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JAZZ IN THE U.S.A

music

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JAZZ

IN

THE U.S.A

Foreword

Music (and all art in general ) is an essential part of the “human experience ”. Art hosts an invitation for the viewer or listener to invest a personal attentiveness . Unlike other mediums, the nature of music is tipped towards the emotional rather than intellectual. It is this personal connection with the music and all art that enables the patron to actually experience what is being communicated, rather than merely understanding the information .While all forms of music share this dynamic , Jazz, with its unique characteristics of collective improvisation ,exemplifies it.

The reason for which I have chosen to write about Jazz is my great love for music in general and jazz in particular. Secondly, the explanation resides in my strong belief that basic understanding and appreciation of music can only serve to broaden one’s character and deepen the connection with those around us, because music is a universal language and such a rich and varied one indeed.

The history of jazz music origins is attributed to the turn of the 20th century New Orleans, although this unique, artistic medium occurred almost simultaneously in other North American areas like Saint Louis, Kansas City and Chicago. Traits carried from West African black folk music developed in the Americas, joined with European popular and light classical music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries , became the syncopated rhythms of Ragtime and minor chord coicings characteristic of the Blues.

My paper presents jazz from its early development until the present. Incorporating music from 19th and 20th century American popular music, jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and late 1980s developments such as acid jazz, which blended jazz influences into funk and hip-hop. As the music has spread around the world it has drawn on local national and regional musical cultures, its aesthetics being adapted to its varied environments and giving rise to many distinctive styles.

Most genres of music involve the listener into the real, of the completed work as it was scored. Jazz draws the onlooker to a deeper league ,that of a partnership so to speak, of being along when each new phrase is created, with each inspired motive is often the interactive result of audience involvement. Jazz music’s dynamic is its “newness” which can be attributed to the defining component-improvisation. A special chapter of my paper is dedicated to defining this special character of jaz.

The paper ends with the presentation of some big names in jazz. Among the biggest jazz players, it is hard not to mention: Louis Armstrong , Bessie Smith , Chet Baker , Billie Holiday , Duke Ellington , Coleman Hawkins , Lester Young , Ella Fitzgerald.

Table of contents

Foreword……………………………………………….2

What is jazz? .4

Origins…………………………………………………….6

Types of jazz………………………………………………6

Miles Davis…………………………………………………..…13

Debates on jazz………………………………………….17

Conclusion………………………………………………18

Bibliography…………………………………………………..19 

Jazz in the U.S.A

CHAPTER I

WHAT IS JAZZ?

Jazz is a primarily American musical art form which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. The style's West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms , and the syncopation, being recognized by its openness to and utilization of harmonies outside the common scope of popular music

From its early development until the present, jazz has also incorporated music from 19th and 20th century American popular music. The word jazz began as a West Coast slang term of uncertain derivation and was first used to refer to music in Chicago in about 1915.

Jazz has, from its early 20th century inception, spawned a variety of subgenres, from New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz-rock fusion from the 1970s and late 1980s developments such as acid jazz, which blended jazz influences into funk and hip-hop. As the music has spread around the world it has drawn on local national and regional musical cultures, its aesthetics being adapted to its varied environments and giving rise to many distinctive styles

Etymology of 'Jazz'

The word jazz makes one of its earliest appearances in San Francisco baseball writing in 1913.

Jazz was introduced to San Francisco in 1913 by William (Spike) Slattery, sports editor of the Call, and propagated by a band-leader named Art Hickman. It reached Chicago by 1915 but was not heard of in New York until a year later.

One of the first known uses of the word jazz appears in a March 3, 1913, baseball article in the San Francisco Bulletin by E. T. “Scoop” Gleeson.

Definition

Jazz is hard to define because it spans from Ragtime waltzes to 2000s-era fusion. While many attempts have been made to define jazz from points of view outside jazz, such as using European music history or African music, jazz critic Joachim Berendt argues that all such attempts are unsatisfactory. One way to get around the definitional problems is to define the term “jazz” more broadly. Berendt defines jazz as a 'form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of blacks with European music'; he argues that jazz differs from European music in that jazz has a 'special relationship to time, defined as 'swing'', 'a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role'; and 'sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician'.

Travis Jackson has also proposed a broader definition of jazz which is able to encompass all of the radically different eras: he states that it is music that includes qualities such as 'swinging', improvising, group interaction, developing an 'individual voice', and being 'open' to different musical possibilities'. Krin Gabbard claims that “jazz is a construct” or category that, while artificial, still is useful to designate “a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition”.

While jazz may be difficult to define, improvisation is clearly one of its key elements. Early blues was commonly structured around a repetitive call-and-response pattern, a common element in the African American oral tradition. A form of folk music which rose in part from work songs and field hollers of rural Blacks, early blues was also highly improvisational. These features are fundamental to the nature of jazz. While in European classical music elements of interpretation, ornamentation and accompaniment are sometimes left to the performer's discretion, the performer's primary goal is to play a composition as it was written.

