英日対訳・マイリー・サイラス「Miles to Go」


英日対訳:2章(後半)Moving to Higher Ground by W. Marsalis




Before the era of five-minute bass solos, when only the greatest of bass players soloed at all, drummers would occasionally get climactic solo spots and a few breaks. Then, starting in the 1950s, the solo order evolved. Generally the leader, say saxophonist Charlie Parker, would solo first, then the second horn and other horns, then the piano, and then, if God willed it, instead of a full-blown drum solo the soloists would alternate phrases with the drummer. This is called trading. 



Eventually, the bass began soloing after the piano. Pretty soon, songs lost all shape and logic, becoming vehicles for everyone to solo till he got his fill. No wonder many audiences get bored. 



The failure of this solo-based form teaches us that sometimes it's better for everyone not to have his say on every tune. In any case, the exchange with drums is called trading fours, eights, twos, or ones, for that matter. (We almost always alternate even numbers of bars because they are easier to count and feel.) This provides an opportunity for real one-upmanship and later leads to much heated discussion about who “got” who. 



Simply saying “fours” or “eights” on a bandstand means you want to trade with the drummer. As a horn player, you'd better be on your toes, because drummers brag a lot if they out-rhythm you ― even though they don't have any harmonic or melodic responsibilities.  






It's late, say 12:30 or 1 A. M. You have found some way to get to a place somewhere in the world where people swing till all hours of the morning. The room has a bandstand. The walls are hung with pictures of jazz musicians throughout history. Sometimes the place is packed, sometimes not. Sometimes it's run-down, sometimes fancy. You go to the bandstand, shake everyone's hand. They call a tune, perhaps “Have You Met Miss Jones?” and wooosh... there you go. People start smiling and cosigning ― shouting their approval of what's being played. Some musicians are happy, others sad. The bartender starts sending drinks up. You are at a jam session. Cats with horns come out of the woodwork. If the rhythm section is right, you might stay there and play, or just listen, soaked in swing, until the sun comes up.  






Every now and then, someone with bad intentions climbs onto the bandstand and you find yourself in a battle of music. Whenever you outdo someone else it is said you have “cut his head.” That's why this is called a cutting session: Someone will get cut and go home with hurt feelings. It's not that he doesn't deserve it. Maybe he has been talking about how you can't play and now he's going to prove it. He comes in blaring loud and fast and high. Uh-oh! Overly technical displays impress musicians but after a while leave audiences staring at some undefined point in space. To distinguish yourself you have to play something different, not just loud, high, or fast. You've got to float and croon and whisper. The faster someone plays, the more predictable the rhythm becomes. Keep an opponent off balance with unpredictable but swinging rhythms and you might just go home happy.   






We all hear a lot about how jazz and improvisation go hand in hand. It's true: Improvisation is the most enjoyable part of jazz for any musician, and collective improvisation is cathartic when it goes right. But many kinds of music feature improvisation successfully. What makes jazz improvisation unique? The most obvious difference is rhythm. Jazz swings ― or at least it's supposed to be trying to swing. 



As with other wonderful human activities, swinging is a matter of equilibrium, or balance, of knowing when, how, and how much. It's the irresistible distillation of the European march and waltz and the African 6/8 into a four-beat dance rhythm of remarkable elegance, roundness, and grace. (You may not know what the African 6/8 is but you've hear it; it's normally played on a cowbell and has six beats per cycle.) 



Our current lack of respect for the swing can be likened to the current state of our democracy. Balance is required to maintain something as delicate as democrat, a subtle understanding of how your power can be magnified through joining with and sharing the power of another person. When that is no longer understood, it becomes a battle to see who is the strongest, who is the loudest, who can get the most attention. 



The strong are free to prey on the weak. 



That's what happened to the swing. Drummers started happily drowning out bass players. Bass players fought back with their amps. Piano players began playing short, choppy rhythms to battle with the snare drum. The rhythm guitars gave up and went home. The horn players just went crazy and soloed all night long on one tune. The result was perfect imbalance, freedom of expression without concern for the whole. Though many have accepted this unswinging approach, I'm sure that one day musicians will assess the damage, and all over the world we will see a return, in jazz, to the swing. 



Technically, swinging is the feeling of accented triplets in 4/4 time. You probably know “The Mickey Mouse Club March.” It's a great example of swinging because it's built on a shufffle rhythm, which is the basis of swing. 






The basic beat is counted 1, 2, 3, 4. Now, if we subdivide each beat into three and accent the third part of each beat, it becomes a shuffle 1 2 [3],  2 2 [3],  3 2 [3],  4 2 [3]. That accented [3] is hard to control, but it gives a musician tremendous rhythmic flexibility.  



To understand this chart, start with the basic beat and the melody as expressed through the words. After working that out, notice that the syllables that accented align with the faster rhythm at the bottom.  



