The JAZZ Story (курсова робота)

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The JAZZ Story

An Outline History of Jazz

In the span of less than a century, the remarkable native American

called Jazz has risen from obscure folk origins to become this

most significant original art form, loved and played in nearly
every land on


Today, Jazz flourishes in many styles, from basic blues and ragtime

through New Orleans and Dixieland, swing and mainstream, bebop and

modern to free form and electronic. What is extraordinary is not
that Jazz

has taken so many forms, but that each form has been vital enough

survive and to retain its own character and special appeal. It
takes only

open ears and an open mind to appreciate all the many and

delights jazz has to offer.


Jazz developed from folk sources. Its origins are shrouded in
obscurity, but

the slaves brought here from Africa, torn from their own ancestral

developed it as a new form of communication in song and story.

Black music in America retained much of Africa in its distinctive

elements and also in its tradition of collective improvisation.
This heritage,

blended with the music of the new land, much of it vocal, produced

than just a new sound. It generated an entire new mode of musical


The most famous form of early Afro-American music is the spiritual.

These beautiful and moving religious songs were most often heard by

white audiences in more genteel versions than those performed in

black churches. What is known as gospel music today, more

reflects the emotional power and rhythmic drive of early

music than a recording of a spiritual by the famous Fisk Jubilee

from the first decade of this century.

Other early musical forms dating from the slavery years include

songs, children’s songs, and dances, adding up to a remarkable

especially since musical activity was considerable restricted under



After the slaves were freed, Afro-American music grew rapidly. The

availability of musical instruments, including military band
discards, and

the new-found mobility gave birth to the basic roots of Jazz: brass

dance band music and the blues.

The blues, a seemingly simple form of music that nevertheless lends

to almost infinite variation, has been a significant part of every
Jazz style,

and has also survived in its own right. Today’s rock and soul music

be impossible without the blues. Simply explained, it is and eight

twelve) bar strain with lyrics in which the first stanza is
repeated. It gets its

characteristic “blue” quality from a flattening of the third and
seventh notes

of the tempered scale. In effect, the blues is the secular
counterpart of the



By the late 1880’s, there were black brass, dance and concert bands

most southern cities. (At the same time, black music in the north

generally more European-oriented.) Around this era, ragtime began

emerge. Though primarily piano music, bands also began to pick it
up and

perform it. Ragtime’s golden age was roughly from 1898 to 1908, but

total span began earlier and lingered much later. Recently, it has

rediscovered. A music of great melodic charm, its rhythms are

syncopated, but it has almost no blues elements. Ragtime and early

are closely related, but ragtime certainly was more sedate.

Greatest of the ragtime composers was Scott Joplin (1868-1917).

masters of the form include James Scott, Louis Chauvink Eubie Blake

(1883-1983) and Joseph Lamb, a white man who absorbed the idiom



Ragtime, especially in its watered-down popular versions, was

entertainment designed for the middle class and was frowned on by

musical establishment. The music not yet called Jazz (in its
earliest usage it

was spelled “jass”), came into being during the last decade of the

century, rising out of the black working-class districts of
southern cities.

Like ragtime, it was a music meant for dancing.

The city that has become synonymous with early Jazz is New Orleans.

There is reality as well as myth behind this notion.

New Orleans: Cradle of Jazz

New Orleans played a key role in the birth and growth of Jazz, and

music’s early history has been more thoroughly researched and

documented there than anywhere else. But, while the city may have

more and better Jazz than any other from about 1895 to 1917, New

Orleans was by no means the only place where the sounds were

incubating. Every southern city with a sizable black population had

that must be considered early Jazz. It came out of St. Louis, which
grew to

be the center of ragtime; Memphis, which was the birthplace of W.C.

Handy (1873-1958), the famed composer and collector of blues;

Baltimore, and other such cities.

What was unique to New Orleans at the time was a very open and free

social atmosphere. People of different ethnic and racial
backgrounds could

establish contact, and out of this easy communication came a rich

tradition involving French, Spanish, German, Irish and African
elements. It

was no wonder that this cosmopolitan and lively city was a fertile

ground for Jazz.

If New Orleans was the birthplace of Jazz in truth as well as in
legend, the

tale that the music was born in its red light district is purest
nonsense. New

Orleans did have legalized prostitution and featured some of the

elaborate and elegant “sporting houses” in the nation. But the
music, if any,

that was heard in these establishments was made by solo pianists.

Actually, Jazz was first heard in quite different settings. New
Orleans was

noted for its many social and fraternal organizations, most of

sponsored or hired bands for a variety of occasions — indoor and

dances, picnics, store openings, birthday or anniversary parties.
And, of

course, Jazz was the feature of the famous funeral parades, which

even today. Traditionally, a band assembles in front of the church

leads a slow procession to the cemetery, playing solemn marches and

mournful hymns. On the way back to town, the pace quickens and

peppy marches and rags replace the dirges. These parades, always

crowd attractions, were important to the growth of Jazz. It was
here that

trumpeters and clarinetists would display their inventiveness and

drummers work out the rhythmic patterns that became the foundation

“swinging” the beat.

The best way to account for the early development of jazz in New Orleans
is to familiarize yourself with the cultural and social history of this
marvelously distinctive regional culture.

One might say that jazz is the Americanization of the New Orleans music
developed by the Creoles, occuring at a time when ragtime, blues,
spirituals, marches, and popular “tin pan alley” music were converging.
Jazz was a style of playing which drew from all of the above and
presented an idiommatic model based on a concept of collective, rather
than solo, improvisation.

Ultimately, New Orleans players such as Louis Armstrong and Sidney
Bechet developed a new approach which emphasized solos, but they both
began their careers working in the collective format, evident in the
early recordings by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band (1917), Kid Ory’s
Sunshine Orchestra (1921), the New Orleans Rhythm Kings (1922, 1923) and
King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band (1923).

