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HISTOIRE DU JAZZ À TRAVERS SES PRINCIPAUX COURANTS

Histoire du jazz.

Après plus de 100 ans d’existence, l’histoire du jazz est jalonnée de différents courants qui ont fait évolué constamment cette musique. Issue à l’origine du blues, la musique de jazz possède encore aujourd’hui une caractéristique importante : l’utilisation prépondérante de l’improvisation…

LES ORIGINES DU JAZZ

L’origine du jazz se situe à la fin du XIXe siècle dans le sud des Etats-Unis et prend son essence au coeur de la communauté afro-américaine. L’Histoire du jazz s’est nourrie de la rencontre entre la tradition européenne et la tradition africaine. Le jazz est le résultat d’un mélange de plusieurs styles présent au début du XXe siècle aux Etats-Unis qui sont le blues, les negro spirituals et le ragtime.

L’ Histoire du jazz et la création de ce style prend naissance avec la traite des noirs massive aux Etats Unis au XIXe siècle. Ces esclaves en provenance d’Afrique amenèrent avec eux leur tradition musicale souvent basée sur une unique mélodie. Ces Work Song avaient pour but d’accompagner leur travail. Le blues , genre aux origines aussi floues que le jazz, est un des courants les plus importants ayant amené au jazz. Le blues rural, souvent joué par de pauvres guitaristes était une musique basée sur 12 mesures et faisait la part belle à l’improvisation.

En même temps que le blues se développe au début du XXe siècle dans le Mississippi, le Ragtime apparaît. Ce style est essentiellement une musique syncopée influencée par la musique classique. Ce style est le plus souvent joué au piano avec son représentant le plus célèbre, Scott Joplin. Le jazz prend aussi ses origines avec la musique religieuse des afro-américains avec les negro spirituals et le gospel.

C’est donc bien un mélange de tous ces styles musicaux présents au début du XXe siècle qui est à l’origine de ce qu’on appellera le Jazz .

NEW ORLEANS : LES ANNÉES 20

Le Jazz New Orleans est né à la Nouvelle-Orleans en Louisiane dans le sud des Etats-Unis. C’est un courant qui a débuté vers 1910 avant d’émigrer vers Chicago avec leurs représentants illustres tels que Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton ou encore King Oliver .

Issue directement du ragtime et du blues, le New Orleans est une musique se jouant dans la rue avec des fanfares. Les cuivres (trompette, trombone, tuba…) constituent le noyau principal de ce style entouré aussi de percussions ou d’un banjo.

Louis Armstrong

Le trompettiste Louis Armstrong

LE NEW ORLEANS PREMIER COURANT DE L’HISTOIRE DU JAZZ

Les musiciens afro-américains de La Nouvelle Orléans vont s’inspirer des fanfares des musiciens blancs afin d’un crée un genre nouveau appelé Jazz New Orleans. Le banjo et les percussions assurent le côté rythmique. Le batteur a à sa disposition seulement une grosse caisse surmontée d’une cymbale . L’autre instrument rythmique (ancêtre de la contrebasse qui deviendra essentiel en jazz) est le tuba . C’est un instrument à vent à gros pavillon qui a pour mission de faire la pompe avec des notes graves.

L’autre instrument phare de ce style est le trombone qui accompagne la trompette avec un contrepoint rythmique et des effets de « glissandi ».

Un des plus grand tromboniste de l’époque et de l’histoire du jazz s’appelle Kid Ory et son jeu est très caractéristique de ce style. L’improvisation est aussi prépondérante dans ce style de jazz.

En réaction à l’émergence du Be-bop dans les années 40, il y eu, sous l’influence du grand chanteur-trompettiste Louis Armstrong, un Revival New Orleans qui remis ce courant à l’honneur.

Selon la légende, ce serait le cornettiste Buddy Bolden qui fut le premier dans l’histoire du jazz à diriger un jazz band.

LE SWING : LES ANNÉES 30

Le Swing désigne communément le rythme qui fait l’essence du jazz. Il fait référence aussi à une période précise de l’ Histoire du Jazz. Ce courant est appelé «  ère des big-bands  », «  époque du swing  » ou bien encore «  swing  ». A partir des années 1930, le jazz devint véritablement populaire. Durant la Grande Dépression, les groupes et orchestres de jazz se développent aux Etats Unis autour des mouvements de danse tel que le charleston ou le Lindy Hop. Une décennie qui s’avéra féconde pour de nombreux musiciens. Parmi les plus connus, nous pouvons citer le trompettiste Roy Eldridge, le saxophoniste Lester Young ou bien le pianiste Art Tatum.

Duke Ellington

Le pianiste, compositeur et chef d’orchestre Duke Ellington

L’ère Swing est une période qui voit se développer les big-bands . Il y a ceux dirigés par des artistes blancs comme Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller , Gene Krupa et ceux orchestrés par des noirs tels que Duke Ellington ou Count Basie . Ces orchestres de big-band composés de nombreux musiciens étaient redoutables au niveau de la précision rythmique, la simplicité de l’énoncé et l’imagination mélodique.

Par extension, le swing caractérise le rythme de base qui a fondé la musique de jazz. Dans une mesure à quatre temps, le principe du swing est d’accentuer les temps faibles à la batterie ( 2e et 4e temps).La division du temps est ternaire et non plus binaire. Il en résulte dans la musique de jazz un effet de balancement. 

LE JAZZ MANOUCHE

Le jazz manouche est un style crée par le guitariste tzigane Django Reinhardt dans les années 1930 en France . Ce style nouveau est né du mélange des musiques manouches et d’Europe centrale (klezmer) avec le jazz swing venu des Etats-Unis. Les compositions de Django porte l’empreinte aussi de la musique classique, Django étant un grand admirateur de Debussy. Ce style popularisé par le « Quintet du Hot club de France » emmené par leurs deux leaders Django Reinhardt , Stéphane Grappelli au violon et secondés d’une section rythmique (deux guitares + contrebasse).

LE JAZZ MANOUCHE : UNE MUSIQUE VIRTUOSE

Django Reinhardt crée un nouveau folklore en introduisant la musique swing dans la musique tzigane. C’est un fait tout à fait nouveau dans l’histoire du jazz qu’un musicien à lui seul crée un style.

Le jazz manouche se caractérise par un style particulier de jeu sur guitare acoustique. Pour le jeu d’accompagnement, le guitariste fait la « pompe ». Cela consiste à jouer les accords sur tous les temps tout en accentuant le 2e et 4e temps caractéristiques du swing.

Django Reinhardt

Le guitariste Django Reinhardt

En ce qui concerne l’improvisation lead à la guitare, le jeu est très virtuose avec une technique de tenue de médiator particulière. Le poignet est cassé et ne repose pas sur la table d’harmonie permettant un jeu très percussif et plus puissant (à l’origine la guitare en manouche étant acoustique n’était pas électifiée).

Emmené par le grand guitariste français Bireli Lagrene , ce style connu un renouveau spectaculaire à la fin des années 90. Son apogée eut lieu en 2003 qui fêtait les 50 ans de la mort de Django.

Encore aujourd’hui, les musiciens de jazz manouche vouent un culte immense à Django Reinhardt. Ils se retrouvent à Samois-Sur-Seine village où il est enterré et où a lieu chaque année un festival en l’honneur du jazz manouche.

LE BEBOP : LES ANNÉES 40

Le jazz Bebop ou parfois appelé plus simplement « bop » est un courant qui a émergé dans les années 1940 aux Etats-Unis. Dans l’histoire du jazz, son influence est essentielle et est toujours prépondérante aujourd’hui. En effet, es innovations apportées par des génies tels que Charlie Parker et Dizzy Gillespie ont été fondamentales pour le jazz. Après l’ère des big-bands, les nouveaux jeunes musiciens en formant des groupes de musiciens plus restreints souhaitaient s’affranchir de leurs ainés et créer un nouveau style, plus libre. Les pionniers du be-bop qui se rencontraient au cours de jam-sessions furent Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk ou bien encore le guitariste Charlie Christian .

Charlie Parker

Le saxophoniste Charlie Parker

LE BEBOP UNE VÉRITABLE RÉVOLUTION DANS L’HISTOIRE DU JAZZ

Le Bebop tranche complètement avec la période swing qui le précède. Le Bebop se caractérise pas des tempo très rapides, des phrasés improvisés joués en croches sur des grilles harmoniques complexes (les accords changent quasiment à chaque mesure). Une maitrise technique approfondie de son instrument est nécessaire tant l’exigence demandée par ce style est grande. Les thèmes sont virtuoses et très complexes (ex: Donna Lee de Charlie Parker). L’improvisation est alors le coeur de cette musique. Le thème est souvent exposé à l’unisson par le saxophone et la trompette en début et fin de morceau. Au milieu, les musiciens se passent le relais et improvisent chacun leur tour sur la grille commune du morceau. La section rythmique la plus courante en be-bop est composé d’une contrebasse, d’une batterie et d’un piano.

Les thèmes composés pendant la période bebop proviennent des morceaux populaires de la période swing. Les boppers se sont souvent contentés de ré-écrire une nouvelle mélodie, plus complexe (ex: « Hot House » de Charlie Parker est une ré-écriture du standard « What is this things called love »). On retrouve l’harmonie de base du blues qui a été complexifiée pour servir de nouvelle trame à de nombreux morceaux (ex: « Billie’s Bounce » un blues en Fa de Parker).

A ces débuts, le style be-bop fut très décrié par les critiques de jazz ainsi que par des grands noms tel que Louis Armstrong qui ne comprenait pas grand chose à cette nouvelle mode.

LE COOL JAZZ : LES ANNÉES 50

La période appelé « Cool Jazz » débute en 1949 sous l’impulsion de Miles Davis. Il enregistre avec son nonnette lors de deux sessions en 1949 et 1950 l’album intitulé « Birth of the Cool ». L’album sortira finalement en 1957. Arrangés par Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, John Carisi et John Lewis   « Birth of the Cool » présente une musique enregistrée en nonette (9 musiciens) avec une section rythmique composée d’une contrebasse, batterie et piano. Du côté des cuivres il y a la trompette de Miles Davis, Gerry Mulligan au saxophone baryton et Lee Konitz au saxophone alto. Pour compléter l’ensemble, il y a un trombone, un cor d’harmonie et un tuba.

Dans l’histoire du jazz, cet enregistrement est un tournant avec ce nouveau style « Cool Jazz » qui se crée en réaction à la révolution Bebop de Parker et Gillespie.

miles davis

Le trompettiste Miles Davis

Le mot «  Cool  » que l’on peut traduire par frais veut s’opposer au caractère « Hot » du jazz Be-bop qui le précède. Les tempos choisis sont plus lents que ceux pratiqués dans le Be-bop. Il en résulte une musique plus douce, moins énergique, plus mélodique. Le « Cool jazz » se caractérise par des arrangements sophistiqués notamment ceux de Gil Evans et Gerry Mulligan. Ce courant fait la synthèse entre la musique classique et le jazz. En effet, ce nouveau style qui se développa sur la côte ouest des Etats-Unis avec des musiciens, pour la plupart blancs. Ceux-ci possédaient une forte éducation musicale classique comme le pianiste Dave Brubeck ou encore le saxophoniste Paul Desmond.

Parmi les grands noms du jazz qui commencent à s’imposer à cette époque, on peut citer le grand saxophoniste Stan Getz ou le grand chanteur et trompettiste Chet Baker .

LE HARD BOP : LES ANNÉES 50

Le « Hard Bop » est un courant dans l’Histoire du jazz qui s’inscrit dans la continuité du Be-bop et ce nouveau style se développe principalement entre 1955 et 1960 .

Après le « Cool Jazz » emmené principalement par des musiciens blancs « West Coast », le « Hard bop » se caractérise par un élan des noirs américains qui revendiquent un retour aux sources africaines. Ce nouveau genre mélange des influences du rythme and blues, du blues et du gospel notamment présent dans la musique du pianiste et compositeur Horace Silver .

John Coltrane

Le saxophoniste John Coltrane

La plupart des musiciens du Hard bop ont fait leurs armes avec le Be-bop. Les compositions de ce style ont généralement un tempo plus lent que le be-bop. Cependant, elles gardent les trouvailles harmoniques du bebop etl’importance du rythme est plus forte. Cela peut s’expliquer par l’apport très importants de batteurs tels que Art Blakey qui a fortement contribué à l’essor du « Hard bop » avec son célèbre groupe «  Art Blakey et les Jazz Messengers  ».

La formation « Hard Bop » est le plus souvent un quintet composé d’une section rythmique (piano, contrebasse, batterie) et d’un saxophoniste et un trompettiste. Le premier album « Takin’ off » de 1962 du pianiste Herbie Hancock est un parfait exemple d’un quintet Hard bop et de ce que fut cette musique.

Parmi les grands noms du Hard bop, on peut citer les grand saxophonistes John Coltrane et Sonny Rollins , les trompettistes Clifford Brown et Freddie Hubbard et le guitariste Wes Montgomery .

LE FREE JAZZ / THE NEW THING

Le « Free jazz », nommée aussi « New Thing », est né à la toute fin des années 50 et a continué dans les années 60. Le contrebassiste et compositeur Charles Mingus ouvre la voie au Free jazz avec son album en 1956 « Pithecanthropus Erectus ». C’est avec l’album « Something Else » en 1959 du saxophoniste Ornette Coleman et les deux premiers albums du pianiste Cecil Taylor que le mouvement né réellement.

Ce nouveau courant est né en réaction aux limites établies par le bebop, hardbop qui le précèdent. Les musiciens du Free Jazz veulent s’affranchir des règles établies du jazz traditionnel. Le Free jazz veut se détacher d’une grille harmonique prédéfinie et d’un tempo stable. Bien qu’utilisant les bases du jazz, la composition est bien moins structurée. L’improvisation tient une place absolument prépondérante et inspirera le genre « improvisation libre ».

Cette nouvelle musique ou « nouvelle chose » fût considérée à l’époque comme une musique d’avant garde. C’est un courant un peu à part dans l’histoire du jazz et souvent méconnu. On peut voir en ce mouvement une tentative de retour aux racines du jazz avec une connotation religieuse et l’emploi fort de l’improvisation collective.

Les pionniers du Free jazz sont Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Sun Ra et le grand saxophoniste John Coltrane avec une implication plus tardive au milieu des années 60.

LA BOSSA-NOVA

La bossa-nova ou plus communément appelé bossa est un style musical qui est né du mélange de la samba et du cool jazz  à la toute fin des années 50. Né à Rio de Janeiro, ce style est aujourd’hui un des courants les plus célèbres de la musique brésilienne encore aujourd’hui. Sa popularité la plus forte est arrivée dans années 60, tout d’abord au Brésil puis s’est étendue aux Etats-Unis et en Europe. Antonio Carlos Jobim qui notamment composé le très célèbre standard de bossa « The Girl from Ipanema » est avec Joao Gilberto le principal inventeur de ce nouveau genre.

Getz/Gilberto

Contrairement au jazz traditionnel qui utilise le plus souvent un rythme ternaire (croches swing), la bossa-nova à l’instar de la samba est une musique binaire . Cette rythmique d’accompagnement bossa, le plus souvent jouée à la guitare classique , est syncopée et répétitive.

La bossa-nova trouve son inspiration harmonique dans un mélange savant entre l’inspiration des standards de jazz et la musique classique avec des compositeurs tels que Chopin ou Debussy . Le standard de bossa-nova « Insensatez » appelé aussi « How insensitive » est une réécriture   du Prélude Op.28 n o  4 de Chopin.

Nombreux sont les grands musiciens de jazz qui se sont intéressés à ce nouveau genre et qui ont participé à son essor. A ce titre, le musicien le plus emblématique est très certainement le saxophoniste américain Stan Getz . Il enregistre en 1964 avec le chanteur/guitariste Joao Gilberto un album très célèbre intitulé sobrement « Getz/Gilberto  » en compagnie du pianiste/compositeur Antonio Carlos Jobim et de la chanteuse Astrud Gilberto .

LE JAZZ FUSION : LES ANNÉES 70

Le trompettiste Miles Davis est à l’origine de ce nouveau style avec la sortie de son album « Bitches Brew » en 1969. Ce nouveau courant appelé « jazz fusion » ou « jazz rock » se développe alors beaucoup durant les années 70 . Le jazz-fusion mélange le jazz avec des musiques plus électriques comme le rock ou le funk. Trois grands groupes sont représentatifs de l’émergence de ce nouveau style : « Weather Report » dirigé par Joe Zawinul , « Return to Forever » du pianiste Chick Corea et le « Mahavishnu Orchestra » du guitariste anglais John Mc Laughlin .

Jaco Pastorius

Le bassiste Jaco Pastorius

LE JAZZ ROCK : TOURNANT MAJEUR DANS L’HISTOIRE DU JAZZ

Cette musique nouvelle utilise massivement les sons électriques sous l’influence du guitariste rock Jimi Hendrix . Des pianos électriques sont utilisés tel que le Fender Rhodes. L’utilisation de clavinet ou de synthétiseurs se développent. Ces instruments n’étaient pas présents avant dans le jazz, musique essentiellement acoustique. Le changement majeur s’effectue aussi avec l’apparition de la basse électrique. Le bassiste Stanley Clarke avec la technique du slap et le virtuose Jaco Pastorius avec la basse fretless apportent des sonorités nouvelles et participent à l’émergence de la basse électrique dans le jazz. Le jazz fusion reste une musique instrumentale. Les morceaux sont prétextes à de longues improvisations. Les métriques et motifs mélodiques souvent complexes.

Le jazz-rock privilégie des rythmiques binaires en délaissant le swing du jazz traditionnel. Cette nouvelle esthétique fait la part belle à la vélocité des instrumentistes tels que le guitariste Al di Meola du mythique groupe « Weather Report ». Le jazz-fusion se caractérise aussi par des changements d’ambiances, des passages très écrits et difficiles à jouer et des plages d’improvisations collectives vastes.