In jazz, however, the skilled performer will interpret a tune in very individual ways, never playing the same composition exactly the same way twice. Depending upon the performer's mood and personal experience, interactions with fellow musicians, or even members of the audience, a jazz musician/performer may alter melodies, harmonies or time signature at will. European classical music has been said to be a composer's medium. Jazz, however, is often characterized as the product of democratic creativity, interaction and collaboration, placing equal value on the contributions of composer and performer, 'adroitly weigh[ing] the respective claims of the composer and the improviser'.

In New Orleans and Dixieland jazz, performers took turns playing the melody, while others improvised countermelodies. By the swing era, big bands were coming to rely more on arranged music: arrangements were either written or learned by ear and memorized - many early jazz performers could not read music. Individual soloists would improvise within these arrangements. Later, in bebop the focus shifted back towards small groups and minimal arrangements; the melody (known as the 'head') would be stated briefly at the start and end of a piece but the core of the performance would be the series of improvisations in the middle. Later styles of jazz such as modal jazz abandoned the strict notion of a chord progression, allowing the individual musicians to improvise even more freely within the context of a given scale or mode. The avant-garde and free jazz idioms permit, even call for, abandoning chords, scales, and rhythmic meters.

Origins

In the late 18th-century painting The Old Plantation, African-Americans danced to banjo and percussion. By 1808 the Atlantic slave trade had brought almost half a million Africans to the United States. The slaves largely came from West Africa and brought strong tribal musical traditions with them. Lavish festivals featuring African dances to drums were organized on Sundays at Place Congo, or Congo Square, in New Orleans until 1843, as were similar gatherings in New England and New York. African music was largely functional, for work or ritual, and included work songs and field hollers. The African tradition made use of a single-line melody and call-and-response pattern, but without the European concept of harmony. Rhythms reflected African speech patterns, and the African use of pentatonic scales led to blue notes in blues and jazz.

The blackface Virginia Minstrels in 1843, featuring tambourine, fiddle, banjo and bones. In the early 19th century an increasing number of black musicians learned to play European instruments, particularly the violin, which they used to parody European dance music in their own cakewalk dances. In turn, European-American minstrel show performers in blackface popularized such music internationally, combining syncopation with European harmonic accompaniment. Louis Moreau Gottschalk adapted African-American cakewalk music, South American, Caribbean and other slave melodies as piano salon music. Another influence came from black slaves who had learned the harmonic style of hymns and incorporated it into their own music as spirituals. The origins of the blues are undocumented, though they can be seen as the secular counterpart of the spirituals. Paul Oliver has drawn attention to similarities in instruments, music and social function to the griots of the West African savannah.

CHAPTER II

TYPES OF JAZZ

Ragtime (1890s–1910s)

Represented by Scott Joplin in 1907.

The abolition of slavery led to new opportunities for education of freed African-Americans, but strict segregation meant limited employment opportunities. Black musicians provided 'low-class' entertainment at dances, in minstrel shows, and in vaudeville, and many marching bands formed. Black pianists played in bars, clubs and brothels, and ragtime developed.

Ragtime appeared as sheet music with the African- American entertainer Ernest Hogan's hit songs in 1895, and two years later Vess Ossman recorded a medley of these songs as a banjo solo 'Rag Time Medley'. Also in 1897, the white composer William H. Krell published his 'Mississippi Rag' as the first written piano instrumental ragtime piece. The classically-trained pianist Scott Joplin produced his 'Original Rags' in the following year, then in 1899 had an international hit with 'Maple Leaf Rag.' He wrote numerous popular rags, including, 'The Entertainer', combining syncopation, banjo figurations and sometimes call-and-response, which led to the ragtime idiom being taken up by classical composers including Claude Debussy and Igor Stravinsky. Blues music was published and popularized by W. C. Handy, whose 'Memphis Blues' of 1912 and 'St. Louis Blues' of 1914 both became jazz standards.



New Orleans Jazz

Represented by The Bolden Band around 1905.

The music of New Orleans had a profound effect on the creation of early jazz. Many early jazz performers played in the brothels and bars of red-light district around Basin Street called 'Storyville.' In addition, numerous marching bands played at lavish funerals arranged by the African American community. The instruments used in marching bands and dance bands became the basic instruments of jazz: brass and reeds tuned in the European 12-tone scale and drums. Small bands of primarily self-taught African American musicians, many of whom came from the funeral-procession tradition of New Orleans, played a seminal role in the development and dissemination of early jazz, traveling throughout Black communities in the Deep South and, from around 1914 on, Afro-Creole and African American musicians playing in vaudeville shows took jazz to western and northern US cities. Morton published 'Jelly Roll Blues' in 1915, the first jazz work in print.

Afro-Creole pianist Jelly Roll Morton began his career in Storyville. From 1904, he toured with vaudeville shows around southern cities, also playing in Chicago and New York. His 'Jelly Roll Blues,' which he composed around 1905, was published in 1915 as the first jazz arrangement in print, introducing more musicians to the New Orleans style. In the northeastern United States, a 'hot' style of playing ragtime had developed, notably James Reese Europe's symphonic Clef Club orchestra in New York which played a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in 1912. The Baltimore rag style of Eubie Blake influenced James P. Johnson's development of 'Stride' piano playing, in which the right hand plays the melody, while the left hand provides the rhythm and bassline.