Armstrong’s impact became apparent with the popularity of his Hot Five
and Hot Seven recordings (1925-28), redirecting everyone’s imagination
toward inspired solos. Meanwhile, in New Orleans, community connections
such as “jazz funerals” in which brass bands performed at funerals held
by benevolent

associations continued to underline the role of jazz as a part of
everyday life.

Jazz may have been a luxury (entertainment) in New York, Chicago, and
Los Angeles, but in New Orleans it was a necessity–a part of the
fabric of life in the neighborhoods. And it still is.

THE EARLY MUSICIANS – Buddy, Bunk, Freddie and The King

The players in these early bands were mostly artisans (carpenters,

bricklayers, tailors, etc.) or laborers who took time out on
weekends and

holidays to make music along with a little extra cash.

The first famous New Orleans musician, and the archetypal jazzman,

Buddy Bolden (1877-1931). A barber by trade, he played cornet and

to lead a band in the late 1890’s. Quite probably, he was the first
to mix

the basic, rough blues with more conventional band music. It was a

significant step in the evolution of Jazz.

Bolden suffered a seizure during a 1907 Mardi Gras parade and spent

rest of his life in an institution for the incurably insane. Rumor
that he

made records have never been substantiated, and his music comes

the recollection of other musicians who heard him when they were

Bunk Johnson (1989- 1949), who played second cornet in one of

last bands, contributed greatly to the revival of interest in
classic New

Orleans jazz that took place during the last decade of his life. A

storyteller and colorful personality, Johnson is responsible for
much of the

New Orleans legend. But much of what he had to say was more fantasy

than fact.

Many people, including serious fans, believe that the early jazz

were self-taught geniuses who didn’t read music and never took a

lesson. A romantic notion, but entirely untrue. Almost every major

in early jazz had at least a solid grasp of legitimate musical

and often much more.

Still, they developed wholly original approaches to their
instruments. A

prime example is Joseph (King) Oliver (1885-1938), a cornetist and

bandleader who used all sorts of found objects, including drinking

a sand pail, and a rubber bathroom plunger to coax a variety of

from his horn. Freddie Keppard (1889-1933), Oliver’s chief rival,

use mutes, perhaps because he took pride in being the loudest
cornet in

town. Keppard, the first New Orleans great to take the music to the
rest of

the country, played in New York vaudeville with the Original Creole

Orchestra in 1915.


By the early years of the second decade, the instrumentation of the

Jazz band had become cornet (or trumpet), trombone, clarinet,

string bass and drums. (Piano rarely made it since most jobs were

location and pianos were hard to transport.) The banjo and tuba, so

identified now with early Jazz, actually came in a few years later

early recording techniques couldn’t pick up the softer guitar and
string bass


The cornet played the lead, the trombone filled out the bass
harmony part

in a sliding style, and the clarinet embellished between these two

poles. The first real jazz improvisers were the clarinetists, among

Sidney Bechet (1897-1959). An accomplished musician before he was

Bechet moved from clarinet to playing mainly soprano saxophone. He

to become one of the most famous early jazzmen abroad, visiting

and France in 1919 and Moscow in 1927.

Most veteran jazz musicians state that their music had no specific
name at

first, other than ragtime or syncopated sounds. The first band to
use the

term Jazz was that of trombonist Tom Brown, a white New Orleanian

introduced it in Chicago in 1915. The origin of the word is cloudy
and its

initial meaning has been the subject of much debate.

The band that made the word stick was also white and also from New

Orleans, the Original Dixieland Jass Band. This group had a huge

success in New York in 1917-18 and was the first more or less

Jazz band to make records. Most of its members were graduates of

bands of Papa Jack Laine (1873-1966), a drummer who organized his

first band in 1888 and is thought to have been the first white Jazz

musician. In any case, there was much musical integration in New

and a number of light skinned Afro-Americans “passed” in white

By 1917, many key Jazz players, white and black, had left New

and other southern cities to come north. The reason was not the

1917 closing of the New Orleans red light district, but simple

The great war in Europe had created an industrial boom, and the

merely followed in the wake of millions of workers moving north to

promise of better jobs.


King Oliver moved to Chicago in 1918. As his replacement in the

band in his hometown, he recommended an 18-year-old, Louis

Little Louis, as his elders called him, had been born on August 4,
1901, in

poverty that was extreme even for New Orleans’ black population.

earliest musical activity was singing in the streets for pennies
with a boy’s

quartet he had organized. Later he sold coal and worked on the

Louis received his first musical instruction at reform school,
where he

spent eighteen months for shooting off an old pistol loaded with
blanks on

the street on New Year’s Eve of 1913. He came out with enough

savvy to take jobs with various bands in town. The first

musician to sense the youngster’s great talent was King Oliver, who

Louis and became his idol.


When Oliver sent for Louis to join him in Chicago, that city had

the world’s new Jazz center. Even though New York was where the

Original Dixieland Jass Band had scored its big success, followed
by the

spawning of the first dance craze associated with the music, the
New York

bands seemed to take on the vaudeville aspects of the ODJB’s style

without grasping the real nature of the music. Theirs was an

Dixieland (of which Ted Lewis was the first and most successful

practitioner), but there were few southern musicians in New York to

the music a New Orleans authenticity.

Chicago, on the other hand, was teeming with New Orleans

and the city’s nightlife was booming in the wake of prohibition. By

odds, the best band in town was Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band,

after Louis joined in late 1922. The band represented the final

flowering of classic New Orleans ensemble style and was also the

harbinger of something new. Aside from the two cornetists, its
stars were

the Dodds Brothers, clarinetists Johnny (1892-1940) and drummer

(1898-1959). Baby Dodds brought a new level of rhythmic subtlety

drive to jazz drumming. Along with another New Orleans-bred

Zutty Singleton (1897-1975), he introduced the concept of swinging
to the

Jazz drums. But the leading missionary of swinging was,

Louis Armstrong.


