ARTS 615
Jazz Cross-Pollination: The Impact of Jazz on other Styles of Music and Vice Versa

Noah Baerman

Course Overview

In “Jazz Cross-Pollination” we will be exploring the ways that jazz has interacted and can interact with other styles of music.  We will address historical developments, but it is not a history class.  We will be delving into some structural issues, but it is not a music theory class – in fact, a background in music theory (while it would be helpful in some cases) is not at all necessary for this course.  One needn’t be a novelist to recognize irony in a book nor a chef to recognize salt in a dish.  Likewise, if you have ever enjoyed listening to music and if you have the ability to distinguish one song or instrument from another, you probably have the musical tools you need to succeed in this course.  

While the assignments are fairly straightforward, self-motivation is crucial in this class.  To best understand the information, you will want to cross-reference often, putting the new information you learn each week in the context of the music we have already studied.  By the same token, keep an eye out for assignments coming due, a particularly important responsibility with the summer “intensive” format.  You will invariably need to “multi-task” at times, dealing with more than one assignment at once and making the most of times when the load is lighter in terms of assignments due in the immediate future.             

If you don’t find this to be too daunting, and if you are intrigued by the prospect of spending a semester listening to a ton of great music, then we’re going to have a blast!  Jazz is a language, and we will have fun developing our fluency.

Attendance Policy

You are strongly encouraged to attend every class.  While there are no specific penalties for missing class (aside from “zero” grades for that day’s class participation and listening quiz, if any), it is unlikely that any student who misses class with any frequency will be able to succeed. 

If you must miss class, it is your responsibility to hand in that week’s assignment on time and to catch up on any missed information.  While there are inevitably times when conflicts arise suddenly, arrangements should be made well in advance if at all possible. 

Course Schedule
June 25 Introduction to class; Meet the instruments; How jazz works – the basics
June 27

A Condensed Chronology of Jazz, Including Its Primary Sub-genres                       

Work out logistics of using “E-Res” (online reserves)  

Work out logistics for using ITunes and download songs. 

Martin: “Types of Songs Found In Jazz”
Schoenberg: “The Story of Jazz” and “Varieties of Jazz” (chapters 2 and 3 from NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Jazz) 

“Maple Leaf Rag” by Dick Hyman
“Dippermouth Blues” by King Oliver
“Dead Man Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton
“Tea For Two” by Art Tatum
“Harlem Airshaft” by Duke Ellington
“Shaw ‘Nuff” by Dizzy Gillespie
“Ecaroh” by Art Blakey
“The Nearness of You” by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker
“So What” by Miles Davis
“Free” by Ornette Coleman

July 2

Blues and Gospel 

Short Critical Essay 

Find three libraries accessible to you that have selections of jazz recordings  

Ellison “Blues and Roots” and “All Jazzed Up”
Lyons and Perlo: pg. 473-476 (“Bessie Smith”)
Crouch: pg. 258-270 (“Come Sunday: Duke Ellington, Mahalia Jackson”) 

“Dippermouth Blues” by King Oliver
“St. Louis Blues” by Bessie Smith
“Dead Man Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton
“After Hours” by Erskine Hawkins
“Roll ‘Em Pete” by Joe Turner and Pete Johnson
“Roll ‘Em Pete” by Count Basie and Joe Williams
“Billie’s Blues” by Billie Holiday
“Parker’s Mood” by Charlie Parker
“Monk’s Point” by Thelonious Monk
“Part IV (Come Sunday)” by Duke Ellington and Mahalia Jackson
“Ecclusiastics” by Charles Mingus

July 4 No class (Independence Day)
July 9

Latin Music 

Comparative Essay 1
“Roll ‘Em Pete” by Count Basie (with Joe Williams) vs. Pete Johnson (with Joe Turner) 

Lawn: “The Afro-Latin and Caribbean Connection”
Gridley: pg. 341-344 (“Latin Jazz”)
Roberts: “Everything’s Coming Up Bossa” 

