July 4, 1900 is the day that Louis Armstrong always claims as his birthday. Armstrong's nickname will be Satchmo. He will receive this nickname in England in the early 1930's when the British hear his original nickname, Satchelmouth, incorrectly. Armstrong will be recognized as the first genius of Jazz because the entire concept of swinging will be attributed to him. Blues become a standard feature of honky tonks and dancehalls. Horn players imitate the human voice with mutes and growls. New Orleans players are playing a mix of Blues, Ragtime, brass band music, marches, Pop songs and dances. The Jazz stew is brewing. Some musicians are beginning to improvise the Pop songs. The end of the Spanish-American war has brought a surplus of used military band instruments into the port of New Orleans. Jelly Roll Morton is a youth working the "high class sporting houses" or more bluntly, brothels, as a Ragtime piano player. His wages come from tips from wealthy patrons.
Jazz http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2169/1521025830_d0d1467730_o.jpg Louis Armstrong Live At The 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival
Prohibition of alcohol begins. In many respects, prohibition has the opposite of its intended effect. For example, before prohibition, few, if any women drank in bars. However, women were very likely to drink in speak-easys. Prohibition indirectly furthers the cause of Jazz.
Armstrong drops in on a St. Louis dance and the band he is with blows away the most popular band in town with New Orleans Jazz. Alto saxophonist Charlie Parker (a.k.a. Bird or Yardbird) is born on August 29 in Kansas City, Kansas.
Ellington has developed into a decent and fairly successful band leader earning about $10,000 a year to support wife Edna and one year old Mercer.
The first recorded Blues appears when Mamie Smith records Crazy Blues. This kicks off the Classic Blues craze of the 1920's. Over forty prominent New Orleans Jazzmen have moved to Chicago.
Somebody discovers that the New York brownstone basement (being narrow and running from main street to back alley) is well suited to use as an speakeasy. In time, the cellars of New York City will become riddled with speak-easys providing numerous opportunities for Jazz musicians.
Duke Elllington’s debut in 1927 at The Cotton Club, a speakeasy on the second floor of 644 Lexington at the corner of West 142nd Street in Harlem is an early demonstration of the power of the media in promoting music. Weekly live broadcasts over WHN, featuring Ellington’s Orchestra, heard across the country, gave the fledgling band unprecedented national exposure and made Duke Ellington a star.
Charlie Parker goes on the road with Jay McShann to Wichita, Kansas. He is recorded by the local radio. His sound is thin and light and he is still basically a Swing player. On the other hand, the jagged phrasing, fast triplets and sixteenth are there.
Charlie Christian is edging into something new both rhythmically and harmonically. He is preceding Bop. Parker usually gets most of the credit and Gillespie the rest. The Christian solo on a recording of Stardust also is showing influence of Django.
Dizzy Gillespie deliberately uses major thirds over minor changes in the song Pickin' the Cabbage recorded in May. In June, he uses a diminished 9th on Bye, Bye Blues. These things are new. Kenny Clarke is fired from the Teddy Hill band for his "odd" drumming.
Jazz http://home.elp.rr.com/valdes/images/Ayeroff.jpg Charlie Christian - electric guitar (1916-1942) As the man who popularized the guitar in a jazz setting, his legacy lives on.
Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Christian are occasionally beginning or ending phrases on 2nd and 4th beats. This is called "offbeat". The usual practice is to use the 1st or 3rd.
Henry Minton asks Teddy Hill to take over the management of his place on 118th Street. Strangely enough, Hill asks the recently fired Kenny Clarke to organize and front the band. The band is Clarke on drums, Thelonious Monk on piano, Nick Fenton bass and Joe Guy on trumpet. Dizzy Gillespie begins showing up regularly. The music is mainstream except for Clarke's "odd" drumming and Monk's unusual piano playing.
Bud Powell begins showing up at Minton's. He is not readily accepted, but Monk realizes that he has potential and supports him. Ironically, Bud will become a much more sought after Bop pianist than Monk. The genius Monk nevertheless will write the 1947 song In Walked Bud in his honor. Powell's influence is not Monk, but Charlie Parker.
The Hard Bop style is emerging via people like drummer Art Blakey and piano player Horace Silver. Blue notes are disappearing from Jazz. They are being replaced by minor notes. For instance, the blue seventh becomes the minor seventh, etc.
Cool Jazz hits its last peak as saxman Jimmy Giuffre eliminates drums and strong bass altogether giving an implicit beat rather than an explicit beat. Charlie Parker performs in public for the last time on March 4 at Birdland. He dies of a heart seizure, hemorrhage and general pathetic health on March 12 in NYC in the home of Baroness Nica de Koenigswarter. Most of the major Bebop figures are dead or ineffective (mostly because of heroin). Charlie Parker died in front of the TV. He was watching Tommy Dorsey and his band. Charlie's last words are a comment that Dorsey sounded great.
Jazz Art Blakey . [1910-1990] http://www.musicmattersjazz.com/images/Art_Blakey_alt.jpg
Jazz www.coutant.org/celeb4/dorsey.jpg Thomas Francis Dorsey, Jr. was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, and started out only 16 years later in Allentown, Pennsylvania, with big band album Russ Morgan in the famous pick-up band of the 1920s "The Scranton Sirens". Tommy and his brother Jimmy worked in several bands (including those of Rudy Vallee, Vincent Lopez, and especially Paul Whiteman) before forming the original Dorsey Brothers Orchestra in 1934. Ongoing acrimony between the brothers, however, led to Tommy Dorsey's walking out to form his own band in 1935, just as the Orchestra was having a hit with "Every Little Movement."