The Creole Jazz Band began to record in 1923 and while not the
first black

New Orleans band to make records, it was the best. The records were

quite widely distributed and the band’s impact on musicians was

Two years earlier, trombonist Kid Ory (1886-1973) and his Sunshine

Orchestra captured the honor of being the first recorded artists in

category. However, they recorded for an obscure California company

which soon went out of business and their records were heard by


Also in 1923, the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, a white group active in

Chicago, began to make records. This was a much more sophisticated

group than the old Dixieland Jass Band, and on one of its recording

it used the great New Orleans pianist-composer Ferdinand (Jelly

Morton (1890-1941). The same year, Jelly Roll also made his own



Morton, whose fabulous series of 1938 recordings for the Library of

Congress are a goldmine of information about early Jazz, was a

man. Vain, ambitious, and given to exaggeration, he was a pool

hustler and gambler a well as a brilliant pianist and composer. His

talent, perhaps was for organizing and arranging. The series of
records he

made with his Red Hot Peppers between 1926 and 1928 stands,

Oliver’s as the crowning glory of the New Orleans tradition and one
of the

great achievements in Jazz.


That tradition, however, was too restricting for a creative genius
like Louis

Armstrong. He left Oliver in late 1924, accepting an offer from New

York’s most prestigious black bandleader, Fletcher Henderson

(1897-1952). Henderson’s band played at Roseland Ballroom on

Broadway and was the first significant big band in Jazz history.

Evolved from the standard dance band of the era, the first big Jazz

consisted of three trumpets, one trombone, three saxophones
(doubling all

kinds of reed instruments), and rhythm section of piano, banjo,
bass (string

or brass) and drums. These bands played from written scores

(arrangements or “charts”), but allowed freedom of invention for

featured soloists and often took liberties in departing from the


Though it was the best of the day, Henderson’s band lacked rhythmic

smoothness and flexibility when Louis joined up. The flow and grace
of his

short solos on records with the band make them stand out like
diamonds in

a tin setting.

The elements of Louis’ style, already then in perfect balance,
included a

sound that was the most musical and appealing yet heard from a
trumpet; a

gift for melodic invention that was as logical as it was new and

and a rhythmic poise (jazzmen called it “time”) that made other

sound stiff and clumsy in comparison.

His impact on musicians was tremendous. Nevertheless, Henderson

feature him regularly, perhaps because he felt that the white
dancers for

whom his band performed were not ready for Louis’ innovations.

his year with the band, however, Louis caused a transformation in
its style

and, eventually, in the whole big band field. Henderson’s chief

Don Redman, (1900-1964) grasped what Louis was doing and got some

it on paper. After working with Louis, tenor saxophonist Coleman

Hawkins (1904-1969) developed a style for his instrument that
became the

guidepost for the next decade.

While in New York, Louis also made records with Sidney Bechet, and

with Bessie Smith (1894-1937), the greatest of all blues singers.
In 1925,

he returned to Chicago and began to make records under his own name

with a small group, the Hot Five. Included were his wife Lil Hardin

Armstrong (1899-1971) on piano, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds, and

Johnny St. Cyr. The records, first to feature Louis extensively,
became a

sensation among musicians, first all over the United States and
later all

over the world. The dissemination of jazz, and in a very real sense

whole development, would have been impossible without the


The Hot Five was strictly a recording band. For everyday work,

played in a variety of situations, including theater pit bands. He

to grow and develop, and in 1927 switched from cornet to the more

brilliant trumpet. He had occasionally featured his unique gravel

singing, but only as a novelty. Its popular potential became
apparent in

1929, when, back in New York, he starred in a musical show in which

introduced the famous Ain’t Misbehavin’ singing as well as playing

great tune written by pianist Thomas (Fats) Waller (1904-1943),

one of the greatest instrumentalists-singers-showmen in Jazz.

It was during his last year in Chicago while working with another

Earl (Fatha) Hines (1903-1983), that Louis reached his first
artistic peak.

Hines was the first real peer to work with Louis. Inspired by him,
he was

in turn able to inspire. Some of the true masterpieces of Jazz,
among them

West End Blues and the duet Weatherbird, resulted from the

Armstrong-Hines union.


Louis Armstrong dominated the musical landscape of the 20’s and, in

shaped the Jazz language of the decade to come as well. But the
Jazz of

the Jazz Age was more often than not just peppy dance music made by

young men playing their banjos and saxophones who had little

understanding of (or interest in) what the blues and/or Louis

were about. Still, a surprising amount of music produced by this

dance-happy period contained genuine Jazz elements.

PAUL WHITEMAN – King of Jazz?

The most popular bandleader of the decade was Paul Whiteman

(1890-1967), who ironically became known as the King of Jazz,

his first successful bands played no Jazz at all and his later ones

little. These later bands, however, did play superb dance music,

scored and performed by the best white musicians the extravagant

Whiteman paychecks could attract. From 1926 on, Whiteman gave

occasional solo spots to such Jazz-influenced players as cornetist

Nichols, violinist Joe Venuti, guitarist Eddie Lang (1904-1933),
and the

Dorsey Brothers’ trombonist-trumpeter Tommy (1905-1956) and

clarinetist-saxophonist Jimmy (1904-1957), all of whom later became

bandleaders in their own right.

