As jazz spread around the world, it drew on national, regional, and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues with collective polyphonicimprovisation. But jazz did not begin as a single musical tradition in New Orleans or elsewhere. In the 1930s, arranged dance-oriented swingbig bands, Kansas City jazz (a hard-swinging, bluesy, improvisational style), and gypsy jazz (a style that emphasized musette waltzes) were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music" which was played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines.
The mid-1950s saw the emergence of hard bop, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues to small groups and particularly to saxophone and piano. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation, as did free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter, beat and formal structures. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, and highly amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay. Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz. (Full article...)
Money Jungle is a studio album by pianist Duke Ellington with double bassist Charles Mingus and drummer Max Roach. It was recorded on September 17, 1962, and released in February 1963 by United Artists Jazz. All but one of the compositions were written by Ellington, with four of the seven on the original LP being recorded for the first time on this album. Later releases on CD added eight tracks from the same recording session.
The album was reviewed positively at the time of its release and subsequent reviews have remained highly favorable. Negative comments have concentrated on differences in playing style among the three musicians, brought about by the generational gap between Ellington and the others, and an argument that led to Mingus leaving the studio mid-session. Hundreds of musicians have been influenced by the recording, in particular by the freedom of individual expression within a small-group setting. (Full article...)
Free jazz is an experimental approach to jazz improvisation that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s when musicians attempted to change or break down jazz conventions, such as regular tempos, tones, and chord changes. Musicians during this period believed that the bebop, hard bop, and modal jazz that had been played before them was too limiting. They became preoccupied with creating something new and exploring new directions. The term "free jazz" has often been combined with or substituted for the term "avant-garde jazz". Europeans tend to favor the term "free improvisation". Others have used "modern jazz", "creative music", and "art music".
The ambiguity of free jazz presents problems of definition. Although it is usually played by small groups or individuals, free jazz big bands have existed. Although musicians and critics claim it is innovative and forward-looking, it draws on early styles of jazz and has been described as an attempt to return to primitive, often religious, roots. Although jazz is an American invention, free jazz musicians drew heavily from world music and ethnic music traditions from around the world. Sometimes they played African or Asian instruments, unusual instruments, or invented their own. They emphasized emotional intensity and sound for its own sake, exploring timbres. (Full article...)
Most of the early festivals were broadcast on Voice of America radio, and many performances were recorded and released as albums. In 1972, the Newport Jazz Festival was moved to New York City. In 1981, it became a two-site festival when it was returned to Newport while continuing in New York. From 1984 to 2008, the festival was known as the JVC Jazz Festival; in the economic downturn of 2009, JVC ceased its support of the festival and was replaced by CareFusion. (Full article...)
Richard Rodgers (left) and Lorenz Hart were responsible for a large number of 1930s standards, including "Blue Moon" (1934), "My Romance" (1935) and "My Funny Valentine" (1937).
Jazz standards are musical compositions that are widely known, performed and recorded by jazz artists as part of the genre's musical repertoire. This list includes compositions written in the 1930s that are considered standards by at least one major fake book publication or reference work. Some of the tunes listed were already well known standards by the 1940s, while others were popularized later. Where appropriate, the years when the most influential recordings of a song were made are indicated in the list.
Australian Dance band at the Jack Keating Dance Studio circa 1930 from the Tom Lennon collection, courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum
Jazz music has a long history in Australia. Over the years jazz has held a high-profile at local clubs, festivals and other music venues and a vast number of recordings have been produced by Australian jazz musicians, many of whom have gone on to gain a high profile in the international jazz arena.
Jazz is an American musical genre originated by African Americans but the style was rapidly and enthusiastically taken up by musicians all over the world, including Australia. Jazz and jazz-influenced syncopated dance music was being performed in Australia within a year of the emergence of jazz as a definable musical genre in the United States. (Full article...)
The Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz/Jazz Album is an honor presented annually at the Latin Grammy Awards, a ceremony that recognizes excellence and creates a wider awareness of cultural diversity and contributions of Latin recording artists in the United States and internationally. The award has been given to artists since the 1st Latin Grammy Awards in 2000 for vocal or instrumental albums containing more than half of its playing time of newly recorded material in Spanish or Portuguese. Latin jazz is a mixture of musical genres, including Afro-Caribbean and Pan-American rhythms with the harmonic structure of jazz. Other jazz genres may also be considered for inclusion by the Jazz Committee.
The Jazz Messengers were a jazz combo that existed for over thirty-five years beginning in the early 1950s as a collective, and ending when long-time leader and founding drummerArt Blakey died in 1990. Blakey led or co-led the group from the outset. "Art Blakey" and "Jazz Messengers" became synonymous over the years, though Blakey did lead non-Messenger recording sessions and played as a sideman for other groups throughout his career.
The group evolved into a proving ground for young jazz talent. While veterans occasionally re-appeared in the group, by and large, each iteration of the Messengers included a lineup of new young players. Having the Messengers on one's resume was a rite of passage in the jazz world, and conveyed immediate bona fides. (Full article...)
Max Roach (1924–2007), one of the pioneers of modern jazz drumming during the 1940s bebop era
Jazz drumming is the art of playing percussion (predominantly the drum kit, which includes a variety of drums and cymbals) in jazz styles ranging from 1910s-style Dixieland jazz to 1970s-era jazz fusion and 1980s-era Latin jazz. The techniques and instrumentation of this type of performance have evolved over several periods, influenced by jazz at large and the individual drummers within it. Stylistically, this aspect of performance was shaped by its starting place, New Orleans, as well as numerous other regions of the world, including other parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Africa.
Jazz required a method of playing percussion different from traditional European styles, one that was easily adaptable to the different rhythms of the new genre, fostering the creation of jazz drumming's hybrid technique. As each period in the evolution of jazz—swing and bebop, for example—tended to have its own rhythmic style, jazz drumming continued to evolve along with the music through the 20th century. One tendency that emerged over time was the gradual "freeing" of the beat. But older styles persisted in later periods. The borders between these periods are unclear, partly because no one style completely replaced others, and partly because there were numerous cross influences between styles. (Full article...)
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm was the first integrated all-women's band in the United States. During the 1940s the band featured some of the best female musicians of the day. They played swing and jazz on a national circuit that included the Apollo Theater in New York City, the Regal Theater in Chicago, and the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C. After a performance in Chicago in 1943, the Chicago Defender announced the band was "one of the hottest stage shows that ever raised the roof of the theater!" They have been labeled "the most prominent and probably best female aggregation of the Big Band era". During feminist movements of the 1960s and 1970s in America, the International Sweethearts of Rhythm became popular with feminist writers and musicologists who made it their goal to change the discourse on the history of jazz to include both men and women musicians. Flutist Antoinette Handy was one scholar who documented the story of these female musicians of color. (Full article...)
"Moten Swing" (originally "Moten's Swing") is a 1932 jazz standard by Bennie Moten and his Kansas City Orchestra. It was an important jazz standard in the move towards a freer form of orchestral jazz and the development of Swing music. Moten and his Orchestra, which included Count Basie on piano, achieved much success with it, although the song is most associated with Basie's Count Basie Orchestra, who recorded it in 1940. (Full article...)
FIG were the first publicly performing women-only group of improvisers and challenged the hitherto male-dominated musical improvisation community. The group consisted of women from different backgrounds with different levels of musicianship, and their concerts were a combination of music and theatre that dealt with everyday women's issues. FIG also integrated "lesbian sexuality" into their performances that, Canadian academic Julie Dawn Smith said, "queered" the improvisational space and "demanded queer listening". (Full article...)
Dixieland jazz, also referred to as traditional jazz, hot jazz, or simply Dixieland, is a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century. The 1917 recordings by the Original Dixieland Jass Band (which shortly thereafter changed the spelling of its name to "Original Dixieland Jazz Band"), fostered awareness of this new style of music.
