Week 13: Readings and Listening Assignments

Week 13: Readings and Listening Assignments
Instruction: Reading assignment: choose to read or listen to any of the music files there and comment. Everyone will watch this skit and answer the Discussion question about it

Then choose any of the readings, recordings or short videos here and comment:
Lubet (2002), disability studies and performing arts. Lubet, A. (2002). Disability studies and performing arts medicine. Medical Problems of Performing Artists, 17(2), 59–62.

• Django Reinhardt, “J’attendrai (I Will Wait)” with the Quintet de le Hot Club de France (short subject film from 1939)
• Horace Parlan, “C Jam Blues” from the album Movin’ & Groovin’ (1960): Horace Parlan, Piano; Sam Jones, Bass; Al Harewood, drums [Note Parlan’s chunky rhythmic chordal style, which most evident starting about 3 minutes into the track.]
• Horace Parlan, “The Other Part of Town” from the album Up & Down (1960) Horace Parlan, piano; Booker Ervin, tenor saxophone;Grant Green, guitar; George Tucker, bass; Al Harewood , drums [This is a much longer track, with Grant Green playing guitar in almost the same vein as Parlan at times (i.e., the repetitive patterns that are a feature of the hard bop style), for example starting at 2:45. The Parlan magic begins at 5:45 and really kicks into full force around 7:15.]

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• This video of Horace Parlan (piano) playing with Archie Shepp (sax) in 1994 offers some good views of the pianist’s hands in action (for instance, 8 minutes in)
• Jimmy Scott, “When did you leave Heaven” (1956: early in his career, with the “Little” still appended to his name
• A scene from the TV show Twin Peaks featuring Jimmy Scott, as discussed by Lubet

• Egyptian Al Nour Wal Amal Blind girls orchestra performs in Berlin (2013)
• The Blind Boys of Alabama, “I Can See Everybody’s Mother, But I Can’t See Mine” (1948)
• Blind Willie Dunn’s Gin Bottle Four, “Jet Black Blues” (1929) with Eddie Lang (born Salvatore Massaro), guitar; Lonnie Johnson, guitar; J.C. Johnson, piano; Hoagy Carmichael, vocals and drums; Joe “King” Oliver, cornet; Justin Ring, percussive effects. [Six of them in the supposed quartet, half white and half black, but none were blind. Lang, Oliver, Carmichael, and both Johnsons are among the most important musicians in early Jazz. File this under: identity, race, disability, and marketing in American popular music.]

• Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley, “John Henry” (Folkways recordings from 1960-62) [Legendary (white, blind) American folk musician sings about legendary (black, sighted) American folk hero.]
• Rahsaan Roland Kirk – The Inflated Tear [Live in Prague, 1967] skip to 2 minutes in if you are impatient
• Paul Wittgenstein plays Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand in D major (Paris, 1933– short video)
• Glenn Gould plays Bach , extracts from “The art of Piano” documentary show Glenn Gould playing J.S.Bach’s Partita #2 (undated, from 1960s ??)

The first few–Django, Jimmy Scott, Horace Parlan and Al-Nour wal Amal Orchestra –were mostly intended to provide some context for the reading, but you can certainly comment on the audio files, too. The second group clusters around some concepts of disability (chiefly blindness), race, musical identity, and representation. I’m hoping that we can extend the discussion a bit from Lubet toward connecting these threads.
1.Answer this question 1. What are your thoughts on the Youth Theatre skit? If SPS were to collaborate with Applied Performing Arts on writing and creating skits like these, what sorts of additional messages would you like to see produced?
2. Then, you can choose any one of the following:
2.What would you say are the major insights yielded by Lubet’s comparison between the musical cultures of Jazz and Western Classical? How does the author account for the differences between the two? How compelling do you find his assertion that Jazz is more accepting of at least some types of difference because it is an originally African American (hence vernacular and oral tradition-based) form?
3.After reviewing the listening assignments, what do you think we should do with Blind Willie Dunn’s Gin Bottle Four, a fluctuating and racially integrated (in 1929) group of sighted musicians with Caucasian guitarist Eddie Lang and African American guitarist Lonnie Johnson who recorded for the ‘race’ (African American) record market? How do we reconcile the music produced by this ensemble with the rather detestable exploitation of race, disability, and even alcoholism (in the Prohibition eyra US) implied by their name?

4.Lubet admits that the Al-Nour wal Amal Orchestra “does not perform at the technical level of a professional Western orchestra” (p. 81). How does their lack of technical proficiency impact our reception of their music? In other words, why celebrate the achievement of this extrordinary music

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