In 1927, Whiteman took over the key personnel of Jean Goldkette’s

Jazz-oriented band, which included a young cornetist and sometime

and composer of rare talent, Bix Beiderbecke (1903-1931). Bix’s

lyrical, personal music and early death combined to make him the

(and most durable) jazz legend. His romanticized life story became

inspiration for a novel and a film, neither of them close to the

Bix’s closest personal and musical friend during the most creative
period of

his life was saxophonist Frank Trumbauer (1901-1956). Fondly known

Bix and Tram, the team enhanced many an otherwise dull Whiteman

record with their brilliant interplay or their individual efforts.


Bix’s bittersweet lyricism influenced many aspiring jazzmen, among

the so-called Austin High Gang, made up of gifted Chicago

only a few of whom ever actually attended Austin High School. Among

them were such later sparkplugs of the Swing Era as drummers Gene

Krupa (1909-1973) and Dave Tough (1908-1948); clarinetist Frank

Teschemacher (1905-1932); saxophonist Bud Freeman (1906-1991);

pianists Joe Sullivan (1906-1971) and Jess Stacy (b. 1904); and

guitarist-entrepreneur Eddie Condon (1905-1973). Their

and occasional comrades-in-arms included a clarinet prodigy named

Goodman (1905-1986); and somewhat older reedman and character, Mezz

Mezzrow (1899-1972), whose 1946 autobiography, Really the Blues,

remains, despite inaccuracies, one of the best Jazz books.

Trumbauer, though not a legend like Bix, influenced perhaps as many

musicians. Among them were two of the greatest saxophonist in Jazz

history, Benny Carter (b.1907) and Lester (Prez) Young (1909-1959).


A great influence on young Goodman was the New Orleans clarinetist

Jimmie Noone (1995-1944), an exceptional technician with a

tone. Chicago was an inspiring environment for a young musician.

was plenty of music and there were plenty of masters to learn from.

Cornetist Muggsy Spanier (1906-1967) took his early cues from King

Oliver. In New York, there was less contact between black and white

players, though white jazzmen often made the trek to Harlem or

opposite Fletcher Henderson at the Roseland. When a young Texas

trombonist, Jack Teagarden (1905-1964), came to town in 1928, he

startled everyone with his blues-based playing (and singing), very
close in

concept to that of Henderson’s trombone star, Jimmy Harrison

(1900-1931). These two set the pace for all comers.

Teagarden, alongside Benny Goodman, worked in Ben Pollack’s band.

Pollack, who’d played drums with the New Orleans Rhythm Kings, was

quite a talent spotter and always had good bands. When Henderson

arranger Don Redman took over McKinney’s Cotton Pickers in 1929 and

made it one of the bands of the `20s, his replacement was Benny

Carter could (and still can) write arrangements and play trumpet

clarinet as well as alto sax. For many years, he was primarily
active as a

composer for films and TV; but in the late 1970’s, Carter resumed

playing career with renewed vigor. (Editor’s Note-Carter just

eighty and is still playing and recording.)


Another artist whose career spanned more than fifty years is Duke

Ellington (1899-1974). By 1972, he was one of New York’s most

successful bandleaders, resident at Harlem’s Cotton Club–a

catering to whites only but featuring the best in black talent.

Ellington’s unique gifts as composer-arranger-pianist were coupled

equally outstanding leadership abilities. From 1927 to 1941, with
very few

exceptions and occasional additions, his personnel remained

record no other bandleader (except Guy Lombardo, of all people)


Great musicians passed through the Ellington ranks between 1924 and

1974. Among the standouts: great baritone saxist Harry Carney

(1907-1974), who joined in 1927; Johnny Hodges (1906-1970), whose

alto sax sound was one of the glories of jazz; Joe (Tricky Sam)

(1904-1946), master of the “talking” trombone; Barney Bigard

(1906-1980); whose pure-toned clarinet brought a touch of New

to the band; Ben Webster (1909-1973), one of Coleman Hawkins’

disciples; drummer Sonny Greer (1903-1982), and Rex Stewart

(1907-1967) and Cootie Williams (1910-1985), an incomparable

team. Among the later stars were trumpeter Clark Terry (b. 1920)

tenor saxist Paul Gonsalves (1920-1974).

Ellington’s music constitutes a world within the world of Jazz. One
of the

century’s outstanding composers, he wrote over 1,000 short pieces,

many suites, music for films, the theater and television, religious
works and

more. He must be ranked one of the century’s foremost musicians,

regardless of labels. His uninterrupted activity as a bandleader
since 1924

has earned him a high place in each successive decade, and his

achievement is a history of Jazz in itself.

Three outstanding contributors to Ellingtonia must be mentioned.
They are

trumpeter-composer Bubber Miley (1903-1932), the co-creator of the

significant style for the band and, like his exact contemporary Bix

Beiderbecke, a victim of too much, too soon; bassist Jimmy Blanton

(1918-1942), who in his two years with Ellington shaped a whole new

for his instrument in Jazz, both as a solo and ensemble voice; and

Strayhorn (1915-1967), composer-arranger and Ellington alter ego

contributed much to the band from 1939 until his death.


Aside from the band, for which he wrote with such splendid skill,

Ellington’s instrument was the piano. When he came to New York as a

young man, his idols were James P. Johnson (1894-1955), a brilliant

instrumentalist and gifted composer, and Johnson’s closest rival,

(The Lion) Smith (1898-1973). Both were masters of the “stride”
school of

Jazz piano, marked by an exceptionally strong, pumping line in the

hand. James P.’s prize student was Fats Waller. New York pianists

met in friendly but fierce contests–the beginnings of what would
later be

known as jam sessions.

In Chicago, a very different piano style came into the picture in
the late

`20s, dubbed boogie-woogie after the most famous composition by its

significant exponent, Pinetop Smith (1904-1929). This rolling,

eight-to-the-bar bass style was popular at house parties in the
Windy City

and became a national craze in 1939, after three of its best

Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson and Meade Lux Lewis, had been presented

in concert at Carnegie Hall.


