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The Use of Jazz in Opera

Description: Methods of incorporating jazz in opera range from using simple blue notes and fox-trot rhythms, to utilizing jazz instruments, to employing elaborate passages of improvisation. Current definitions of "jazz opera" do not consider variations in the genre, which, because of their evolving nature and the varied background of their composers, are diverse. This study attempts to collectively discuss these third-stream works. Jazz rhythms and harmonies first appeared in the 1920s in the works of Gershwin, Harling, Krenek, and Freeman. In 1966, Gunther Schuller was the first composer to use improvisation in an opera, which has become the primary distinguishing factor. There has since been a tremendous interest in this genre by such jazz musicians as Dave Burrell, Anthony Davis, Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Anthony Braxton, George Gruntz, and Jon Faddis.
Date: December 1995
Creator: Ottervik, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries

[Band Performing on Stage]

Description: Photograph of the North Texas State College Laboratory Dance Band performing on stage. They are wearing shirts and ties. From left to right are: a man playing a tuba; a man with his back to the camera playing a piano with its strings exposed; a clarinetist; a banjo player; and trumpeter; a trombonist; and a partially obscured drummer. Handwritten text beneath the photo says "Group simulating old style dixieland - opening number for concert in 1954-"
Date: 1954
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Jazz Ensemble on Stage]

Description: Photograph of (from left to right): Frank Todd on string bass; Gene Hall on clarinet; Paul Guerrero on drums; Art Davis on trumpet; Phil Manning on tenor saxophone; and Bill Harrison holding a trombone.
Date: 195u
Creator: Don Brink Studios
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Buddy DeFranco Performing with the Laboratory Dance Band]

Description: Photograph of Buddy DeFranco performing with the Laboratory Dance Band. He is wearing a dark suit and black rimmed glasses. DeFranco is playing a clarinet from behind a music stand with a microphone to the right. Behind him, seated band members sit behind desks while playing a variety of brass instruments.
Date: 1959
Creator: Porter, Bob
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Laboratory Dance Band Performing on Stage]

Description: Photograph of the Laboratory Dance Band performing on a stage with raised platforms. Behind the stage is a crude drawing of a trombonist, a drummer, and a moose to the left. Five of the dark suited men stand at their music stands, with one man in the middle playing a clarinet while the two on either side of him play saxophones. A guitarist sits at the far left seat. Trombonists can be seen performing in the background to the right.
Date: 1954
Partner: UNT Music Library

Lab Band - 1952-53

Description: Photograph of the 1952-1953 North Texas State College Laboratory Dance Band. Their director, Gene Hall, stands on the left side of the photo and addresses the young men who are arranged around music stands and playing a variety of instruments. A wide curtain serves as a background. "1953" is handwritten on the bottom of the photograph. Further handwriting appears on the back of the picture notes that this is a photograph of the Lab Band taken on April 1, 1953, and then lists the people as they appear from left to right.
Date: April 1, 1953
Creator: North Texas State College. News Service.
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Arthur Godfrey and Gene Hall on The Talent Scout Show]

Description: Photographs of Arthur Godfrey and Gene Hall sitting together during NBC's "The Talent Scout Show" that have been attached to a sheet of white paper. The first five photos features the two middle aged men in dark suits, with Godfrey sitting to the left of the bespectacled Hall. Curtains are visible behind the two. A desk microphone sits between them. On the second page, below the two photos of Hall and Godfrey, there is a photo composed of four pictures. The the top two feature Godfrey and Hall again, while the bottom two feature George Mosse playing a clarinet (left) and George Mosse, Gene Murray playing a trumpet, and Phil Elliot playing a trombone. These three men are wearing striped black and white shirts.
Date: 1957
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Jack Petersen Playing a Guitar]

Description: Photograph of Jack Petersen playing an electric guitar on a stage with other band members behind him. Petersen is wearing a light hued blazer and dark pants. To the left, a man in a slightly darker blazer plays a double bass while standing in front of a backdrop painted with the image of a haloed woman and an angel. Directly behidn Petersen, a seated man in a dark suit is partially obscured. To the right, a man in a greyish suit sits with his back turned to the camera while playing a piano. The rightmost person is wearing a plaid shirt while playing a xylophone. A man's turned head is at the bottom of the photo is obscured by a white note taped onto the photo. The note says, "Jack Petersen."
Date: 1955
Creator: Perrin Air Force Base
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Laboratory Dance Band Performing on a Stage]

Description: Photograph of men in tuxedos playing a variety of instruments on a stage. Three rows of musicians play brass instruments, with saxophones in the first row, trombones in the second row, and trumpets in the third row. A drum set can be seen on stage to the left. The musicians perform in front of a curtained backdrop that has been festooned with large and sparkling letters, with the word "frolic" visible above their heads. "1952" has been printed on the photograph under the men. There are handwritten notes naming the performers written on the reverse side of the photo.
Date: 1952
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Pat McCracken Playing Jazz Harp]

Description: Photograph of the Laboratory Dance Band on stage with a young woman named Pat McCracken. McCracken stands to the left side of the photo. She is wearing a light hued dress and is standing in front of a pianist with her hands behind her back. To the right, a tall harp stands in front of a microphone. Further to the right, the elder Gene Hall stands wearing a grey suit and applauding. The rest of the band is seated in the background on a series of three increasingly elevated platforms. They are holding a variety of brass instruments and, in the case of one man at the left end of the topmost row, sitting at a drum set. A handwritten note under the image says "Pat McCracken - Jazz Harp - 1953."
Date: 1953
Creator: Don Brink Studios
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Dan Alexander Singing Alongside the Laboratory Dance Band]

