||A brief history of Modern Jazz
All of the featured sample tracks are taken from the CD This One's for Milt Jackson
In the early 1940's a group of New York based jazz musicians became disenchanted with the prevailing style of the time. These included Charlie
Dizzy Gillespie, and The lonious Monk. They
consciously strove to expand the harmonic, melodic and rhythmic
possibilities of the music, thereby giving the music a greater sense of
urgency and sophistication. This style became known as "Bebop".
Up to this time jazz musicians relied heavily on the show tunes of the
day ie Track 4. However from now on they would create their own
By the end of the decade trumpeter Miles Davis sought to create a more
mellow and subdued style of jazz which would retain the complexities
of bebop yet would also convey a more vocal and expressive mood. This
came to be known as "Cool Jazz"
By the late 1950's musicians such as The Cannonball Adderley quintet,
Art Blakey's jazz messengers and the Horace Silver quintet were
influenced by the prayer meetings of the Baptist Church, and sought to
introduce a strong blues influence into their compositions. This style
is known as "Hardbop" Track 3
In 1959 a new departure was ushered in by the introduction of Modal
Jazz and the highly influential Miles Davis recording "Kind of Blue"
This style is still prevalent to this day where the emphasis is placed
on improvising on a selected group of notes called a scale rather than
a series of harmonic chord changes
About this time two other diverse influences arose. The Dave Brubeck
Quartet experimented with various unusual time signatures, and the
Modern Jazz Quartet expanded the structure of the music and paid great
attention to programming, group interplay, dynamic shading and
contrast, comparable to a classical string Quartet.
The John Coltrane Quartet was probably the most influential group of
the1960s an era that saw a lot of experimental attempts to broaden the
scope of the music,and established instrumental practices.
This was the era of the " Avante Garde" and Quartel Harmony.
The 1960's also saw a new style emerge known as the " Bossa Nova" or
"Latin Jazz" (which has its origins in Brazil) The prolific composer
Antonio Carlos Jobim helped define its characteristics, sophisticated
harmonies, lyrical melodies, subtle rhythms and well defined
structures. Track 2
Jazz Rock emerged in the 1970's and popularised Jazz to an
unprecedented degree. Groups such as "Return to Forever" and "Weather
Report" helped define this era which had a heavy dependence on
synthesisers and electric instrumentation.
Jazz for the 80's and 90's has been a distillation and renewal of all
the aforementioned styles and a reconfirmation of their validity and