“Manteca” by Dizzy Gillespie
“Un Poco Loco” by Bud Powell
“Un Poco Loco” by Tito Puente
“Revolt / La Libertad Logico” by Eddie Palmieri
“Mr. Bruce” by Roy Hargrove
“Soul Samba” by Bola Sete
“Girl From Ipanema” by Astrud Gilberto
“St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins
“Darn That Dream” by Jimmy Greene

July 11

Other “Ethnic” Music 

Stowe: “Jazz That Eats Rice: Toshiko Akiyoshi’s Roots Music”
Lavezzoli: “Indo-Blue Impressions: John Coltrane and the Birth of Indo-Jazz”
Mandel: “Jazz In Africa: The Ins and Outs” (from the Oxford Companion to Jazz)
Masekela: pg. 156-165
Giddins: “Randy Weston (Afrobeats)”
Gridley: pg. 338-340 (“Klezmer Jazz”) 

“Long Yellow Road” by Toshiko Mariano
“Raagank (Classical Melody Moods)” by Pandit Ravi Shankar
“Your Lady” by John Coltrane
“U-Dwi” by Hugh Masekela
“Lalla Mira, Pt. 2” by Randy Weston
“Hazor” by Masada
“Honeysuckle Rose” by Django Reinhardt

July 16

Field Trip: Toshiko Akiyoshi Quartet in Hartford (Bushnell Park, rain site Trinity College) 
Note: artist presented and date of trip are subject to change

Comparative Essay 2
“Un Poco Loco” by Bud Powell vs. Tito Puente

July 18


Gridley: pg. 328-338
Morath: chapters 1 & 2 (“What Are Popular Standards” and “The Story of Popular Standards”)
Nicholson: “Déjà vu Time All Over Again: Jazz Singers and Nu-Crooners” and “Between Image and Artistry: The Wynton Marsalis Phenomenon” (from Is Jazz Dead?) 

“In the Mood” by Glenn Miller
“Nature Boy” by Nat King Cole
“Take Five” by Dave Brubeck
“Cast Your Fate to the Wind” by Vince Guaraldi
“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by Cannonball Adderley
“The Nearness of You” by Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker
“The Nearness of You (live)” by Norah Jones
“Almost Blue” by Diana Krall
“Honeysuckle Rose” by Frank Vignola et al
“What a Wonderful World” by Kenny G
“To the Max” by Gerald Albright

July 20-21 (Friday/Saturday): Field Trip, Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz
July 23

Fusion (Rock Enters Jazz) 

Formal Proposal for Final Project 

Nicholson: “Fusions and Crossovers” (pg. 217-236 from The Cambridge Companion to Jazz)
Crouch: pg. 240-256 (“On the Corner: Miles Davis Sells Out”) 

“Hold On, I’m Comin’” by Herbie Mann
“Eight Miles High” by Steve Marcus
“Frelon Brun” by Miles Davis
“Miles Runs the Voodoo Down” by Miles Davis
“Vashkar” by Tony Williams
“One Word” by Mahavishnu Orchestra
“Tell Me a Bedtime Story” by Herbie Hancock
“Black Market” by Weather Report
“The Romantic Warrior” by Return to Forever
“Skunk Funk” by Brecker Brothers

July 25


Porter: pg. 370-377 (“Soul Jazz”)
Nicholson: “Chain Reaction” (from Jazz-Rock: A History)
George: pg. 124-126
Gridley: pg. 344-345 (“Hip-Hop Jazz”) 

“I Got a Woman” by Ray Charles
“I Got a Woman” by Jimmy Smith
“The Jody Grind” by Horace Silver
“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by Cannonball Adderley
“Compared to What” by Les McCann and Eddie Harris
“Way Back Home” by the Crusaders
“Sugar” by Stanley Turrentine
“The Ghetto” by Donny Hathaway
“Watermelon Man” by Herbie Hancock
“Watermelon Man” by the J.B.’s and Fred Wesley
“Contusion” by Stevie Wonder
“Verses from the Abstract” by A Tribe Called Quest
“My Favorite Things” by OutKast