Johnson was from Kansas City, where boogie-woogie was also popular.

The midwestern center was a haven for Jazz musicians through-out

rule of Boss Pendergast, when the city was wide open and music
could be

heard around the clock.

The earliest and one of the best of the K.C. bands was led by

Moten (1894-1935). By 1930 it had in its ranks pianist Count Basie

(1905-1984) who’d learned from Fats Waller; trumpeter-singer Oran

Lips) Page (1908-1954), one of Louis Armstrong’s greatest
disciples; and

an outstanding singer, Jimmy Rushing (1903-1972). The city was to
put its

imprint on Jazz during the `30s and early `40s.


The great Depression had its impact on Jazz as it did on virtually
all other

facets of American life. The record business reached its lowest ebb

1931. By that year, many musicians who had been able to make a

playing Jazz had been forced to either take commercial music jobs
or leave

the field entirely.

But the music survived. Again, Louis Armstrong set a pattern. At
the helm

of a big band with his increasingly popular singing as a feature,
he recast

the pop hits of the day in his unique Jazz mold, as such artists as

Waller and Billie Holiday (1915-1959), perhaps the most gifted of

Jazz singers would do a few years later.

Thus, while sentimental music and romantic “crooners” were the rage

(among them Bing Crosby who had worked with Paul Whiteman and

learned more than a little from Jazz), a new kind of “hot” dance

began to take hold. It wasn’t really new, but rather a streamlining
of the

Henderson style, introduced by the Casa Loma Orchestra which

the arrangements of Georgia-born guitarist Gene Gifford

Almost forgotten today, this band paved the way for the Swing Era.


As we’ve seen, big bands were a feature of the Jazz landscape from

first. Though the Swing Era didn’t come into full flower until
1935, most

up-and-coming young jazzmen from 1930 found themselves working in


Among these were two pacesetters of the decade, trumpeter Roy

Jazz) Eldridge (1911-1989) and tenorist Leon (Chu) Berry

Eldridge, the most influential trumpeter after Louis, has a fiery

style and great range and swing. Among the bands he sparked were

Fletcher Henderson’s and Teddy Hill’s. The latter group also

Berry, the most gifted follower of Coleman Hawkins, and the

trombonist Dicky Wells (1909-1985).

Another trend setting band was that of tiny, hunchbacked drummer

Webb (1909-1939), who by dint of almost superhuman energy overcame

his physical handicap and made himself into perhaps the greatest of
all Jazz

drummers. His band really got under way when he heard and hired a

young girl singer in 1935. Her name was Ella Fitzgerald (b. 1917).


But it was Benny Goodman who became the standard-bearer of swing.

1934, he gave up a lucrative career as a studio musician to form a
big band

with a commitment to good music. His Jazz-oriented style met with

enthusiasm at first. He was almost ready to give it up near the end
of a

disastrous cross-country tour in the summer of `35 when suddenly

fortunes shifted. His band was received with tremendous acclaim at

Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles.

It seems that the band’s broadcasts had been especially well timed

California listeners. Whatever the reason, the band, which included

Jazz stars as the marvelous trumpeter Bunny Berigan (1908-1942) and

drummer Gene Krupa, not to mention Benny himself, now scored

after success. Some of the band’s best material was contributed by

arrangers Fletcher Henderson and his gifted younger brother Horace.

As the bands grew in popularity, a new breed of fan began to
appear. This

fan wanted to listen as much as he wanted to dance. (In fact, some

disdained dancing altogether.) He knew each man in each band and

the new swing magazines that were springing up–Metronome, Down

Orchestra World. He collected records and listened to the growing

of band broadcasts on radio. Band leaders were becoming national

on a scale with Hollywood stars.


Benny’s arch rival in the popularity sweepstakes was fellow

Artie Shaw (b.1910), who was an on-again-off-again leader. Other

successful bands included those of Jimmy Dorsey and Tommy Dorsey,

whose co-led Dorsey Brothers Band split up after one of their


First among black bandleaders were Duke Ellington and Jimmie

(1902-1947). The latter led a highly disciplined and

band which nevertheless spotlighted brilliant jazz soloists, among

saxophonists Willie Smith and Joe Thomas and trombonist Trummy

(1912-1984). The man who set the band’s style, trumpeter-arranger

Oliver (1910-1988), later went with Tommy Dorsey.

A newcomer on the national scene was Count Basie’s crew from Kansas

City, with key soloists Lester Young and Herschel Evans (1909-1939)

tenors, Buck Clayton (1912-1992) and Harry Edison (b.1915) on

trumpets, and Jimmy Rushing and Billie Holiday (later Helen Humes)


But important as these were (Lester in particular created a whole
new style

for his instrument), it was the rhythm section of Basie that gave
the band

its unique, smooth and rock-steady drive–the incarnation of swing,

Freddie Green (1911-1987) on guitar, Walter Page (1900-1957) on

and Jo Jones (1911-1985) on drums and the Count on piano made the

rhythm section what it was. Basie, of course, continued to lead

bands, but the greatest years were 1936-42.


The war years took a heavy toll of big bands. Restrictions made

more difficult and the best talent was being siphoned off by the
draft. But

more importantly, public tastes were changing.