A revival movement for traditional jazz began in the 1940s, formed in reaction to the orchestrated sounds of the swing era and the perceived chaos of the new bebop sounds (referred to as "Chinese music" by Cab Calloway), Led by the Assunto brothers' original Dukes of Dixieland, the movement included elements of the Chicago style that developed during the 1920s, such as the use of a string bass instead of a tuba, and chordal instruments, in addition to the original format of the New Orleans style. That reflected that virtually all of the recorded repertoire of New Orleans musicians was from the period when the format was already evolving beyond the traditional New Orleans format. "Dixieland" may in that sense be regarded as denoting the jazz revival movement of the late 1930s to the 1950s as much as any particular subgenre of jazz. The essential elements that were accepted as within the style were the traditional front lines consisting of trumpets, trombones, and clarinets, and ensemble improvisation over a two-beat rhythm. (Full article...)
Agharta is a 1975 live double album by American jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader Miles Davis. By the time he recorded the album, Davis was 48 years old and had alienated many in the jazz community while attracting younger rock audiences with his radical electric fusion music. After experimenting with different line-ups, he established a stable live band in 1973 and toured constantly for the next two years, despite physical pain from worsening health and emotional instability brought on by substance abuse. During a three-week tour of Japan in 1975, the trumpeter performed two concerts at the Festival Hall in Osaka on February 1; the afternoon show produced Agharta and the evening show was released as Pangaea the following year.
The Daddies' music is primarily a mix of swing and ska, contrastingly encompassing both traditional jazz-influenced variations of the genres as well as contemporary rock and punk hybrids, characterized by a prominent horn section and Perry's acerbic and innuendo-laced lyricism often concerning dark or political subject matter. While the band's earliest releases were mostly grounded in punk and funk rock, their later studio albums have since incorporated elements from many diverse genres of popular music and Americana into their sound, including rockabilly, rhythm and blues, soul and world music. (Full article...)
Two years later, Cassidy's music was brought to the attention of British audiences, when her versions of "Fields of Gold" and "Over the Rainbow" were played by Mike Harding and Terry Wogan on BBC Radio 2. Following the overwhelming response, a camcorder recording of "Over the Rainbow", taken at Blues Alley in Washington by her friend Bryan McCulley, was shown on BBC Two's Top of the Pops 2. Shortly afterwards, the compilation album Songbird climbed to the top of the UK Albums Chart, almost three years after its initial release. The chart success in the United Kingdom and Ireland led to increased recognition worldwide. Her posthumously released recordings, including three number-one albums and one number-one single in the UK, have sold more than ten million copies. Her music has also charted within the top 10 in Australia, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. (Full article...)
Reinhardt in 1946
Jean Reinhardt (23 January 1910 – 16 May 1953), known by his Romani nickname Django (French: [dʒãŋɡo ʁɛjnaʁt] or [dʒɑ̃ɡo ʁenɑʁt]), was a Romani-French jazz guitarist and composer. He was one of the first major jazz talents to emerge in Europe and has been hailed as one of its most significant exponents.
While at university, Taborn toured and recorded with jazz saxophonist James Carter. Taborn went on to play with numerous other musicians in electronic and acoustic settings, while also building a reputation as a solo pianist. He has a range of styles, and often adapts his playing to the nature of the instrument and the sounds that he can make it produce. His improvising, particularly for solo piano, often adopts a modular approach, in which he begins with small units of melody and rhythm and then develops them into larger forms and structures. (Full article...)
Arthur Stewart Farmer (August 21, 1928 – October 4, 1999) was an American jazz trumpeter and flugelhorn player. He also played flumpet, a trumpet–flugelhorn combination especially designed for him. He and his identical twin brother, double bassist Addison Farmer, started playing professionally while in high school. Art gained greater attention after the release of a recording of his composition "Farmer's Market" in 1952. He subsequently moved from Los Angeles to New York, where he performed and recorded with musicians such as Horace Silver, Sonny Rollins, and Gigi Gryce and became known principally as a bebop player.
