- Indeed, jazz is hostile among some listeners and is perceived as too sophisticated and at the same time boring music. Others with the sounds of jazz remember bright memories of watching good old American films. Jazz is a whole musical universe. As in the universe of classical music, here you can find something for yourself.
- This, of course, is curious, but maybe to start with something simpler? In general, what is real jazz?
Jazz is music in which there is improvisation and swing. Swing is a special rhythmic pulsation, but also jazz style and dance. The period of popularity of this style is called the "Swing Era." It was a time of large orchestras and a time when jazz became pop music. After the peak of popularity in the 20-30s. The 20th century began a slow decline and it became increasingly difficult to maintain large orchestras.
The best musicians, including orchestra leaders, began to assemble small ensembles and this kind of chamber swing was called "mainstream", which means the mainstream. It includes a series of concerts and recordings “Jazz at the Philharmonic”, which was created by the famous jazz producer Norman Granz from 1944 to 1983. JATP members were many great musicians such as Coleman Hawkins, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, the MJQ band and many others.
- Jazz standards. What is it?
They are also called evergreen, that is, evergreen hits. Topics that never expire. Jazz musicians learn on these topics and often perform, offering new unique variations. In fact, jazz standards are another way to get to know jazz. For example, a list of 50 jazz standards to get you started. You can find and compare performances of the same theme by different musicians on different instruments. It can be quite fun!
- Okeya ... And what other ways are there to get to know jazz? Maybe books, movies?
Yes, there are many exciting jazz stories. For example, the feature film "Bird" about Charlie Parker. Saxophonist Charlie Parker is considered the second after Louis Armstrong and so far the last genius in jazz. But at the same time it was a very controversial figure.
The pianist Oscar Peterson spoke interestingly about life at JATP in his autobiography Jazz Odyssey.
And there’s Ken Burns’s documentary series, The History of Jazz. It has a lot of unique frames and a fascinating story that will bring you up to date.