Jazz Music

Introduction of Jazz Music
  • Jazz music originated in America and it is like a language, layered with experience and life profoundly lived; draws from life experience and human emotion as the inspiration of the creative force.
  • Jazz musicians have their own, unique way of playing their instruments
  • Characters of jazz music: strong, prominent meter, syncopated rhythms patterns, polyphonic ensemble playing, different degrees of improvisation, distinctive tone colors and performance techniques…
  • There are many jazz music genres from ragtime, blues to fusion-jazz, and we are illustrating some of the important genres here.


  • Sedalia, Missouri (WHAT ABOUT IT?)
  • New developments in piano making in the 1870s - pianos became much cheaper for an average consumer and as a result many American families could afford one.
  • American Blacks began transferring their own music featuring syncopated rhythm, including work songs, cakewalks and spirituals that were played on drums, onto piano.
  • Mainly written for piano.



  • Syncopation
Video References
Scott Joplin - Maple Leaf Rag (1899)
Tom Turpin - St Louis Rag (1903)
Joseph Lamb – Bohemia (1919)
  • Immigrants from France, Spain, England, Italy, Germany and Slavic countries, as well as Blacks created an environment where these ethnic groups merged together and the mix of their music fused into the earliest forms of jazz.
  • Crescent City- favouring cultural interchanges and nurturing many important jazz musicians
  • All of the New Orleans European-American Jazz is labeled as "Dixieland".
  • The Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB) - white style of playing jazz (less expressive but better versed technically)
  • A collection of white New Orleans musicians who organized a band in Chicago in 1916 and played in New York in 1917.
  • The New Orleans Rhythm Kings (NORK) released its first record in 1922.
  • Improvisation
  • The format based on collective improvisation created a complex musical product.
Video References
MUSKRAT RAMBLE by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five 1926
Ben Pollack (drums) - New Orleans Rhythm Kings (NORK) – Wolverine Blues (1923)
The Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB) - Livery Stable Blues (1917)
Paul Barbarin (drums) – Bourbon Street Parade (1955)
Kid Ory (trombone) – Ory’s Creole Trombone (1922)
Miff Mole (trombone) – Original Dixieland One Step (1917)
Johnny Dodds (clarinet & saxophone) – New Orleans Wanderers- Perdido Street Blues(1926)
Sidney Bechet (clarinet & saxophone) – Texas Moaner (1924) (recorded with Louis Armstrong)
Lonnie Johnson (guitar & banjo) – I’m not Rough (1927) (recorded with Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory, Johnny Dodds)
Fate Marable (piano) – Pianoflage(1924) (recorded with Fate Marable’s Society Syncopators)
  • The term was given in 1945 by a trumpet player Dizzy Gillespie.
  • The word "bebop" mirrors the vocalization of a tritone.
  • Played for listening rather than dancing because of heavy syncopation and rhythmic complexity.
  • Departure from large big bands toward smaller in size ensembles such as trios, quartets, and quintets.
  • More syncopated and improvised approach to piano and guitar coming along with walking bass.


  • Charlie Christian – Swing to Bop (1941)



  • Art Tatum – Yesterdays



  • Oscar Peterson – C



  • Miles Davis (with Charlie Parker) – Ornithology



  • Dexter Gordon – Lady Bird (1964)



  • Thelonious Monk (piano) – ‘Round Midnight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZskBDZ40os (Recorded in 1958)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC68NtEmAcc (Monk performing in 1969)





  • Charlie Parker (saxophone) – Billie’s Bounce (1945) (recorded with Dizzy Gillespie)



  • Tritones as passing chords or special harmonic effects
  • Blue notes and tritones
Video References
Thelonious Monk (piano) – ‘Round Midnight (Recorded in 1958)
Thelonious Monk (piano) – ‘Round Midnight (Monk performing in 1969)
Bud Powell (piano) – Bouncing with Bud (1946)
Kenny Clarke (drums) – Epistrophy (1957) (co-wrote with Monk)
Lester Young (saxophone) – Love me or Leave Me (1956)
Charlie Parker (saxophone) – Billie’s Bounce (1945) (recorded with Dizzy Gillespie)
Shaw 'Nuff by Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker (1945)
Charlie Christian – Swing to Bop (1941)
Art Tatum – Yesterdays
Miles Davis (with Charlie Parker) – Ornithology
  • Many years of bebop era based on melodic and harmonic intensity evoked a need for a calmer kind of jazz.
  • Avoidance of roughness and brassiness.
  • Smoother and longer melodic phrases.
  • Less pronounced syncopation and rhythmic variety with music “tight” and on the beat.
  • Dave Brubeck – Take Five (1959)



  • Clifford Brown – Hymn of the Orient (1956)



  • Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine (1959)



  • Paul Desmond – Skylark (1974)




  • No Figs (1950) (composed by Lennie Tristano) [recorded with Buddy DeFranco (clarinet), Kai Winding (trombone), Lee Konitz (alto sax), Billy Bauer (guitar), Lennie Tristano (piano), Eddie Safranski (bass), Max Roach (drums)] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEm-ZCHePTI






