Jazz music is based on improvisation. It has been there for many years and, over time, has evolved to what we call modern jazz. It is a broad genre of music that is characterised by syncopated rhythms and complex harmony.
In the early twentieth century, the Black musicians in New Orleans, Louisiana, formed this jazz style. Here are some interesting things you should know about jazz.
Evolution of Jazz
New Orleans was considered to be the musical capital of the U.S. Jazz musicians like Louis Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton made jazz music popular in America. As jazz spread throughout America, New York City became the new jazz capital. With time, jazz evolved and included other music like rock, pop, and funk.
In the 1940s and ’50s, a subgenre of jazz was developed by New York jazz musicians Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, and others. It was called bebop and was characterised by fast-playing, chord changes, and routine syncopation. Free jazz is another subgenre of jazz created by Coleman.
In the 1960s, the tempo of jazz music again slowed down, and harmonic sophistication was added to it. Charles Mingus and Miles Davis were best known for their post-bop composition. The “cool” subgenre of jazz was developed by Miles Davis that had a slower tempo, modal playing, and minimal textures.
Later musicians Herbie Hancock and Jow Zawinul added funk and rock to jazz to create a new subgenre called fusion. Musicians Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell added folk music to their jazz performances.
Today jazz contains almost every genre of music, from classical to rock. So, you get different jazz subgenres. Modern jazz has distinctive rhythms, harmonic sophistication, and improvisation.
For playing jazz, eight instruments can normally be used. Drums create the rhythm section. Hand percussion or Cajon are sometimes used with the drums. Bass, keyboard, guitar, trumpet, trombone, and saxophone are also used. Unlike the other genres of music, jazz is less dependent on the lead vocalist.
A jazz performance is something unique. Unlike many other live performances, the musicians here communicate using hand and body signals. They indicate the start and end of a chorus, for example.
The jazz musicians need to improvise, and when they do that, their brain shuts off on all the other things that go on around them. You can sense this state when they are performing on stage. The on-stage performance of jazz musicians is something worth watching.
Jazz dances are performed on jazz music, and it is quite popular today. It was mainly thought to be a party dance. However, it is now considered a powerful dance technique. Like jazz music, jazz dance has changed over the years. Now it is considered to be a great cardiovascular exercise.
To learn more about jazz, you can talk to your local jazz musician or read blogs and books on it. If you start learning jazz, you will automatically learn many interesting things about jazz.