Benny Goodman, clarinet, directing: Roland B. His performance here represents the mature Berigan in full opulent flowering. His two solos, one muted, the other open, are miniature compositions which many a writing-down composer would be envious of having created, even after days of work. This structural logic transmits itself to the listener in the absolute authoritativeness of his playing. The ingredients in both solos are really quite simple: great melodic beauty combined with logic and structural balance. Every note, every motivic cell, every phrase leads logically to the next with a Mozartian classic inevitability.
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Introduction drums play a vigorous roll on the tom-toms, keeping the backbeat on the high-hat cymbal. Over this background, the alto saxophone improvises. Strain A The alto saxophone begins to solo over the rhythm section, while the low brass trombones, tuba, horn playing short chords on the fourth beat of each measure. Strain A The alto saxophone solo continues, accompanied by lower brass chords. Strain B The new strain is marked by an arpeggiated theme, starting in the minor mode, scored delicately here for guitar, piano, and clarinet.
Strain B The arpeggiated theme is heard once again, this time scored for trombone, alto saxophone, and clarinet. Underneath it, the lower brass reinforce the bass line. Transition The composed line, modulating from the key of the first two strains to the key of the trio, is bolstered by rich soli scoring. Strain C In a new key, the alto saxophone plays over just the drums and the bass. Emboldened, he returns to this sound again and again-essentially turning a mistake into a motive.
Strain C Under the alto saxophone solo, a low-pitched line for the trombones and the tuba descends, then ascends, through the chromatic scale. The guitar begins playing the chords to the tune very softly. Strain C The band now plays the theme, recognizably the same as it was originally written by Jelly Roll Morton. Strain C Borrowing again from Jelly Roll Morton, the brass instruments play a riff made up of restrained and delicate chords, most of them falling securely on the beat.
Strain C The brass chords turn into a background for an alto saxophone solo. Strain C The band plays a soli with familiar, Swing-Era rhythms, but its harmonies are unusually dissonant. Strain C The soli becomes rhythmically sparse and its harmonies increasingly dissonant. Coda The coda--once again borrowed from Fletcher Henderson--begins with a short riff fragment played over and over, creating a cross-rhythm against the underlying meter.
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