July 30

Jazz in the Rock World 

Comparative Essay 3
“I Got a Woman” by Ray Charles vs. Jimmy Smith 

Nicholson: “Make a Jazz Noise Here” (from Jazz-Rock: A History) 

“God Bless the Child” by Blood, Sweat and Tears
“Serenade to a Cuckoo” by Jethro Tull
“King Kong” by Jean-Luc Ponty
“Tropical Hot Dog World” by Captain Beefheart
“Gardenia” by Santana
“Aja” by Steely Dan
“Englishman In New York” by Sting
“Goodbye Porkpie Hat” by Joni Mitchell
“Spider Fingers / Tempus Fugit” by Bruce Hornsby

August 1

Western Classical Music  

Tirro: “Ragtime”
Kennedy: pg. 363 (“Jazz”)
Williams: “John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet: Modern Conservative”
Teachout: “Jazz and Classical Music: To the Third Stream and Beyond” (from the Oxford Companion to Jazz) 

“Maple Leaf Rag” by Dick Hyman
“Tea For Two” by Art Tatum
“Concorde” by Modern Jazz Quartet
“In a Mist” by Bix Beiderbecke
“Will O’ the Wisp” by Miles Davis
“All About Rosie” by Bill Evans with George Russell
“Ebony Concerto” by Igor Stravinsky
“Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin
“City of Glass: (Third Movement): Reflections” by Stan Kenton
“Peace Piece” by Bill Evans
“’Round Midnight” by Kronos Quartet

August 6 Final Project Presentations

(Final Project)

August 8 Final Project Presentations

(Final Project)

Listening to Music

Jazz is primarily an aural tradition.  As such, the ability to hear things is the foremost tool we use in understanding the music.  Most of our class time will be devoted to guided listening.   

Some notes about listening-based assignments: 

- Absorbing and understanding music can’t be “crammed,” whether you are playing it or listening to it.  It is a process that must take place over a period of time.  Please take that into consideration when pacing your studying and listening – a little bit every day is much better than a concentrated “cramming session” the night before a paper is due, and your work will bear witness to this fact. 

- As with reading, it is useful to be sensitive to your lucidity level when you begin a session of listening.  Just as, when tired, one can read the same paragraph over and over without absorbing its content, listening to music without concentrating will have limited study value.  If you are simply looking for a general impression of a song, this can be fine.  Just don’t mistake that sort of listening for the sort of studying necessary to get the most out of the listening for a course like this.   

This is especially relevant if music typically functions in your life as “background sound.”  There is nothing wrong with that, it is simply important to realize that greater levels of attentiveness and concentration are necessary in this context.  Just as you would not expect to get much out of reading a chapter from a book while checking your email or cooking dinner, this music warrants your undivided attention when the time comes to really study it.  Go ahead and listen in the background as well, just don’t mistake that for studying. 

- Recognize that even under the best of circumstances you can only absorb a limited amount of information in a single listening to a piece of music.  Try “zoning in” and listening to more specific elements with each successive listening session.  For example:

Listening #1: Get a general feel for the music.

Listening #2: Determine the overall structure to the piece (for example, introduction, melody, trumpet solo, piano solo, repeat of melody with the last melody phrase repeated three times).

Listening #3: Focus on the way the song’s melody (if it has one) is played and on the playing of each soloist.

Listening #4: Focus on the rhythm section.

Listening #5: Focus on the soloists’ interaction with the rhythm section.  

This could go on ad infinitum, exploring different elements of a particular musician’s performance and the interactions between different combinations of musicians.  Likewise, you could focus on different elements.  Your own levels of experience, perceptiveness, seriousness and curiosity may lead you to give a particular piece more or fewer “spins.” 