Description: Photograph of the 1953 North Texas State College Laboratory Dance Band performing on stage. The band of young men are arranged in three raked rows, sitting behind music desks with their instruments. Dan Alexander stands in front of a microphone on the left side of the photo. Behind him sits a man playing a piano. Gene Hall stands to the far right of the photo. A curtain hangs over a wall to the right, while four border curtains loom above the performers.
Date: 1953
Creator: Don Brink Studios
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Laboratory Dance Band Posing with Their Instruments]

Description: Photograph of the Laboratory Dance Band posing on a stage with their instruments. Arranged in three rows, the group primarily composed of dark suited young men sit behind music desks. A bassist and a drummer stand with their instruments in the rear row. A young woman in a black dress stands at a microphone in front of the group. Standing on the right side of the photo is Gene Hall, an older man wearing a dark suit and spectacles. A small sign for the American Red Cross is hanging on the right side of the curtain that hangs behind the band. Rows of auditorium seating can be seen above the curtain.
Date: 1957
Creator: Smith, W. D.
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Buddy DeFranco on Stage]

Description: Photographs of Buddy DeFranco performing with the Laboratory Dance Band. The top photograph features DeFranco standing and playing a clarinet to the right side. To the left, the suited men of the band sit behind music stands. The bottom photo features DeFranco standing in front of a microphone while holding a clarinet in his right hand. Three rows of the Laboratory Dance Band are seated behind him holding their instruments. Handwritten text beneath the images says "Buddy DeFranco - Guest Soloist - 1959"
Date: 1959
Partner: UNT Music Library

Lab Band in Best Dance Band Contest

Description: Photographs of the Laboratory Dance Band performing on a curtained stage in front of an audience. The band is arranged across four inclined platforms. Most are sitting behind music desks and are playing a variety of (mostly brass) instruments. A strip of white paper taped to the bottom of the photo has the following typed upon it: "Lab Band in Best Dance Band Contest."
Date: 1959
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Leslie Ryall, Gene Hall, Curly Broyles, Bobby Peters, and Betty Brockwell on Stage]

Description: Photograph of Leslie Ryall, Gene Hall, Curly Broyles, Bobby Peters, an unidentified man, and Betty Brockwell wearing dress clothes and posing in front of a curtain together for a photograph. Handwritten notes on the front and back include the names of those present, as well as state that the picture was taken at a jazz concert in a main auditorium.
Date: 1950
Creator: Don Brink Studios
Partner: UNT Music Library

Phil "Cyclops" Manning

Description: Photograph of Phil Manning playing a saxophone while standing between a curtain and a microphone. He is wearing a dark suit, neck tie, and dark rimmed glasses. A shadowy pianist is visible to the right behind the curtain.
Date: 1953
Creator: Loveless, Marvin
Partner: UNT Music Library

Arthur Godfrey Show - 1957

Description: Photographs of George Mosse (clarinet), Gene Murray (trumpet), and Phil Elliot (trombone) performing on the Arthur Godfrey Show while wearing striped shirts. The top left and bottom right photos show the three men playing together in front of a piano. The top right photo features Murray alone playing the clarinet. The photo on the bottom left contains four images. The top two images on this split photo show Arthur Godfrey (left) and Gene Hall (right) speaking together at a desk with a small microphone between them. The two photos underneath show two more images of Mosse, Murray, and Elliot performing together.
Date: 1957
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Shirley Murray on Stage at Perrin Field Air Force Base]

Description: Photograph of Shirley Murray and the North Texas State College Laboratory Dance Band performing on stage at Perrin Air Force Base in Texas. She is wearing a floral pattern dress and singing into a microphone while musicians are playing their brass instruments behind her. Gene Hall is conducting the band in the background of the photo to the right. A spade shaped tear mars the photo just left of its center, obscuring part of Murray's dress. A handwritten note at the bottom of the photo says "Shirley Murray - Perrin Field Air Force Base - 4/20/53."
Date: April 20, 1953
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Frank Todd, Phil Manning, Leon Breeden, Curly Broyles, and Bill Harrison Performing]

Description: Photograph of Frank Todd, Phil Manning, Leon Breeden, Curly Broyles, and Bill Harrison playing instruments around a microphone with other performers in the background. A curtain festooned with glittering letters that spell out "Ja[zz] Frolic" stands behind the group of men. Other musicians sit at their music desks behind the foreground performers.
Date: 1953
Partner: UNT Music Library

[Photograph of Laboratory Dance Band Posing with Their Instruments]

Description: Photograph of the Laboratory Dance Band posing on a stage with their instruments. Arranged in three rows, the group primarily composed of dark suited young men sit behind music desks. A bassist and a drummer stand with their instruments in the rear row. A young woman in a black dress sits in the front row to the left side. Standing on the right side of the photo is Gene Hall, an older man wearing a dark suit and spectacles. A small sign for the American Red Cross is hanging on the right side of the curtain that hangs behind the band. Rows of auditorium seating can be seen above the curtain.
Date: 1956
Creator: Smith, W. D.
Partner: UNT Music Library