Cette période perdura aussi pendant les années 80 avec des musiciens tels que Pat Metheny, Bob Berg ou encore Michael Brecker .

LE JAZZ AUJOURD’HUI

Depuis les années 1980 , il est difficile de délimiter des courants bien distincts comme ce fut le cas pendant des décennies depuis l’apparition du jazz au début du XXe siècle aux Etats-Unis.

Keith Jarrett

Keith Jarrett

Pat Metheny

  Pat Metheny

Depuis, le jazz s’est nourri d’énormément d’influences (musique indienne, africaine, cubaine, musique Europe de l’Est..). Le jazz peut être finalement aujourd’hui un synonyme de «  musique instrumentale improvisée  » tant les styles sont différents.

Le jazz traditionnel qui pourrait être symbolisé par le répertoire des standards communs à tous les musiciens de jazz est toujours très joué encore aujourd’hui. Le génial pianiste Keith Jarrett a joué en trio à partir de 1983 jusqu’à nos jours essentiellement des standards où il pouvait faire montre de toute l’étendue de son bagage musical accumulé durant des années.

Le trompettiste Wynton Marsalis , dans une démarche revivaliste, très respectueux de l’ère swing, continue de faire vivre cet héritage aujourd’hui.

De manière non exhaustive les grands noms du jazz aujourd’hui sont Tigran Hamasyan, Avishai Cohen, Brad Meldhau, Gilad Hekselman, Jonathan Kreisberg, Ben Wendel … Tous ces musiciens assimilent d’autres influences à leurs compositions venus de régions différentes et possédant parfois des musiques folkloriques utilisant notamment des métriques impaires (musique arménienne, bulgare, israelienne…).

En conclusion, nous pourrions dire que nous sommes dans une ère de jazz ultramoderne. Aujourd’hui, les musiciens de jazz prennent leurs inspirations dans des multitudes de cultures musicales. De fait, c’est ce qui en fait une musique très difficile à définir et délimiter…

6 Commentaires

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merci !!! C’est hyper interessant

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Merci beaucoup 🙂

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Merci pour cet article très instructif et pédagogique car si les artistes sont connus, leur affiliation à un genre spécifique l’est moins.

Je vous en prie. Ravi que cet article vous ait plu !

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Super clair

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Excellente synthèse, merci beaucoup.

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date dapparition du jazz

Histoire du jazz

Le jazz désigne aujourd'hui un ensemble de genres musicaux d'origines afro-américaines. Ses caractéristiques essentielles sont la mise en valeur de rythmes spécifiques, la prépondérance de l'improvisation et le traitement particulier des sonorités instrumentales ou vocales, dérivé à l'origine de l'imitation des voix humaines.

Le jazz trouve ses origines dans un mélange culturel, résultat de l'intégration de traditions emmenées d'Afrique du seizième au dix-neuvième siècle par les esclaves, à des méthodes instrumentales harmoniques et mélodiques inventées en Europe. Ce métissage musical qui eu lieu aux États-Unis est à l'origine d'un grand nombre de styles musicaux apparus depuis le 19eme siècle et tout au long du 20eme siècle jusqu'à nos jours.

L'origine du terme jazz n'est pas définie avec certitude et il pourrait y en avoir plusieurs. Ce mot proviendrait, entre autres possibilités, de l'argot américain gism ou gasm synonyme d'énergie sexuelle. Dizzy Gillespie affirmait que jasi exprime l'idée d'un rythme de vie trépidant et sous pression dans une langue africaine. A ses débuts, le terme jazz définissant une musique jouée dans des lieux ou la prostitution était pratiquée, a été associé à quelque chose de sexuel, d'énergique et par analogie au mouvement et à la danse.

A la fin du 19 e et au début du 20 e siècle, au sud des États-Unis, les ancêtres du Jazz que sont les work songs chantés dans les plantations de coton par les esclaves, ainsi que le Blues, sont considérées comme rustiques, prolétaires et d'assez mauvais renom. Le ragtime dont Scott Joplin est le plus célèbre représentant, est joué au piano dans les maisons closes et les saloons. Le blues est chanté dans les plantations. Seul les negro spirituals et les gospel songs qui sont pratiqués à l'église, bénéficient d'un lieu de diffusion "respectable".

C'est la rencontre de ces différents styles musicaux se mélangeant eux-mêmes aux musiques de marches militaires entendues dans la rue lors de défilés qui fabrique au début du 20eme siècle le socle d'une musique bientôt nommée jazz .

Jazz instruments chateau

Les influences africaines des instrumentistes noirs de ces orchestres les incitaient à intégrer de nombreuses syncopes aux marches, quadrilles et autres danses d'origine françaises jouées à l'époque dans cette ville. Ces orchestres ambulants étaient composés d'instruments transportables : trompette, trombone, clarinette, banjo ou guitare, tuba en guise de contrebasse, washboard ou tambours en guise de percussions. Certaines de ces formations que l'on nommait "spasm bands" étaient formées d'enfants jouant des instruments bricolés à partir d'objets recyclés du type tuyaux de gaz, tonneaux, bouilloires ou encore boîtes à cigares.

Charles « Buddy » Bolden (1877 – 1931) est considéré comme étant à l’origine du premier groupe de jazz de l'histoire . C’est en 1895 qu’il fonde sont orchestre en mélangeant les styles de l’époque. A partir d'un répertoire de valses, mazurkas, ragtimes, blues rural, negro spirituals et musiques de défilés de rue, Bolden va rapidement créer un nouveau genre de musique en partie improvisé. A ce moment, dans les années 1900 - 1910, cette nouvelle musique ne porte pas encore officiellement le nom de jazz .

Le pianiste et chanteur Jelly Roll Morton fait lui aussi ses début de musicien à Storyville avant de partir pour d'autres destinations. Un autre très grand musicien issu de ce quartier, le trompettiste, chanteur, compositeur et chef d'orchestre Louis Armstrong va marquer l'histoire du jazz avec sa voix si particulière et par le fait qu'il contribue largement à l'éclosion du rythme propre au jazz : le swing .

En 1917 le gouvernement fait fermer le quartier de Storyville, ce qui à pour conséquence de faire émigrer les musiciens désormais au chômage vers Chicago. C'est entre autre avec l'argent des gangsters dépensé dans les cabarets de cette ville que le style "New orleans" s'épanouira véritablement et élargira sa notoriété.

Du blues surgit le boogie woogie et parallèlement les musiciens empruntent et transfigurent de plus en plus les thèmes de la chanson populaire de Broadway et d'ailleurs.

C'est à cette même époque qu'un certain George Gershwin (1898 - 1937) se fait connaître du grand public. Ce pianiste de formation, compose de nombreuses œuvres à la frontière entre la musique classique et le jazz, formant une synthèse géniale de ces genres musicaux. Cette démarche de "fusion" musicale à ce point aboutie est quasi unique dans l'histoire de la musique. Les mélodies originales de Gershwin intègreront rapidement le répertoire des musiciens de jazz pour devenir des standards de jazz. Parmi ses compositions qui marqueront le jazz et la musique classique, nous pouvons citer la Rhapsody in Blue, Un Américain à Paris, les variations sur « I Got Rhythm », Porgy and Bess (comprenant la célèbre mélodie "Summertime") et son Concerto pour piano et orchestre.

Dans les années 1930, se développe la vogue du jazz nommé swing ou middle . Les orchestres de jazz comme ceux de Duke Ellington, de Count Basie ou de Glenn Miller s'étoffent, devienent à la mode à Hollywood, en Californie et débarquent en Europe.

Les solistes et leurs improvisations prennent de plus en plus d'importance au sein de ces grandes formations. C'est le cas du saxophoniste américain Lester Young qui fut engagé des années 1936 à 1940 dans l'orchestre de jazz de Count Basie. Cela offrit à cet artiste le meilleur tremplin qui soit pour pouvoir développer son art et sa carrière.

Ces formations jouent des compositions originales de leur chef d'orchestre et de certains de leurs musiciens, comme par exemple "Take the A train" de Billy Strayhorn à l'époque où il travaillait avec Duke Ellington. Ils interprètent de nombreux thèmes populaires de l'époque comme All of me , ainsi que ceux puisés dans les comédies musicales de l'époque dont les compositeurs sont entre autres Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers ou de Georges Gershwin.

Les chansons à succès du moment fournissent au jazz et aux chanteurs crooners comme Franck Sinatra, beaucoup de très belles mélodies comme Everything happens to me ou "Angel Eyes" du compositeur et chef d'orchestre Matt Dennis. Alec Wilder, un autre créateur de chansons populaires composera pour plusieurs comédies musicales, des opéras et des musiques de films des thèmes comme "I'll Be Around" ou Moon and sand (en 1941). C'est à peine quelques années plus tard en 1944, qu'un autre très célèbre crooner, Nat king Cole, commence sa carrière en interprétant Besame mucho . Ce thème deviendra rapidement un succès international et fut repris depuis par d'innombrables autres artistes musiciens de jazz.

A la même époque que le style swing prend son essor aux États-Unis, le jazz manouche apparaît en France avec Django Reinhardt et Stéphane Grappelli qui forment le Quintette du Hot Club de France .

Cette formation à été et reste l'un des plus célèbre groupe de jazz français de l'histoire du jazz. Classiquement, un groupe de jazz manouche est composé de plusieurs guitares et d’une contrebasse, auxquelles peut se rajouter, entre autres instruments, le violon. Ce style est le fruit d’un mélange de la musique gitane, ou tzigane, importée d'Europe de l'est, de la musique française populaire de l’entre deux guerres et des standards du jazz swing américain de l'époque dont par exemple le thème Have you met Miss Jones .

La virtuosité déployée par les musiciens des groupes jazz manouche est à l'évidence inspirée de la tradition de la musique folklorique tzigane elle même souvent extrêmement virtuose. Django Reinhardt et Stéphane Grappelli sont les premiers représentants virtuoses célèbres de l'histoire du jazz manouche, mais ils sont loin d'être les seuls.

Après quelques décennies pendant lesquelles ce genre musical connu un relatif oubli, il profite depuis les années 1990 d'un fort regain d'intérêt. Les célèbres représentants actuels de cette musique se nomment entre autres Stochelo Rosenberg, Biréli Lagrène, Angelo Debarre, Romane, Patrick Saussois, Christian Escoudé, et le petit fils de Django lui même, David Reinhardt. Ces musiciens se caractérisent par une grande maîtrise technique de leur instrument et des formules musicales typiques du jazz manouche. La pompe en est une : il s'agit de la répétition très régulièrement jouée à la guitare des accords d'accompagnement.

En 1940, c'est la révolution du bebop et l'apparition d'un répertoire original qui transforme complètement et complète celui issu du blues et des standards. Le bebop sera créé en réaction à la musique, joué par les big bands, en partie voués à l'animation musicale et à la danse. Pour la première fois, apparaissent des enchaînements harmoniques complexes et des compositions musicales aux tempi d'enfer. De façon générale la tendance est aux groupes plus petits, type quartet, quintet ou sextet.

Le jeu be-bop est la première vraie révolution de cette musique afro-américaine qu'est le jazz. Les musiciens noirs affichent une nouvelle conception de leur art. Par cette démarche ils affirment fortement et avec grand talent leur identité musicale auprès d'un auditoire majoritairement blanc.

Le saxophoniste américain Charlie Parker (1920 - 1955) est un très grand virtuose, ainsi qu'un musicien qui à marqué l'histoire du jazz. Il a joué un rôle essentiel dans l'apparition du style "Be-bop" dans les années 1940. Un grand nombre de ses thèmes sont devenus des standards de jazz : Billie's bounce , "Donna Lee", Blues for Alice, "Moose the Mooche", "Confirmation", "Dewey Square", "Now’s the Time", "Scrapple from the Apple", "Dexterity", "Yardbird Suite", "Au Privave". Dans un style plus latin C. Parker a composé le célèbre My little suede shoes .

Les autres piliers de ce mouvement musical sont sans conteste les pianistes Thelonious Monk, Bud powell et le trompettiste Dizzy Gillespie à l'origine eux aussi de très nombreux thèmes devenus des standards du be-bop.

Pendant les années 40 de nouvelles tendances musicales ne tardent pas à apparaître. Le cool (littéralement : frais) est en rupture avec l'exubérance du be-bop, sans agressivité sonore. Il intégre des arrangements musicaux élaborés comme ceux de Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, ou du pianiste John Lewis. Certains procédés, ou formes, venus de la musique classique sont utilisés comme dans le Blue Rondo à la Turk de Dave Brubeck (1920 - 2012) avec le saxophoniste Paul Desmond (1924 - 1977).

Pendant la décennie 1940 - 1950 de nombreux musiciens américains composent des chansons populaires, comme Alec Wilder avec Moon and sand . Ces mélodies sont souvent reprises par les musiciens de jazz de l'époque et deviennent progressivement des standards.

Le style harmonieux du cool jazz prend vraiment le contre-pied du be-bop en adoptant souvent des tempi plus modérés ainsi qu'en s'inspirant de la musique classique. Il se développe surtout sur la cote ouest des Etats-Unis, d'où son appellation jazz west coast . En Californie, les musiciens blancs ont une solide formation musicale universitaire classique. De ce fait le style west coast est souvent l'expression d'un subtil mélange d'inspiration de la musique dite "classique" et des rythmes, harmonies, et formes du jazz.

Une forme de fusion de ces deux styles musicaux est à l'origine de la démarche des musiciens et compositeurs de cette tendance musicale comme Gil Evans et Gerry Mulligan. Le saxophoniste Stan Gets est un des grands représentants de cette époque de l'histoire du jazz au même titre que le trompettiste et chanteur Chet Baker dans ses inoubliables interprétations de standards comme Everything happens to me ou encore "My funny Valentine".

C'est à la fin de cette décennie qu'Oscar Peterson, un des plus grands pianistes jazz de l'histoire , commence à être connu. Il marquera des générations entières de musiciens par son sens du swing ainsi qu'une virtuosité hors du commun.

Le hard bop qui apparaît début des années 50, se caractérise par l'intégration de thèmes bluesifiés aux structures harmoniques plus complexes du bebop. Dans l' histoire de la musique , le hard bop est en quelque sorte l'évolution naturelle du be-bop volontairement provocateur vers un style musical moins élitiste, plus consensuel et plus "grand public". L'instrumentation du jazz be-bop est généralement de type quintet avec trompette et saxophone. Des suites harmoniques sophistiquées mettent en valeur des mélodies souvent chantantes, ce qui aide à séduire un plus large public.

Les Jazz Messengers , orchestre qui connu un grand succès, fondé par le batteur Art Blakey et le pianiste et compositeur Horace Silver, est typique de cette époque. Le pianiste et compositeur Horace Silver ( Song for my father ) et le saxophoniste et compositeur Benny Golson ( Hassan's dream , Blues March) sont deux éminents membres de ce groupe. Ils illustrent parfaitement la direction musicale du hard bop dans leurs nombreuses compositions.

La musique jazz funk commence à apparaître aux États-Unis à la fin des années 50. Il marque une sorte de retour au jeu "sale" avec des rythmes aux motifs syncopés, marqués et insistants. Dans les années 60, il devient plus commercial, et on l'associe souvent à la notion de "soul" comme avec la musique de Ray Charles.

C'est à la fin des années 60 que le groupe de James Brown , "The JB's" dont un des tubes est "Sex machine", invente le rythme syncopé très groove typique du funk que l'on nommera funk beat . L'appui rythmique sur le premier temps de cette musique est une nouveauté dans le jazz. Ce nouveau style intègre un jeu de basse électrique slappé très caractéristique, qui prend une place très importante dans le morceau. Le "slapping" consiste à tirer fort sur la corde de la basse pour qu'elle produise un son "claqué" en rebondissant sur la touche (le manche de la basse).

Des artistes comme Herbie Hancock dans Cantaloupe Island , Stevie Wonder le compositeur de Isn't she lovely , Miles Davis, ou des groupes comme Kool and the Gang intègreront ce style rythmique et composeront nombre de tubes avec.

Le funk des années 60 et 70 est à l'évidence une des sources d'inspiration du disco des années 80, et influencera beaucoup d'artistes comme Earth Wind and Fire , The temptations , et d'une certaine manière Michael Jackson ou Prince.

Le style afro-cubain issu du mélange du bebop et de la musique cubaine, est apparu dans les années 45 avec des artistes comme Machito, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Kenton, Cab Calloway. Charlie Parker participa à ce nouveau style musical avec quelques unes de ses compostions dont My little suede shoes et Tico - Tico.

Le matériau thématique du jazz s'enrichi d'influences puisées dans les musiques d'Amérique latine comme le Mambo ou la Rumba. Des bongos et des congas sont ajoutés aux sections rythmiques, comme le fait Dizzy Gillespie dans ses différents orchestres jazz successifs.

Le percussionniste cubain Mongo Santamaria né à La Havane (1922 – 2003) fut un des précurseurs du genre. Le compositeur d'"Afro Blue" qui alla vivre à New York à partir de 1950, a joué avec les tout premiers Big Band de jazz afro-cubain. Parmi ces orchestres de salsa, nous pouvons citer ceux de Tito Puente, de Cal Tjader, de Perez Prado, et le Fania All Stars.

Dans les années suivantes d'autres influences latines arrivent progressivement aux Etats-Unis pour se mélanger à la musique jazz. Elles proviennent entre autre des caraïbes, ce qui fut le cas du le calypso.

La bossa nova , signifiant littéralement "nouvelle vague", est née au Brésil vers la fin des années 50. Selon Antônio Carlos Jobim, son principal inventeur avec João Gilberto, elle est issue de la rencontre de la samba brésilienne et du jazz . La samba avait pour sa part été inventée et pratiquée au Brésil par les esclaves noirs amenés dans ce pays par les portugais. Le premier album Bossa Nova de l'histoire est "Chega de Saudade" (1958), la musique étant de Jobim, l'interprétation de João Gilberto et les paroles de Vinícius de Moraes.