The Original Dixieland Jass Band made the first Jazz recordings early in 1917, their 'Livery Stable Blues' became the earliest Jazz recording. That year numerous other bands made recordings featuring 'jazz' in the title or band name, mostly ragtime or novelty records rather than jazz. In September 1917 W.C. Handy's Orchestra of Memphis recorded a cover version of 'Livery Stable Blues'. In February 1918 James Reese Europe's 'Hellfighters' infantry band took ragtime to Europe during World War I, then on return recorded Dixieland standards including 'The Darktown Strutter's Ball'.

Prohibition in the United States (from 1920 to 1933) banned the sale of alcoholic drinks, resulting in illicit speakeasies becoming lively venues of the 'Jazz Age', an era when popular music included current dance songs, novelty songs, and show tunes. Jazz started to get a reputation as being immoral and many members of the older generations saw it as threatening the old values in culture and promoting the new decadent values of the Roaring 20s. From 1919 Kid Ory's Original Creole Jazz Band of musicians from New Orleans played in San Francisco and Los Angeles where in 1922 they became the first black jazz band of New Orleans origin to make recordings. However, the main centre developing the new 'Hot Jazz' was Chicago, where King Oliver joined Bill Johnson. That year also saw the first recording by Bessie Smith, the most famous of the 1920s blues singers.

Bix Beiderbecke formed The Wolverines in 1924. Also in 1924 Louis Armstrong joined the Fletcher Henderson dance band as featured soloist for a year, then formed his virtuosic Hot Five band, also popularising scat singing. Jelly Roll Morton recorded with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings in an early mixed-race collaboration, then in 1926 formed his Red Hot Peppers. There was a larger market for jazzy dance music played by white orchestras, such as Jean Goldkette's orchestra and Paul Whiteman's orchestra. In 1924 Whiteman commissioned Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, which was premièred by Whiteman's Orchestra. Other influential large ensembles included Fletcher Henderson's band, Duke Ellington's band (which opened an influential residency at the Cotton Club in 1927) in New York, and Earl Hines's Band in Chicago (who opened in The Grand Terrace Cafe there in 1928). All significantly influenced the development of big band-style swing jazz.

Swing

The 1930s belonged to popular swing big bands, in which some virtuoso soloists became as famous as the band leaders. Key figures in developing the 'big' jazz band included bandleaders and arrangers Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines, Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw.Trumpeter, bandleader and singer Louis Armstrong was a much-imitated innovator of early jazz.

Swing was also dance music and it was broadcast on the radio 'live' coast-to-coast nightly across America for many years. Although it was a collective sound, swing also offered individual musicians a chance to 'solo' and improvise melodic, thematic solos which could at times be very complex and 'important' music. Included among the critically acclaimed leaders who specialized in live radio broadcasts of swing music as well as 'Sweet Band' compositions during this era was Shep Fields.

Over time, social strictures regarding racial segregation began to relax, and white bandleaders began to recruit black musicians. In the mid-1930s, Benny Goodman hired pianist Teddy Wilson, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, and guitarist Charlie Christian to join small groups. An early 1940s style known as 'jumping the blues' or jump blues used small combos, up-tempo music, and blues chord progressions. Jump blues drew on boogie-woogie from the 1930s. Kansas City Jazz in the 1930s marked the transition from big bands to the bebop influence of the 1940s.

Dixieland revival (1940s and 1950s)

In the late 1930s there was a revival of 'Dixieland' music, harkening back to the original contrapuntal New Orleans style. This was driven in large part by record company reissues of early jazz classics by the Oliver, Morton, and Armstrong bands of the 1930s. There were two populations of musicians involved in the revival. One group consisted of players who had begun their careers playing in the traditional style, and were either returning to it, or continuing what they had been playing all along, such as Bob Crosby's Bobcats, Max Kaminsky, Eddie Condon, and Wild Bill Davison. Most of this group were originally Midwesterners, although there were a small number of New Orleans musicians involved as well. The second population of revivalists consisted of young musicians such as the Lu Watters band. By the late 1940s, Louis Armstrong's Allstars band became a leading ensemble. Through the 1950s and 1960s, Dixieland was one of the most commercially popular jazz styles in the US, Europe, and Japan, although critics paid little attention to it.

Bebop

In the early 1940s bebop performers helped to shift jazz from danceable popular music towards a more challenging 'musician's music.' Differing greatly from swing, early bebop divorced itself from dance music, establishing itself more as an art form but lessening its potential popular and commercial value. Since bebop was meant to be listened to, not danced to, it used faster tempos. Beboppers introduced new forms of chromaticism and dissonance into jazz; the dissonant tritone (or 'flatted fifth') interval became the 'most important interval of bebop'and players engaged in a more abstracted form of chord-based improvisation which used 'passing' chords, substitute chords, and altered chords. The style of drumming shifted as well to a more elusive and explosive style, in which the ride cymbal was used to keep time, while the snare and bass drum were used for unpredictable, explosive accents.