Ironically, the bands were in the end devoured by a monster they

given birth to: the singers. Typified by Tommy Dorsey’s Frank

the vocalist, made popular by a band affiliation, went out on his
own; and

the public seemed to want romantic ballads more than swinging dance


The big bands that survived the war soon found another form of

competition cutting into their following–television. The tube kept

home more and more, and inevitably many ballrooms shut their doors

good in the years between 1947 and 1955. By then it had also become

expensive a proposition to keep 16 men traveling on the road in the

bands’ itinerant tradition. The leaders who didn’t give up
(Ellington, Basie,

Woody Herman, Harry James) had something special in the way of

and dedication that gave them durability in spite of changing
tastes and


The only new bands to come along in the post-war decades and make

were those of pianist-composer Stan Kenton (1912-1979), who started

band in 1940 but didn’t hit until `45; drummer Buddy Rich
(1917-1987), a

veteran of many famous swing era bands and one of jazzdom’s most

phenomenal musicians, and co-leaders Thad Jones (1923-1990), and

Lewis (1929-1990), a drummer once with Kenton. Another Kenton

alumnus, high-note trumpeter Maynard Ferguson (b. 1928), has led

successful big bands on and off.


In any case, a new style, not necessarily inimical to the big bands
yet very

different in spirit form earlier Jazz modes, had sprung up during
the war.

Bebop, as it came to be called, was initially a musician’s music,
born in the

experimentation of informal jam sessions.

Characterized by harmonic sophistication, rhythmic complexity, and

concessions to public taste, bop was spearheaded by Charlie Parker

(1920-1955), an alto saxophonist born and reared in Kansas City.

After apprenticeship with big bands (including Earl Hines’), Parker

in New York. From 1944 on, he began to attract attention on

52nd Street, a midtown block known as “Swing Street” which featured

concentration of Jazz clubs and Jazz talent not equaled before or


Bird, as Parker was called by his fans, was a fantastic improviser

imagination was matched by his technique. His way of playing

influenced by Lester Young and guitarist Charlie Christian
(1916-1942), a

remarkable musician who was featured with Benny Goodman’s sextet

between 1939-41), was something new in the world of Jazz. His

on musicians can be compared in scope only to that of Louis

Parker’s principal early companions were Dizzy Gillespie, a
trumpeter of

abilities that almost matched Bird’s, and drummer Kenny Clarke

(1914-1985). Dizzy and Bird worked together in Hines’ band and then

the one formed by Hines vocalist Billy Eckstine (1914-1993), the

developer of bop talent. Among those who passed through the

ranks were trumpeters Miles Davis (1927-1991), Fats Navarro

(1923-1950), and Kenny Dorham (1924-1972); saxophonists Sonny Stitt

(1924-1982), Dexter Gordon (1923-1990), and Gene Ammons

(1925-1974); and pianist-arranger-bandleader Tadd Dameron

Bop, of course, was basically small-group music, meant for
listening, not

dancing. Still, there were big bands featuring bop–among them
those led

by Dizzy Gillespie, who had several good crews in the late `40s and

to mid-50’s; and Woody Herman’s so-called Second Herd, which

the cream of white bop–trumpeter Red Rodney (b. 1927), and

saxophonists Stan Getz (1927-1993), Al Cohn (1925-1988) and Zoot

(1925-1985), and Serge Chaloff (1923-1957).


Ironically, the coming of bop coincided with a revival of interest
in New

Orleans and other traditional Jazz. This served to polarize
audiences and

musicians and point up differences rather than common ground. The

needless harm done by partisan journalists and critics on both

lingered on for years.

Parker’s greatest disciples were not alto saxophonists, except for

Stitt. Parker dominated on that instrument. Pianist Bud Powell

(1924-1966) translated Bird’s mode to the keyboard; drummers Max

Roach and Art Blakey (1919-1990) adapted it to the percussion

instruments. A unique figure was pianist-composer Thelonious Monk,

(1917-1982). With roots in the stride piano tradition, Monk was a

forerunner of bop–in it but not of it.


In the wake of Miles Davis’ successful experiments, rock had an

increasing impact on Jazz. The notable Davis alumni Herbie

Hancock (b. 1940) and Chick Corea (b.1941) explored what soon

became known as fusion style in various ways, though neither cut

himself off from the jazz tradition. Thus Hancock’s V.S.O.P., made

up of `60s Davis alumni plus trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pursued

Miles’ pre-electronic style, while Corea continued to play acoustic

jazz in various settings. Keith Jarrett(b. 1945), who also briefly

played with Davis, never adopted the electronic keyboards but flirted

with rock rhythms before embarking on lengthy, spontaneously

conceived piano recitals. The most successful fusion band was

Weather Report, co-founded in 1970 by the Austrian-born pianist

Joe Zawinul (b. 1932) and Wayne Shorter; the partnership lasted

until 1986. The commercial orientation of much fusion Jazz offers

little incentive to creative players, but it has served to introduce

new young listeners to Jazz, and electronic instruments have been

absorbed into the Jazz mainstream.

New York – The Jazz Mecca

New York City is the Jazz capital of the world. Jazz musicians can
be found playing at jam sessions, smoky bistros, stately concert halls,
on street corners and crowded subway platforms. Although the music was
born in New Orleans and nurtured in Kansas City, the Big Apple has long
been a Mecca for great Jazz. From the big band romps of Duke Ellington
and Count Basie at The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem to the Acid Jazz jam
sessions downtown at Giant Step, New York continues to serve as the
proving grounds for each major Jazz innovator.

52nd Street – The Street That Never Slept

Between 1934 and 1950, 52nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
was the place for music. The block was jam-packed with monochromatic
five-story brownstone buildings in whose drab and cramped street-level
interiors there were more clubs, bars and bistros than crates in an
overstocked warehouse. 52nd Street started as a showcase for the
small-combo Dixieland Jazz of the speakeasy era then added the big-band
swing of the New Deal 30s. Before its untimely demise, hastened by
changing real estate values, The Street adopted the innovations of bop
and cool. So in just a few hours of club hopping, a listener could walk
through the history of Jazz on 52nd Street. Favorites included pianist
Art Tatum, singer Billie Holiday, tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins,
Count Basie and his Big Band, trumpeter Roy Eldridge, pianist Errol
Garner, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and alto saxophonist Charlie

Minton’s Playhouse – Birthplace of Bebop

In the early 1940s, a group of Jazz revolutionaries gathered at an
uptown club called Minton’s Playhouse. Through a series of small group
jam sessions frequented by musicians in their teens and early twenties,
a new music called Bebop was born, sired by alto saxophonist Charlie
“Bird” Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Thelonious Monk.
Bird was generally regarded as the intuitive genius and improviser of
the group, his magic sound and awesome technique changing the face of
Jazz. Diz was the conscious thinker and showman, a man who spent a
lifetime charming audiences worldwide. Monk was the creative
clearinghouse and refiner, a musical iconoclast whose compositions
became legendary.