Les rythmes de La bossa nova et de la samba sont suffisamment proches pour indiquer leur évidente filiation. La bossa se joue avec une rythmique de type latin donc binaire et non swing , autrement dit ternaire. Sa caractéristique est d'être syncopée et répétitive, à l'image de celle de la samba mais avec un tempo est plus lent et une expression musicale beaucoup plus douce.

L'instrument harmonique de prédilection pour la section rythmique de la bossa est la guitare, qui dans certains cas assure seule l'accompagnement du chanteur ou de l'instrument soliste. En plus des percussions, le piano à lui aussi souvent sa place dans la composition instrumentale de l'orchestre bossa nova. Jobim tenait d'ailleur souvent la partie de piano sur les enregistrements de ses propres compositions.

Les harmonies et les structures de la bossa nova sont issues du jazz et plus précisément du cool jazz, une des principales tendances stylistiques des années 1950. Elles sont parfois même inspirées de la musique classique. Il y a par exemple une véritable parenté ainsi qu'une influence évidente du célèbre prélude n°4 pour piano de Chopin sur la mélodie et l'harmonie du standard How insensitive de Jobim.

Antônio Carlos Jobim raconte qu'Henri Salvador l'aurait inspiré lors d'un de ses concerts, pour inventer la bossa nova, un genre musical qui prendra une place importante dans l'histoire du jazz. Stan Getz, le saxophoniste au son de velour, enregistre en 1962 le célèbre "Desafinado" avec le trio de Charlie Byrd puis un album légendaire en compagnie de Jobim et du couple Gilberto dans lequel se trouve le magnifique standard Girl from Ipanema .

Cette musique apportera au jazz une pulsation rythmique nouvelle ainsi qu'un grand nombre de thèmes originaux comme Corcovado , Você abusou, Recado bossa nova, Black orpheus , Agua de beber, One note samba ou encore Doralice . Le style Bossa nova a été totalement intégré dans la musique que jouent les groupes de jazz et jazzmen actuels, depuis maintenant de nombreuses années.

La Salsa, musique d'influence cubaine, est faite à l'origine pour danser. Elle trouve ses origines dans le "Son" Cubain qui est un genre musical lui même datant de la fin du 19eme siècle. A partir des années 50, l'émigration portoricaine vers les Etats Unis a été intensive. Elle a apportée avec elle les influences des musiques d'Amérique latine; Le boléro (Mexique), Le calypso (Antilles), le reggae (Jamaïque), la samba (Brésil), la musique mariachi (Mexique), la cumbia (Colombie), le joropo (Venezuela), le tango (Argentine), le merengue (République dominicaine).

De nombreux cubains émigrent aux États-Unis après la fin de la révolution cubaine. Les groupes de salsa apparaissent en grand nombre et s'installent sur l'axe New York - Miami - La Havane - San Juan. En Amérique du nord, ce mélange de styles se nomme généralement "latin jazz" ou "salsa" qui signifie « mélange » ou « sauce » en espagnol. Le mot "salsa" est un nom générique englobant une importante variété de rythmes et de styles.

Elle se structure autour de principes rythmiques très précis. Le piano fait tourner une figure répétitive de type ostinato: le "montuno" (prononcez "montouno"). Le principe d'accompagnement de la contrebasse s'appelle le tumbao. Le "clave" est le rythme répétitif propre à cette musique développé par les instruments à percussion. L'orchestre de salsa fonctionne en utilisant ces motifs rythmiques de deux mesures, répétés durant tout le morceau excepté certains "breaks" musicaux.

Sa section rythmique est constituée traditionnellement de la contrebasse ou basse, du piano, des congas, des bongos, des timbales et des claves. Sur cette base rythmique salsa l' improvisation du pianiste ou de l'instrumentiste à vent peut être effectuée dans la tonalité du morceau ou hors de cette tonalité. Lors d'une improvisation hors tonalité on dit alors dans le jargon jazzistique que l'on joue "out".

Porto Rico, qui est une possession des Etats Unis, a adapté la musique afro-cubaine à ses propres traditions musicales et a produit une salsa particulière.

Bebo Valdes, puis son fils Chucho Valdés avec son groupe Irakere sont deux pianistes qui se sont particulièrement illustrés dans ce style. Tito Puente, célèbre percussionniste et multi instrumentiste, enregistre depuis les années 1950 de nombreux albums de salsa avec différents orchestres.

Le jazz modal apparaît à la toute fin des années 50. L'album "Kind of Blue" en est définitivement le représentant le plus célèbre, et sera par ailleurs le disque le plus vendu de l'histoire du jazz. Les morceaux de cet album sont tous devenus de très grands standards : So what , Freddie Freeloader, Blue in Green, All blues et Flamenco Sketches.

Les deux musiciens phares de cet enregistrement sont le trompettiste Miles Davis, à l'origine de ce projet, et le pianiste Bill Evans qui proposera des harmonies novatrices pour l'époque.

Dans les années 60, John Coltrane et McCoy Tyner enregistrent une des interprétations de référence du jazz modal, "My Favorite Things" dans l'album du même nom. En 1964 le pianiste Herbie Hancock compose et joue Cantaloupe Island , un autre tube du style modal, présent dans son album "Empyrean Isles".

Le jazz modal est structuré autour d'un minimum d'accords et exige un maximum de liberté mélodique, d'enrichissements harmoniques et rythmiques de la part des musiciens improvisateurs. Sont utilisés le ou les modes correspondants aux quelques accords constituants le morceau musical, d'où l'appellation de "jazz modal". Pour la plupart ce sont des modes anciens ou "grecs". Le plus courant est sans conteste le mode dorien mais d'autres dont le phrygien, le lydien et le mixolydien peuvent être régulièrement employés aussi.

C'est à l'époque du jazz modal que le jeu dit "out", c'est à dire hors de la tonalité correspondante à l'accord d'accompagnement , voit véritablement le jour. En effet lorsque les changements harmoniques sont peu nombreux comme dans le style modal, il est très enrichissant pour son improvisation d'utiliser des variations mélodiques qui vont jusqu'à sortir de la tonalité.

Le free jazz qui se développe à la fin des années 50 et dans les années 60, se caractérise par la disparition du swing "classique", par un renoncement au thème, à la trame harmonique et à la tonalité. Les musiciens de free jazz n'utilisent plus la technique instrumentale académique pour incorporer volontairement dans leur jeu des bruits parasites et des sons nouveaux.

Les principes harmoniques et mélodiques n'étant plus d'actualité, le discours musical est en totale rupture avec ce qui à été composé et joué jusqu'à lors. Le free jazz est une sorte de parenthèse dans l'histoire de la musique, car le concept de la négation de l'harmonie et des structures musicales passées ne fera pas école très longtemps et ne touchera qu'un public relativement restreint. En repoussant les limites de la musique, cette expérience artistique apportera au monde du jazz un élan nouveau, le libérant un peu plus des anciennes logiques musicales.

Ce bouleversement renouvelle tous les anciens schémas musicaux ayant cours jusque dans les années 1960. Le free jazz fut aussi l'occasion pour les musiciens noirs américains d'exprimer fortement des revendications sociales et humaines dans une amérique parfois intolérante envers les minorités ethniques.

Parmi les musiciens à s'être illustrés dans le free jazz, citons John Coltrane qui se tournera de plus en plus vers ce style dans les dernières années de sa vie ou encore, les pianistes Cecil Taylor et Sun Ra, le contrebassiste et compositeur Charles Mingus , les saxophonistes Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Albert Ayler et Joe Maneri.

L'un des premiers groupes de jazz fusion , Weather Report , a été formé en 1971 par le pianiste Joe Zawinul et le saxophoniste Wayne Shorter. Il sera l'un des plus influents. Leur composition la plus célèbre reste Birdland . Les instruments sont amplifiés électriquement, les arrangements sont parfois complexes, et la rythmique de cette musique est le plus souvent binaire.

Dans les années 70 les musiciens Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Tony Williams, les groupes Return to Forever avec Chick Corea, Weather Report , "The Crusaders", "Pat Metheny Group", en France "Sixun" et "Magma", participent de façon très créative à ce style musical.

Les années 80 verront apparaître de nouvelles tendances, plus grand public, comme le smooth jazz . De nombreux artistes participerons à donner ses lettres de noblesses à ce style. Parmi eux, nous pouvons citer le chanteur Al Jarreau, le saxophoniste Grover Washington et son tube "Just the two of us", Sade, George Benson, Norah Jones la chanteuse de Don't know why , Michael Bublé, Bob James au clavier dans le groupe "Fourplay".

  • Musiciens de jazz
  • L'histoire du piano jazz
  • L'histoire de la contrebasse jazz

Encyclopædia Universalis

  • 1. Tentative de description
  • 2. La création en jazz
  • 3. Histoire du jazz
  • 4. Le jazz des années 1960
  • 5. Après la révolution
  • 6. Le jazz contemporain
  • 7. Le jazz en France
  • 8. Bibliographie

Histoire du jazz

Le jazz est issu de plusieurs courants. À travers le folklore vocal, spiritual et blues, et quelques souvenirs de percussion africaine, s'élaborent l'animation spécifique du swing et un certain nombre de thèmes qui appartiendront en propre à la musique afro-américaine. Ce folklore surgit simultanément, à la fin du xix e  siècle, en plusieurs endroits du sud des États-Unis. Mais c'est à La Nouvelle-Orléans, aux alentours de 1900, que naît l'art instrumental du jazz.

Cette ville, fort animée, connaissait une vie musicale importante, fondée essentiellement sur un répertoire français de marches, quadrilles et autres danses à la mode. Les Créoles en étaient les principaux exécutants. Les Noirs, enfermés dans le quartier de Perdido, s'amusèrent à recréer, selon leur sensibilité et leur malice, les airs qu'ils entendaient, s'assemblant en des orchestres d'instruments bricolés (banjos faits d'une boîte à fromage, contrebasses obtenues à partir d'un tonneau) que l'on dénommait « spasm bands ». À partir des brisures et des syncopes que les Noirs avaient apportées à ce répertoire, une nouvelle formule s'élabora, le ragtime (morceau de piano déhanché, écrit autour de trois thèmes), qui fit fureur dans les bars de Storyville, le quartier réservé de La Nouvelle-Orléans .

Parallèlement, enfin, aux spasm bands existaient des fanfares noires, qui exécutaient des marches, des quadrilles, ainsi que des morceaux composés par des pianistes de Storyville. Ces ensembles se produisaient notamment pour des défilés, des enterrements, des pique-niques, des réunions électorales, des bals de banlieue . Grâce à leur réputation, ils finirent par forcer les portes des « saloons » et dancings de La Nouvelle-Orléans. C'est dans leurs rangs qu'il faut chercher les premiers noms célèbres du jazz : le trompettiste Buddy Bolden , puis les cornettistes Freddie Keppard et Bunk Johnson .

Hormis quelques reconstitutions laborieuses, on ne possède pas de documents enregistrés sur cette préhistoire du jazz. Quant au mot lui-même, il apparut seulement vers 1915, dérivé, sans doute, d'un terme d'argot qui désignait l'acte sexuel. Ce n'est que dans les années 1920 que son emploi sera généralisé et qu'il recouvrira la nouvelle musique noire, au répertoire mêlé, à la fois blanc et noir, mais à la démarche instrumentale et rythmique déjà très originale.

Le « vieux style » (1917-1930)

En 1917, le gouvernement fit fermer Storyville. Ce fut l'exode massif des musiciens de La Nouvelle-Orléans vers le Nord, à Chicago , où s'épanouit, en fait, ce que l'on a appelé le style Nouvelle-Orléans. La région était prospère et les cabarets s'enrichissaient de l'argent dépensé par les gangsters. Parallèlement, une école de pianistes noirs se développa à New York , véritable carrefour d'influences et d'artistes qui, à partir de 1930, prendra comme capitale du jazz la relève de Chicago. Le style Nouvelle-Orléans, et plus généralement tout le vieux style (c'est-à-dire le Nouvelle-Orléans et ses diverses adaptations), repose d'abord sur une improvisation collective polyphonique : le trompettiste ou le cornettiste énonce le thème et conduit l'ensemble, le clarinettiste dessine des broderies, le tromboniste établit des lignes de basses puissantes et amples. L'usage du solo ne se répandra que petit à petit. Le jeu de ces musiciens est simple et bien posé à l'intérieur d'une mesure à deux temps ( two beats  : le premier temps est marqué par le cornet et le trombone, le second, ou afterbeat , est accentué par la section rythmique). Le répertoire comprend aussi bien le blues ( Royal Garden Blues ) que le spiritual ( When the Saints ), le ragtime ( Maple Leaf Rag ), des compositions de jazzmen ( Muskrat Ramble de Kid Ory) et [...]

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Le jazz est un genre musical né à la fin du XIXe siècle aux États-Unis, qui a exercé une énorme influence sur la musique cultivée et populaire.

Les Origines du Jazz 

Ses origines remontent à la fusion des cultures africaine et européenne, qui s’est produite lorsque les deux cultures se sont rencontrées dans un lieu commun, les États-Unis. Les esclaves africains ont apporté avec eux les danses et les rituels associés au vaudou, qu’ils ont mélangés avec la musique religieuse des communautés blanches, notamment les hymnes protestants. Ce mélange a donné naissance au chant spirituel au 18e siècle. De ces chants choraux est né le Gospel, dont la popularité s’est accrue au cours des années 1930 et qui utilise la structure question-réponse, produisant un type de polyphonie dominé par la spontanéité du message musical. Le mot original était GodSpell, dérivé de Good Spell, l’appel de Dieu, un chant pour conduire les gens à Dieu .

Outre le gospel, un deuxième élémente est à prendre en compte : le blues. Son origine se trouve dans les plantations où travaillaient les esclaves noirs américains. Ce sont les chansons d’un seul interprète, reflétant les tristes complaintes du peuple . Sa traduction littérale serait la tristesse ou la mélancolie. Elle est basée sur la musique traditionnelle d’Afrique de l’Ouest avec des éléments d’influence arabe, combinée à une structure harmonique européenne.

Plus tard, le boogie-woogie est apparu, un style qui adopte le schéma du blues à douze mesures, joué à un tempo rapide pour le rendre dansant. L’instrument le plus courant est le piano avec accompagnement de percussions, qui se développe dans les bars appelés barrelhouses pour servir des boissons au robinet. Ses rythmes insistants et ses mélodies répétitives l’ont rapidement rendu populaire.

Un autre élément à considérer dans l’origine du jazz est la tradition instrumentale des fanfares militaires américaines, qui utilisaient des formes harmoniques de la musique européenne. À la fin du 19e siècle, des fanfares et des orchestres qui jouent la musique des danses de l’époque se sont formés. Cette instrumentation, composée du cornet, du trombone, de la clarinette et de la batterie, est devenue partie intégrante de la musique de jazz.

Plus tard, le banjo et la contrebasse ont été ajoutés.

À la Nouvelle-Orléans, des musiciens noirs autodidactes gagnaient leur vie en jouant dans de petits groupes qui servaient, entre autres, à accompagner les funérailles. Le ragtime est né, un rythme syncopé qui est passé des orchestres au piano. Un genre musical qui a influencé toute la musique américaine, y compris la musique dite classique.

À la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale, les rag bands de la Nouvelle-Orléans sont devenus des orchestres de jazz et le ragtime de Harlem à New York a commencé à évoluer vers ce qu’on appellera le swing .

ragtime de Harlem à New York

La Naissance du Jazz

Le véritable jazz est né de ces éléments dans les années 1910. Le mot jazz est d’origine inconnue, il apparaît en 1917 dans les premiers enregistrements. La base du style musical est l’improvisation , sans qu’aucune partition ne soit écrite. Le thème mélodique sert de base sur laquelle l’interprète développe librement sa musique. Le véritable compositeur est l’interprète, qui improvise à chaque représentation. Cette moindre appréciation des lignes mélodiques, fondamentales dans la musique pop, fait qu’une grande partie du grand public ne l’apprécie pas suffisamment, ce qui l’éloigne des produits plus commerciaux.

Comme ressources mélodiques, il utilise généralement le blues, en ajoutant des figures rythmiques syncopées, des vibratos et des glissandos. Les interprètes sont constitués d’un instrument solo accompagné d’une section rythmique comprenant une batterie, une contrebasse et parfois des éléments harmoniques tels que le piano, le banjo ou la guitare. Plus tard, le saxophone a été introduit.

Le premier style de jazz, avant 1930, était appelé Hot jazz . Il est né des orchestres de rue, composés principalement de trompettes, de trombones et de clarinettes en tant que solistes, accompagnés par l’harmonie rythmique du banjo et le rythme marqué par la caisse claire, le bamboula, un tambour africain similaire à la timbale, et le tuba. Lorsque ces fanfares cessaient de défiler et s’installaient à un endroit fixe, les tambours étaient introduits, suivis de la contrebasse. Le banjo a été remplacé par le piano.

Parallèlement au style Nouvelle-Orléans, inspiré de la tradition du blues et joué par des musiciens noirs, le style Dixieland, qui utilisait également des éléments de ragtime et des tempos plus rapides, a été développé et était joué de préférence par des musiciens blancs. Les deux styles étaient joués dans le quartier populaire connu sous le nom de Storyville, où ils se mêlaient à la prostitution en étant joués dans des lieux de divertissement. Cet aspect ludique va créer une mauvaise réputation pour ce type de musique , considéré par les éléments conservateurs de la société comme une musique indésirable.

À la fin de la Première Guerre mondiale, Storyville ferme ses portes. Les musiciens migrent vers le nord et s’installent à Chicago, une ville à la vie nocturne animée pendant les années de gangstérisme et de prohibition. L’école de Chicago y est née.

La naissance du Swing

À la fin des années 1920, les plus grands musiciens de jazz s’étaient installés à New York, où se trouvaient des lieux aussi célèbres que le Cotton Club de Harlem. C’est là qu’est né le swing, influencé par la musique d’origine européenne. Les groupes ont augmenté leur nombre de membres en doublant leur nombre d’instruments. Les orchestres swing sont nés .

