.
Glenn Cashman’s scholarly interests are connected to his ongoing Jazz activities, primarily in Los Angeles and Japan as a performer on saxophone, organ, and composer for his nonet, sextet, and quartet.