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July 30, 2008


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Twelve-tone blues is kind of an odd concept since Schoenberg invented the 12-tone concept as a way of avoiding any perception of a tonal center, while the blues is a very tonally centered idiom. I used to think that the early Kenton stuff was pretentious nonsense, but lately listening to some of those Graettinger pieces I find them kind of intriguing. You can't really call it third stream since the classical and jazz elements don't fuse, but are just thrown together. What's possibly even more bizarre are the "modernistic" arrangements of romantic ballads recorded by Boyd Raeburn.

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  • Marc Myers writes on music and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. He is author of "Why Jazz Happened" (Univ. of California Press). Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a Jazz Journalists Association's "Blog of the Year" winner.
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