Cotton Club de Harlem

Le mot swing a deux significations. D’une part, elle donne son nom à un style de musique de jazz et, d’autre part, elle fait référence au dynamisme musical spécifique que l’interprète confère lorsqu’il joue cette musique.

En tant que style musical, il a donné naissance aux orchestres de jazz dans les années 1930. Il perd la polyrythmie caractéristique du chaud, les tambours étant le seul élément rythmique. Les éléments mélodiques augmentent en valeur, donnant à la musique une structure plus européenne. La musique est écrite en partitions et les improvisations sont moins importantes. On pourrait dire que c’est le type de jazz assimilé par les Blancs avec l’influence du music-hall et des intérêts commerciaux. L’orchestre de Duke Ellington est l’un des exemples les plus remarquables de ce que l’on appelle les Big Bands.

L’évolution du Jazz

Pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale, ces orchestres n’ont pas pu se maintenir et leurs membres se sont dispersés en petits groupes. Les jeunes musiciens cherchent un renouveau et le style Bebop est né . La section rythmique s’individualise et les rythmes deviennent furieux, avec une nette influence de la musique afro-cubaine. Les solos improvisés individuels augmentent, se rapprochant du jazz primitif. Ce type de musique n’était pas un genre facile comme le swing l’avait été, perdant sa commercialité. Les goûts musicaux du grand public commencent à diverger, préférant les chanteurs de ballades tels que Frank Sinatra ou Bing Crosby. La musique d’origine noire était divisée en deux secteurs, le jazz, créatif et imprévisible, et le côté plus commercial, c’est-à-dire plus attrayant pour le grand public, qui allait donner naissance au Rhythm & Blues .

Dès lors, les deux courants esthétiques se sont séparés, mais ont continué à s’influencer mutuellement. Dans les années 1950, le Cool Jazz est né avec un style plus chambriste, utilisant des constructions contrapuntiques, abandonnant les thèmes mélodiques.

Le free jazz est né dans les années 1960 à la suite du post-sérialisme contemporain, s’affranchissant des éléments traditionnels du jazz. John Coltrane est l’un de ses musiciens les plus illustres. Ce courant stylistique sera suivi à partir de 1970 par ce qu’on appelle l’Electric Jazz , qui utilise de la musique électronique influencée par le Rock.

Les danses dérivées du Jazz :

Enfin, nous mentionnerons les danses dérivées du jazz. Le Fox-Trot apparaît en 1912, inspiré par les danses noires primitives imitant les pas des animaux, en l’occurrence le trot du renard. De cette danse ont été dérivés le Slow-Fox ou renard lent et le Quickstep ou renard rapide. Influencée par le Charleston, c’est la version rapide du Fox-Trot, considéré comme une danse plus frivole. De nos jours, elles sont classées comme des danses standard dans les écoles de danse.

Idées playlist pour un EVG et un EVJF 

Bigflo et Oli : Le succès fulgurant des frères Toulousains (Biographie Bigflo et Oli)

Jul : L’homme aux multiples disques de platine (Biographie JUL)

Kendrick Lamar : l’artiste Américain aux mille projets (Biographie Kendrick Lamar)

Hamza : De ses premiers pas à ses grands featuring (Biographie d’Hamza)

Angèle : La mélodie du succès belge (Biographie d’Angèle)

Damso : Le rappeur aux multiples featuring (Biographie Damso)

Orelsan : L’artiste français aux multiples casquettes (Biographie d’Orelsan)

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A Brief History of Jazz

September 22, 2022

“Jazz is messy,” historian Ted Gioia told NPR after the release of the third edition of his book, The History of Jazz . “The trends are complex and often go back and forth in surprising ways. Even in the midst of writing a history of jazz, I wanted to make sure people knew that fitting this thing into a historical progression could mislead them.”  

Jazz Student Performance 2022 (2)

Any attempt to describe the history of jazz in a linear format is misleading because jazz didn’t—and doesn’t—happen that way. A style of music known for its improvisation and spirit, it was born in New Orleans, but took on life in countless new directions. Free jazz, cool jazz, bebop, post-bop, and electro swing: all of these and more have rich, tangled roots that defy delineation—and definition. Here is a sampling of those roots from geographical and musical perspectives, and a glimpse at a few of the jazz musicians who championed the genre.  

Geographical and Cultural Origins  

Though the history of jazz music is complicated and often debated, the one point historians reliably agree on is the geography of jazz origins . Jazz started as a uniquely American sound, forged in the melting pot of cultures in the south, particularly in New Orleans. The port city was a blend of Creole culture and African traditions, peppered with European influences.  

These cultural influences and musical traditions informed the new style of music originally known as “jass.” Developed by the African American community, the nascent music genre caught on and spread, picked up by musicians of other ethnicities and locales. Los Angeles, Denver, Baltimore, New York City, and even mining towns in Colorado became hubs of jazz music. By the Roaring Twenties, jazz was the sound of the decade, and its popularity blossomed throughout the US and overseas.  

Musical Origins  

While the genre blends the styles of many musical traditions, two key styles of music influenced early jazz : blues and ragtime. The more informal style of blues music and the syncopated rhythms of ragtime meshed together in jazz, along with various other historical influences. The field hollers and work songs of African slaves in the US, the hymns and gospels of the American south, and New Orleans’ popular brass bands all contributed to the development of jazz.  

Jazz Student Performance 2022

Influential Jazz Composers and Musicians  

In the early years of jazz and as it grew into more specific styles like swing and orchestral jazz, jazz composers and musicians played monumental roles in jazz history. Here are just a few of these legendary figures.  

  • Louis Armstrong , a world-renowned jazz trumpeter and vocalist who popularized swing.  
  • Fletcher Henderson , an arranger, bandleader, and pianist who pioneered big band jazz.  
  • Duke Ellington , a jazz pianist and master composer who brought innovation, flavor, and emotional depth to jazz.  
  • Charles Parker, Jr., a.k.a. “Bird” or “Yardbird,” a saxophonist, bandleader, and composer who led the development of bebop.  
  • Count Basie , a jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer who popularized big band and orchestral jazz.  

These artists’ influences are still felt in jazz today, even as the genre continues to evolve and grow. “The worst thing that could happen,” says Ted Gioia, “is for jazz to end up like the symphony orchestra, where you go to a concert and almost everything they play is 100 years old … History must always be tempered with an understanding of how we use these songs and sounds to revitalize the music ecosystem we currently live in.”  

If you would like to honor the history of jazz and participate in its persistence in the modern world, you can further explore the genre in our jazz programs at Levine! Levine’s Jazz Program provides students of all instruments, ages, and levels with opportunities to develop their musical skills and explore the art of jazz through ensembles, group classes, and private lessons.  

Join us for regular jam sessions, master classes, and performances devoted to appreciating and understanding this most vibrant artform. Whether you are a traditionally trained student who is curious about the world of jazz or you are an experienced jazz musician looking to expand your skills, Levine is the place to take your skills to the next level.  

Here at Levine Music, our core values—excellence and opportunity—infuse everything we do. Learn more about our program areas and upcoming performances, and donate today to help us bring lifelong joy and inspiration through music!  

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The Origins of Jazz

origins of jazz

Jazz is a music genre with district roots and an intriguing history, mixing a range of international styles to create a sound unlike what was ever experienced before. If you’re asking questions like, “Who created jazz?” “What are the origins of jazz in America?” and “When did jazz music start?” here’s what you need to know about the history of jazz.

When Was Jazz Invented?

“When was jazz music created?” is a question many jazz fans and people new to the genre ask. The beginnings of jazz actually date back to the 19th century. New Orleans was home to Congo Square, a space where slaves would gather and play music. That tradition started a bit before 1820, and it brought together people from a wide array of countries, each introducing a bit of their nation’s unique sound to the mix.

Over time, the blending of African music and Caribbean music was joined by marching band instruments. Marching bands were highly prevalent during the Civil War. They introduced many people to various brass instruments, and the united sound eventually formed the genre known as ragtime.

Spiritual music was also popular during the era and made its way into what ultimately became the jazz sound. After the Civil War, formerly enslaved people from throughout the American south brought blues to Louisiana. In time, all of these sounds melded together, leading to the genre that became jazz.

Ultimately, exactly when the genre known as jazz began is a bit debated. Most feel it started in the late 1800s or early 1900s. However, it ultimately rose to fame in the 1920s.

Where Did Jazz Originate and Why?

Jazz is often thought of as being founded on the musical traditions of West Africa (rhythm, “feel”, blues) and Europe (harmonic chords, variety of instruments). Early jazz also incorporated church hymns, slave songs, field chants, and Cuban-style rhythm.

Jazz originated in New Orleans, primarily as it served as a melting pot for the music that ultimately led to the jazz genre. One of the main reasons it formed there was that slaves from a wide variety of nations could come together and play music, something that wasn’t always permitted in other cities or states.

The Louisiana Territory had “ Le Code Noir ,” a set of rules outlining the treatment of slaves. While many of the requirements were harsh and strict, providing slaves with few rights or freedoms, a few clauses gave slaves some rights. Some of the tenants barred slave owners from making the slaves work on Sundays or Catholic holidays. As a result, slaves had a day of rest during the week, and many near New Orleans used that time to gather at Congo Square.

Essentially, that answers the question, “Why is New Orleans the birthplace of jazz?” it was the required Sundays off that created conditions that weren’t present in many other parts of the American south. Through the weekly gatherings, music was a way to find joy and served as the foundation for what eventually became jazz.

Congo Square Plaque, New Orleans

Who First Invented Jazz Music?

When it comes to who invented jazz music, most historians consider Buddy Bolden – a cornet player –the first jazz musician. He was an African-American bandleader, and he was even once dubbed the “first man of jazz,” cementing his place in jazz history.

At a minimum, Buddy Bolden was a musician that spearheaded the genre, often playing in Storyville at night. While there aren’t any known recordings of his playing, his sound was said to feature the improvisation traditionally associated with the genre.

However, Buddy Bolden wasn’t the only musician associated with the birth of jazz. Some other early jazz African-American musicians of the time included Mutt Carey, Bunk Johnson, and Joe Oliver. Creole jazz musicians like Jelly Roll Morton, Freddie Keppard, and Sidney Bechet also shaped the genre.

As one would expect, many of those musicians blended various musical traditions, featuring beats from West Africa and the Caribbean, European classical music instruments, and many other sounds and influences.

Buddy Bolden Band

How Was Jazz Sound Created?

As mentioned above, jazz music is an amalgamation of several different genres, featuring sounds from a wide array of international music styles. However, its foundations are largely based on three specific types of music. Here’s a closer look at the jazz music origins and the genre’s key characteristics.

What Are the Three Musical Roots of Jazz?

The roots of jazz are primarily ragtime, marching bands, and blues. Ragtime developed naturally in the American south, featuring African-American rhythms and styling combined with more traditional European music. It became a part of minstrel shows, allowing it to spread through many regions within the American south.

Marching bands were a form of support during the Civil War. Primarily, they aimed to keep morale high, but they also accompanied some drills. These sounds became widespread during that era and were viewed as uplifting, even if they were mainly associated with a challenging period in history.

The blues also developed as a genre during the Civil War. Word songs, minstrel shows, and spiritual music influenced that genre. Folk and other popular sounds of the era also made their way into the blues genre, further diversifying the sound stable blues itself.

Generally, jazz is viewed as a blending of those styles, incorporating their musical elements and many of the sounds and emotions present in them. But jazz also brought something new to the table, particularly when it came to improvisation.

new orleans french quarter jazz procession fountain

What Are the Music Characteristics of Jazz?

Jazz has many characteristics, some that it shares with other genres and others that are generally unique to the genre, at least during the origins of jazz. Improvisation is one of the most classically defining traits. However, syncopation, polyrhythms, and irregular rhythms are potential hallmarks, too.

Solos are also a traditional part of the jazz genre. Most early jazz also featured calls and responses, where one musician in a band would offer a phrase, and another would essentially reply to it.

Generally, jazz is a genre that seems to embody musical freedom. While some subgenres do have a distinct sense of melody, harmony, and rhythm, many others include unexpected elements as a form of expression. Often, it’s those unanticipated moments that make the genre highly unique, setting it apart from many other types of music.

How Did Jazz Evolve?

While the origins of jazz date back to the pre-Civil War era, like most types of music, it also changed over time. New sounds were incorporated as musicians began embracing jazz concepts. Additionally, various jazz musicians began honing their unique sounds, some of which led to the creation of new subgenres.

As mentioned above, jazz as a separate, official genre may date back to the late 1800s or early 1900s. However, jazz didn’t come into its own until the 1920s.

Many consider the 1920s the start of the jazz age since that’s when it first became broadly popular in the US and Europe. The “Roaring Twenties,” with prohibition, speakeasies, flappers, and music, drove jazz into the mainstream and made overnight success stories of musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie.

The age of jazz culminated in the historic 1938 Benny Goodman concert at Carnegie Hall, bringing together musicians from various ethnicities to perform jazz inside this hallowed hall. At this point, the jazz of the 1920s and 30s was already starting to give way to the Big Band era, although jazz musicians such as Ellington and Armstrong would continue to develop jazz until their deaths.

Despite the dominance of jazz ending with the Great Depression, the music has continued to evolve with new styles and sub-genres forming as its influence on pop culture continues to echo through time, along with many new up-and-coming jazz musicians .  Did you know April 30th is International Jazz Day ?  It was created in 2011 by UNESCO to help highlight how jazz is able to bring unity across the world.

Edward "Kid" Ory, creole jazz band

What Are the Origins of the Different Types of Jazz?

Over time, jazz evolved to include a wide array of subgenres, each with its own unique sounds and characteristics. While they all have jazz foundations, their differences cause them to stand apart from one another. Some feature cultural influences from nations that weren’t necessarily part of the foundation of jazz. Others embrace or shirk key traits like improvisation to varying degrees.

Here’s a quick overview of the origins of the different types of jazz.

Modern Jazz

Modern jazz essentially began in the 1940s, and it aimed for more freedom for improvisation. It stepped away from chord progressions, giving solo musicians more space to create unique melodies, using nearly any scale or note they wanted. As a result, it more often features unexpected elements and can be offbeat or challenging to follow.

Free jazz is an incredibly avant-garde subgenre, providing the highest degree of freedom one typically finds in jazz. It largely originated in the late 1950s, when Ornette Coleman began moving away from traditional notions and limitations associated with jazz, functionally rejecting all conventions. As a result, this type of jazz is one of the most challenging to define, as the lack of constraints is what is typically the basis for the genre.

ornette coleman

Bebop Style

Bebop primarily began in the early 1940s and is incredibly fast-paced and experimental. Many of its roots come from the integration of swing music, and scat singers were commonly part of the songs. Those scat musicians led to the genre’s name; a “bebop” was functionally a nod to the nonsensical syllables that come with scat.

Latin jazz is a fusion style that brought Latin sounds into the jazz genre. Usually, it features Cuban and Spanish Caribbean rhythms coupled with traditional jazz instruments and music compositions. Its origins also date back to the 1940s, formed initially by Afro-Cuban musicians in Spanish Harlem that collaborated with African-American jazz musicians.

Cool jazz arose during the 1940s as a counterpoint to faster and more chaotic or upbeat forms of jazz like bebop and hard bop. This genre brought in more classical elements, essentially moving away from blues and swing elements present in many other subgenres. Comparatively, it’s more restrained, though that can also make it more accessible to those who find certain types of jazz overwhelming.

Jazz Manouche

Jazz Manouche originated in Paris in the 1930s. Usually, it features smaller bands and favors an acoustic sound. Drums aren’t usually a part of the genre, leaning instead on rhythm guitarists to maintain the beat. Its origins are attributed to Jean “Django” Reinhardt, a Romani guitarist, and Stephane Grappelli, a French violinist. Due to Reinhardt’s background, the genre was once referred to as “gypsy jazz,” though that has since fallen out of favor due to the negative connotations of the term “gypsy.”‘

Jean "Django" Reinhardt at the Aquarium in New York, NY

Jazz Fusion

Jazz fusion began developing in the 1960s. During that era, jazz musicians started integrating sounds more widely associated with rock music and R&B. Most who began developing this genre had collaborated with Miles Davis at one point. While Davis mainly rose to fame in the bebop genre, he was highly experimental in his later career, playing a critical role in a variety of subgenres, including jazz fusion.

Smooth Jazz

Smooth jazz began in the 1970s, emerging as a form of crossover jazz designed to have broad commercial appeal. Comparatively speaking, it’s an easy-listening version of jazz, incorporating more predictability and gentleness than you find in many other types of jazz. Essentially, the goal was to reach a wider audience, so the genre added pop-inspired elements and features commonly associated with R&B ballads.

Modal jazz emerged in the mid-1950s. It’s named for the fact that it relies on musical modes. Organizationally, it’s more scalar than chordal. As a result, it provides more space for unique improvisations that would otherwise be challenging with more chordal versions of jazz. Both Miles Davis and John Coltrane are credited with popularizing modal jazz, allowing them to step away from the more rigid structures associated with some other approaches to jazz composition.

Swing started in the late 1920s, becoming broadly popular by the mid-1930s and remaining so until the mid-1940s. Most consider the years between 1930 and 1945 as the Swing Era, a time when big bands led by legends like Duke Ellington and Count Basie were making waves. The genre has a distinct rhythm, accentuating specific beats to create its unique feel.

Count Basie

Hard bop emerged in the mid-1950s, incorporating more features that you usually find in gospel music, R&B, and blues. It favored medium tempos over quicker ones, as it worked to bring soul sounds back into the genre, something some felt was lacking in cool jazz and some other emerging subgenres. It also maintained enough space for free expression but balanced that with a sense of groove, making it more danceable than subgenres like bebop.

Jazz legend Louis Armstrong once said: “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.”

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Great information. Real Music, Great Musicians and a Tribute to Real Art!

