Henry Martin

Expanding Jazz Tonality: The Compositions of Wayne Shorter

The idea of prolongation by arrival (PBA) was first suggested by Martin (1980). It describes how the 4- and 8-bar regularities of the jazz repertory give rise to larger-scale tonal prolongations even when standard harmonic progressions are lacking. The concept has been refined recently in Martin 2012-13 where it is applied to compositions of John Coltrane’s middle period (late 1950s and early 1960s).  In this talk, I will examine sample repertory from the middle 1960s with particular attention to works by Wayne Shorter to see the extent to which PBA is applicable to compositions characterized by modal or non-functional tonal harmony.