Basic Beat 

1       2       3       4           1       2       3       4 

123   223   323   423       123   223   323   423 

Triplet Subdivision 


Basic Beat 

1        2        3       4          1        2       3        4  

123'   223'   323'   423'     123'   223'   323'   423' 

Shuffle (accented 3rd beat) 


Basic Beat 

1               2           3                4             1          2              3        4  

123'          223'      323'           423'        123'      223'         323'   423' 

Now's it's time to   say good-bye to     all our   com-pa- ny  




1       2       3       4           1       2       3       4 

123   223   323   423       123   223   323   423 




1        2        3       4          1        2       3        4  

123'   223'   323'   423'     123'   223'   323'   423' 




1               2           3                4             1          2              3        4  

123'          223'      323'           423'        123'      223'         323'   423' 

Now's it's time to   say good-bye to     all our   com-pa- ny  



In music, rhythm is almost always connected to dance, and the dance is often the centerpiece of cultural rituals and rites of passage. Swing - the dance and the music - bespeaks the flexible nature of American life. In jazz, the bass walks a note on every beat. The drummer rides the cymbal or plays brushes on every beat. And everybody else invents melodies and sounds that sway with, against, and upside every beat. Every beat requires musicians to reassess their relationship to one another. This is what makes swinging so challenging. You are forced to be constantly aware of other people's feelings. The art of swinging can be reduced to “be together.” And it's hard to accomplish. That's why bass players and drummers argue all the time. No one person can control the ebb and flow. 



Swing demands three things. It requires extreme coordination, because it is a dance with other people who are inventing steps as they go. It requires intelligent decision making, because what's best for you is not necessarily best for the group or for the moment. And it requires good intentions, because you have to trust that you and the other musicians are equally interested in making great music and are not guided by ego or musical shortcomings that haven't been addressed. 



And you don't have much time! Swing is a thought-reflex. When swinging, the time passes so quickly you can't rethink your original instinct; you have to go with what you feel is the right thing. Swing tests your inner resources; it can make you question who you are, make you reach deeper, make you respond more freely. When musicians swing, they are doing in music what we would like to do when we speak; say exactly what we feel so that our fellow conversationalists understand and accept it and are moved to reveal in response what they know and feel. 



The swing is also a great listener. It cosigns and amens you and leads you deeper into what you want to say. And here is the sweetest part: It does that for everyone, whether he or she is playing or dancing or listening.  

スウィングは、人の本心にあるものをさらけ出せる、という点で、ある意味「聞き出すのが上手」と言えます。金品を借りる時の保証人、あるいは教会の神父、牧師のように寄り添い、本音で語りなさい、と導くのです。そして、ここがスウィングの醍醐味 - この恩恵にあずかるのは、演奏する人、ダンサー、そして聴衆全ての人々なのです。 


The loss of swing is the great tragedy of American popular dance. It led us away from couples dancing. I don't mean they stopped dancing together entirely, but swinging made you want to investigate the nuance of your physical relationship with your partner. Nowadays, in clubs, that happens only occasionally on slow songs ― if there are any. 



We need to bring swing back, not out of dumb, misguided nostalgia but because swing is a modern rhythm, much more suited to the increasingly integrated world of today than anything pounded out by a drum machine and recorded by people who are not even in the same studio together. “E-mail me my part and I'll record it and send it back to you and you can mix it into the recording. Through the marvels of modern technology, I never even have to see you.” 



When a band is truly swinging, the musicians, the audience, and even ― sometimes ― the critics pat their feet, nod their heads, and shake a proverbial tailbone in absolute recognition. There are other aspects of jazz, however, that are mainly the domain of musicians. Technical discourse is not a common occurrence in jazz writing, because, in the immortal words of Duke Ellington, “that type of talk stinks up the place.” You can't discuss jazz, however, without saying at least a little bit about form.  






People ask me all the time, “Are you just making that stuff up?” The answer is “Yes, we are making it up, but it is made up in the context of a repeating form.” Especially the thirty-two-bar song form. 



Now, of course, not every piece of jazz employs a repeating form, but many do. If you want to perceive the form, start by counting. Songs like “Honeysucckle Rose,” “What Is This Thing Called Love?,” “You Don't Know What Love Is,” and “Take the 'A' Train” all have a form that is thirty-two bars long. Those bars can once again be counted 1 2 3 4 / 2 2 3 4 / 3 2 3 4 / 4 2 3 4, and so on, and are divided into four sections of eight bars each: 

A [8]  A[8]  B[8]  A[8] 

勿論、ジャズの作品は、全部が全部繰り返しのある形式に基づいて作られている、というわけではありません。それでも、この形式は、多くの作品に採り入れられています。この形式を理解するには、まずは小節数を勘定するところから始めます。例えば、「ハニーサックル・ローズ」「ホワット・イズ・ディス・シング・コールド・ラブ」「恋の味を知らないあなたに」そしてA列車で行こう」、これらは全て、32小節形式に基づいています。もう一度言いますが、これらの曲の小節は、1234/2234/3234/4234/と数えることが出来、そしてこの32小節は、8小節ごとの4つのセクションに分けられます。A[8] A[8] B[8] A[8] 



As you can see, three of the four sections have the same thematic material. The third one is different ― it is called the bridge. 