These divergences from the jazz mainstream of the time initially met with a divided, sometimes hostile response among fans and fellow musicians, especially established swing players, who bristled at the new harmonic sounds. To hostile critics, bebop seemed to be filled with 'racing, nervous phrases'Despite the initial friction, by the 1950s bebop had become an accepted part of the jazz vocabulary. The most influential bebop musicians included saxophonist Charlie Parker, pianists Bud Powell and Thelonious Monk, trumpeters Dizzy Gillespie and Clifford Brown, tenor sax player Lester Young, and drummer Max Roach. (See also List of bebop musicians).

Cool jazz

By the end of the 1940s, the nervous energy and tension of bebop was replaced with a tendency towards calm and smoothness, with the sounds of cool jazz, which favoured long, linear melodic lines. It emerged in New York City as a result of the mixture of the styles of predominantly white jazz musicians and black bebop musicians, and it dominated jazz in the first half of the 1950s. Cool jazz recordings by Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Stan Getz and the Modern Jazz Quartet usually have a 'lighter' sound which avoided the aggressive tempos and harmonic abstraction of bebop. An important recording was trumpeter Miles Davis's Birth of the Cool (tracks originally recorded in 1949 and 1950 and collected as an LP in 1957). Cool jazz styles had a particular resonance in Europe, especially Scandinavia, with emergence of such major figures as baritone saxophonist Lars Gullin and pianist Bengt Hallberg. Players such as pianist Bill Evans later began searching for new ways to structure their improvisations by exploring modal music. The theoretical underpinnings of cool jazz were set out by the blind Chicago pianist Lennie Tristano. Cool jazz later became strongly identified with the West Coast jazz scene. Its influence stretches into such later developments as Bossa nova, modal jazz (especially in the form of Davis's Kind of Blue 1959), and even free jazz (see also the List of Cool jazz and West Coast jazz musicians).

Hard bop

Hard bop is an extension of bebop (or 'bop') music that incorporates influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in the saxophone and piano playing. Hard bop was developed in the mid-1950s, partly in response to the vogue for cool jazz in the early 1950s. The hard bop style coalesced in 1953 and 1954, paralleling the rise of rhythm and blues. Miles Davis' performance of 'Walkin'' the title track of his album of the same year, at the very first Newport Jazz Festival in 1954, announced the style to the jazz world. The quintet Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, fronted by Blakey and featuring pianist Horace Silver and trumpeter Clifford Brown, were leaders in the hard bop movement along with Davis. (See also List of Hard bop musicians)

Modal jazz

Modal jazz is a development beginning in the later 1950s which takes the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Previously, the goal of the soloist was to play a solo that fit into a given chord progression. However, with modal jazz, the soloist creates a melody using one or a small number of modes. The emphasis in this approach shifts from harmony to melody. Miles Davis recorded one of the best selling jazz albums of all time in the modal framework: Kind of Blue, an exploration of the possibilities of modal jazz. Other innovators in this style include John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock.

Free jazz

Free jazz and the related form of avant-garde jazz broke through into an open space of 'free tonality' in which meter, beat, and formal symmetry all disappeared, and a range of World music from India, Africa, and Arabia were melded into an intense, even religiously ecstatic or orgiastic style of playing. While rooted in bebop, free jazz tunes gave players much more latitude; the loose harmony and tempo was deemed controversial when this approach was first developed. The bassist Charles Mingus is also frequently associated with the avant-garde in jazz, although his compositions draw from a myriad of styles and genres. The first major stirrings came in the 1950s, with the early work of Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor. In the 1960s, performers included John Coltrane (A Love Supreme), Archie Shepp, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, and others. Free jazz quickly found a foothold in Europe – in part because musicians such as Ayler, Taylor, Steve Lacy and Eric Dolphy spent extended periods in Europe. A distinctive European contemporary jazz (often incorporating elements of free jazz but not limited to it) flourished also because of the emergence of musicians (such as John Surman, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Albert Mangelsdorff, Kenny Wheeler and Mike Westbrook) anxious to develop new approaches reflecting their national and regional musical cultures and contexts. Keith Jarrett has been prominent in defending free jazz from criticism by traditionalists in the 1990s and 2000s.

