Note:This thesis is part of a research project submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree of Doctor of Musical Arts in the School of Music. The project also involved the preparation and performance of a recital of music related to the thesis topic.

Files in this item



application/pdfTeng-Wen Liu_thesis.pdf (31MB)Restricted to U of Illinois
(no description provided)PDF


Title:Dick Oatts's improvisational approaches to selected pieces from Standard Issue I & II
Author(s):Liu, Teng-Wen
Contributor(s):McNeill, Charles; Gray, Larry; Bergonzi, Louis; Tharp, Reynold
Department / Program:School of Music
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:A.Mus.D. (doctoral)
Abstract:The purpose of this study is to discover how Dick Oatts interprets jazz standards selected from his album Standard Issue I & II and what the most important elements of his improvisations in the selected pieces are. Oatts has a unique sound production, lyrical phrasing, and melodic construction, and his saxophone playing style influences many young jazz saxophone players today. Although Oatts has been on the scene for more than forty years, academic research in regard to Oatts’s playing style is still rare. This study focuses on his improvisational uniqueness in regard to jazz standard material on jazz standards selected from his album Standard Issue I and II. The four pieces selected are “All the Things You Are,” “Memories of You,” “Stella by Starlight,” and “On Green Dolphin Street.” There are three reasons that these standards are chosen. First, the forms of each song are different; second, Oatts played alto saxophone in every piece; and third, the band setting for these four recordings is a trio. In the Song Overview section, I examine how he interprets the melodies of each standard, what kinds of performance practice he applies, and what the interactions are of the ensemble with his improvisations. In the Analysis of Improvisations section, I demonstrate evidence of saxophonist Sonny Stitt’s influence on Oatts’s playing, list the bebop devices Oatts uses, and explore how he uses them in context. Furthermore, I list the compositional approach in Oatts’s improvisation, how he develops motivic ideas, and how he connects these ideas in linearity. I also illustrate the techniques he uses to create harmonic and rhythmic tension (the ‘outside’ style of playing), and explain how they are resolved.
Issue Date:2017-03-10
Publisher:School of Music. College of Fine and Applied Arts. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Genre:Dissertation / Thesis
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Teng-Wen Liu
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-05-23

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Item Statistics