Premium Membership is now 50% off! But you feel the grandiose effect - how that descent opens the music up. WHITEHEAD: Jimmy Blanton brought a new attitude to the bass. Jazz bassist who worked with Duke Ellington before his untimely death in 1942. 11 April 2006, This page was last edited on 28 September 2020, at 14:31. But his two years on the scene had a huge impact. Having him in the orchestra gave Ellington fresh ideas. He did, however, contribute to the legitimacy of the double bass as a melodic instrument, "open [ing] the door for virtuosos like [Duke Ellington Orchestra bassist] Jimmy Blanton to garner more respect for the instrument", through improvisation. Blanton had both the technique and the fine tone to take this style of playing to higher levels. It put Ellington in the mood to dig in on the piano. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). did not live past age twenty-five, both succumbing to tuberculosis. They built on Blanton's legacy and, along with Slam Stewart, really solidified the bass' role as a melodic solo instrument. This is "Pitter Patter Panther" from 1940. Marable had run the riverboat band 17-year-old Louis Armstrong had once played in. After Jimmy Blanton made bass sound like a giant guitar, there was no going back. In Blanton's case, he fractured the 4/4 meter straitjacket that had shackled bass players before him. Blanton was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Blanton took the bass, which had previously been used only to keep time and lay down a basic harmonic foundation, to a new dimension where it became an instrument capable of horn-like solos. Its percussive sound gives it the perfect low voice for music of precise rhythmic accents. It put Ellington in the mood to dig in on the piano. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Jimmy Blanton got pocket solos and short breaks within the orchestra, but his real showcases were his six duets with Duke. The bass is a rhythm instrument. Coming up, film critic David Edelstein reviews the newest adaptation of "A Star Is Born" starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. In Blanton's case, he fractured the 4/4 meter straitjacket that had shackled bass players before him. Updates? (SOUNDBITE OF DUKE ELLINGTON'S "JACK THE BEAR") Black Friday Sale! The name chordophone replaces the term stringed instrument when a precise, acoustically based designation is With his big rounded tone, flexible technique, superb sense of swing, and fluent imagination with both a bow and fingers, Blanton 's bass could dance freely around the band and phrase like a horn, all without undermining the music's bass foundation. He broke up his phrasing and got a plump singing tone from plucked strings. The five basic types are bows, harps, lutes, lyres, and zithers. One hundred years ago today, on October 5, jazz virtuoso Jimmy Blanton was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. Blanton played violin as a child before switching to … Here's Slam in 1938. His original technique permitted him an unprecedented rhythmic variety on his instrument, allowing him to play melodic phrasing instead of conventional, swing-era “walking” (i.e., 4/4) metre lines in solos; his harmonies, too, were considered advanced for the swing era. Jimmy Blanton. This is FRESH AIR. Jimmy Blanton (1918-42) was the musical godfather of bebop bass. …stringed instruments are identified as chordophones—that is to say, instruments in which the sound is produced by the vibration of chords, or strings. WHITEHEAD: Blanton's left hand might roam the neck of the bass, grabbing a few odd notes. He changed the bass forever.  "He possessed great dexterity and range, roundness of tone, accurate intonation, and above all an unprecedented sense of swing. WHITEHEAD: Jimmy Blanton died young of tuberculosis at age 23 in 1942. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that, in a few short years on the scene, Blanton revolutionized the instrument. The name chordophone replaces the term stringed instrument when a precise, acoustically based designation is required. This is from "Mr. J.B Blues.". :122 Further duet recordings were made in 1940, and Blanton was also featured in orchestra tracks. Its percussive sound gives it the perfect low voice for music of precise rhythmic accents. Copyright 2020 Fresh Air. 9th ed. Swinging Suites by Edward E. and Edward G. Studio Sessions, 1957, 1965, 1966, 1967, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Studio Sessions New York & Chicago, 1965, 1966 & 1971, The Carnegie Hall Concerts: December 1944, The Carnegie Hall Concerts: December 1947, It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing, Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Just Squeeze Me (But Please Don't Tease Me), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Jimmy_Blanton&oldid=980797516, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, "Jimmy Blanton".