Latin jazz (1960s and 1970s)

Latin jazz combines rhythms from African and Latin American countries, often played on instruments such as conga, timbale, güiro, and claves with jazz and classical harmonies played on typical jazz instruments (piano, double bass, etc.). There are two main varieties: Afro-Cuban jazz was played in the US directly after the bebop period, while Brazilian jazz became more popular in the 1960s. Afro-Cuban jazz began as a movement in the mid-1950s as bebop musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Taylor started Afro-Cuban bands influenced by such Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians as Xavier Cugat, Tito Puente, and Arturo Sandoval. Brazilian jazz such as bossa nova is derived from samba, with influences from jazz and other 20th century classical and popular music styles. Bossa is generally moderately paced, with melodies sung in Portuguese or English. The style was pioneered by Brazilians Joao Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim. The related term jazz-samba describes an adaptation of bossa nova compositions to the jazz idiom by American performers such as Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd

Soul jazz

Soul jazz was a development of hard bop which incorporated strong influences from blues, gospel and rhythm and blues in music for small groups, often the organ trio which partnered a Hammond organ player with a drummer and a tenor saxophonist. Unlike hard bop, soul jazz generally emphasized repetitive grooves and melodic hooks, and improvisations were often less complex than in other jazz styles. Horace Silver had a large influence on the soul jazz style, with his songs that used funky and often gospel-based piano vamps. Important soul jazz organists included Jimmy McGriff and Jimmy Smith and Johnny Hammond Smith, and influential tenor saxophone players included Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis and Stanley Turrentine. (See also List of soul-jazz musicians.)

Jazz fusion

In the late 1960s and early 1970s the hybrid form of jazz-rock fusion was developed by combining jazz improvisation with rock rhythms, electric instruments, and the highly amplified stage sound of rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix. Miles Davis made the breakthrough into fusion in 1970s with his album Bitches Brew, and by 1971, two influential fusion groups formed: Weather Report and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Although jazz purists protested the blend of jazz and rock, some of jazz's significant innovators crossed over from the contemporary hard bop scene into fusion. Jazz fusion music often uses mixed meters, odd time signatures, syncopation, and complex chords and harmonies. In addition to using the electric instruments of rock, such as the electric guitar, electric bass, electric piano, and synthesizer keyboards, fusion also used the powerful amplification, 'fuzz' pedals, wah-wah pedals, and other effects used by 1970s-era rock bands. Notable performers of jazz fusion included Miles Davis, keyboardists Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, Hiromi Uehara, Herbie Hancock, vibraphonist Gary Burton, drummer Tony Williams, guitarists Larry Coryell and John McLaughlin, Frank Zappa, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and bassists Jaco Pastorius and Stanley Clarke.




Other Jazz trends

There was a resurgence of interest in jazz and other forms of African American cultural expression during the Black Arts Movement and Black nationalist period of the early 1970s. Musicians such as Pharoah Sanders, Hubert Laws and Wayne Shorter began using African instruments such as kalimbas, cowbells, beaded gourds and other instruments not traditional to jazz. Musicians began improvising jazz tunes on unusual instruments, such as the jazz harp (Alice Coltrane), electrically-amplified and wah-wah pedaled jazz violin (Jean-Luc Ponty), and even bagpipes (Rufus Harley). Jazz continued to expand and change, influenced by other types of music, such as world music, avant garde classical music, and rock and pop music. Guitarist John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra played a mix of rock and jazz infused with East Indian influences. The ECM record label began in Germany in the 1970s with artists including Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, the Pat Metheny Group, Jan Garbarek, Ralph Towner, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, John Surman and Eberhard Weber, establishing a new chamber music aesthetic, featuring mainly acoustic instruments, and sometimes incorporating elements of world music and folk music.

Jazz in the 1980s–2000s

In the 1980s, the jazz community shrank dramatically and split. A mainly older audience retained an interest in traditional and 'straight-ahead' jazz styles. Wynton Marsalis strove to create music within what he believed was the tradition, creating extensions of small and large forms initially pioneered by such artists as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. In 1987, the US House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill proposed by Democratic Representative John Conyers, Jr. to define jazz as a unique form of American music stating, among other things, 'that jazz is hereby designated as a rare and valuable national American treasure to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated.'

Pop fusion and other subgenres

In the early 1980s, a lighter commercial form of jazz fusion called pop fusion or 'smooth jazz' became successful and garnered significant radio airplay. Smooth jazz saxophonists include Grover Washington, Jr., Kenny G and Najee. Smooth jazz received frequent airplay with more straight-ahead jazz in quiet storm time slots at radio stations in urban markets across the U.S., helping to establish or bolster the careers of vocalists including Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, and Sade.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, several subgenres fused jazz with popular music, such as Acid jazz, nu jazz, and jazz rap. Acid jazz and nu jazz combined elements of jazz and modern forms of electronic dance music. While nu jazz is influenced by jazz harmony and melodies, there are usually no improvisational aspects. Jazz rap fused jazz and hip-hop. Gang Starr recorded 'Words I Manifest,' 'Jazz Music,' and 'Jazz Thing', sampling Charlie Parker and Ramsey Lewis, and collaborating with Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard. Beginning in 1993, rapper Guru's Jazzmatazz series used jazz musicians during the studio recordings.

'Straight-ahead' and Experimental performers

In the 2000s, straight-ahead jazz continues to appeal to a core of listeners. Well-established jazz musicians whose careers span decades, such as Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Sonny Rollins, and Wayne Shorter continue to perform and record. In the 1990s and 2000s, a number of young musicians emerged including US pianists Brad Mehldau, Jason Moran, and Vijay Iyer, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Terence Blanchard, and saxophonists Chris Potter and Joshua Redman. The more experimental end of the spectrum has included Norwegian pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, the internationally popular Swedish trio E.S.T. and US bassist Christian McBride. Toward the more dance or pop music end of the spectrum are St Germain who incorporates some live jazz playing with house beats and Jamie Cullum who plays a particular mix of Jazz Standards with own more pop-oriented compositions.

