Jazz of New Orleans
Although in the period that goes from the end of the War of Secession up to the end of the XIXth century, already there existed some bands that were touching something similar to a rudimentary jazz, like those of the cornetistas Sam Thomas, Louis Ned, James L. Harris or Robert Baker or the band that was usually touching in Kelly’s Stables of New Orleans, is considered to be usually to Buddy Bolden as the first big figure and the initiator of the first definite style of jazz.
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The formal birth of the movement cool took place in 1948 with the publication of the album Birth of the Cool of Thousands Davis, the whole manifesto autodefinitorio and one of the most influential recordings of the history. The new style was stemming straight from the bebop, but it was turning out to be a more cerebral music, which took as a main target the establishment of a “calm” ambience and “meditative”. The cool jazz turned out to be particularly popular between white musicians like Lennie Tristano, partly for its alienation of the African roots of the jazz, but also it found a hollow between the preferences of black musicians who were happening of being simple entertainers to adopt a more active and serious role in the search of its identity musical. Thousands Davis, who had begun its career with Charlie Parker, there gave beginning to the movement with Birth of the Cool (1948), the first one of a series of albumes-Walkin (1954), Thousands (1955), Cookin’, Relaxing, Working or Steaming, all of (1956 – that the bases of the style were sitting. The Modern Jazz Quartet – originally the rhythmic section of Dizzy Gillespie, integrated by Milt Jackson, John Lewis, Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke – published Modern Jazz Quartet with Milt Jackson (1953), Modern Jazz Quartet Volume 2 (1953), and Django (1956), where they were presenting its elegant compositions, in the limit between the baroque thing and the jazzístico. Gunther Schuller was the official initiator of the third stream, a current that was establishing a bridge between the classical music and the jazz, which takes its Jazz Abstractions (1959) as a paradigmatic example, and which counts also between its main representatives Bob Graettinger.
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Feminine Jazz singers
The vocalist of jazz Billie Holiday.
The blues sung by women had a beginning slightly more late than the masculine one, partly for the rural origin of the style, an ambience where the man was occupying first place. When the blues began to penetrate in the big cities, it began to change such a tendency, giving place to the first feminine figures of the age of the classic Blues, like Ma Rainey or Bessie Smith, or the least well-known Bertha “Chippie” Hill, Victoria Spivey, Sippie Wallace, Alberta Hunter or Big Mama Thornton. Ethel Waters, Ivy Anderson, Mildred Bailey and – on all of them – Billie Holiday they were already interpreting songs, songs and more commercial ballads of composers as Jerome Kern, George Gershwin or School Porter.
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The vocal tradition in the jazz began with the singers of blues, a style of which he was maximum exponent Ray Charles but which it had between its most remote representatives known to “Blind” Lemon Jefferson and Huddie Ledbetter, a convict of Louisiana more known like “Leadbelly”. Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy and It Is House they stood out in Chicago – the world capital of the blues – in spite of its southern origins, as Muddy Waters, Little Brother Montgomery, St. Louis Jimmy Oden, Sunnyland Slim, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Memphis Slim, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins or John Lee Hooker, almost all out-standing guitarists. J. E. Berendt distinguishes two mainstreams between the singers of blues, the “current of the Mississippi”, rougher and dirty, and the “current of Texas”, which gave place to more sophisticated mergers, like the jazz blues and the swing blues.
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As it had happened with the flute a few years earlier, the violin knew in the decade of a period of splendor that was turning out to be somewhat paradoxical if there is born in mind the role that had redeemed the instrument in the history of the jazz. In the first bands of New Orleans it was relatively usual, and some of the most important figures of the epoch were violinists (John Robechaux, Will Marion Cook, Johnny Schenk. . . ). Nevertheless, the instrument was not provided with a stamp so powerful as that of the wind instruments, by what its role remained relegated to of those.
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The vibraphone, a percussion instrument with melodic possibilities, turns out to be theoretically an ideal instrument for the jazz, but in spite of it only it has been imposed slowly in the formations and bent since it does not allow the execution of a sound jazzistico, on not having been able to modulate its stamp any more than by means of the vibrato applied by electrical connection or by blows of different intensity. Lionel Hampton and Milt Jackson are considered to be the most important vibrafonistas of jazz, the first one in the most traditional ambience and the second one in the modern jazz. Hampton – along with Network Norvo – introduced the instrument in the jazz to the beginning of the age of the swing, while Jackson popularized it at the head of the famous persons Modern Jazz Quartet.
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During the decade of the flute occupied the place – together with the saxo soprano – of the clarinet, an instrument that was collaborating to the age of the swing, a music that had already happened fashionably. The tradition jazzistica of the instrument is relatively short: one of the first alone ones of flute registered on a jazz disc was the one that Wayman Carver executed in Sweet Sue, a recording of the band of Spike Hughes who goes back.
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Congas and bongos
Until beginning of the decade of the percussion instruments had been used marginally by the bateristas, but from this date the scale of percussion instruments that was getting in the recording studies began to extend so much that gave place to a new type of musician – the percusionista – specializing in this type of instruments. Most of the percussion instruments used in the jazz were coming originally from Latin America (keys, güiro, cabasa, maracas, congas, bongos, kettledrums, pandeiro, etc. . . ), but progressively there began to do appearance different instruments proceeding from the India, from the Tibet, from China, from Japan, from Bali or of africa.
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Organ, keyboard and synthesizers
The pipes organ, an instrument that was coming from the European ecclesiastic tradition, appeared for the first time in the jazz of the hand of Fats Waller, a musician who bequeathed its interest in the instrument to its most famous pupil, Count Basie, who was already using the electrical version of the instrument. Still in Clare Fischer carried some recordings out with the pipes organ, as Keith Jarret or the Belgian Fred Van Hove had done, but in general, in the world of the jazz Hammond has used the term “organ” in practice how synonymous of the organ. From Fats Waller and Count Basie Wild Bill Davis and Milt Buckner come, while of the tradition of the rhythm and blues, more tied to the development of the soul jazz there come Brother Jack McDuff, Johnny Hammond, Don Patterson, Lou Bennet, Richard “Groove” Holmes, Lonnie Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Charles Earland, Shirley Scott or enclosed Ray Charles. From the world of the rock, musicians like Steve Winwood, To The Kooper, Billy Preston y Booker T. Jones gathered the tradition of the organ of R&B, a tradition that had initiated in the churches when the organ Hammond scarcely had initiated its first steps in the world of jazz.
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The history of the guitar in the jazz starts at the end of the decade of with Charlie Christian that, in only two years, revolutionized completely the interpretation of the instrument. Nevertheless, the guitar, together with the banjo, has in the jazz a tradition much longer than most of other instruments. Long before Christian, already it was a rhythmic instrument and of harmonic accompaniment used by the singers of blues and of work songs, the music of the slaves in the labor camps. It was with Johnny St. Cyr and Lonnie Johnson who gave beginning the history of the guitar in the strict sense of jazz, marking this way the beginning of two traditions of interpretation that last even today: the rhythmic interpretation and of harmonic accompaniment and the soloist, of lines and monophonic phrasings. Bud Scott, Danny Barker or Everett Barksdale were early representatives of the rhythmic style, followed by Freddie Green musicians’ predecessor of the ambience of the jazz rock, of the soul and of the funk, like Cornell Dupree. Teddy Bunn and Al Casey were other guitarists of New Orleans, who tried to unify the traditions inicadas for St. Cyr and for Johnson. In this line, and inside the style Chicago, Eddie Lang and Eddie Condon stood out especially.
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