Jazz: A Reaction to American Life Jazz, the “purest expression of American democracy; a music built on individualism and compromise, independence and cooperation” has had a great impact on American life since the early 1900s (Burns, 2009). When jazz first emerged on the scene, it immediately made a profound impact on all individuals who experienced it. It didn’t matter who you were. This being said, jazz was especially life changing for the African American population. It opened the door of opportunity for this group of people, and they quickly grasped onto this chance before it could disappear.
Voicing in fourths means that chords are made up of notes four steps away from each other. Chick Corea joined Miles Davis^ band in 1968, and played electric piano on the landmark In a silent way, album and the influential "Bitches Brew" session. His own trio recording with Miroslav Vitous and Roy Haynes, "Now He sings, Now He sobs," became a staple in the record collection of modern jazz lovers during the late sixties. Corea was a prominent composer during the 1960s and 1970s. Corea wrote pieces that made good use of preset bass lines in accompaniment, particularly those with a Latin-American flavor.
Davis was not only influenced by the music of his contemporaries but was also inspired by the music of classical composers and of other genres by which his fellow quintet member, Bill Evans, introduced to him. The collaboration of Davis and his white pianist sparked great interest by both the public and academics. This partnership crossed many racial boundaries that many musicians were unable to cross. The influence of the European classical genre and collaboration with a white musician brought into question the cultural capital of jazz music as well as the race associated with it. Jazz music transitioned into a music genre of its own prestige and not simply the voice of the ongoing struggle for the civil rights of black people in the United States.
Armstrong’s music was sophisticated, virtuosic, and emotionally expressive. As a soloist, he was able to test his creative instrumental abilities, well establishing his musical identity. Armstrong stands out from the rest of the Jazz musicians in that he has “superior choice of notes and shape of his lines, incomparable basic quality of tone, incomparable sense of swing, and the subtly varied repertory of vibratos and shakes he embellishes individual notes.” During its early days, jazz was seen as a “forward-looking art, incorporating new techniques, more expansive harmonies and melodies” ( Otherbook).
Jazz music originated from the African American culture, but spread quickly through the rest of America as the African Americans migrated north for new work (Great Neck Publishing). Jazz music was considered so unique because it allowed musicians the ability to express individuality and their own interpretations through the use of inflection, changing rhythms, and openness for improvisation during solos. One of the ways jazz music captivated its audience was through the musician’s use of inflection. The musician would often put extra emphasis on certain words or notes to intensify the music. Other ways artists used inflection were to accent, hold, or flatten the notes (Schuller 379).
The author explained the complexities, the styles, and the musicians of jazz, which were much larger than I knew about. I agree with the author on attending live performances over listening to recordings. Recordings are often short, premeditated events. When attending live performances you get the true feel of the musician and their music. Jazz has much more to it than other music styles, and now I appreciate it and have a greater understanding of jazz.
They get a special entrainment especially for the working class who find listening to jazz as an activity done during the leisure time. Jazz on the other hand is very educative and informative of the past and the current issues. Since it is a long time art, it can be used to safeguard and protect the cultural practices of the people of the community. The culture is stored in the jazz songs and easily passed from one generation to another. It can also be transferred from one community to another since jazz music listeners are all over the world.
Exploring world influences on music has shaped the way people today perceive and interpret sound and music. To more deeply understand how influences came to be, pinpointing exactly who had the biggest impacts can help people everywhere feel more connected to the upcoming of many important musical genres. As many genres have shaped everyday lives of humans, one genre in particular created an amazing musical revolution, jazz. A contributor, John Coltrane, influenced a major innovation in the jazz genre and upbringing. It is thanks to him along with many others, that jazz has become one of the most influential genres that connects people from every culture.
Simply because as a classical form of music, jazz has served as a model for other kinds of music and form of entertainment; it has an influence that is internationally recognized throughout every continent. Jazz is America’s classical music because it’s both a way of spontaneously composing music and a repertoire, which has resulted from the musical language developed by improvising artists. Although it is fun to play, jazz is a very serious art. It expresses American ideals and attitudes to Americans and to people from other cultures all around the world, hence why it is studied, analyzed, documented, and imitated. Important jazz musicians that have helped influence jazz include: Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and many more to name a few.
This same type of feel is one of the most defining characteristics of modern jazz music. The idea of this pulse allows different players to play different rhythms at the same speeds. These complex rhythms mashed together, or polyrhythms, were introduced to the United States as the slave trade began to take its course. Afterwards, spirituals blossomed from “plantation Blacks who fused Western European harmonies with African songs, modalities, and practices” (Banfield, 96) such as polyrhythms. Spirituals were quite popular among the slave community and eventually gave birth to the next musical stepping stone to jazz, blues.