CHAPTER III

MILES DAVIS

Miles Dewey Davis III (May 25, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer.

Widely considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, Davis was at the forefront of almost every major development in jazz from World War II to the 1990s: he played on various early bebop records and recorded one of the first cool jazz records; he was partially responsible for the development of hard bop and modal jazz, and both jazz-funk and jazz fusion arose from his work with other musicians in the late 1960s and early 1970s; and his final album blended jazz and rap. Many leading jazz musicians made their names in Davis's groups, including: Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock, saxophonists John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan, Wayne Shorter, George Coleman, and Kenny Garrett, drummer Tony Williams and guitarist John McLaughlin.

As a trumpeter, Davis had a pure, round sound but also an unusual freedom of articulation and pitch. He was known for favoring a low register and for a minimalist less-is-more playing style, but Davis was also capable of highly complex and technically demanding trumpet work. -

On March 13, 2006 Davis was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame, Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame, and Down Beat's Jazz Halle.

Early life (1926 to 1944)

Miles was born on May 25, 1926 to a relatively affluent family in Alton, Illinois. His birth name was Bobby, but was later changed because his grandfather, Moses, wanted him to have the name 'Miles' because when Bobby started walking at age 1, he walked an entire mile. His father, Dr. Miles Dewey Davis II, was a dentist. In 1927, the family moved to East St. Louis. They also owned a substantial ranch in northern Arkansas, where Davis learned to ride horses as a boy.

Davis' mother, Cleota Mae (Henry) Davis, wanted her s on to learn the piano – she was a capable blues pianist but kept this fact hidden from her son. Miles' musical studies began at 13, when his father gave him a trumpet and arranged lessons with local musician Elwood Buchanan. Davis later suggested that his father's instrument choice was made largely to irk his wife, who disliked the instrument's sound. Against the fashion of the time, Buchanan stressed the importance of playing without vibrato, and Davis would carry his clear signature tone throughout his career. Buchanan was said to slap Davis' knuckles every time he started using heavy vibrato. Davis once remarked on the importance of this signature sound, saying, 'I prefer a round sound with no attitude in it, like a round voice with not too much tremolo and not too much Baseline bass. Just right in the middle. If I can’t get that sound I can’t play anything.'[1] Clark Terry was another important early influence and friend of Davis'.

By the age of 16, Davis was a member of the music society and working professionally when not at school. At 17, he spent a year playing in bandleader Eddie Randle's 'Blue Devils'. During this time, Sonny Stitt tried to persuade him to join the Tiny Bradshaw band then passing through town, but Davis' mother insisted that he finish his final year of high school.

In 1944, the Billy Eckstine band visited St. Louis. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker were members of the band, and Davis was taken on as third trumpet for a couple of weeks because of the illness of Buddy Anderson. When Eckstine's band left Davis behind to complete the tour, the trumpeter's parents were still keen for him to continue formal academic studies.

That fall, following graduation from high school, Miles moved to New York City to study at Columbia's Juilliard School of Music. However, within a few weeks Miles was neglecting his classical studies entirely and instead immersed himself in the world of Bop centered on 52nd Street. Shortly thereafter, he abandoned the pretense of attending Julliard and began working full time as a jazz musician by the spring of 1945.

Bebop, Birth of the Cool, and Hard Bop (1945 to 1954)

In the mid to late 1940s, Miles played in many bebop combos, most notably with Charlie Parker's Quintet. In 1948 he started organizing musicians together for a whole new style of jazz music. The sessions they recorded in 1949 and 1950 were later retitled Birth of the Cool. The music was meant to be more laid back and mellow than the fast rhythms and elaborate solos associated with regular bebop music. These recordings inspired a whole new movement in jazz music, typically referred to as cool jazz. After recording more in both the bebop and cool genres, Miles made Walkin', a seminal record that many would come to mark as the birth of the hard bop genre. Like cool jazz, the music was slower than regular bebop, but unlike cool jazz, it had a much harder, grooving beat to it. It took in certain elements of rhythm & blues, and inspired a whole host of new music in the decade to come.

First great quintet and sextet (1955 to 1958)

In 1955, Davis formed the first incarnation of the Miles Davis Quintet. This band featured John Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (double bass) and Philly Joe Jones (drums). Eschewing the rhythmic and harmonic complexity of the then-prevalent bebop, Davis was allowed the space to play long, legato, and essentially melodic lines in which he would begin to explore modal jazz. Davis was influenced at around this time by pianist Ahmad Jamal, whose sparse style contrasted with the 'busy' sound of bebop. The first recordings of this group were made for Columbia Records in 1955, released on 'Round About Midnight. Davis was still under contract to Prestige, but had an agreement that he could make recordings for subsequent releases using his new label. His final recordings for Prestige were the product of two days of recording in 1956, released as Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet, Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet, Workin' with the Miles Davis Quintet and Cookin' with the Miles Davis Quintet.

