22 May The History of Jazz
Jazz is an incredibly loose concept to define because it encompasses such a wide variety of music what is concrete is that as a form of African-American music that was born in New Orleans in the late 19th century and early 20th century infused African and European style of music together, there isn’t one way of describing the method of Jazz though. Throughout the 20th century, the form of Jazz is defined mostly by prominent jazz artists and popular culture.
The great Louis Armstrong in the early 20th century who changed the dynamic of jazz music entirely, his unique approach to the songs you’re aware of is in the Dixieland or New Orleans style that defined early Jazz. He was the one that made the transition from Dixieland jazz to swing integrated Jazz with American popular music to make it much more accessible to the audiences because of him. The musical focus changed from the overall ensemble to the individual soloist. Louis Armstrong’s music made people feel warm and at home and his biggest hits like ‘what a wonderful world’ and ‘The Beyond Rosa’ have remained in modern popular culture.
Duke Ellington who along with Benny Goodman and Count Basie is one of the most popular and famous bandleaders and arrangers, he is one of the pioneers of big band jazz and wrote music to capitalize on the renowned swing style at a time give fantastic soloists in his bands like Johnny Hodges and Jimmy bland who were both hugely influential in their respective instruments. His main stylistic influence was that he made use of the dissonant voices of each musician clashing with each other to create a unique sound
Charlie Parker also is known as brave he was an essential figure in the development of bebop which is a style of music characterized by its fast tempo, numerous chord changes, key modulation and instrumental virtuosity and improvisational skills. Charlie Parker redefined Jazz in the way that he would produce incredibly fast musical solos even at breakneck speeds of 300 beats per minute jazz musicians around the world would memorize this innovative solo licks for years to come. It was so revolutionary about a state authorization was that he would venture out of the key to the tune that he was playing while he was playing a solo this was known as chord alteration and modulation which made jazz musicians and jazz fans marvel at Parker’s ability. He along with the legendary trumpet player and composer Dizzy Gillespie was one of the pioneers of bebop music with speaking ability his achievements extended beyond just the revolutionization of bebop. Still, he along with the conga player Chano Pozo practically invented the genre of Latin jazz, particularly in his famous Afro-Cubans style.
In a nutshell
Although the Golden Age of jazz silver, it continues to evolve in the musical trails impressive spearheaded by artists like Christian McBride and Kamasi Washington, the future of Jazz can go anywhere, we can only wait and see, what new direction does it take?