As Farmer's reputation grew, he expanded from bebop into more experimental forms through working with composers such as George Russell and Teddy Charles. He went on to join Gerry Mulligan's quartet and, with Benny Golson, to co-found the Jazztet. Continuing to develop his own sound, Farmer switched from trumpet to the warmer flugelhorn in the early 1960s, and he helped to establish the flugelhorn as a soloist's instrument in jazz. He settled in Europe in 1968 and continued to tour internationally until his death. Farmer recorded more than 50 albums under his own name, a dozen with the Jazztet, and dozens more with other leaders. His playing is known for its individuality – most noticeably, its lyricism, warmth of tone and sensitivity. (Full article...)
Parker at Three Deuces, New York in 1947
Charles Parker Jr. (August 29, 1920 – March 12, 1955), nicknamed "Bird" or "Yardbird", was an American jazzsaxophonist, band leader and composer. Parker was a highly influential soloist and leading figure in the development of bebop, a form of jazz characterized by fast tempos, virtuosic technique, and advanced harmonies. Parker was an extremely fast virtuoso and introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas into jazz, including rapid passing chords, new variants of altered chords, and chord substitutions. Primarily a player of the alto saxophone, Parker's tone ranged from clean and penetrating to sweet and somber. He was known for the very clear, sweet and articulate notes he could produce from the saxophone.
Parker acquired the nickname "Yardbird" early in his career on the road with Jay McShann. This, and the shortened form "Bird", continued to be used for the rest of his life, inspiring the titles of a number of Parker compositions, such as "Yardbird Suite", "Ornithology", "Bird Gets the Worm", and "Bird of Paradise". Parker was an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat Generation, personifying the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual rather than just an entertainer. (Full article...)
William John Evans (August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist and composer who mostly worked as the leader of a trio. His use of impressionist harmony, interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, block chords, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines continues to influence jazz pianists today.
Laine's Reliance Brass Band was the first to fuse European, African, and Latin music. The earliest jazz musicians can be traced back to playing in the Reliance Brass Band or being influenced by those who had. (Full article...)
Mingus' compositions continue to be played by contemporary musicians ranging from the repertory bands Mingus Big Band, Mingus Dynasty, and Mingus Orchestra, to the high school students who play the charts and compete in the Charles Mingus High School Competition. In 1993, the Library of Congress acquired Mingus' collected papers—including scores, sound recordings, correspondence and photos—in what they described as "the most important acquisition of a manuscript collection relating to jazz in the Library's history". (Full article...)
Robert Henry Timmons (December 19, 1935 – March 1, 1974) was an American jazz pianist and composer. He was a sideman in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers for two periods (July 1958 to September 1959; February 1960 to June 1961), between which he was part of Cannonball Adderley's band. Several of Timmons' compositions written when part of these bands – including "Moanin'", "Dat Dere", and "This Here" – enjoyed commercial success and brought him more attention. In the early and mid-1960s he led a series of piano trios that toured and recorded extensively.
Timmons was strongly associated with the soul jazz style that he helped initiate. This link to apparently simple writing and playing, coupled with drug and alcohol addiction, led to a decline in his career. Timmons died, aged 38, from cirrhosis. Several critics have commented that his contribution to jazz remains undervalued. (Full article...)
As a self-taught composer and performer, Zappa had diverse musical influences that led him to create music that was sometimes difficult to categorize. While in his teens, he acquired a taste for 20th-century classical modernism, African-American rhythm and blues, and doo-wop music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm-and-blues bands, later switching to electric guitar. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. He continued this eclectic and experimental approach whether the fundamental format was rock, jazz, or classical. (Full article...)
Tristano, c. August 1947
Leonard Joseph Tristano (March 19, 1919 – November 18, 1978) was an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and teacher of jazz improvisation.
Tristano studied for bachelor's and master's degrees in music in Chicago before moving to New York City in 1946. He played with leading bebop musicians and formed his own small bands, which soon displayed some of his early interests – contrapuntal interaction of instruments, harmonic flexibility, and rhythmic complexity. His quintet in 1949 recorded the first free group improvisations. Tristano's innovations continued in 1951, with the first overdubbed, improvised jazz recordings, and two years later, when he recorded an atonal improvised solo piano piece that was based on the development of motifs rather than on harmonies. He developed further via polyrhythms and chromaticism into the 1960s, but was infrequently recorded. (Full article...)