The quintet was never stable, however; several of the other members used heroin, and the Miles Davis Quintet disbanded in early 1957. That year, Davis traveled to France to compose the score to Louis Malle's Ascenseur pour l'Échafaud. He recorded the entire soundtrack with the aid of French session musicians Barney Wilen, Pierre Michelot and René Urtreger, and American drummer Kenny Clarke.

Kind of Blue (1959 to 1964)

After recording Milestones, Garland and Jones were replaced by Bill Evans and Jimmy Cobb. The introspective improvisation of Evans, who was classically trained, influenced the sound of the band and allowed them to explore the music more deeply than ever before, furthering the advancement of modal jazz, as seen on the '58 Sessions. Evans d eparted late in 1958. He was replaced by Wynton Kelly.

In March and April 1959, Davis re-entered the studio with his working sextet to record what is widely considered his magnum opus, Kind of Blue. He called back Bill Evans, months away from forming what would become his seminal trio, for the album sessions as the music had been planned around Evans' piano style.[3] Equally crucially, both Davis and Evans had direct familiarity with the ideas of pianist George Russell regarding modal jazz, Davis from discussions with Russell and others prior to what came to be known as the Birth of the Cool sessions, and Evans from study with Russell in 1956.[4] Miles, however, had neglected to inform current pianist Kelly as to Evans' role in the recordings, Kelly subsequently playing only on the track 'Freddie Freeloader', and not being present at all on the April dates for the album.[5] 'So What' and 'All Blues' had been played by the sextet at performances prior to the recording sessions, but for the other three compositions, Davis and Evans prepared skeletal harmonic frameworks which the other musicians saw for the first time on the day of recording, in order to generate an improvisational approach. The resulting album has proven to be a huge influence on other musicians. According to the RIAA, Kind of Blue is the best-selling jazz album of all time, having been certified as quadruple platinum (4 million copies sold).



The same year, while taking a break outside the famous Birdland nightclub in New York City, Davis was beaten by the New York police and subsequently arrested. Believing the assault to have been racially motivated (it is said he was beaten by a single policeman who was angered by Davis being with a white woman), he attempted to pursue the case in the courts, before eventually dropping the proceedings.

Davis convinced Coltrane to play with the group on one final European tour in the spring of 1960. Coltrane then departed to form his classic quartet, although he returned for some of the tracks on the 1961 album Someday My Prince Will Come. Davis tried various replacement saxophonists, including Sonny Stitt and Hank Mobley. The quintet with Hank Mobley was recorded in the studio and on several live engagements at Carnegie Hall and the Black Hawk jazz club in San Francisco. Stitt's playing with the group is found on both a recording made in Olympia, Paris (where Davis and Coltrane had played a few months before) and the Live in Stockholm album.

In 1963, Davis' long-time rhythm section of Kelly, Chambers and Cobb departed. He quickly got to work putting together a new group, including tenor saxophonist George Coleman and bassist Ron Carter. Davis, Coleman, Carter, and a few other musicians recorded half an album in the spring of 1963. A few weeks later, drummer Tony Williams and pianist Herbie Hancock joined the group, and soon thereafter Davis, Coleman and the rhythm section recorded the rest of Seven Steps to Heaven.

The rhythm section clicked very quickly with each other and the horns; the group's rapid evolution can be traced through the aforementioned studio album, In Europe (July 1963), My Funny Valentine, and Four and More (both February 1964). The group played essentially the same repertoire of bebop and standards that earlier Davis bands did, but tackled them with increasing structural and rhythmic freedom and (in the case of the up-tempo material) breakneck speed.

Coleman left in the spring of 1964, to be replaced by avant-garde saxophonist Sam Rivers, on the suggestion of Tony Williams. Rivers remained in the group only briefly, but was recorded live with the quintet in Japan; the group can be heard on In Tokyo! (July 1964).

By the end of the summer, Davis had convinced Wayne Shorter to quit Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Shorter became the principal composer of Davis' quintet, and some of his compositions of this era ('Footprints', 'Nefertiti') are now standards. While on tour in Europe, the group quickly made their first official recording, Miles in Berlin (Fall 1964). On return to the United States later that year, Davis (at the urging of Jackie DeShannon) was instrumental in getting The Byrds signed to Columbia Records.