“Oh, Lady Be Good” is perfect for learning the thirty-two-bar 

form. After the first eight bars are repeated we come to the bridge. You can count through it if you want to, but take the time to notice that the melody changes and so does another element ― the harmony. 

32小節形式を学ぶ上で、うってつけな曲が「オー・レディ・ビー・グッド」です。最初のA(8小節あります)が2度繰り返されると、ブリッジBへとさしかかります。小節数を数えきること自体は、やろうと思えば難しくはありません。聴き取れるようになるのに時間をかけなくてはいけないのは、メロディの変化、そしてもう一つ変化するもの - それが和声です。 


This starts to seem complicated if you think too much about it. But some people think dancing to music is difficult, too, and instead of moving in time, they start thinking about where to put their feet, on what beat, and then the hips, then the head. Meanwhile the music is going on and on, and they end up embarrassed and standing by the wall. It's much easier to just get out there and start doing what you can. You'll get it. Many, many people have. Explaining dancing is much more difficult than doing it. Harmony is damn near impossible to explain but easy to hear and feel. 



I remember my father telling me that when he began playing piano gigs, he noticed that songs changed keys at some point. He further peeped that the key change happened at a regular interval, which he later learned was the bridge. Once he connected the bridge to the rest of the song, he said, he could pay on the A A B A form of most standards. 



Miles Davis's “So What” is a great song to teach you about bridge, because it has only two harmonies: the harmony of the A section (D minor) and the bridge (E-flat minor) . Going up one-half step from D to E-flat presents a harmonic contrast that's easy to hear.  

マイルス・デイビスの名曲「ソー・ホワット」は、ブリッジについて学ぶのにうってつけです。この曲に使われている和声は、たった2つ。Aの部分でDm(ニ短調)、そして、ブリッジでEbm変ホ短調)。 D(b)からEb(ミのb)へ半音上がるこの和声のコントラストは、聞きやすく作られているのです。 


Leonard Bernstein once told me that harmony and harmonic progressions were the hardest musical concepts to explain to non-musicians. Jazz musicians calla progression of harmonies changes, meaning chord changes. When I was a kid my father and his friends, after greeting one another, would invariably ask, “How's your old lady?” Many times the response was, “Running me through some changes.” That meant they were having a hard time. 



In jazz, harmonic changes force you into different musical environments. Each harmony contains a set of notes from which you construct improvised melodies. This set of notes is called a scale. The changing harmonies involve different scales. To be successful, you must be able to hear how harmonies relate to each other and be able to articulate melodies that successfully navigate these relationships as they change. 



When I was nineteen or so, Wayne Shorter told me, “Notes are like people. You have to go up and greet each one.” Well, I thought he was crazy. But now I understand what he was saying. You have a relationship to notes, scales, and chords, and the more intimate that relationship is, the richer the music you make. 



There are as many approaches to harmony as there are people. Furthermore, two people will relate to each other in one way, which changes when you introduce a third. Adding a fourth may ruin the vibe, and so on. Harmonies are like that. You may be great with the first six or so, but that seventh chord kills your solo. You can be very technical and scale-oriented about harmony or you can find pungent blues melodies that cut through harmonic barriers and still sound good. It's like playing tennis: You might be great on grass but terrible on clay and mediocre on asphalt. Now, imagine eighty other surfaces and you will understand why the so-called avant-garde movement that started in the early fifties and still sees itself as the cutting edge was so eager to consider playing through harmonies old-fashioned and obsolete. 



Sometime ago, the tenor saxophonist Frank Foster was playing a street concerrt from the Jazzmobile in Harlem. He called for a blues in B-flat. A young tenor player began to play “out” from the first chorus, playing sounds that had no relationship to the harmonic progression or rhythmic setting. 



Foster stopped him 

“What are you doing?” 

“Just playing what I feel. 

“Well, feel something in B-flat, motherfucker.” 









When jazz musicians improvise, they create new melodies that fit within a bar structure that repeats over and over again. Most often, as I've explained, it's thirty-two bars. But the form could be eight bars like Coltrane's “Resolution” from A Love Supreme, twelve bars like Charlie Parker's “Now's the Time,” or even sixteen like Monk's “Light Blue.” Whatever the number of bars, one cycle is called a chorus, and in a three-minute performance there may be ten choruses. What happens in choruses delineates an arrangement the way decor distinguishes cubicles in an office space. Everyone's cubicle has the same amount of space; every chorus has the same number of bars. Each person decorates his or her space with a different personality and intent; every chorus contains a different idea or color or flavor, unless a soloist runs out of ideas or goes on too long ― or a bass player solos at any length. (Tenor saxophonists sometimes like to unburden themselves like that, too.) 



Now, we've gone over a lot of the terms that will help you find your way into jazz. What I've left out is the blues. The blues is so central to jazz music that it needs a chapter all its own.