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Thank you for informing The Great Melting Pot that Jazz was a creation from the people America enslaved for over 200 years – West Africans. Yes, indeed the art of jazz like most of “American” or “Southern” music and style actually has its origins in West Africa. Not Europe or even Japan .Yes, Japan has followed in the footsteps of the White Western World and have also tried to remove Africans from their artistic and creative contributions that have changed humanity in some very significant and lovely ways. Not to mention of course these Enslaved Africans and descendants of Enslaved Africans made so many Western Corporations trillions of dollars over centuries of time. And this is what USA calls Meritocracy.

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jaz est coolieo

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Explainer: the history of jazz

date dapparition du jazz

Lecturer and Convenor of the Open School of Music, Australian National University

Disclosure statement

Alexander Hunter does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Australian National University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.

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After more than 100 years of history, it’s clear the word “jazz” means many different things to many different people. Depending on who’s doing the talking, it can either mean a highly specific musical style, or almost nothing.

The early timeline of jazz is spotty, vague and disputed, as one might expect of a musical movement that grew from a group that was both marginalised and exploited. Jazz evolved from the fringes of American society into one of the most influential, and enduring, musical movements of the 20th century.

date dapparition du jazz

New Orleans in the late 1800s was a remarkably cosmopolitan city, with a more racially egalitarian society than the rest of the American south. In that city, distinct musical trends began to develop, fusing elements of West African musical traditions with European harmonic structures. Musicians used readily available military band instruments left in pawn shops after the end of the American Civil War.

Scott Joplin , “the King of Ragtime”, popularised a music based on jagged (or “ragged”) rhythms, including the habañera , imported from nearby Cuba.

WC Handy , the “Father of the Blues”, travelled through Mississippi collecting and publishing folk songs utilising versions of the now standard “blues” form.

Jelly Roll Morton claimed to have invented what we call “jazz” in 1902, and did much to popularise the New Orleans sound through newly available recording technologies. By the time he recorded his Black Bottom Stomp in 1926, this new music had travelled as far as Chicago.

date dapparition du jazz

In 1917 the cultural hub known as Storyville was closed, which coincided with The Great Migration , in which more than a million African Americans travelled from rural communities in the South to major cities between 1910 and 1930 .

That migration, combined with recording technology and Prohibition, brought jazz to an unprecedented number of black and non-black audiences.

During this time Louis Armstrong was at the forefront of jazz. He altered the performance practice of jazz from the traditional texture in which multiple musicians play melody lines simultaneously, to what we now recognise as the individualist, soloist-plus-ensemble format .

The period between 1935 and 1946, generally referred to as the “ Swing Era ”, saw small, soloist-plus-ensemble bands of Armstrong and others (now called “combos”), largely give way to big bands, consisting of about 18 musicians.

Big names from this period, in which “Swing was King”, include Duke Ellington (thought of by some as the greatest composer in all of jazz history), Count Basie , Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller , Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman , who was the first to perform with a racially integrated band in 1938.

date dapparition du jazz

Bebop and the recording ban

In the early 1940s a schism occurred in jazz that forever changed the face of pop music. Many black musicians resented the success of white bands and, led by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie , returned to the virtuosic combo setting.

“Bebop” was faster and more complicated than anything that had come before it. This was the first time jazz audiences sat down and listened, moving out of the dance halls and into smoky bars. Jazz was becoming art music.

Just as bebop musicians were getting the hang of their new ideas, the Musicians Union in the USA enforced a ban on new commercial recordings as part of a dispute over royalties.

date dapparition du jazz

For more than a year, starting in August 1942, almost no instrumental musicians were permitted to make new recordings (vocalists were, rather humorously, not considered musicians, and were exempt from the ban).

Interestingly, record labels came up with the idea of recording completely vocal (“a capella”) versions of popular songs – think of a baby-faced Frank Sinatra in a sort of period prequel to Pitch Perfect.

Before the ban, vocalists were special soloists with big bands, and usually sang a verse or two in the middle of the song. But Tommy Dorsey’s trombone, not Sinatra’s voice, was the important feature. During the ban audiences became accustomed to vocal pop music, and haven’t looked back.

From this split in the early 40s between jazz as art music, and popular music with a vocal focus, the history of jazz follows the art branch (the other turning into the history of Rock and Roll in the subsequent 10 years or so).

From Cool Jazz to Hard Bop

Jazz musicians tend not to stay in one genre too long. Out of the rejection of the fast-paced, complex bebop emerged the late 40s new West Coast scene. Cool Jazz had a more relaxed tempo, with less focus on soloing and a return to ensemble playing.

Some big names here are Chet Baker , Dave Brubeck , Bill Evans, Gil Evans (no relation), Gerry Mulligan Stan Getz , and even Miles Davis , who would be at the forefront of every innovation in jazz from the 40s, through to his death in 1991 .

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This caused yet another reaction, resulting in what is known as “ hard bop ”, which fuses bebop practices with R&B, Gospel and Blues influences, and is generally recognised as the default style practised and taught around the world today.

In 1958, when bebop had taken chord progressions and virtuosity to its extreme, Miles Davis began experimenting with the other logical extreme. Jazz musicians had been playing the same standard repertoire since the days of early bebop, and had become very adept at what is called “running the changes”.

Most songs have similar chord progressions – think of those YouTube videos mashing up dozens of pop hits using the same four chords (I V VI IV progression) – and the same improvised melodies (“licks”) can be used over many different songs. Some musicians became frustrated with this apparently mechanical way of improvising, and devised a solution.

Space, melody and free jazz

If bebop had the maximum number of chord changes, what might happen when there were no, or very few, chord changes? Miles Davis’ Milestones (1958) has only two chords.

Davis sought to encourage melodic improvising by removing the “crutches” of complex changes. This “ Modal Jazz ” represented a huge shift in the techniques utilised by soloists, encouraging space in solos.

Compare the beginnings of Davis’ solo on So What with the recordings made by Davis with Charlie Parker a decade earlier.

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This focus in attention to space and melody, combined with new techniques and ideas coming out of the classical avant-garde gave rise to avant-garde, and eventually “free”, jazz. Starting with The Shape of Jazz to Come in 1959, Ornette Coleman did away with chords altogether, encouraging musicians to play without being constrained by ideas of Western harmonic and melodic conventions.

This was quickly picked up by a number of musicians all over the world (including, perhaps most notably and importantly, John Coltrane , who had recently left Davis’ band), and gave rise to a wide range of free jazz styles.

These had little to do with each other apart from their shared lineage and their interest in sound, and the unrestricted (or at least, less-restricted) interaction between musicians.

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As electronic instruments and funk gained in popularity, jazz musicians quickly jumped on new trends and innovations, starting in 1968 with Miles Davis’ Filles de Kilamanjaro .

As jazz moved through the 70s and 80s various elements of pop music seeped in, with just as many jazz elements seeping out – see David Bowie’s Young Americans (1975), for example.

When speaking of jazz in academia today (jazz theory, jazz aural skills, jazz piano class, etc.), we are using the vocabulary set out by the pioneers of bebop. As with all musics, in order to be studied and integrated into education, jazz had to be codified, and classicised.

To a jazz musicologist, the word “jazz” might connote a living, breathing tradition encompassing hundreds of musics from dozens of countries, fused with local folk and popular traditions.

But to my grandmother, jazz will always be The Andrews Sisters and that damned Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy .

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Jazz Timeline

Pre-1900

Pre-1900 - In the beginning

The music to become known as ‘jazz’ is generally thought to have been conceived in America during the second half of the nineteenth century by African-Americans.

They combined their work songs, melodies, spirituals and rhythms with European music and instruments – a process that accelerated after the abolition of slavery in 1865.

Black entertainment was already a reality, however, before this evolution had taken place and in 1873 the Fisk Jubilee Singers, an Afro-American a cappella ensemble, came to the UK on a fundraising tour during which they were asked to sing for Queen Victoria.

The Fisk Singers were followed into Britain by a wide variety of Afro-American presentations such as minstrel shows and full-scale revues, a pattern that continued into the early twentieth century.

Image : The Fisk Jubilee Singers c1890s © Fisk University

Download the full British Jazz Timeline written by Roger Cotterrell and Digby Fairweather

Explore our online collections from across the timeline

1900s

1900s - The ragtime era

Ragtime, a new style of syncopated popular music, was published as sheet music from the late 1890s for dance and theatre orchestras in the USA.

The availability of printed music for the piano (as well as player-piano rolls) encouraged American – and later British – enthusiasts to explore the style for themselves.

Early rags like Charles Johnson’s ‘Dill Pickles’ and George Botsford’s ‘Black and White Rag’ were widely performed by parlour-pianists.

Ragtime became a principal musical force in American and British popular culture (notably after the publication of Irving Berlin’s popular song ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’ in 1911 and the show Hullo, Ragtime! staged at the London Hippodrome the following year) and it was a central influence on the development of jazz.

Scott Joplin, dubbed the ‘King of Ragtime’, gained fame after the 1899 publication of his ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ and wrote many of the genre’s most famous compositions.

1910s

1910s - A music called jazz

During this period, jazz (or ‘jass’ as it was originally called) became identified as a distinctive musical genre developed primarily by black musicians.

It drew from ragtime, blues and popular songs and was based principally on improvisation – initially usually collectively performed – rather than on reading from a score.

A thriving community of musicians, including cornetist Charles ‘Buddy’ Bolden (born in 1877 and romantically credited as ‘the first jazzman’) and later players such as cornetists Joe ‘King’ Oliver and the young Louis Armstrong had established New Orleans as the home of jazz by 1920.

The music was played for a wide variety of social functions – dances, picnics, street events and funerals. Via recordings, news of it soon spread throughout the USA.

The first jazz record is often considered to be ‘Dixie Jass Band One Step/Livery Stable Blues,’ recorded by the (all-white) Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB) in February 1917.

The arrival in London of the ODJB and the (all-black) Southern Syncopated Orchestra featuring soprano-saxophonist Sidney Bechet in 1919 were central inspirations for an aspirant community of musicians and fans in Britain and launched Britain’s own ‘jazz age’.

Image : Original Dixieland Jazz Band programme from The Palladium, Argyll Street, London, 1919. National Jazz Archive.

1920s

1920s - Jazz takes root in Britain

By the mid-1920s jazz was a thriving preoccupation in British culture, and publication of the magazine Melody Maker from 1926 and the BBC’s first broadcasts (principally of dance music) helped to build popularity.

Records were available too, though the earliest to reach Britain from America were mainly by white artists such as cornetist ‘Red’ Nichols and trombonist ‘Miff’ Mole. But recordings by Afro-American players, including Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, quickly followed.

It was Armstrong whose solo recordings from 1925 with his Hot Five and Hot Seven definitively established jazz as a soloist’s art rather than an ensemble-based music as most of the early New Orleans jazz had been.

Aspiring British musicians learned from these records, but also from American musicians who were employed in British dance bands before government restrictions made this difficult.

The best example is probably Fred Elizalde’s Anglo-American band. From 1927, British bandleader Bert Ambrose was noted for incorporating jazz into his orchestrations and Billy Cotton, Roy Fox and Lew Stone followed his example.

1927 also saw the publication of the first British book on jazz, R.W.S. Mendl’s The Appeal of Jazz.

Home-grown British stars such as bassist ‘Spike’ Hughes also achieved prominence at this time. Hughes’ career as musician, composer, author, arranger, journalist and prolific recording artist culminated in a visit to New York City where, in 1933, he arranged three historic recording sessions for his All-American Orchestra featuring his own compositions and black American stars saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, trumpeter ‘Red’ Allen and trombonist Dickie Wells.

Image: National Jazz Archive collection

1930s

1930s - Consolidation and acceptance

The arrival in London of seminal American musicians, especially Louis Armstrong (1932) and Duke Ellington (1933), inspired the British jazz community, generating excited publicity, popular and professional interest – and occasional controversy.

Visiting stars set challenging performing standards for their British colleagues. Among the visitors were pianist Garland Wilson (1933), violinist Joe Venuti, saxophonists Coleman Hawkins (1934) and Benny Carter (1936), pianists Art Tatum and ‘Fats’ Waller and singer Adelaide Hall (1938).

Another visitor to Britain in this decade was the Belgian gypsy guitarist – and phenomenal virtuoso – Django Reinhardt who created a style that has since become a living tradition within jazz and gypsy culture.

Together with violinist Stéphane Grappelli (regularly heard in the UK thereafter), he founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France, which played in London in 1938. Its music added something utterly unique and timeless to the jazz tradition.

However, in this decade restrictions were imposed on American musicians performing in Britain, which meant a greater reliance on indigenous musicians for jazz performance.

The No 1 Rhythm Club opened in London in June 1933 and over the next few years many more such rhythm clubs were formed throughout the country. They fostered interest in (and serious intellectual consideration of) jazz by holding record recitals, discussions and sometimes musical performances for their members.

The BBC gradually introduced jazz into its programming, and dance music (broadcast live from London hotels and clubs) reached a national audience – though uninhibited jazz solos were often considered too hot a property for general listening. London nightclubs like the Bag o’ Nails, Nuthouse and Nest provided informal outlets for British musicians to play what they understood as real jazz.

By the later 1930s, some British musicians were achieving high solo reputations.

With his Georgians, trumpeter Nat Gonella toured nationally as a bill-topping attraction in music halls and visited America in 1939 to play and record with American contemporaries. The local pool of jazz musicians became more racially diverse.

The dancer Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson formed his West Indian Dance Orchestra, an all-black London band consisting of recent immigrants from the West Indies alongside British-born black musicians.

Image: Nat Gonella. National Jazz Archive collection

1940s

1940s - War clouds and silver linings

During the Second World War entertainment was needed to maintain morale.

The danceable, virtuoso music of the Swing Era (1935–45) was provided – for both American and British ears – by famous bandleaders such as Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Harry James, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, and Glenn Miller.

Thanks to radio, records, film and vibrant publicity in the popular press, they were the equivalent of today’s rock stars. Miller enlisted in the American Army in 1942, and led his American Allied Expeditionary Forces (AEF) band in Britain in 1944 before his aircraft went missing over the English Channel.

The Squadronaires, formed in 1940 as the principal dance orchestra of the RAF, starred many of Britain’s best-known jazz musicians, achieving national fame and continuing playing until 1964.

During the war many musicians were drafted into the armed services, so opportunities opened up for women instrumentalists to take the places of the men in the dance bands. The band of saxophonist Ivy Benson was the most notable all-women orchestra, and some of her players went on to have enduring careers in jazz.

Similar opportunities existed in the USA on a larger scale. But, with the ending of the war and the return of male instrumentalists, most of these opportunities for women in the dance orchestras rapidly disappeared.

Wartime night clubs thrived and, in 1942, Feldman’s Club at 100 Oxford Street in London opened. Under various ownerships it would feature jazz for more than 60 years.

Pianist George Shearing and clarinettist Harry Parry broadcast on the BBC, and Britain’s jazz population was further enriched by its community of West Indian musicians. Some were survivors from ‘Snakehips’ Johnson’s orchestra which had suffered a direct hit by a bomb while playing at London’s Café de Paris in 1941.

The Café specialised in Afro-Caribbean bands but was an upper class club for predominantly white audiences. However, such nighteries as Jig’s Club and the Caribbean Club promoted cross-cultural interaction between Afro-Caribbean and British jazz performers and audiences.

Image : Programme from Queensbury All Services Jazz Club, 1942. National Jazz Archive collection.

The big schism: Revivalism and Bebop

During the war, jazz began to split into two sharply contrasting – indeed, violently opposed – musical orientations; modern jazz (known initially as bebop) and traditional jazz ‘Revivalism’.

The term ‘bebop’ was (probably) first coined at Minton’s Playhouse in New York where young innovators developed new revolutionary approaches. Bebop’s most celebrated icon was alto-saxophonist Charlie Parker (1920–55).

The music was characterised by complex, fast-moving melodic lines, new rhythmic ideas, exploratory harmonic approaches to improvisation, and fierce instrumental prowess. After the war bebop developed into various (usually less frenetic) modern jazz styles.

Its first musical base in Britain was the Club Eleven, a London group of musicians including saxophonists John Dankworth and Ronnie Scott. Some players gained experience in bebop by enrolling as dance band musicians on transatlantic liners and hearing its innovators first hand in the clubs of New York.

Humphrey Lyttelton Band on riverboat shuffle, 1948

Image: George Webb photograph of the Humphrey Lyttelton Band performing at a 'Riverboat Shuffle', 1948. Lyttelton features, playing the cornet in the front centre. Archive collection.

Implacably opposed to the revolutions of bebop was the Revivalist movement, which sought to re-engage jazz with its traditional New Orleans roots, thought to have been lost in the Swing Era.

In America the movement was headed by New Orleans originals – clarinettist George Lewis and trumpeter ‘Bunk’ Johnson – and younger admirers. Prominent revivalists in Britain after the war included pianist George Webb’s Dixielanders and trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton (a former Webb sideman).

Amid these opposing movements pre-war musicians were largely marginalised.

Trying to map at least some of the stylistic diversity, new publications appeared (sometimes with only brief existence). Jazz Journal, Britain’s longest-running jazz periodical, began publication in 1948 and continued as a print publication until 2019.

1950s

1950s - Clubs, Tours, Festivals

The 1950s was the final decade in which jazz flourished as broad youth culture.

It produced many British solo stars – traditionalists on one side, modernists on the other – and bandleaders. A new term ‘mainstream’ began to emerge for music caught in the middle of the traditional/modern jazz culture wars but trying to avoid rigid allegiance to either camp.

Women musicians such as saxophonists Kathleen Stobart and Betty Smith and trumpeter Gracie Cole became more established during the decade on the British scene, and English pianist Marian McPartland, who had moved to the US as a GI bride, began building an international career there from the 1950s

John Dankworth formed his successful touring group, the Seven, in 1950 to showcase his compositions and arrangements and from 1953 to 1964 he led his own full-time touring orchestra. His first performances in the USA in 1958 made him an early ambassador for British jazz.