At first, Bebop’s eccentric starts and stops, and torrents of
notes played at machine-gun tempos jarred listeners and proved
devilishly difficult to play. But by the late 1940s, when big-band swing
had declined, bop matured and became the Jazz standard.

Birdland – Jazz Corner of the World

Miraculously, just as 52nd caved in, Birdland opened on Broadway.
For more than a decade, from 1949-1962, the survival formula was
memorable double and triple bills, commencing at 9pm and sometimes
lasting untill dawn. Descending the stairs to the jammed basement
nitery, a listener would encounter a racially mixed throng, primed for
an evening of high octane musical invigoration. To add to the
excitement, Birdland’s colorful host was Pee Wee Marquette, a uniformed
midget. Riding the final crest of the Bebop wave, Birdland was a musical
oasis for accomplished improvisors where the finest jazz on planet
earth was presented with a minimum of pretense. The club has let it all
hang out ambiance encouraged musicians to stretch the boundaries with
spirited audience encouragement. Live radio broadcasts from the club,
hosted by Symphony Sid, compounded the excitement.


Diversity is the word for today’s Jazz. Various aspects of freedom

been pursued by the many gifted musicians connected with the AACM

(American Association for Creative Musicians), a collective formed

1965 under the guidance of the pianist-composer Richard Muhal

(b. 1930). Among the groups that have emerged, directly and

from the AACM are the Art Ensemble of Chicago and The World

Saxophone Quartet, and notable musicians of this lineage include

trumpeter Lester Bowie (b. 1941), reedmen Anthony Braxton (b.1945),

Joseph Jarman, Julius Hemphill, Roscoe Mitchell and David Murray,

and violinist Leroy Jenkins, Ornette Coleman has continued to go
his own

way, introducing a unique fusion band, Prime Time, collaborating

guitarist Pat Metheny (b. 1954), and celebrating occasional
reunions with

his original quartet.

Quite unexpectedly, but with neat historical symmetry, a new wave

gifted young jazz players has emerged from New Orleans, spearheaded

the brilliant trumpeter Wynton Marsalis (b. 1961), who joined Art

Jazz Messengers–a bastion of the bebop tradition–in 1979. Also an

accomplished classical virtuoso, Marsalis was soon signed by

Records and became the most visible new Jazz artist in many years.

Articulate and outspoken, he has rejected fusion and stressed the

continuity of the Jazz tradition. His slightly older brother,

Marsalis (b. 1960), who plays tenor and soprano sax, was a member

Wynton’s quintet until he joined with rock icon Sting’s band for a
year. He

has since led his own straight-ahead jazz quartet. As his
replacement with

Blakey, Wynton recommended fellow New Orleanian Terence Blanchard

(b. 1962), who later formed a group with altoist Donald Harrison

from New Orleans, as co-leader.

Many other gifted players have emerged during the present decade —

many to list here. Many have affirmed their roots in bebop, and
some have

reached even further back to mainstream swing (such as tenorist

Hamilton (b. 1954), and trumpeter Warren Vache, Jr. [b. 1951]), but

almost all, even when choosing experimentation and innovation,

within the established language of jazz. As in the other arts, Jazz
seems to

have arrived at a postmodern stage.

We ought not to overlook the increasingly important role being
played by

women instrumentalists, among them Carla Bley, JoAnne Brackeen,

Ira Bloom, Amina Claudine Myers, Emely Remler and Janice Robinson.

The durability of the Jazz tradition has been symbolically affirmed
by two

events: the Academy Award nomination of Dexter Gordon, the seminal

bebop tenor saxophonist, for his leading role in the film Round

and the widely acclaimed appearances of Benny Carter, approaching

90th birthday, at the helm of the American Jazz Orchestra (an

formed in 1986 to perform the best in Jazz, past and present) both
as a

player and composer.

And one may also take heart at the qualitative as well as

growth of Jazz education in this country, and the active
involvement of so

many fine performing artist in this process.


No one can presume to guess what form the next development in Jazz

take. What we do know is that the music today presents a rich

of sounds and styles.

Thelonious Monk, that uncompromising original who went from the

obscurity of the pre-bop jam sessions in Harlem to the cover of
TIME and

worldwide acclaim without ever diluting his music, once defined
jazz in his

unique way:

“Jazz and freedom,” Monk said, “go hand in hand. That explains it.

isn’t anymore to add to it. If I do add to it, it gets complicated.

something for you to think about. You think about it and dig it.
You dig it.”

Jazz, a music born in slavery, has become the universal song of

Jazz History – Periods, Styles

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Swing music and the Lindy Hop, the original Swing dance. London 1997.

Belaire, David C. G.: A guide to the big band era. 1997.

Bergerot, Franck & Arnaud Merlin: The story of jazz ; bop and beyond.
New York 1993.

Berlin, Edward A.: Ragtime ; a musical and cultural history. Reprint
(1980). Berkeley, Calif. [etc.] 1984.

Boyd, Jean A.: The jazz of the southwest;an oral history of
Western Swing. Austin, Tex.1998.

Budds, Michael J.: Jazz in the 60s ; the expansion of musical resources
and techniques. Expanded ed. Iowa City, Ia. 1990.