During the finale of the Charlie Parker Memorial Concert, Monk selects a tune that only he and Dizzy Gillespie are familiar with and Gillespie can't remember it. In the confusion, quick thinking Red Allen does a fast switch to the Blues and saves the moment.
Monk's Prestige contract is taken over by Riverside. Monk records some Ellington tunes and standards to stop the talk that he can only play his own compositions well. His music is starting to be referred to as "zombie music". Even this late, Monk's playing is still often ridiculed.
Miles Davis hires Coltrane to play tenor sax in his new Hard Bop quintet. Davis actually wants Sonny Rollins, but Rollins is busy kicking his drug habit and doesn't feel ready. The quintet also includes Paul Chambers (bass), Red Garland (piano) and Philly Jo Jones (drums).
Art Blakey puts together the first of his Jazz Messenger groups featuring Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Hank Mobley on tenor sax, Doug Watkins on bass, Horace Silver on piano and Blakey on drums. The sound will continue to define Hard Bop.
Bassist, composer and leader Charlie Mingus begins his period of greatest influence.
Dreams, a fusion group featuring Billy Cobham plus Randy and Mike Brecker, releases its self-titled debut on Columbia.
Saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Joe Zawinul, bassist Miroslav Vitous, drummer Alphonse Mouzon and percussionist Airto Moreira form the fusion supergroup Weather Report.
Free jazz saxophone player Albert Ayler dies on November 5.
Pianist Chick Corea, reedist/percussionist Anthony Braxton, bassist Dave Holland and drummer Barry Altschul form the free jazz group Circle. They record Early Circle and Circulus (Blue Note). The rhythm section of the group also records Song of Singing (Blue Note) under Corea's name.
Duke Ellington records New Orleans Suite (Atlantic).
Jazz Randy Brecker is essentially a fine hard bop trumpet soloist, but one versatile enough to fit into nearly any setting, including in the pop world, funk bands, and electronic fusion. He studied classical trumpet and attended Indiana University. Brecker was with Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1967, and spent 1968-1969 playing with Horace Silver's quintet. He also appeared with the big bands of Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, Frank Foster, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis orchestra. After playing with the early fusion group Dreams in 1969, he worked with Larry Coryell's Eleventh House and Billy Cobham, in addition to keeping very busy with studio work. He teamed up with Michael Brecker in the popular funk-oriented Brecker Brothers (1974-1979). http://bp1.blogger.com/
Jazz http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/history/zawinul/keyboard-ad-1978.jpg Joe Zawinul was the ultimate pioneer of the electric piano in jazz and fusion. He was one of the original Fender Rhodes players who worked with Miles Davis, but he actually began his exploration on the Wurliter Electric Piano owned by Ray Charles as the two of them worked together early in Joe's career. By the mid-60's Joe was playing with Cannonball Adderley's group, producing the enormously popular hit "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy!" recorded on none other than the Wurlitzer in 1966. Around this time the original Fender Rhodes Electric Piano had gone into production, and by 1969 you could hear him playing one with Miles on the albums In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew . Following these early experiments in electric jazz, the super group Weather Report was born in 1971, with Joe and saxophonist Wayne Shorter as founding members.
Jazz Chick Corea-- Grammy-winning pianist Chick Corea’s career is the stuff of jazz lore. After accompanying Sarah Vaughan and joining Miles Davis’s band, he went on to spearhead the mid 1970s fusion movement with Herbie Hancock and others. His groups are hotbeds of imagination, seething with influential, limit-stretching creativity. http://www.carolinaperformingarts.org/assets/calendars/Special%20Events/events/ChickCoreaDET.jpg
If you want to seek out new music, of any variety, a computer with internet access and the ability to use a search engine will turn up plenty of options. Yet, there is something different about the present era - something lacking. If one mentions any decade throughout the brief but rich history of jazz, a particular style almost immediately emerges.
If you think 1920's, you may think Armstrong's Hot Five's and Seven's.
In the 1930's you might think of swing bands, 1940's you might conjure up images of Bird and Dizzy on 52nd Street.
If one thinks about the 1950's, you might think of Miles' great quintet.
The 1960's were the era of Coltrane's Quartet, the free jazz pioneers, and the Blue Note sound.
The 1970's may make one think of Bitches Brew and all the fusion which followed.
If we look at the 1980's - well, the picture begins to get a little less clear, perhaps because we don't have the requisite distance to yet establish a norm. Perhaps Paul Motian's trio with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano comes to mind. Think of the Pat Metheny Group; perhaps Miles or the emergence of Wynton Marsalis.
Moving onto the 1990's there is M-Base and Steve Coleman, and The Knitting Factory and all the music centered around New York City's East Village. Moving on. . . we have Kenny G and "smooth jazz"?
Only you will know the jazz greats of the present decade. . .
Jazz Jazz Today. . . http://www.maingazane.com/images/contactimage.jpg Main Gazane , an old jazz term meaning my "main man" or my "main thing" is a new Contemporary Jazz group made up of Keyboardist Mark Minchello and Multi Instrumentalist Bob Magnuson . The group's new CD Hip Space is a mixture of covers and original songs spanning many different styles of music. R&B, Brazilian, Electronica and Funk all find their way into this fresh new approach to Contemporary Jazz.
Jazz KEITH FIALA: Bedtime Stories Integrations of the smooth texture of R&B, with hints of jazz mixed in, creating Smooth Jazz. Recommended if you like Miles Davis, Rick Braun, Chris Botti. cdbaby.name/f/i/fiala_small.jpg Jazz Today. . .