Other leading ensembles included Ronnie Scott’s nine-piece group (1953), the Jazz Couriers (co-led by Scott and fellow saxophonist Tubby Hayes, 1957–9), drummer Tony Kinsey’s various popular modern jazz groups, alto saxophonist Joe Harriott’s modern quintet, and Humphrey Lyttelton’s band which gradually moved from traditionalism towards the mainstream.

During the 1950s immigration into Britain brought an influx of players from the Caribbean.

Amongst others, Joe Harriott, flautist/saxophonist Harold McNairn and trumpeter Dizzy Reece (all from Kingston, Jamaica) joined a West-Indian population of British jazz performers that already included trumpeter Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson (father of singer Elaine Delmar), pianist-singer Cab Kaye, bassist Coleridge Goode, and saxophonist Bertie King.

In 1956 Britain’s first jazz festival was staged in the grounds of Lord Montagu’s stately home in Beaulieu, Hampshire. This became an annual event until 1961 but in 1960, a riot between opposing modernist and traditionalist fans produced lurid headlines and when this was repeated a year later the festival series abruptly ended.

Ronnie Scott opened his own jazz club in Gerrard Street, London in 1959, moving it to Frith Street in 1967 where it continues to flourish as one of the world’s greatest jazz venues.

In 1956 the Ministry of Labour’s ban on American musicians performing in the UK was finally lifted after 21 years by establishing an exchange system (later abandoned). Stan Kenton’s orchestra opened in London in March of that year to a blaze of publicity and Ted Heath’s orchestra went to America in exchange.

Later in the year Louis Armstrong’s All Stars were similarly ‘exchanged’ for cornetist Freddy Randall’s British band, and other American visitors soon after were Lionel Hampton and Sidney Bechet.

During the 1950s traditionalist band leader and trombonist Chris Barber sowed seeds for what would become a musical revolution in the 1960s. He toured with American blues singers Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Sharpe, and from within his band (and from that of Barber’s former sideman, trumpeter Ken Colyer) came the folk-based skiffle phenomenon which later became a foundation of British pop music.

These blues and skiffle influences inspired a new generation of performers like the Beatles (originally The Quarrymen Skiffle Group), the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison.

Image: Denis Williams photograph of The Tubby Hayes Sextet playing at the Co-op Civic Centre, Bristol, 1950s. Pictured are Tubby Hayes (tenor saxophone), Derek Humble (alto saxophone) and Jimmy Deuchar (trumpet). National Jazz Archive collection.

1960s

1960s - A change is gonna come …

From 1960 to 1962 a popularity ‘boom’ in British traditional jazz (‘trad’) was headed by Barber, trumpeter Kenny Ball, and clarinettist Acker Bilk, all of them topping the record charts. But soon after, jazz began to fade from mass popularity.

From 1963 the rock music revolution diminished jazz as a vibrant part of youth culture. Bands such as the Beatles and Rolling Stones became the focus of popular music as the decade progressed and many clubs transferred their focus to the new styles.

However, young British musicians began to develop new approaches to modern jazz, often now influenced by rock music and eventually also rebelling against Scott’s, Hayes’ and Dankworth’s reliance on American musical models.

These approaches came to be called ‘contemporary jazz’.

Young musicians created their own styles (often looser than the conventions of modern jazz), and no longer automatically followed American trends.

British-based composers and band leaders, such as Graham Collier, Mike Westbrook, Mike Gibbs and Michael Garrick, emerged. They recorded on major labels and received reasonable public exposure despite changing musical fashions.

Jazz incorporated ideas from rock music in groups such as Soft Machine (1966–81) and drummer Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum (1968–71); correspondingly, rock included blues and jazz influences in groups like Cream.

British contemporary jazz started to export: guitarist John McLaughlin and bassist Dave Holland were both working with Miles Davis in the USA by the decade’s end. And most established performers from the post-war era continued to perform regularly and reasonably successfully.

Alongside, incorporated in, or sometimes competing with contemporary jazz was ‘free jazz’ or ‘free improvisation’ which had emerged in the US but presented a distinctly independent outlook in Europe.

In 1960, Joe Harriott in Britain had already recorded music that often dispensed with previously central elements of jazz – pre-determined rhythm, melody and harmony – to allow unrestricted improvisation. His approach, using harmonically-free improvisation, as well as chord-based and modal musical forms (all sometimes in a single piece), was unique and distinct from contemporaneous American developments.

Artists who developed their own ‘free’ forms of jazz in Britain included pianist Mike Taylor, guitarist Derek Bailey, drummer John Stevens (with his Spontaneous Music Ensemble) and saxophonist Evan Parker.

Cross-cultural elements fed into the mix. The Blue Notes, a multi-racial sextet led by pianist Chris McGregor, arrived in London in 1965 as refugees from South African apartheid. They mixed South African rhythms and harmonies with free improvisation, to create an original, unmistakable style, which had a considerable influence on British players.

McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath big band, with South African, British and continental players, later became a further vehicle for this style.

In 1965 the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) was founded by Bill Ashton, a musician and former teacher. Under his direction, NYJO provided the first official training ground in Britain for young jazz musicians and has continued to flourish. Among its hundreds of graduates many have gone on to successful musical careers.

1965 also saw the beginning of formal jazz education in Britain at the City of Leeds College of Music. From 1964 to 1966 BBC TV broadcast the important series Jazz 625, featuring both British and American musicians in concert. And in 1967 Humphrey Lyttelton first broadcast his BBC radio series The Best of Jazz which continued for four decades.

American icons – including Armstrong, Ellington, the stars in Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic shows, and bandleaders such as Count Basie and Woody Herman – played in Britain to full theatres, while Ronnie Scott’s club continued to present American stars, a policy maintained up to the present.

Image: John Surman. Brian O’Connor photograph, 1989.

1970s

1970s - On the International stage

Trumpeter Ian Carr’s Nucleus, a pioneering British jazz-rock band formed in 1969, gained crossover popularity, playing and recording music based loosely on the jazz-rock innovations of Miles Davis.

Carr’s band played at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1970 and his important book Music Outside, portraying influential contemporary British musicians, was first published in 1973.

Multicultural ensembles like the Brotherhood of Breath, saxophonist Dudu Pukwana’s Spear, and soloists such as trumpeter Harry Beckett brought new, vivid influences to the music.

In 1970, at their Buckinghamshire home, John Dankworth and his wife, singer Cleo Laine, founded the Wavendon All Music Plan to present musical performance in all genres including jazz, and instituted educational projects such as summer music camps and courses. From 1973 as a musical duo they began to conquer the US, playing at Carnegie Hall and similar venues throughout America and Europe for the next 30 years.

World-class British soloists who had emerged in the 1960s such as baritonist John Surman, altoist Mike Osborne, tenorist Alan Skidmore, trombonists Malcolm Griffiths and Paul Rutherford, pianist John Taylor, and vocalist Norma Winstone, began to achieve lasting international recognition during the 1970s and found enthusiastic audiences throughout Europe and beyond.

Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, John Stevens and others continued to explore ‘free jazz’, sometimes now called simply ‘improv’. Pianist Keith Tippett led his 100-piece Centipede ensemble, then the small group Ovary Lodge (1973) and the 22-piece band Ark.

From the mid-1970s Peter Boizot’s Pizza Express venue in Dean Street, London began presenting American artists from the classic era, complementing the modern jazz policy of Ronnie Scott’s.

Artists to make frequent appearances, alongside British contemporaries, included cornetist Ruby Braff, trumpeter Billy Butterfield and clarinettist ‘Peanuts’ Hucko, as well as new-generation mainstream performers such as tenorist Scott Hamilton and cornetist Warren Vaché Jr.

The Arts Council maintained its position as a strong supporter of jazz commissions for important artists in need of financial subsidy amid the rock revolution. Its Contemporary Music Network, which funded national tours by innovative ensembles, including contemporary jazz groups, was an important support for new developments.

And the Jazz Centre Society, founded in 1969 as a national centre for jazz development, remained active as a promoting organisation until 1984. Other promotional groups such as Scotland’s Platform Jazz were formed in the 1970s to increase opportunities both to hear and play jazz.

Image: Poster for the Pizza Express Jazz Festival, hosted by Humphrey Lyttleton, with a salute to Count Basie. London Jazz Big Band, Al Grey, Larry Adler, Tony Coe Quartet, Harry Gold, Brian Lemon, Lennie Felix, Johnny Parker, Eddie Thompson, Martin Taylor, Digby Fairweather and Ike Isaacs feature. National Jazz Archive collection.

1980s

1980s - New music, new diversity

In the 1980s a new generation of black British musicians helped to re-energise the UK jazz scene, amongst them pianist Julian Joseph and saxophonists Steve Williamson and Courtney Pine.

In 1984 Pine formed Abibi Jazz Arts with the intention of interesting young black British musicians in jazz and a year later this led to formation of the Jazz Warriors which fused jazz with other musical styles.

As an active musical collective, the Jazz Warriors continued into the 1990s.

Many new stars emerged from the organisation and its off-shoots, including vocalist Cleveland Watkiss, flautist Phillip Bent, vibraphonist Orphy Robinson, bassist Gary Crosby (who in the following decade would become an important organiser and promoter on the British jazz scene), saxophonists Gail Thompson, Jason Yarde and Tony Kofi, trombonist Dennis Rollins, trumpeters Claude Deppa and Byron Wallen, and guitarist Tony Remy. Many subsequently gained international reputations.

For the first time, black British jazz musicians began to achieve a strong collective identity and presence.

In 1984, pianist, composer and arranger Django Bates became a founder member of Loose Tubes, an ensemble that presented a challenging and original fusion of styles and was the first jazz group to play at the BBC Proms in 1987.

Among its members who would have considerable influence in subsequent years were Julian and Steve Arguelles (saxophonist and drummer, respectively) and saxophonist Iain Ballamy. Other important musicians to emerge during the 1980s included saxophonists Tim Garland and Dave O’Higgins, and pianist Jason Rebello.

The 1980s were a breakthrough decade for British women musicians in jazz.

Networks of female instrumentalists had existed in and around London in the 1970s but an important catalyst for new interest was the emergence of the Guest Stars group in the early 1980s, eventually comprising saxophonist Ruthie Smith, guitarist Deirdre Cartwright, pianist Laka Daisical, bassist Alison Rayner, drummer Josefina Cupido, and conga player Linda da Mango.

The group was phenomenally successful through the decade, making several albums, and touring in the UK, Europe, the US, and the Middle East. Ending the myth that instrumental jazz improvisation was a male preserve, it inspired other women musicians, pioneered new ways of organising a jazz group and its musical presentation, and presented an eclectic vocal-instrumental idiom that offered something unique.

Among the most important organisational developments in the decade was the establishment of Serious Music by the energetic promoter John Cummings. Cummings had started the always forward-looking annual Bracknell Jazz Festival in the mid-1970s and through the 1980s it was an important support and showcase for British contemporary jazz. Serious, built from the experience of the Bracknell festivals and committed to jazz promotion, followed up with numerous major concerts and ambitious festival projects in the following decades.

The Association of British Jazz Musicians (ABJM) was established in 1987 and the National Jazz Archive (NJA) in November 1988. The NJA, located in Loughton, Essex, was founded by trumpeter Digby Fairweather with the aim of collecting the written and printed history of jazz, blues and related music, including periodicals, photographs, letters and personal collections.

Supported by Essex County Council, the Archive was re-launched in larger premises at Loughton Library in August 1993.

Another organisation, Jazzwise, was established in 1984 by guitarist-entrepreneur Charles Alexander to promote all areas of the music including educational publications. And, in the same year, Jim Godbolt published his pioneering two-volume History of Jazz in Britain covering the period 1919–1970.

Image: Photograph of Digby Fairweather with Interview by Mark ‘Snowboy’ Cotgrove. National Jazz Archive collection.

1990s

1990s - Standing still?

Female performers continued to grow in numbers, among them singers Tina May and Claire Martin, and pianists Nikki Yeoh and Nikki Iles.

But the momentum created by the Guest Stars and other all-women jazz groups in Britain in the 1980s faltered, in part through public funding cuts, and while the music continued to diversify it also seemed to reflect a general mood of conservatism in both its presentation and its most popular styles.

As opportunities for women jazz musicians now seemed to be far fewer than had been hoped after the breakthrough of women’s jazz groups in the 1980s, guitarist Deirdre Cartwright and bassist Alison Rayner (former members of the Guest Stars) took the initiative to start their Blow the Fuse organisation in 1989 to create playing opportunities for themselves and other musicians, especially women instrumentalists.

The organisation played an important role throughout the 1990s (and still does today), establishing new venues, setting up events, and encouraging jazz musicians in a period marked mainly by consolidation rather than innovation in the music and its presentation.

But new developments in the promotion of jazz as a thoroughly multicultural enterprise in Britain began with the creation, by Gary Crosby and Janine Irons, of the Tomorrow’s Warriors organisation in 1991. Crosby and Irons set out with energy, ambition and efficiency to create a many-sided support system for new, aspiring jazz musicians with a special focus on encouraging black and female entrants into the music. Over subsequent decades, the organisation became increasingly prominent and important, continuing to expand and diversify its promoting and educational activities, always with a view to nurturing new generations of British jazz musicians.

One wholly new development, acid jazz, combining elements of jazz, funk and hip-hop and utilising looped beats, grew in popularity through the 1990s, pioneered by new-wave DJs and presenters including Gilles Peterson, Jez Nelson and Chris Phillips.

In 1992 Britain’s first jazz radio station, Jazz FM was founded by pianist-composer Dave Lee. After early financial crises, the station was re-branded but returned to its original title in 2008 and continues to broadcast today.

Among other developments, Digby Fairweather founded the Jazz Section of the British Musicians’ Union in 1992. The Jazz Café in Camden, London opened in 1990 and continues to be a popular venue celebrating all music forms. Jazzwise Publications launched their award-winning Jazzwise monthly magazine in 1997. The London Jazz Festival was founded in 1992. And jazz education became more firmly recognised. Leeds International Jazz Education Conference was launched in 1993, and 1999 saw the start of the ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) Jazz Examinations.

Image: Deirdre Cartwright. Brian O’Connor photograph, 2014.

2000s

2000s - A new century

By the Millennium, seven of Britain’s music conservatoires were offering full-time degree courses in jazz: Leeds College of Music (the pioneer, starting its course in 1965), Birmingham Conservatoire, Guildhall School of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Royal Welsh College of Music, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, and Newcastle School of Music.

The National Youth Jazz Collective was founded by composer/arranger/saxophonist Issie Barratt in 2007. Alumni include leading contemporary jazz trumpeters Alexandra Ridout and Laura Jurd.

Many books on jazz in Britain and British jazz were published, reflecting burgeoning scholarly interest. They included Catherine Parsonage’s The Evolution of Jazz in Britain, 1880–1935 (2005), George McKay’s Circular Breathing (2005) and Hilary Moore’s Inside British Jazz (2007).

In 2000, Northway Publications, a London-based publishing house directed by Ann Cotterrell and specialising in British jazz subjects, produced their first book – the autobiography of veteran saxophonist Harry Gold.

Over the next decade and a half their 24 publications included autobiographies by saxophonists Peter King and Vic Ash, bassist Coleridge Goode and trumpeters John Chilton and Digby Fairweather, biographies of Joe Harriott and Nat Gonella, and revised editions of Jim Godbolt’s A History of Jazz in Britain, 1919–1950 and Ian Carr’s Music Outside.

The Parliamentary Jazz Awards and British Jazz Awards provided welcome recognition for new and established talent, and funding for jazz projects was provided by both the Arts Council of Great Britain and Jazz Services Ltd.

After pianist-singer Jamie Cullum made his first TV appearance on the Michael Parkinson show in 2003, he signed first for Candid Records and then a £1m contract for three albums with Universal. His second studio album Twentysomething, released in October 2003, became the No. 1 selling studio album by a jazz artist in the UK.

During the decade he was joined by pianist-presenter Jools Holland as a second popular new face for jazz and blues on both radio and TV and leading his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

Singer Clare Teal also achieved notable popular success. Her 2004 album Don’t Talk reached No. 1 in the UK jazz chart. Even veteran mainstreamers sometimes broke through in the popular music world. In 2001 Humphrey Lyttelton’s band collaborated with Radiohead on the track ‘Life in a Glass House’ from their Amnesiac album.

Classic FM’s sister station, The Jazz, dedicated to jazz in most styles and broadcasting 24 hours a day, was launched in December 2006 but closed in 2008. The internet-based UK Jazz Radio station was launched in 2010.

Image: Juliet Kelly. Photograph by Brian O’Connor, 2005.

2010s

Towards the present - and what follows ...

After a hundred years of British history, jazz in every style continues to enjoy success despite limited media recognition.

New musicians continue to arrive on the British jazz scene and jazz courses in the music academies provide many more routes than in the past for young players to acquire the technical skills, versatility, and broad arranging, composing and improvising experience they will need if they are to sustain enduring careers in music.

In 2014 the BBC introduced its ‘Young Jazz Musician of the Year’ competition, providing further encouragement for newcomers.

Women musicians have gained an increasingly important place in the British scene. Among numerous artists attracting new recognition are saxophonists Allison Neale, Tori Freestone, Camilla George, Josephine Davies, Rachel Musson, Helena Kay, Trish Clowes and Amy Roberts. Other well established figures include pianists Zoë Rahman and Kate Williams, and saxophonist Karen Sharp. And numerous talented alumni of Tomorrow’s Warriors flourish artistically to enliven the British jazz scene, notable among them saxophonists Soweto Kinch, Shabaka Hutchings, Denys Baptiste, Nubya Garcia and Binker Golding, and drummer Moses Boyd.

Funk, hip hop and rap continue to influence Britain’s jazz scene encouraging regular crossover between these genres. And black British jazz traditions have been strengthened by the re-assessment of Joe Harriott.

