Jazz


May 3, 2004


Term paper


Modernist world views


The period of 1914 to 1945 so called “modern period” was an era of rich diversity in art styles, whatever the discipline was. Artists had loads of new ideas and were expressing themselves more than ever witch bought their art to higher levels. People were astonished to hear these musical arrangements and to see these lines, shapes and colours they were overwhelm and were still asking for more. It was a time of good prosperity for artists since the demand for their art was extremely strong. Artists like Duke Edward Kennedy Ellington and Pablo Picasso are good examples of artists who had a strong demand for their wonderful work.


Jazz composer, arranger and pianist, Duke Ellington wore those three titles but consider himself being a composer and an arranger more than a pianist. Although he was a gifted piano player his orchestra was his principal instrument. Ellington the leading jazz composer the United States has ever produce, brought to jazz its elegance and its sophistication. He brought contrasting elements into a whole by mastering the balance between tradition and innovation, composition and improvisation along with individual and group. Duke Ellington wrote several thousand compositions for example “in a sentimental mood” original version recorded on April 30 1935. It is 4 min and 14 sec piece with Duke Ellington on the piano, John Coltrane on the saxophone and two members of Duke’s orchestra playing the bass and the drum. This piece is a perfect example of the sophisticated elegance Duke brought to jazz. The simplicity and the mood this composition emits is both comforting and romantic. “In a sentimental mood” is the kind of piece that’s best appreciated either in couple or in solo, when the sun sets down in the horizon letting emotions flow. This masterpiece contains modernist techniques and approaches. Indeed the recording of this piece was partly from composition and partly from improvisation. The piano and the saxophone fallowed the composition while the other instruments were improvising. Duke did the arrangements and created this sentimental mood.


The great painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso is probably the most important artist of the modern period. Whit a style that was constantly changing and with the desire to paint models and objects the way he wanted to paint them, Picasso gave a whole new meaning to the word control. Woman was his favourite subject, he equally loved and hated them perhaps that’s why he had so many of them throughout his life and did portraits on all of them. Picasso had a very interesting way of doing portraits, he painted the front and the profile on the same visage. The colours use for his portraits were always colours that had connection to real skin human colour. He wasn’t trying to do exact representations of his models face or body, he was painting the feeling the energy they send out. A good example of such painting is the portrait of Dora Maar a 46 cm x 55 cm painting created in 1937. It consist a portrait of a female called Dora Maar, her face is painted in two tones of green, her hair are shades of bleu and green and the background is red, yellow and bleu. The whole scene is framed with a green line on the edges of the canvas. There’s a few features that make this painting modern; the brush stroke are very apparent, the facial features are not realistic same for use of colour. This painting is modern because in doesn’t respect the traditional pictorial mode of representation.


These two art masterpiece even though are of different genre seem to complement each other. They both have the same strong energy and mood witch is a very emotional sentimental mood. When looking at Picasso’s portrait listening to Ellington’s music piece we can almost imagine that when Picasso did this painting “in a sentimental mood” was playing in the back. We could also imagine that it was a very romantic moment between Picasso and Dora. We see it in her eyes.


In their own artistic discipline these two artists made proof of innovation and creativity. They are looked at as the best, even masters of their art and have influence a great deal of other artist.