Saturday, July 12, 2014
What is jazz?
Might be that nobody really knows what jazz is anymore.
Some think it’s a dowdy antique, while others are certain it’s a marriage of rap and hip hop.
Neo-soul — and bastardized “funk” — are called “jazz” these days, too.
Oh, and “original music”…or maybe anything with a dominant, repetitive back beat.
More confusion exists in the form of the “can you dance to it” question.
Few remember that jazz was the (initially outlawed!) dance music of several generations – early and big band swing – until it turned a bop-ish corner circa 1949-1954 and became rock ‘n roll. Nobody stopped dancing to it then, either.
Eventually, the “artistic” bunch – Miles Davis, John Coltrane and the like – took jazz in yet another direction.
THAT was followed by a fall from popularity for what we once knew as jazz, as dance floors all over America declined.
It was mighty hard to compete with The Beatles and the rest of the British invasion.
At least we still had our Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller movies!
As the Twentieth Century progressed, the Beach Boys, The Mamas and the Papas – and many more – added production techniques to their recordings…. Read the full story »
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