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The Evolution of the Jazz Mandolin
Part 4: “Triad and Trifecta” Swing, More Blues and Bluegrass
The mandolin music of the 1930’s, 40’s , 50’s, and 60’s was influenced in large part by six musicians: Dave Apollon, Bill Monroe, Yank Rachell, Howard Armstrong, Tiny Moore, and Jethro Burns. The fourth segment in our mandolin series takes a look at these masters and the spreading of mandolin to blues, bluegrass and swing. Yank Rachell and Howard Armstrong were separately employing the instrument in blues, folk music, and popular music of the time. Bill Monroe was developing a different style of music called bluegrass, which combines some of the traditional music of the British Isles that survived in Appalachia with elements of jazz. Billie "Tiny" Moore was a Western swing musician who played the electric mandolin with legend Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the 1940s. Kenneth C. “Jethro” Burns, born the same year as Moore, was an extremely influential mandolinist who performed primarily in a country music setting where he introduced many country mandolinists to sophisticated jazz harmonies and improvisational techniques as well as the music of Duke Ellington, Django Reinhardt, and Cole Porter. The session featured live performances of tunes appropriate to the period with Tim Porter on mandolin, Joe Selly on guitar and Santi Debriano on bass.
Tonight featured special guest Barry Mitterhoff.