Jazz music originated in the African-American communities in New Orleans, LA in the United States, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jazz music has roots in blues music, and ragtime music which was very popular between 1895 and 1919.
New Orleans jazz began in the early 1910s, combining earlier brass-band marches, French quadrilles, biguine, ragtime and blues with collective polyphonic improvisation. Early jazz musicians include Kid Ory, and Bessie Smith. Dixieland or traditional jazz began in Chicago in the 1920s with King Oliver and Bill Johnson as well-known Dixieland jazz musicians. In the 1920s, Louis Armstrong began his career in New Orleans and became one of the most famous jazz musicians.
In the 1930s, dance-oriented, hard-swinging, bluesy, and improvisational Kansas City jazz, and gypsy jazz became prominent. Early swing jazz musicians include Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines, Harry James, Jimmie Lunceford, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw.
French jazz as an European jazz style such as the Quintette du Hot Club de France which began in 1934 combined African-American jazz and symphony. Django Reinhardt popularized gypsy jazz, fusing American swing, French dance, and Eastern European folk played with steel stringed guitar, violin, and double bass.
The 1940s saw the rise of Bebop played at faster tempos with more chord-based improvisation, and later cool jazz. The most influential bebop musicians include Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, and Max Roach.
The mid-1950s saw the emergence of hard bop, which incorporates blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel in saxophone and piano playing. Hard bop pioneers include Miles Davis who is considered one of the most influential figures in jazz music, Blakey, Horace Silver, and Clifford Brown.
Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, with the soloist creating a melody using one (or a small number of) musical modes as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. This shifted from harmony to melody. Modal jazz innovators include George Russell, Miles Davis, Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, and Bill Evans. Kind of Blue (1959) became the best selling jazz album of all time.
Free jazz, playing without regular meter, beat and formal structures, began in the late 1950s and the 1960s. Free jazz musicians included Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Gato Barbieri, Carla Bley, Don Cherry, Larry Coryell, John Coltrane, Bill Dixon, Jimmy Giuffre, Steve Lacy, Michael Mantler, Sun Ra, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Sanders, John Tchicai, Gary Peacock, Sunny Murray, and Archie Shepp.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, jazz fusion was developed by combining jazz improvisation with rock rhythms, electric instruments and the highly amplified stage sound of rock musicians. Jazz fusion uses mixed meters, odd time signatures, syncopation, complex chords, and harmonies. Miles Davis’ first jazz fusion album “In a Silent Way” debuted in 1969.
In the early 1980s, smooth jazz became commercially successful with smooth jazz vocalists including Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, Sade, Grover Washington Jr., Kenny G, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, and David Sanborn. Smooth jazz is usually played at tempos of 90–105 BPM with soprano and tenor saxophone and legato electric guitar as lead melody-playing instruments.
Acid jazz developed in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, influenced by jazz-funk and EDM. Roy Ayers is one of acid jazz pioneers. Jazz rap developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s incorporating jazz music into hip hop. Rappers like Gang Starr, Stetsasonic with Lonnie Liston Smith, the Jungle Brothers and A Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, and Guru released their jazz rap albums.
You can find a list of jazz musicians on Wikipedia.Source: Wikipedia
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