Contributing to this have been the publication of Alan Robertson’s biography (2003, second edition 2011) of the once almost forgotten saxophonist, the reissue of many of his recordings and the autobiography (2002) of his collaborator, Coleridge Goode. Harriott is now viewed as a key pioneer and symbol of Black British jazz achievement and identity.

The list of British musicians who are adding their distinctive voices to jazz in the early decades of the 21st century is far too long and diverse to represent adequately here.

As British journalist Brian Case once wrote, using the old ‘hip’ jargon of past decades, ‘We don’t deserve it, but the cats, they keep coming.’

Given the timeless validity of musical improvisation it would indeed be surprising if things were any other way.

Image: Soweto Kinch. Photograph by Brian O’Connor, 2005

date dapparition du jazz

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The mysterious origins of jazz

(Credit: EJ Bellocq)

The five members of the band took the lift to the 12th Floor of the Victor Talking Machine Company’s building on 38th Street in New York City. They were known for playing while wearing white shirts with top collars buttoned and no neckties but black dinner jackets with shiny lapels. The song this quintet would play for the waiting microphones was silly, and not rendered with the greatest of technical skill – its most memorable moment is when a clarinet imitates the sound of a rooster; a cornet, a whinnying horse; and a trombone, a cow. The Beatles playing Ed Sullivan this was not. And yet this was as significant a moment in US musical history. The date was 26 February 1917, and this novelty song, Livery Stable Blues by the Original Dixieland Jass Band , was the first jazz recording.

The Original Dixieland Jass Band’s Livery Stable Blues was the first jazz recording but their later song Tiger Rag would be more influential (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Original Dixieland Jass Band’s Livery Stable Blues was the first jazz recording but their later song Tiger Rag would be more influential (Credit: Wikipedia)

That would be a remarkable milestone in its own right, but embedded into Livery Stable Blues are issues that have haunted jazz, and popular music as a whole, ever since. We all know the debates, from Elvis to Taylor Swift, over white copycats appropriating the sound and style of black musicians. When they recorded Livery Stable Blues the all-white Original Dixieland Jass Band borrowed to the point of plagiarism from the African-American musicians they’d heard in their native New Orleans. We follow the legal challenges over who wrote Stairway to Heaven or whether Blurred Lines should have listed Marvin Gaye as a co-author. Livery Stable Blues, one of the first true hit singles, selling over one million copies at a time most still preferred to buy sheet music over recordings, inspired its own attribution battle. We’ve all heard the arguments, usually from very concerned parents, about what defines good taste or aesthetic achievement in popular music. The judge who presided over the lawsuit about who wrote Livery Stable Blues ultimately ruled that since the song was in bad taste and composed by people who couldn’t actually read or write sheet music it would be remanded to the “public domain” with no writer attributed at all.

It was spelled 'J-A-S-S.' That was dirty, and if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies – Eubie Blake

More than other forms of popular music Jazz is particularly fraught with these kind of debates, but some of the most heated arguments among jazz aficionados are even more fundamental: what qualifies as jazz? Does jazz have some essential ingredient? Where does the term “jazz” even come from? One hundred years after the first jazz recording, the answers remain elusive, but the story of Livery Stable Blues shows how early the questions that still surround the genre were raised.

‘Jazz’ was named the Word of the 20th Century by the American Dialect Society, which is remarkable since we don’t actually know for sure from where the term originates. One of the most striking features of jazz to its earliest listeners was its speed, its sheer energy. Dating back to 1860 there had been an African-American slang term, ‘jasm’, which means ‘vim’ or ‘energy’.  On 14 November 1916, the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper referred for the first time to “jas bands”.  That particular spelling suggests “jas” could have come from jasm. Or perhaps it referred to the jasmine perfume that prostitutes in New Orleans’ famed Storyville red light district often wore – jazz music had developed, in part, as the music played in brothels. Early jazz pioneer Jelly Roll Morton, whose own name was a euphemism for sex, first developed his own style playing piano in these ‘sporting houses’ and to get extra tips he’d peek at a prostitute and her client through a peephole and time his playing with the pace of their revels.

In 1915 Jelly Roll Morton published jazz’s first sheet music – he lived a wild life, playing piano in brothels as a teen and replacing a front tooth with a diamond (Credit: Alamy)

In 1915 Jelly Roll Morton published jazz’s first sheet music – he lived a wild life, playing piano in brothels as a teen and replacing a front tooth with a diamond (Credit: Alamy)

The Original Dixieland Jass Band itself shows the etymological mystery of jazz. Like ‘jas’, ‘jass’ probably has a sexual connotation, as a reference to a woman’s backside. Musician Eubie Blake said, in an interview with National Public Radio before his death in 1983: “When Broadway picked it up, they called it 'J-A-Z-Z.’ It wasn't called that. It was spelled 'J-A-S-S.' That was dirty, and if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies." Or perhaps by the time ‘jass’ made it to New York City from New Orleans, bandleaders were simply tired of pranksters scratching off the ‘j’ from their posters. A few months after that recording of Livery Stable Blues, the fivesome would change their name to the Original Dixieland Jazz Band for good.

The prostitutes in New Orleans’ red light district often wore jasmine – an early spelling of jazz, ‘jas’, suggests the music took its name from the scent (Credit: EJ Bellocq)

The prostitutes in New Orleans’ red light district often wore jasmine – an early spelling of jazz, ‘jas’, suggests the music took its name from the scent (Credit: EJ Bellocq)

Livery Stable Blues also helps answer the question ‘What is jazz?’ by pointing to its roots. The song is structured around three chords and into 12 bars, like virtually all blues songs emerging from the African-American tradition. Its barnyard sounds connect it to the setting of the work songs black field labourers would sing. Its habanera beat, common to so much of jazz, reflects the influence of bouncy Caribbean melodies on New Orleans music – there were several ferries arriving in New Orleans from Havana every day in the early 20th Century. Its repetition indicates the call-and-response tradition of black Baptist churches. The clarinet, cornet and trombone in its arrangement reflect the influence of march music, which was wildly popular in New Orleans during and after the Civil War and resulted in an excess of brass and woodwind instruments floating around the city for would-be musicians to play. Its piano comes from the tradition of ragtime, the musical form that directly proceeded jazz. And its sense of humour comes from minstrelsy, the tradition of parodying opera and operettas and poking fun, often most insensitively, at the racial divide between white and black. Minstrelsy most commonly featured white musicians in blackface projecting their own cartoonish idea of what it meant to be black – and it was by far the most popular form of music in the US from 1840 to 1920. But while minstrelsy involved white Americans parodying their idea of African-Americans, many other white musicians like those of the Original Dixieland Jass Band chose to copy African-American musical traditions wholesale.

The musical DNA in Livery Stable Blues comes from black artists and shows that jazz is a fundamentally African-American music, even if an all-white band was first to record it. The particular mix of African-style drumbeats and the Caribbean rhythm, found in this song but so common to jazz as a whole, points to the time from 1817 to 1843, when black slaves – some from Africa, some from the Caribbean, some from the interior of the American South – would gather on Sundays in New Orleans’ Congo Square to play music and cross-pollinate their traditions. New Orleans Creoles of colour, who were the mixed-race descendants of black and white ancestors, typically identified more with European culture than with Africa’s. After the Jim Crow laws of 1890 classified the city’s mixed-race Creoles as ‘black’, they were only allowed to play with other black musicians and this brought a greater musical fluency and technical skill to black music because many Creoles of colour were trained in classical music. Jazz emerged from this merger of forms.

Full circle

But as to who actually invented jazz, if such an achievement could be attributed to one person, that’s a tricky matter. Some say Elvis Presley or Chuck Berry invented rock n’ roll, others would argue DJ Kool Herc or Grandmaster Flash created hip hop. Nick La Rocca, the Original Dixieland Jass Band’s cornet player and composer, claimed that he personally invented jazz – though the cornetist Buddy Bolden had a much better claim, or even the Creole artist Morton, who certainly was the first to write jazz out as sheet music and always said he’d invented it. As jazz historian Gary Giddins puts it, “LaRocca turned racist, and proceeded to make horrible statements about how whites invented jazz, and how they were there before the black guys, and so forth, scurrilous stuff — a cartoon cliché of the Southern bigot.” Louis Armstrong was more charitable in his 1936 book Swing That Music, calling the Original Dixieland Jass Band “the first great jazz orchestra” and that LaRocca “had an instrumentation different from anything before, an instrumentation that made the old songs sound new.” But LaRocca’s later statements follow a long tradition in the US of white artists dependent on African-American culture publicly degrading it in order to justify their exploitation of it.

Albert Gleizes’ painting Composition Pour Jazz, from 1915, shows how quickly jazz became an idea that inspired artists in other media (Credit: The Guggenheim, New York)

Albert Gleizes’ painting Composition Pour Jazz, from 1915, shows how quickly jazz became an idea that inspired artists in other media (Credit: The Guggenheim, New York)

It’s not only the racism and the cultural appropriation that makes even Dixieland jazz aficionados uncomfortable with the Original Dixieland Jass Band – it’s the bad taste of it all too: LaRocca’s inflammatory comments, yes, but also the silliness of the animal sounds the musicians imitate in their performances, their lack of technical proficiency, the association of their sound with minstrelsy. But the loudest voices who declare ‘this is not jazz’ about any particular band or sound are usually jazz obsessives splitting musical hairs that only the infatuated would care about. It’s an internal civil war.

Henri Matisse produced an entire volume of his famous cutouts, accompanied by his own poetic, written thoughts, dedicated to jazz in 1947 (Credit: Christie’s)

Henri Matisse produced an entire volume of his famous cutouts, accompanied by his own poetic, written thoughts, dedicated to jazz in 1947 (Credit: Christie’s)

Jazz as a whole also came under attack as an example of bad taste, however, in much the same way rock n’ roll and hip-hop would later, by people who had no knowledge of the music whatsoever. The New York Times published editorial after editorial throughout the late 1910s and 1920s touting the dangers of jazz, which had historically been associated with the brothels where it was initially played; just months after Livery Stable Blues became a hit recording, the Storyville red light district, previous tolerated by the city leaders of New Orleans, was completely shut down. And Edward Baxter Perry wrote in the popular music magazine The Etude that ragtime, into which he was lumping early jazz songs like Livery Stable Blues and the Original Dixieland Jass Band’s even more popular 1917 follow-up Tiger Rag, “is syncopation gone mad. And its victims in my opinion can only be treated like the dog with rabies, with a dose of lead. Whether it is simply a passing phase in our decadent art culture, or an infectious disease which has come to say, like leprosy, time will tell.”

These attacks on jazz from both outsiders and insiders still occur today. Even the film La La Land taps into this, with Emma Stone’s jazz neophyte Mia declaring “I hate jazz” while Ryan Gosling’s jazz pianist Seb frets endlessly about what is and isn’t jazz and whether the form has a future – “it’s conflict and it’s compromise, it’s new every time, and it’s dying.”

Over the 100-year journey from Livery Stable Blues to La La Land the music has changed drastically, while the discourse has remained the same. Perhaps it’s time to stop talking and start listening.

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date dapparition du jazz

date dapparition du jazz

par M. Patrick Sobczak

Classe de musique.

Classedemusique.com

Histoire du Jazz

Résumé : Le Jazz, de sa naissance à son déclin

•Les Origines du Jazz

•Le New-Orleans

•Le Swing

•Le Be Bop

•Cool Jazz

•Le Freejazz

date dapparition du jazz

Mots clés : Improvisation et rythme swing.

date dapparition du jazz

Instruments du jazz

kisspng-banjo-guitar-string-instruments-banjo-uke-bluegrass-instruments-5b5e2084573ac8.397

Les origines du Jazz

On dit souvent que le Jazz a 3 origines :

1.Le Gospel

2.Le Ragtime

Ces trois origines proviennent du sud des États-Unis, fortement peuplés par des africains qui étaient venus comme esclaves.

date dapparition du jazz

Les chants de travail et le Gospel

Arrachées à leur terre natale, les esclaves préservent une partie de leur culture en chantant lorsqu’ils travaillent.

Ils adaptent les chants religieux de leur «propriétaires» à leur culture et donnent naissance à la musique Gospel.

Railroad Gadydancers

Oh happy day

Première origine du jazz

Nom de l’œuvre : Oh happy day

Nom du compositeur/groupe : Chanson traditionnelle, Harlem Gospel choir

Année : Hymne du 18e siècle, arrangé en 1963

Style :  Gospel

Caractéristique musicales :  Voix a cappella,  l es textes proviennent de la Bible.

Le Ragtime

date dapparition du jazz

Scott Joplin

Le RAGTIME est né en Louisiane et fut le genre musical le plus populaire entre 1898 et 1918.

Contrairement au blues et au gospel (qui furent des musique populistes bien simples), le RAGTIME était un genre de musique bien plus complexe. C’était les premières compositions écrites provenant d’anciens esclaves affranchis maintenant éduqués.

Souvent joué au piano, il est constitué d’une mélodie bien rythmée avec une basse continue (le STRIDE).

Scott Joplin était le héro du Ragtime

The entertainer

Deuxième origine du jazz

Nom de l’œuvre : The Entertainer

Nom du compositeur/groupe : Scott Joplin

Année : 1902

Style :  Ragtime

Caractéristiques musicales :  Piano, bien rythmé, joyeux.

Note : Ce fut la chanson la plus populaire de l'année 1902.

date dapparition du jazz

Le blues (prononcer "blouse") est un genre musical, vocal et instrumental dérivé des chants de travail des populations afro-américaines. Le blues est apparu dans le sud des États-Unis au cours du XIX e siècle. C'est un style où le chanteur exprime sa tristesse et ses déboires.

date dapparition du jazz

Bessie Smith 1894-1937

Robert Johnson 1911-1938

date dapparition du jazz

B.B. King 1925-2015

Troisième origine du jazz

Nom de l’œuvre : Crossroads

Nom du compositeur/groupe : Robert Johnson

Année : 1936

Style : Blues

Caractéristiques musicales :  Guitare et voix, utilisation de la slide. Expression du malheur.

Note : Il fut une grande source d'inspiration pour certains des plus grands guitaristes de l'histoire.

Jouons ensemble un Blues

New Orleans Jazz

Le jazz New Orleans est apparu vers 1910 dans les rues de la Nouvelle Orléans. Il marque l’apparition des jazzbands.

date dapparition du jazz

Le premier jazz band de l'époque est formé par Buddy Bolden. Or le plus célèbre des Jazzbands de l'époque sera celui de King Oliver

Nouvelle Orléan 

Nom de l’œuvre : Riverside Blues

Nom du compositeur/groupe : King Oliver

Année : 1923

Style : New Orleans Jazz

Instrumentation : Fanfare Jazz

Notes : On entend le rythme swing

jazzband king oliver.jfif

Un Jazzband c'est : un orchestre de musiciens qui jouent du jazz. 

date dapparition du jazz

C'est en jouant dans le groupe de King Oliver que commence la carrière du plus célèbre des Jazzman. Il est un trompettiste et chanteur. Il invente une grande partie du style jazz, surtout il invente le «SCAT».

Louis Armstrong

1901 - 1971.

Nouvelle Orléan 2

Nom de l’œuvre : Dinah

Nom du compositeur/groupe : Louis Armstrong

Année : 1925

Instrumentation :  Jazz Band : trompette, trombone, saxophone, contrebasse, batterie, piano, voix

Notes : On entend le "SCAT" de Louis.

date dapparition du jazz

Pendant les années '30, le SWING est la grande époque du Jazz.

Après le krach boursier de 1929, le jazz s’allie à la danse pour divertir le peuple américain. C’est le clarinettiste Benny Goodman ( 1909-1986 ) qui connaît le premier succès du swing. C’est la naissance des premiers grands orchestres de jazz : les Big Band

date dapparition du jazz

Benny Goodman

Le roi du swing, 1909 - 1986.

Nom de l’œuvre : Sing, Sing, Sing

Nom du compositeur/groupe : Louis Primas/ Benny Goodman

Année : 1936

Style : Swing

Instrumentation :  Big Band

Notes : Le Big Band est un orchestre Jazz comprenant tous les instruments associés au Jazz

Oeuvres marquantes :

Sing sing sing., il était surnomé «the king of swing».

date dapparition du jazz

Duke Ellington

Ella fitzgerald.

date dapparition du jazz

Glen Miller

Nom de l’œuvre : It dont mean a thing

Nom du compositeur/groupe : Duke Ellington 

Année : 1931

Notes : Cette chanson est devenu un standard Jazz

date dapparition du jazz

Le Bebop naît au début des années 40, du désir des noirs de sauver le jazz de la récupération commerciale par les blancs, à la fin de l'ère du Swing.

Parmi les pionniers, on peut citer le saxophoniste alto Charlie Parker, le trompettiste Dizzy Gillespie, le pianiste Thelonious Monk, ou le guitariste Charlie Christian.

date dapparition du jazz

date dapparition du jazz

date dapparition du jazz

date dapparition du jazz

C’est l’époque d’un jazz au style plus calme ("cool" = "frais" en anglais) et plus sobre. Les sonorités sont plus feutrées. Les deux précurseurs du Jazz Cool sont le trompettiste Miles Davis (1926-1991) et le saxophoniste Lester Young (1909-1959).

Dave brubeck - take five et blue rondo à la turk

date dapparition du jazz

Ornette Coleman

Le jazz international.

date dapparition du jazz

Le jazz manouche ou le gypsy jazz

date dapparition du jazz

La Bossa Nova

Le Jazz au Canada

date dapparition du jazz

Oscar Peterson

date dapparition du jazz

Diana Krall

Alain caron.

Lost Fingers

  • The Birth of Jazz: A Historical Overview

Jazz is a genre of music that has its roots in the musical traditions of Africa and Europe, and it was born in New Orleans about 100 years ago. The jazz era truly began in the 1920s, when it became popular in the United States and Europe. This period, known as the “Roaring Twenties”, saw the emergence of black musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, who achieved overnight success. The jazz era culminated with the historic Benny Goodman concert of 1938 at Carnegie Hall, which brought together musicians of various ethnicities to play jazz inside this sacred hall. New Orleans, near the mouth of the Mississippi River , played a key role in the development of jazz.