Awards

  • Winner; Down Beat Reader's Poll Best Trumpet Player 1955
  • Winner; Down Beat Reader's Poll Best Trumpet Player 1957
  • Winner; Down Beat Reader's Poll Best Trumpet Player 1961
  • Grammy Award for Best Jazz Composition Of More Than Five Minutes Duration for Sketches of Spain (1960)
  • Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance, Large Group Or Soloist With Large Group for Bitches Brew (1970)
  • Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist for We Want Miles (1982)
  • Sonning Award for Lifetime Achievement In Music (1984; Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Doctor of Music, honoris causa (1986; New England Conservatory)
  • Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist for Tutu (1986)
  • Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Soloist for Aura (1989)
  • Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Performance, Big Band for Aura (1989)
  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1990)
  • Australian Film Institute Award for Best Original Music Score for Dingo, shared with Michel Legrand (1991)
  • Knighted into the Legion of Honor (July 16, 1991; Paris)
  • Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance for Doo-Bop (1992)
  • Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Performance for Miles & Quincy Live at Montreux (1993)
  • Hollywood Walk of Fame Star (February 19, 1998)
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction (March 13, 2006)
  • Hollywood's Rockwalk Induction (September 28, 2006)

CHAPTER IV

DEBATES ON JAZZ

There have been debates in the jazz community over the definition and the boundaries of “jazz.” Although alteration or transformation of jazz by new influences has often been initially criticized as a “debasement,” Andrew Gilbert argues that jazz has the “ability to absorb and transform influences” from diverse musical styles.While some enthusiasts of certain types of jazz have argued for narrower definitions which exclude many other types of music also commonly known as 'jazz', jazz musicians themselves are often reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington summed it up by saying, 'It's all music.' Some critics have even stated that Ellington's music was not jazz because it was arranged and orchestrated. On the other hand Ellington's friend Earl Hines's twenty solo 'transformative versions' of Ellington compositions (on Earl Hines Plays Duke Ellington recorded in the 1970s) were described by Ben Ratliff, the New York Times jazz critic, as 'as good an example of the jazz process as anything out there.'

Commercially-oriented or popular music-influenced forms of jazz have both long been criticized, at least since the emergence of Bop. Traditional jazz enthusiasts have dismissed Bop, the 1970s jazz fusion era (and much else) as a period of commercial debasement of the music. According to Bruce Johnson, jazz music has always had a 'tension between jazz as a commercial music and an art form'. Gilbert notes that as the notion of a canon of jazz is developing, the “achievements of the past” may be become '…privileged over the idiosyncratic creativity” and innovation of current artists. Village Voice jazz critic Gary Giddins argues that as the creation and dissemination of jazz is becoming increasingly institutionalized and dominated by major entertainment firms, jazz is facing a 'perilous future of respectability and disinterested acceptance.' David Ake warns that the creation of “norms” in jazz and the establishment of a “jazz tradition” may exclude or sideline other newer, avant-garde forms of jazz. Controversy has also arisen over new forms of contemporary jazz created outside the United States and departing significantly from American styles. On one view they represent a vital part of jazz's current development; on another they are sometimes criticised as a rejection of vital jazz traditions.

Conclusion

Jazz is a primarily American musical art form which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. The style's West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms , and the syncopation, being recognized by its openness to and utilization of harmonies outside the common scope of popular music.

The word jazz makes one of its earliest appearances in San Francisco baseball writing in 1913,and is often defined as music that includes qualities such as 'swinging', improvising, group interaction, developing an 'individual voice', and being 'open' to different musical possibilities'. Krin Gabbard claims that “jazz is a construct” or category that, while artificial, still is useful to designate “a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition

Jazz is among America’s greatest cultural achievements and exports to the world community, giving powerful voice to the American experience. Born of a multi-hued society, it unites people across the divides of race, region and national boundaries and Jazz music history has always made powerful statements about freedom, creativity and American identity at home and abroad.

Jazz is not the result of choosing a tune, but an ideal that is created first in the mind, inspired by one’s passion, and willed next in playing music. Its unique expression draws from life experience and human emotion as the inspiration of the creative force and through this discourse is chronicled the history of a people.

I would like to end with two quotes that add further dimension to the meaning of jazz:

“ The real power of Jazz is that a group of people can come together and create…improvised art and negotiate their agendas…and that negotiation is the art” ( Wynton Marsalis )

“Jazz means incredible freedom. But the more you learn about it, the more tools you have to make that freedom really count in different ways.” (Miles Davis)

Bibliography

  • Cooke, Mervyn , Jazz, London: Thames and Hudson, 1999
  • Carr, Ian. Music Outside: Contemporary Jazz in Britain. 2nd edition. London: Northway
  • Collier, James Lincoln. The Making of Jazz: A Comprehensive History (Dell Publishing Co., 1978)
  • Davis, Miles. (2005). Boplicity.
  • Elsdon, Peter. 2003. 'The Cambridge Companion to Jazz, Edited by Mervyn Cooke and David Horn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Review.' Frankfürter Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft 6:159–75.
  • Gang Starr. 2006. Mass Appeal: The Best of Gang Starr. CD recording 72435-96708-2-9. New York: Virgin Records.
  • Giddins, Gary. 1998. Visions of Jazz: The First Century New York: Oxford University Press. Godbolt, Jim. 2005. A History of Jazz in Britain 1919-50 London: Northway.
  • Gridley, Mark C. 2004. Concise Guide to Jazz, fourth edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice HallKenney, William Howland. 1993. Chicago Jazz: A Cultural History, 1904-1930. New York: Oxford University Press. (cloth); paperback reprint 1994 .


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