Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in black communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. Its African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation and the swung note. From its early development until the present day, jazz has also incorporated elements from American popular music.
As the music has developed and spread around the world it has drawn on many different national, regional and local musical cultures giving rise, since its early 20th century American beginnings, to many distinctive styles: New Orleans jazz dating from the early 1910s, big band swing, Kansas City jazz and Gypsy jazz from the 1930s and 1940s, bebop from the mid-1940s and on down through West Coast jazz, cool jazz, avant-garde jazz, Afro-Cuban jazz, modal jazz, free jazz, Latin jazz in various forms, soul jazz, jazz fusion and jazz rock, smooth jazz, jazz-funk, punk jazz, acid jazz, ethno jazz, jazz rap, cyber jazz, Indo jazz, M-Base, nu jazz, urban jazz and other ways of playing the music.
In a 1988 interview, trombonist J. J. Johnson said, "Jazz is restless. It won't stay put and it never will".
Famous quotes containing the word jazz:
“The further jazz moves away from the stark blue continuum and the collective realities of Afro-American and American life, the more it moves into academic concert-hall lifelessness, which can be replicated by any middle class showing off its music lessons.”
—Imamu Amiri Baraka (b. 1934)
“The basic difference between classical music and jazz is that in the former the music is always greater than its performanceBeethovens Violin Concerto, for instance, is always greater than its performancewhereas the way jazz is performed is always more important than what is being performed.”
—André Previn (b. 1929)
“He could jazz up the map-reading class by having a full-size color photograph of Betty Grable in a bathing suit, with a co- ordinate grid system laid over it. The instructor could point to different parts of her and say, Give me the co-ordinates.... The Major could see every unit in the Army using his idea.... Hot dog!”
—Norman Mailer (b. 1923)