Carver, Reginald & Lenny Bernstein: Jazz profiles ; the
spirit of the nineties. New York 1998.

Cockrell, Dale: Demons of disorder ; early blackface
minstrels and their world. Cambridge 1997.

Collins, R.: New Orleans jazz ; a revised history ; the development of
American music from the origin to the big bands. New York 1996.

Corbett, John: Extended play ; sounding off from John Cage
to Dr. Funkenstein.Durham, N.C. 1994.

Dean, Roger T.: New structures in jazz and improvised
music since 1960. Milton Keynes 1991

Deffaa, Chip: Swing legacy foreword by George T. Simon.
Metuchen, N.J. [etc.] 1989.

Deffaa, Chip: Voices of the jazz age ; profiles of 8
vintage jazzmen. Wheatley 1990.

DeVeaux, Scott: The birth of Bebop ; a social and musical
history. Berkeley, Cal. [etc.] 1997.

Erenberg, Lewis A.: Swingin’ the dream ; big band jazz and
the rebirth of American culture. Chicago, Ill. [etc.] 1998.

Feather, Leonard: The encyclopedia yearbooks of Jazz.
Reprint (1956 & 1958). New York 1993.

Feather, Leonard: The passion for jazz. Reprint (1980). New
York 1990.

Fernett, Gene: Swing out ; great Negro dance bands. Reprint
(1970). New York 1993.

Goldberg, Joe: Jazz masters of the 50s. Reprint (1965). New
York [1983].

Gottlieb, William P.: The golden age of jazz. New & revised
ed. San Francisco, Cal. 1995.

Griffiths, David: Hot jazz ; from Harlem to Storyville.
Lanham, Md. [etc.] 1998.

Grudens, Richard: The best damn trumpet player ; memories
of the big band era & beyond. Stony Brook, N.Y. 1996.

Grudens, Richard: The music men ; the guys who sang with
the bands and beyond. Stony Brook, N.Y. 1998.

Grudens, Richard: The song stars ; the ladies who sang with
the bands and beyond. Stony Brook, N.Y. 1997.

Hadlock, Richard: Jazz masters of the 20s. Reprint (1965).
New York 1988.

Hall, Fred: Dialogues in Swing ; intimate conversations
with the stars of the Big Band era. Ventura, Cal. 1989.

Harrison, Daphne Duval: Black pearls ; blues queens of the 1920s. New
Brunswick, N.J. [etc.] 1990.

Hennessey, Thomas J.: From jazz to swing ; Afro-American
jazz musicians and their music, 1890-1935. Detroit, Mich. 1994.

Jasen, David A. & Gene Jones: Spreadin’ rhythm around ; black popular
songwriters, 1880-1930. New York 1998.

Jones, Leroi: Black music. Reprint (1967). New York 1998.

Jost, Ekkehard: Europas Jazz 1960-1980. Frankfurt 1987.

Kennedy, Don: Big Band Jump personality interviews. Atlanta, Ga. 1993.

Kennedy, Rick: Jelly Roll, Bix and Hoagy ; Gennett studios and the birth
of recorded jazz. Bloomington, Ind. [etc.] 1994.

Koerner, Julie: Big bands. New York 1992.

Koerner, Julie: Swing kings. New York 1994.

Kofsky, Frank: John Coltrane and the jazz revolution of the
1960s. New York 1998.

Korall, Burt: Drummin’ men ; the heartbeat of jazz ; the
Swing years. New York 1990.

Litweiler, John: The freedom principle ; jazz after 1958.
Reprint (1984).New York 1990.

Lock, Graham: Chasing the vibration ; meetings with
creative musicians. Exeter 1994.

Morgan, Thomas L. & William Barlow: From Cakewalks to
concert halls; an illustrated history of African American popular music
from 1895 to 1930. Washington, D.C. 1993.

Nicholson, Stuart: Jazz, the 1980s resurgence. Reprint
(1990) of: Jazz, the modern resurgence. New York 1995.

Nicholson, Stuart: Jazz-Rock, a history. New York 1998.

Owens, Thomas: Bebop ; the music and its players. Reprint (1995). New
York [etc.] 1996.

Piazza, Tom: Blues up and down ; jazz in our time. New York 1997.

Rosenthal, David H.: Hard bop ; jazz and black music 1955-1965. Reprint
(1992).New York 1993.

Russell, Bill: New Orleans style compiled & ed. by Barry
Martyn & Mike Hazeldine. New Orleans, La. 1994.

Scanlan, Tom: The joy of jazz : Swing era, 1935-1947.
Golden, Col. 1996.

Schuller, Gunther: Early jazz ; its roots and musical development.
Reprint (1968). New York [etc.] 1986.

Spellman, A: B.: Four lives in the bebop business. Reprint
(1966). New York 1985.

Stewart, Rex: Jazz masters of the 30s. Reprint (1972). New
York [1982].

Stowe, David W.: Swing changes ; Big Band jazz in New Deal
America. Reprint (1994). Cambridge, Mass. 1996.

Tracy, Sheila: Bands, booze and broads. Reprint (1995).
Edinburgh (etc) 1996.

Van der Merwe, Peter: Origins of the popular style ; the antecedents of
twentieth-century popular music. Reprint (1989) Oxford 1992.

Vincent, Ted: Keep cool ; the black activists who built the
jazz age.London [etc.] 1995.

Waldo, Terry: This is Ragtime. Reprint (1976). New York

Walker, Leo: The wonderful era of the great dance bands.
Reprint (1964). New York 1990.

Wilmer, Valerie: As serious as your life; the story of the
New Jazz. Reprint (1987).London 1998.

Wyndham, Tex: Texas shout ; how Dixieland Jazz works. Seattle, Wash.


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