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Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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The Composers and Arrangers                                                 103
have drawn heavily from European music, experimenting with atonality or the twelve-tone system: Jimmy Giuffre and John Graas have been in the forefront of the newer movements on the West Coast while John Lewis, Gunther Schuller, Charles Mingus and Teo Macero are among its principal standard-bearers in the East; George Russell is a recent and gifted addition.
These names are subject to the qualification that several of them have operated on widely varied levels. Giuffre, for instance, has written and played music of the simplest blues and 32-bar chorus nature, with Shorty Rogers and with his own group. His extensive studies of composition were more clearly represented in Pharaoh, written for and performed by the Brass Ensemble of the Jazz and Classical Music Society (Columbia Records). Giuffre also conducted an experiment with a quartet, Tangents In Jazz (Capitol), functioning without an audible continuous beat—no walking bass, no riding cymbal—but generally staying close to the strict-tempo essentials of jazz. While the presence of any jazz qualities in Pharaoh is certainly contestable, the Tangents In Jazz venture used improvisation, atonality and a departure from the standard concept of the steadily pulsating beat, yet managed to give an overall impression that only jazz musicians could have written and played the series.
John Lewis' less conventional works are heard in an LP by the Modern Jazz Society ensemble (Verve) and in one work by the same brass ensemble (in the same LP) as Pharaoh; on the other side of the Lewis coin are his vignettes for the Modern Jazz Quartet, which despite occasional forays into Bach and into ex­tended forms (his Fontessa on Atlantic is described as "a little suite inspired by the Renaissance Comedia deR'Arte") remain generally rooted in the traditional jazz structures.
John Graas and Gunther Schuller, both French horn soloists, significantly came to jazz writing and playing from the outside instead of growing up in a jazz environment; much of their pro­fessional experience has been gained playing and writing for symphony orchestras. The LP that includes the Giuffre and Lewis works on Columbia also offers Schuller's Symphony for Brass and Percussion, conducted by Dimitri Mitropoulos. Schuller, a close friend and associate of Lewis, has played with jazz groups occa-