Jazz: The Innovative Form Of Jazz Music

1990 Words 8 Pages
And All That Jazz

When someone mentions the word jazz most people probably picture something along the lines of a saxophone player standing on a street corner in the French quarter of New Orleans. Or a thought of the roaring 20s' and imagine your self at a party where everyone is dancing to the sound of a live band with trumpets, saxophones, and trombones. However these are actually surprisingly accurate to what jazz really is. But how did such an innovative type of music come about? Who was the first one to bend the rules of music and create a whole new genre? Who created these versatile instruments that we find in a modern day jazz band? Where did jazz come from? Jazz music came from a combination of African folk music and rhythms, Caribbean,
…show more content…
Louis Blues, Overall Armstrong wrote and performed some of the most popular and well known jazz songs of all time. Larkin states, "It is impossible to overstate Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong's importance in jazz." He adds, "He was also more than a jazz musician he was an enormously popular entertainer"(pp. 232) Armstrong unlike other black jazz men and women, was one of the first to be welcomed in the upper echelons of white society. In addition Armstrong was also an influential singer, demonstrating great dexterity as an improviser, bending the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. His voice gravelly voice is almost instantly recognizable to most people. He was also skilled at scat singing, a type of singings that uses vocalized sounds and syllables rather than actual lyrics. Though Louis Armstrong is now known as one of the most famous jazz trumpet players ever, he started from humble beginnings. Born and raised in the "notorious"(pp. 232) Storyville district of New Orleans, Armstrong grew up in a broken home. His birth date, though on several occasions he claimed it to be 4 July 1900, was actually unknown. His musical abilities were not discovered until his early teenage years when he played in a band in the Colored Waifs Home that he stayed in for a time, first as …show more content…
The saxophone is seen by some as the dominant instrument in a jazz band. However, It's origins are far more modern those of the trumpet or trombone. The saxophone family was invented by the Belgian instrument maker, flautist, and clarinetist, Adolphe Sax, in 1840. He sought to make an instrument that would have the sound of a French horn but also the flexibility, and quickness of a woodwind instrument such as the flute. After constructing saxophones in several sizes in the early 1840s, Sax applied for, and received, a 15-year patent for the instrument on June 28, 1846. The patent encompassed 14 versions of the fundamental design, split into two categories of seven instruments each, and ranging from sopranino to contrabass. At first most musicians rejected the instruments because they were new, and the typical orchestra setup had already been pretty much set in stone. As a result there almost no music written specifically for the saxophone from about 1840-1910. However around the time of the roaring 20s' the sax began to emerge again when it was realized that it fit in well with jazz music. (Mark Watkins PhD.) Famous jazz saxophone players from this era include; Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and John

Related Documents