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"Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny" --Frank Zappa

“Ladies and Gentlemen, we'd like you to meet Shorty Petterstein, who is one of the up and coming jazz, uh, French trump- trumpeters, do they call 'em Oscar?”
“No, man, I blow, um, French horn, man. I blow French horn, man.”
“Would you get a little, just a, a little closer to the microphone?”
“French horn man.”
--"Interview with Shorty Petterstein" (1955) by Henry Jacobs

"Before the West's 1950s canonization of jazz, its roots - much like disco in the 1970s and house music in the 1980s - lie in hedonistic drug-fueled ("Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine") dance music of the early 20th century. Nazi Germany condemned jazz as "degenerate music". Instrumental in crossing the line from entertainment to serious art was Charlie Parker, an icon for the Beat generation, and pivotal figure in the evolving conception of the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than just a popular entertainer. Parker, seeking to study with Edgard Varèse and Stefan Wolpe, fused jazz with classical music and made it a respectable art form."--Sholem Stein

"Herein lies the importance, in a cultural and historical sense, of the phonograph record to jazz, more vital than the printed score to Western music."--Shining Trumpets, a History of Jazz (1946) by Rudi Blesh

"Early in its development, bebop was rejected by many of the established, traditional jazz musicians who disdained their younger counterparts. The beboppers responded by calling these traditionalists "moldy figs"."--Sholem Stein

"Thanks to the early efforts of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonius Monk [bebop], one part of jazz was transformed from danceable pieces for noisy clubs into a recognized art form for pure listening, whereas the rest evolved into swing and other popular genres."--The Invention of Art (2003) by Larry Shiner

Jahsonic's jazzy artists canon: Brian Auger, Roy Ayers, Jorge Ben, Donald Byrd, Terry Callier, Joe Claussell, Ornette Coleman, Stanley Cowell, Carl Craig, Miles Davis, Manu Dibango, Serge Gainsbourg, Rudy Van Gelder, Herbie Hancock, Fela Kuti, Bill Laswell, Jackie Mittoo, Milton Nascimento, Ernest Ranglin, Minnie Riperton, Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Lonnie Liston Smith, Leon Thomas

Josephine Baker dancing the charleston at the Folies Bergère in Paris for La Revue nègre in 1926. Notice the art deco background. (Photo by Walery)
Josephine Baker dancing the charleston at the Folies Bergère in Paris for La Revue nègre in 1926. Notice the art deco background.
(Photo by Walery)

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Jazz is a music genre that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th century American popular music. Its West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note. However, Art Blakey has been quoted as saying, "No America, no jazz. I’ve seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Africa".

The word "jazz" (in early years also spelled "jass") began as a West Coast slang term and was first used to refer to music in Chicago in about 1915.

From its beginnings in the early 20th century jazz has spawned a variety of subgenres: New Orleans Dixieland dating from the early 1910s, big band-style swing from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s, a variety of Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz, free jazz from the 1950s and 1960s, jazz fusion from the 1970s, acid jazz from the 1980s (which added funk and hip-hop influences), and Nujazz in the 1990s. As the music has spread around the world it has drawn on local national and regional musical cultures, its aesthetics being adapted to its varied environments and giving rise to many distinctive styles.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jazz" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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