- Whether you are preparing to write a Comparative Essay or simply doing your weekly listening assignment, look for significant similarities and differences between musicians and recordings.  Doing this will give you a deeper understanding of the common elements that define a sub-genre or hybrid style and of the divergent elements that define the styles of the individual musicians we are studying 

- While a listening assignment may pertain to the specific unit to be covered in the upcoming class, you are encouraged to revisit that music following the class.  What you have learned in class will likely impact your perception of the music and your ability to hear things within it.  Consider this to be another form of reviewing your notes or readings after a class has taken place.

iTunes Information

The 84 listening examples you will be expected to study for class assignments can be downloaded from ITunes ( ).  With the right computer equipment, downloading this music is quite simple.  Each song costs $1.00 (99 cents plus tax) and can be downloaded quickly on a high-speed connection, thus providing an inexpensive alternative to purchasing the entire album for each a piece of music assigned (the latter approach is, of course, fine for those students with unlimited time and music budgets).  It may seem like a big chunk of money to spend on music at one time, but note that $84 is a pretty good bargain for a course with no textbook and several live music field trips with no admission costs. 

If you do not already have ITunes software on your computer, it can be downloaded for free at for either Mac or Windows.  See that website as well for system requirements.  If your computer does not meet these minimum requirements, you are asked to use your networking (in the traditional sense, not the computer sense) skills.  That is, if you have a cooperative and computer-savvy friend, relative or co-worker, please take advantage of this!  If someone can help you download the songs and burn them to a CD, you will at that point no longer need to use ITunes (unless you choose to use it as one of your sources of material, in addition to or instead of libraries, when conducting research).  If you go this route, make sure your “assistant” provides you with track listings so that you know what you’re hearing when you listen to these songs.  

The tunes you will need to download can be found by clicking on this link, which in turn will load the “IMix” in ITunes (assuming you have ITunes on your computer).  If you feel that typing this admittedly long link is too arduous, you might prefer to a) copy and paste it as a link from the GLSP website, or b) send me an email request, at which point I will email you the link. 

If you click on “Buy All Songs,” then the downloading process will be simple and streamlined.  It is highly recommended that you acquire the songs in this manner.  If you already own some of these songs and/or wish to acquire them another way (thus downloading only the “missing pieces” from this IMix), make sure you have and/or get the correct versions.  In many cases, multiple versions of a song exist, even if the song title and artist are the same.  Using the IMix referenced above is an easy and reliable method that will guarantee that you have the correct versions of the songs.  You will be responsible for studying the same music that your classmates are studying, so it is important that you pay close attention to finding the correct versions if you choose to use another method of acquiring the songs.

Online Reserves

Assigned readings will be available through Wesleyan Electronic Reserve.  Once you’ve done this once or twice, it should be pretty intuitive.

  • Go to the Wesleyan library system homepage at

  • Click on the “Course Reserves” link (the third one on the left, under the catalog links)

  • Click “Connect to ERes, the electronic reserve system to retrieve online readings”

  • Enter your Wesleyan username and password

  • Click on the first link, “Electronic Reserves & Reserves Pages”

  • Using the menu selections, search by course number (615), course name (“Jazz Cross-Pollination”) department (GLSP Arts) or instructor name (Baerman)

  • Click on the link for the “Jazz Cross-Pollination” course

  • Enter the following password: “ARTS615” (yes, that’s the course number)

  • At this point you will find a menu from which you can select and click on the reading you intend to study. 

 Technical notes:

  • These readings are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader software, which is free to download if you do not already have it.

  • You can print the documents or read them on the computer screen.  In the latter case you may have to adjust the page orientation (using the “rotate view clockwise” command) and “zoom in” to make things legible. 

  • If you have trouble connecting to electronic reserves, you may need to adjust your proxy settings – for information, check out

  • If you have not used ERes recently for other classes, it is possible that you are not in their database and will need to follow the corresponding link on the login page.  Do this sooner rather than later to ensure that you will be ready to use the system when the time comes to do your first readings. 

  • You can also find “hard copies” of all of these readings at the Wesleyan Science Library’s Reserve Desk (note: summer readings are held there, not at Olin Library).