About Jazz

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, Louisiana in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with its roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call-and-response vocals, polyrhythms, and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime. As jazz spread around the world, it drew on different national, regional, and local musical cultures, which gave rise to many distinctive styles. 

New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime, and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation. In the 1930s, heavily arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, bluesy, improvisational style, and Gypsy jazz (a style that emphasized musette waltzes) were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music" which was played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as a basis for improvisation.

Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, and highly amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called pop-fusion or "smooth jazz" became successful, garnering significant radio airplay. Acid jazz developed in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, combining elements of jazz-funk and disco with electronic dance music. Late 20th-century jazz has encompassed a wide range of styles and subgenres, including free jazz, avant-garde jazz, bop, modal jazz, post-bop, acid jazz, nu Jazz, smooth jazz, Latin jazz, and jazz-rock fusion.

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