The city's population was more diverse than anywhere else in the South, and people of African, French, Caribbean, Italian, German, Mexican, and American Indian descent, as well as English ancestry interacted with each other. African American musical traditions mixed with others and jazz gradually emerged from a mix of ragtime, marches, blues and other types of music. Initially, jazz was mostly for dancing but later people would sit and listen. The evolution of jazz was led by a series of brilliant musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington (listen to Ellington in Duke's music class), Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. Jazz developed a number of different styles, including traditional jazz, swing (listen to Benny Carter's swing music in Benny's music class), bebop, fresh jazz and jazz-rock.

At the same time, jazz spread from the United States to many parts of the world. The five members of the Original Dixieland Jass Band took the elevator to the 12th floor of the Victor Talking Machine Company building on 38th Street in New York City on February 26th 1917. They were dressed in white shirts with buttoned top collars and no ties but wearing black tuxedos with shiny lapels. They played Livery Stable Blues for the microphones they expected; this song was silly but it marked a significant moment in the history of American music. W. C Handy's musical career began in the pre-jazz era and he contributed to the codification of jazz through the publication of some of the first jazz scores. In the 1960s and 1970s, many jazz musicians had only a basic understanding of Cuban and Brazilian music; jazz compositions that used Cuban or Brazilian elements were often referred to as Latin melodies without distinction between a Cuban son montuno and a Brazilian bossa nova. Contemporaries of the young Jazz Messengers such as Roy Hargrove, Marcus Roberts, Wallace Roney and Mark Whitfield were also influenced by Wynton Marsalis ' emphasis on jazz tradition.

Jazz arrangements with a Latin A section and an oscillating B section became common practice with many Latin melodies from the standard jazz repertoire. For most of its history Afro-Cuban jazz had been a matter of superimposing jazzy phrasing on Cuban rhythms. Since only a limited number of American jazz records were released in Europe, European jazz has many of its roots in American artists such as James Reese Europe, Paul Whiteman and Lonnie Johnson who visited Europe during and after World War I.In 2001 Ken Burns' documentary Jazz premiered on PBS with Wynton Marsalis and other experts reviewing the entire history of American jazz up to that point. Nick La Rocca claimed that he invented jazz himself although Buddy Bolden had a much better claim or even Morton who was undoubtedly the first to write jazz as scores. With the advent of free jazz and other avant-garde events in recent days many veteran musicians argued that music that was not swing was not jazzy. However critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt argued that his terms of reference should be broader defining jazz as a form of artistic music that originated in the United States through the confrontation between blacks and Europeans. The most prominent figure in the beginning of this sacred jazz-movement was pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams known for her jazz masses.

  • original dixieland jass band
  • louis armstrong
  • duke ellington
  • charlie parker
  • miles davis
  • roy hargrove
  • marcus roberts
  • wallace roney
  • mark whitfield
  • wynton marsalis
  • nick la rocca
  • buddy bolden
  • james reese europe
  • paul whiteman
  • lonnie johnson
  • mary lou williams

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First Notes: New Orleans and the Early Roots of Jazz

Top to bottom: Buddy Bolden, Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson

New Orleans has always been different, complex and intriguing, so it’s fitting that jazz, the musical style the city created and gave to the world, should follow the same tune.

Jazz is a byproduct of the unique cultural environment found in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the vestiges of French and Spanish colonial roots, the resilience of African influences after the slavery era and the influx of immigrants from Europe. The ways these cultures mingled, collided and evolved together in the Crescent City produced America’s most distinctive musical style.

From the French Opera House to Congo Square

One of the key components to the birth of jazz was New Orleans’ long and deep commitment to music and dance, says Bruce Raeburn, a jazz historian and curator of the Hogan Jazz Archives at Tulane University. The city was home to the first opera house in North America, for instance, and many of the rich musical traditions of Europe were embraced and celebrated here going back to the city’s early colonial days.

Long before jazz was established, musical events were part of the social fabric of the city, from formal balls where European dances competed for the public’s attention with more exotic sounds migrating north from Latin America to the marching bands that comforted mourners after funerals.

Another element driving this musical heritage toward the creation of jazz gets down to race and the distinctive black experience in New Orleans. Though the city was a leading slave port and segregation persisted long after slavery was abolished, people of different races mixed much more freely in New Orleans than in other American cities.

“There were opportunities for interaction, in spite of segregation, and many neighborhoods were a crazy quilt with blacks, whites and Creoles living together,” says Raeburn.

New Orleans is not your typical American city

Raeburn points out that while the rest of the antebellum South was trying to stamp out any remnants of African culture slaves might cling to, New Orleans’ city fathers tried to regulate it, allowing at least a small venue for traditions to continue and evolve. For instance, slaves were allowed to congregate, make music and dance in Congo Square, an area that is today part of Louis Armstrong Park on North Rampart Street on the edge of the French Quarter.

“This was not your typical American city, there was much more of a Mediterranean mentality here,” Raeburn says.

In addition, New Orleans was home to the largest population of free people of color during the slavery era. Many of these people had access to European musical traditions, and in some cases formed the bands that played at the city’s balls and concerts.

To this cauldron, the waves of history added spiritual music from the church, the blues carried into town by rural guitar slingers, the minstrel shows inspired by plantation life, the beat and cadence of military marching bands, and finally the syncopation of the ragtime piano, America’s most popular music for a time in the early 20h century.

Sampling from and experimenting with all of these diverse influences, New Orleans musicians added the touchstone ingredient of improvisation to produce something completely new.

Jazz defied the then-dominant Western musical tradition of following a composer’s music precisely, and replaced it with a dedication only to following a feeling or emotion in music.

Top to bottom: Joe “King” Oliver, Kid Ory, Jelly Roll Morton

Buddy Bolden, Sidney Bechet, Bunk Johnson, Jellyroll Morton, Kid Ory, King Oliver…

Historians generally point to Buddy Bolden, a cornet player, as the first jazz musician. Beginning around 1895, he assembled a band that was popular at New Orleans street parades and dances and included musicians who would later become prominent figures in early jazz development, including Sidney Bechet and Bunk Johnson.

Bolden’s personal theme song was called “Funky Butt” and today the jazz club on North Rampart Street of the same name pays him tribute. He was followed by a long list of musicians who each left their stamp on the evolving style of jazz in the early part of the 20th century, including Joe “King” Oliver, Kid Ory and Jelly Roll Morton, generally considered the first great jazz composer.

Jazz diaspora

While rooted in New Orleans, the city’s jazz pioneers traveled extensively for work. This artistic diaspora was accelerated when the city’s official red light district, Storyville, was ordered closed by the federal government in 1917, thus shuttering the saloons and bordellos that had proved such reliable venues for early jazz musicians. Wherever the musicians went, they played, and the sound stuck, later evolving on its own into differentiated styles in Chicago, New York, Kansas City, and West Coast cities.

“The original jazz idiom started in New Orleans, and it spread,” says Raeburn. “As it spread, it changed, but the original sound came from New Orleans.”

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With conflict and division in many parts of the world, it is my hope that, through the universal language of jazz, our celebration this year can inspire people of all nations to heal, to hope and to work together to foster peace.” Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

A call for global peace and unity

The flagship Jazz Day event, a spectacular All-Star Global Concert, emphasizes the importance of jazz as a means of achieving unity and peace through dialogue and diplomacy. It features performances by some of the world’s most accomplished jazz artists. The 2023 All-Star Global Concert will feature performances in 12 cities simultaneously: from Beijing, Beirut, Casablanca, Johannesburg, Marondera, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, Fairbanks, New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

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All-Star Global Concert

30 april 2023.

Herbie Hancock to host All-Star Global Concert with UNESCO featuring performances in 13 global cities by Dianne Reeves, Marcus Miller, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Somi, Melody Gardot, Sérgio Mendes, Cyrille Aimée, Antonio Sánchez, John Beasley and many more. The All-Star Global Concert will be webcast worldwide.

An array of acclaimed artist-educators will present a multilingual selection of offerings that will emphasize the richness—and relevance—of jazz to learners at all levels. Programming will be available in Arabic, English, French, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish, with topics including music making for kids, improvisation, and the intersection of jazz harmony and diverse international musical traditions. The virtual education programme includes master classes led by acclaimed artists.

Music of improvisation and collective creation

International Jazz Day raises awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation among people, as well as an educational tool. Many governments, civil society organizations, educational institutions, and private citizens currently engaged in the promotion of jazz music embrace the opportunity to foster greater appreciation, not only for the music, but also for the contribution it can make to building more inclusive societies.

International Jazz Day has had extraordinary successes over the past decade, becoming the world’s largest annual celebration of jazz. It is a global movement, engaging people annually, on every continent, through education programs, performances, community outreach and media coverage.

  • Jazz breaks down barriers and creates opportunities for mutual understanding and tolerance;
  • Jazz is a vector of freedom of expression;
  • Jazz is a symbol of unity and peace;
  • Jazz reduces tensions between individuals, groups, and communities;
  • Jazz fosters gender equality;
  • Jazz reinforces the role youth play for social change;
  • Jazz encourages artistic innovation, improvisation, new forms of expression, and inclusion of traditional music forms into new ones;
  • Jazz stimulates intercultural dialogue and empowers young people from marginalized societies.

In November 2011 the UNESCO General Conference proclaimed 30 April as “International Jazz Day”. This International Day brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to celebrate and learn about the art of jazz, its roots, its future and its impact. This important international art form is celebrated for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity, eradicating discrimination, promoting freedom of expression, fostering gender equality, and reinforcing the role of youth for social change.

Global events

Collage of past global events

The worldwide programme for International Jazz Day 2023 also includes an extraordinary range of programming in more than 190 countries, with concerts and performance-based initiatives complemented by wide-ranging social outreach and educational activities.

date dapparition du jazz

Grammy award winning composer Antonio Sánchez defines jazz simply as “freedom,” highlighting its inclusive power to bring “different elements together, transforming it into something greater.”

  • UNESCO International Jazz Day
  • International Jazz Day official site
  • UNESCO Musicians for Peace
  • The UNESCO Courier    Let's Talk About Jazz
  • Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz
  • Herbie Hancock: Reflections on 10 Years of International Jazz Day
Jazz is a flourishing of beauty born of oppression – the music of improvisation and collective creation.” Audrey Azoulay Director-General, UNESCO

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Past International Jazz Day Concerts

  • 2022: UNHQ, New York, United States
  • 2021:  10th Anniversary Celebration
  • 2020: #JazzDayAtHome
  • 2019: Melbourne and Sydney, Australia
  • 2018: St. Petersburg, Russian Federation
  • 2017: Habana, Cuba
  • 2016: Washington, D.C., United States
  • 2015: Paris, France
  • 2014: Osaka, Japan
  • 2013: Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2012: UNHQ, New York, United States

10th Anniversary Celebration

The 10th Anniversary of International Jazz Day, the world’s largest annual celebration of jazz, took place on April 30th, 2021, with thousands of worldwide programs culminating in a spectacular All-Star Global Concert from New York, Los Angeles, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, Cape Town, Moscow, Tokyo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities around the globe. Hosted by multi-Academy Award winner Michael Douglas from United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Global Concert featured performances from an array of jazz icons representing more than 20 countries.

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Why do we mark International Days?

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances .

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  2. Découvrez les plus grands artistes de l’histoire du jazz

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  3. Entry #11 by dymetrios for Timeline of jazz chart

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  5. History Of Jazz

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  1. JAZZ DE RETOUR SUR LES RÉSEAUX, ELLE S'EXPLIQUE/TROMPERIE/PLACEMENTS

COMMENTS

  1. Histoire du jazz

    Le jazz apparaît aux États-Unis, en Louisiane, précisément à La Nouvelle-Orléans dans le delta du Mississippi, à la fin du XIXe siècle ou début XXe siècle selon les sources 1.

  2. Jazz

    Le jazz est un genre musical originaire du Sud des États-Unis, créé à la fin du XIXe siècle et au début du XXe siècle au sein des communautés afro-américaines.

  3. Histoire du jazz

    NEW ORLEANS : LES ANNÉES 20 Le Jazz New Orleans est né à la Nouvelle-Orleans en Louisiane dans le sud des Etats-Unis. C'est un courant qui a débuté vers 1910 avant d'émigrer vers Chicago avec leurs représentants illustres tels que Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Jelly Roll Morton ou encore King Oliver.

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    Histoire du jazz et de ses différents styles et courants musicaux, illustrés par des extraits audio et vidéo. Accueil; ... Il a joué un rôle essentiel dans l'apparition du style "Be-bop" dans les années 1940. Un grand nombre de ses thèmes sont devenus des standards de jazz : Billie's bounce, "Donna Lee", Blues for Alice, "Moose the ...

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    Le mot jazz est d'origine inconnue, il apparaît en 1917 dans les premiers enregistrements. La base du style musical est l'improvisation, sans qu'aucune partition ne soit écrite. Le thème mélodique sert de base sur laquelle l'interprète développe librement sa musique. Le véritable compositeur est l'interprète, qui improvise à chaque représentation.

  7. 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. [1] [2] [3] [4] Since the 1920s Jazz Age, it has been recognized as a major form of musical expression in traditional and popular music.

  8. Jazz

    Jazz has been, from its very beginnings at the turn of the 20th century, a constantly evolving, expanding, changing music, passing through several distinctive phases of development; a definition that might apply to one phase—for instance, to New Orleans style or swing —becomes inappropriate when applied to another segment of its history, say, to...

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    Any attempt to describe the history of jazz in a linear format is misleading because jazz didn't—and doesn't—happen that way. A style of music known for its improvisation and spirit, it was born in New Orleans, but took on life in countless new directions. Free jazz, cool jazz, bebop, post-bop, and electro swing: all of these and more have rich, tangled roots that defy delineation ...

  10. The Origins of Jazz

    Most feel it started in the late 1800s or early 1900s. However, it ultimately rose to fame in the 1920s. Where Did Jazz Originate and Why? Jazz is often thought of as being founded on the musical traditions of West Africa (rhythm, "feel", blues) and Europe (harmonic chords, variety of instruments).

  11. Explainer: the history of jazz

    The period between 1935 and 1946, generally referred to as the " Swing Era ", saw small, soloist-plus-ensemble bands of Armstrong and others (now called "combos"), largely give way to big bands,...

  12. Jazz Timeline

    Pre-1900 Pre-1900 - In the beginning The music to become known as 'jazz' is generally thought to have been conceived in America during the second half of the nineteenth century by African-Americans.

  13. The mysterious origins of jazz

    Dating back to 1860 there had been an African-American slang term, 'jasm', which means 'vim' or 'energy'. On 14 November 1916, the New Orleans Times-Picayune newspaper referred for the ...

  14. jazz summary

    jazz, Musical form, often improvisational, developed by African Americans and influenced by both European harmonic structure and African rhythms. Though its specific origins are not known, the music developed principally as an amalgam in the late 19th- and early 20th-century musical culture of New Orleans. Elements of the blues and ragtime in ...

  15. Histoire du Jazz

    1868-1917 Le RAGTIME est né en Louisiane et fut le genre musical le plus populaire entre 1898 et 1918. Contrairement au blues et au gospel (qui furent des musique populistes bien simples), le RAGTIME était un genre de musique bien plus complexe. C'était les premières compositions écrites provenant d'anciens esclaves affranchis maintenant éduqués.

  16. What Is Jazz? A Guide to the History and Sound of Jazz

    A Guide to the History and Sound of Jazz - 2024 - MasterClass. What Is Jazz? A Guide to the History and Sound of Jazz. Jazz is a harmonically sophisticated genre of music based on improvisation, and it's one of the quintessential American art forms. Jazz is a harmonically sophisticated genre of music based on improvisation, and it's one of ...

  17. The Birth of Jazz: A Historical Overview

    The five members of the Original Dixieland Jass Band took the elevator to the 12th floor of the Victor Talking Machine Company building on 38th Street in New York City on February 26th 1917. They were dressed in white shirts with buttoned top collars and no ties but wearing black tuxedos with shiny lapels.

  18. Jazz Origins in New Orleans

    The Origins of Jazz - Pre 1895. A review of New Orleans' unique history and culture, with its distinctive character rooted in the colonial period, is helpful in understanding the complex circumstances that led to the development of New Orleans jazz. The city was founded in 1718 as part of the French Louisiana colony.

  19. Music History

    Beginning around 1895, he assembled a band that was popular at New Orleans street parades and dances and included musicians who would later become prominent figures in early jazz development, including Sidney Bechet and Bunk Johnson. Bolden's personal theme song was called "Funky Butt" and today the jazz club on North Rampart Street of ...

  20. International Jazz Day

    International Jazz Day is intended to raise awareness in the international community of the virtues of jazz as an educational tool, and a force for peace, unity, dialogue and enhanced cooperation ...

  21. Dixieland jazz

    Dixieland jazz, also referred to as traditional jazz, hot jazz, or simply Dixieland, is a style of jazz based on the music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century. The 1917 recordings by the Original Dixieland Jass Band (which shortly thereafter changed the spelling of its name to "Original Dixieland Jazz Band"), fostered awareness of this new style of music.

  22. 1930s in jazz

    "Body and Soul" is a song composed by Johnny Green with lyrics by Frank Eyton, Edward Heyman and Robert Sour.The song was used in the successful Broadway revue Three's a Crowd and became an instant hit, despite being banned from the radio for almost a year for its sexually suggestive lyrics. The first jazz recording was by Louis Armstrong in 1930. Coleman Hawkins's 1939 recording consisted of ...

  23. L'apparition du jazz en France

    Abonnez-vous: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSFWYBQCsuZmkutzDPtQtMg Dans ce point culturel on aborde l'apparition du jazz en France et ses figures mythiqu...