Video References
Dave Brubeck – Take Five (1959)
Clifford Brown – Hymn of the Orient (1956)
Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine (1959)
Paul Desmond – Skylark (1974)
Lennie Tristano (pianist & composer) - Intuition (1949)
The Metronome All-Stars 1950 - Double Date / No Figs
John Lewis (pianist & composer) – Rouge (1949) (recorded with Miles Davis, Kenny Clarke, Lee Konitz)
Tadd Dameron (pianist & composer) – Ladybird (1949) (Live performance with Miles Davis, Kenny Clarke)
  • New ways to play and, like modern European concert music, growing disgust with the machine-like character of the traditional system of functional harmonics
  • Free tonality or atonality; new rhythmic approach.
  • Disintegration of meter, beat and symmetry.
  • Fusion with "world music" including the influence of Arabic, African and Indian styles.
  • Increase in intensity and dissonance by directing sound toward the realm of noise.
  • High-energy performing breaks the conventional barriers of instrumental capability.
Video References
John Coltrane (saxophone) - Ascension (1965)
Ornette Coleman (saxophone) - Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation (1960)
Don Cherry (trumpeter & composer) – Lonely Woman (1959) (From the album The Shape of Jazz to Come) (recorded with Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden)
Oscar Peterson and the Modern Jazz Quartet – At the Opera House (live performance 1957)
Cecil Taylor (piano) - Jitney #2 (1974)
Cecil Taylor (piano) - Steps (1966) (From the album Unit Structures)
Charlie Haden (bass) – Some Day (1977) (written by & recorded with Ornette Coleman)
  • Fusion or Jazz and Rock with regards to timbre, improvisation, and rhythm.
  • Increased use of electric instruments and electronic synthesizers.
  • Increase of unaccompanied solos.
  • Increase in solo and duo recordings and performances without a large rhythm section.
  • The comeback of swing and bebop (They were always anyway!).
  • Continuation of fusion between traditional forms of jazz and world music.
  • Wider application of electronic instrumentation featuring the New Age musical elements, especially in the 1980s.
  • More: Acid Jazz, Jazzy Pop, rap, “watered-down” jazz...
  • Al Di Meola – Arabella (1987)



  • Stan Getz – La Fiesta (1972)



  • Joe Henderson – Black Narcissus (1977)



  • Sonny Rollins – Dancing in the Dark (1987)



  • Art Pepper – Besame Mucho (1979)



  • Sarah Vaughan – How Long Has This Been Going On (1978)



  • Ella Fitzgerald & Joe Pass – Sophisticated Lady (1975)



  • Bill Evans (piano & composer)

-- Solar (1961) (From the album Sunda at the Village Vanguard) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObtLNz7NQuQ

– the album Conversations with Myself (1963) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlEMC5iMvGE





  • John McLaughlin (guitar) - Django (1995) (From the album The Promise)




Video References
Bill Evans (piano & composer) - Solar (1961) (From the album Sunda at the Village Vanguard)
Bill Evans (piano & composer) – the album Conversations with Myself (1963)
Herbie Hancock – Watermelon Man (1962) (From the album Takin’ Off)
Chick Corea – Spain (1971) (From the album Light as a Feather)
Keith Jarrett (piano) - Riot (2001) (From the album Inside Out)
John McLaughlin (guitar) - Django (1995) (From the album The Promise)
Larry Coryell (guitar) – the album Fairyland (1971)
Pat Metheny (guitar) – the album Secret Story (1992)
  • Drawing on all traditions of past trends in jazz including Dixieland, Blues Fusion, Swing, Bebop, Free, Latin, and Jazz-rock.
  • Easier access to various artists and recording representing an array of styles from around the world due to the availability of Internet and social media.
  • Application of technology and modern synthesizers in fusion with traditional instrumentation.
  • Blend of jazz and classical music.
  • Instead of changing jazz and transforming it, contemporary jazz artists focus on bringing the already existing forms to new artistic heights.
  • Dave Holland – Prime Directive (1999)



  • Wynton Marsalis – First Kiss (2009)



  • Snarky Puppy – Lingus (2014)



  • Diana Krall – Quiet Nights (2009)



  • Chris Potter – Against the Wind (2007)



  • Harry Connick Junior – The lonely Goatherd (2004)



  • Hiromi Uehara – Beyond Standard (2008)



  • Manhattan Transfer – Vibrate (2004)



  • Cassandra Wilson – Don’t Explain (2015)



  • Jamie Callum – What a Difference a Day Made



  • Yellowjackets – Spirit of the West



  • Arturo Sandoval – A Night in Tunisia (2011)



  • Dimitri Naiditch - Bach en Jazz - Concerto en la mineur



  • Jacques Loussier Trio - Air On The G String


Video References
Dave Holland – Prime Directive (1999)
Wynton Marsalis – First Kiss (2009)
Snarky Puppy – Lingus (2014)