Portal:Jazz
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Portal:Jazz

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Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".

As jazz spread around the world, it drew on different national, regional, and local musical cultures, which gave rise to many distinctive styles. New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation. In the 1930s, heavily arranged dance-oriented swing big bands, Kansas City jazz, a hard-swinging, bluesy, improvisational style and Gypsy jazz (a style that emphasized musette waltzes) were the prominent styles. Bebop emerged in the 1940s, shifting jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music" which was played at faster tempos and used more chord-based improvisation. Cool jazz developed near the end of the 1940s, introducing calmer, smoother sounds and long, linear melodic lines. Read more...

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Davis (right center) playing in Charlie Parker's quintet, 1947.

Birth of the Cool is a compilation album by American jazz musician Miles Davis, released in 1957 on Capitol Records. It compiles twelve tracks recorded by Davis's nonet for the label over the course of three sessions during 1949 and 1950.

Featuring unusual instrumentation and several notable musicians, the music consisted of innovative arrangements influenced by classical music techniques such as polyphony, and marked a major development in post-bebop jazz. As the title implies, these recordings are considered seminal in the history of cool jazz. Most of them were originally released in the 10-inch 78-rpm format and are all approximately three minutes long. (Full article...)

Selected biography

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John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (; October 21, 1917 - January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer.

Allmusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time (some would say the best), Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis's emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated [...] Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time."

Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic complexity previously unknown in jazz. He was an early player of bebop. (Full article...)

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UptownLaRoccaHouseFrontDoorTigarRag.jpg

Front door of house of Nick LaRocca, Uptown New Orleans, with notes that start his number "Tiger Rag" in the door screens

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Wingy Manone, William P. Gottlieb's office, New York, N.Y., between 1946 and 1948 (William P. Gottlieb 06031).jpg

 o ... that The Mississippi Rag has been reporting on traditional jazz and ragtime music since 1973?
 o ... that Wingy Manone's "Tar Paper Stomp" was used as the basis for Glenn Miller's "In the Mood"? (Manone pictured, right)
 o ... that the real name of drummer Mel Lewis (pictured, left) was Melvin Sokoloff?

2004

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Jazz writer Dan Morgenstern, left, with record producer George Avakian, right

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