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American Jazz Music: An Overview

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on 22 April 2012

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Transcript of American Jazz Music: An Overview

Jazz Music:
A Brief Overview Thank you for your attention! Jazz is difficult to define

Common elements include: 'swinging,' improvising, group interactions, soloing, and openess to new possibilities

What 'is' and 'is not' jazz is controversial Jazz is rooted in the work songs of former African slaves who labored in America's South

Key elements of jazz come from African music

Some of these songs were also celebratory in nature

Early commercial performances were at vaudeville and minstrel shows Originated in New Orleans and St. Louis

Features a heavily syncompated (ragged) rhythm

Bands often played in bars and brothels

As bands toured, the style spread across the South

Ragtime fell out of favor by the 1920s What Is Jazz? The Roots of Jazz Ragtime Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" From a piano roll created in 1916 Early Jazz Jazz rose in popularity, as ragtime declined

The founding of jazz was also the time of Prohibition in the U.S.

Jazz was often viewed as immoral

This era saw some desegregation within bands

Jazz also quickly became popular in Europe Louis Armstrong
1933 The Big Band Sound Has a lush, full sound

Ease with which it is danced to and radio play made big bands very popular

Features a rigid structure, though allows for some improvisation and soloing

Key to jazz gaining moral "respectability" Benny Goodman
"Sing, Sing, Sing (With a Swing)"
1937 The Musician's Music: Bebop Jazz musicians began to experiment in small group settings

The resulting sound emphasized listening over dancing

This allowed for a faster and more improvised sound

Bebop was met with some hostility, and was initially difficult to market versus the big bands

This is generally considered the start of modern jazz Charlie Parker
1946 Thelonious Monk
"Off Minor"
1947 Cool Jazz Partly inspired by bebop, cool jazz rose in the early 1950s

Cool jazz sounds lighter than bebop, and is less disonant

In response to its soft sound, many artists continued to work within bop conventions -- though even bop's sound became more polished

Many artists worked with cool and bop sounds at the same time (e.g. Miles Davis) Miles Davis
1949 The Divisiveness of Free Jazz Free jazz really upset jazz traditionalists

Allowed for new levels of improvisation and an intense style of play

Deemphasized harmony and rhythm

Draws heavily from 'world music'

The style remains somewhat controversial even today Ornette Coleman
"Lonely Woman"
1959 John Coltrane
1965 Another Split: Jazz Fusion Jazz began to stylistically 'fuse' with rock

The style was played mostly with electronic instruments and sounds heavily amplified

Was an alternative from bop and free jazz

The sound became smoother over time

Style would influence electronic music Miles Davis
"Miles Runs the Voodoo Down"
1969 Herbie Hancock
1974 The Traditional and Experimental Divide There is a noticable split between traditionalists and experimentalists

Traditional jazz is now known as "straight ahead jazz"

Experimental jazz is difficult to sum up

Some experimental jazz is influenced heavily by punk rock from the 1970s and 1980s

Experimental jazz of this era is generally edgy and dissonant Wynton Marsalis
"Delfeayo's Dilemma"
late 1980s John Zorn
"Battle of Algeirs"
1988 The Decline of Jazz The rise of smooth jazz may have abetted the decline of jazz being percieved as unhip

Alternative rock, rap, and electronic music also competed for the public's attention

Most popular music being made now has jazz elements, especially within rap and electronic music

Although the jazz community has shrunk considerably, new jazz music is still being made Air
"La Femme d'Argent"
1997 A Tribe Called Quest
"Jazz, We've Got"
1991 1800s 1890s - 1920s 1920s and 1930s 1930s and 1940s 1940s 1940s and 1950s 1950s 1960s and 1970s 1980s Presently Samples "On Green Dolphin Street," a pop song which became a jazz standard, from 1947 Scott Joplin was ragtime's
most famous composer Kid Ory's Original Creole Jazz Band
made jazz's first recordings in 1922 Duke Ellington was a vital figure in keeping
the big band sound popular, and is one of
jazz's most endearing figures Coleman Hawkins early improvisations
served as inspiration for early bop
players, such as Charlie Parker Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, which is performed in a style very similar to cool jazz, is the best selling jazz album of all time Herbie Hancock with
some electronic
equipment, what
a cool dude Multi-instrumentalist John Zorn is at
the forefront of the experimental jazz scene The infamous Kenny G Presented by:
Dan Rankin
Peace Corps Volunteer Late 1800s painting portraying
African Americans dancing to banjo
and drums An adaptation of an Ennio Morricone song.
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