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Describe The Main Characteristics Of A Specific Style Or Period In Jazz Since World War Ii

1718 words - 7 pages

Illustrate your answer with reference to recordings by a key artist. Discuss briefly how this style relates to previous developments in jazz and/or other contemporaneous movements in jazz, and show, as appropriate, how the discussed style relates to the broader social and/or cultural environment.Jazz is a form of music originated around the beginning of the twentieth century in the Southern United States within the African American communities, combining African and European music traditions. It was in 1880, when the Atlantic slave trade brought Africans to the United States and we began to see music starting to cross boundaries. It is from this movement in history that jazz began to ...view middle of the document...

Joplin composed rags combining syncopation, call and response, and using banjo figurations. 'Classic ragtime can be defined very simply as the piano rags of Scott Joplin, James Scott, Joseph Lamb, and their immediate collaborators, students, and followers... These three composers collected the materials of early folk ragtime, codified the style of a generation of folk players and defined the structure of classic rag.' (Berlin, 2002. Pg191). By 1901 many of the conventions of piano ragtime were established and the ragtime style was beginning to be used by classical composers such as Stravinsky and Debussy. But it was by W.C.Handy that blues became popularised with his composition of Memphis Blues in 1912 and St. Louis Blues in 1914 which both became jazz standards. 'Although his fame as "father of blues" is an overstatement, Handy's impact as a popularizer of this new musical genre should not be ignored.' (Gioia, 1997. Pg19.)It was the music of New Orleans that had an effect on the development of jazz having taken on various forms that have either branched out from original Dixieland or taken entirely different paths altogether. New Orleans musicians began to incorporate the music with an up-tempo beat, whilst the instruments used in marching bands, brass and reeds, became those used in jazz. Jelly Roll Morton began his career in the early twentieth century and composed a piece "Jelly Roll Blues" around 1905, which went on to be published in 1915 as the first jazz arrangement in print, introducing even more musicians to Jazz.From 1920 to 1933 prohibition in the United States banned the sale of alcoholic drinks leading to speakeasies (underground clubs) becoming lively venues of the jazz age. It was this era that introduced us to Hot Jazz where King Oliver joined Bill Johnson, and 1924 Louis Armstrong joined the Fletcher Henderson dance band as a featured soloist for a year, then forming his virtuosic Hot Five band. It would be fair to say that Armstrong furthered the language of jazz out of the dark ages. His style had evolved from people who proceeded him, he innovated a solo sense that had never been heard before. Armstrong gave his music cheerfulness, his rhythmic buoyancy was an inspiration to fellow musicians and his contributions can still be heard today in all of jazz and popular music. Cole Hawkins was the next jazz figure to change the progression of jazz 'incorporating elements drawn from Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum, and others, Hawkins constructed a robust, harmonically adept style' (Gioia, 1997. Pg169). It was Hawkins and Lester Young whose innovations were absorbed into the mainstream. 'The uncertain phrasing and slap-tonguing of his earliest recordings had by now been replaced by a smoother legato, a ponderous tone, and a melodic gift enlivened by Hawkins mastery passing chords' (Gioia, 1997. Pg170). In Hawkins time jazz had became even more popularised and was reaching out to the European communities, with Hawkins touring England...

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