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JazzBulletin   -   Thursday February 21 2019 to Sunday March 31 2019

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SJNPRO Bulletin

For jazz musicians and professionals

What's jazz

What's jazz ? Jazz music is a quite hard to define; it's swing, improvisation that'll give you chills, Ella's scats, syncopated rhythms, music for thoughts, free that's opposite from classic swing but that swings nonetheless, and a lot more ! Ask a hundred that question and you'll get 100 different answers. Here are the main jazz styles since it's birth.

Where does the word jazz come from ?

Where does the word jazz come from ? The origin of the word jazz is mysterious. Among the many theories, some derive the word from the New Orleans french créole expression "jaser" which means talking ; other bring it back to "Jazz-Belles", a satiric deformation by the black community of the word "Jezebel", used by the cajun settlers for the the New Orleans prostitutes. The expression seems to refer to talking, dancing & the sexual act. Another controversial explanation is that jazz is a slang term for sex.
Another opposite point of view is that the word means « energy » or « enthousiasm » in the popular langage.
It appeared for the first time in the New York press in 1917. It's been written : jass, jasz, jaz, before evolving
to it's actual spelling. It's been used since the twenties to define this new form of black music music.

The contents of this section were made possible thanks to Wikipedia - the free encyclopedia

Wikipedia fraThank you Wikipedia !

Wikipedia, is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia wiki service. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by anyone with access to a web browser.

Wikipedia Jazz Section


JoplinRagtime is an American musical genre, enjoying its peak popularity around the years 1900–1918. Ragtime is a dance form written in 2/4 or 4/4 time, with bass notes played on the odd-numbered beats and chords played on the even-numbered beats. Many ragtime pieces contain four distinct themes. Ragtime music is syncopated, with rhythmic accents on the weak beats.

: Scott Joplin - Joseph Lamb - James Scott
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to hear a sample, click on the album

New Orleans

Louis Armstrong New OrleansThe New Orleans jazz style started in 1910-1920 in New Orleans - that's where it was born before migrating to Chicago - and being overshadowed by swing or middle jazz. One of the stylings of ragtime was « tailgate », the trombone playing in counterpoint againt the trumpet, using the slide effect. The name « tailgate » comes from the fact the bands played on a wagon pulled by horses.

: Louis Armstrong - Jelly Roll Morton - King Oliver
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to hear a sample, click on the album


Armstrong Ellington SwingMiddle jazz or swing starts in the 20s. One of it's characteristics is the creation of many big bands and large orchestras. By extension, this period is also defined as the «big band era», the «swing era » or simply «swing». Another important element of swing is amuch larger horn section, especially saxophones. Each orchestra defines it's own style and sounds due in part to the work of the arrangers and the band leaders that adapt the compositions to the personality of their own orchestras, even sometimes each musicians.

: Duke Ellington - Count Basie - Benny Goodman
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to hear a sample, click on the album

Gypsy - Manouche

Django Gypsy ManoucheSwing inspired by legendary gypsy guitar player Django Reinhardt (1910-1953). This acoustic jazz style is based on Django Reinhardt's own compositions such as "Minor Swing" and "Nuages" and also jazz standards from the 20's and 30's such as "All of Me", "After You've Gone" or "I Can't Give You Anything But Love". This style is characterized by the absence of drums and horns. Its unique rhythm is laid down by one or more guitars punctuating the second and fourth beat of a 4/4, the upright bass punctuating the first and third. The main soloist, usually a guitarist will hand off the lead to a violinist, a clarinetist or an accordionist.

Text by François Rousseau - Django Montréal
Musicians : Django Reinhart - Bireli Lagrene
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to hear a sample, click on the album


Miles Davis Charlie Parker Bluebird Be-BopThe first recordings of bebop date back to 1945. These jazz groups were composed of a handful of big band musicians looking for musical freedom away from the big band discipline and rigor. These smaller formations gave the musicians more freedom interpretating the melody as well as more soloing opportunities. Bebop stands out from other styles with it's very fast rhythm, the extended phrasing as well as a dense harmonic structure, chords changing every bar, even many times per bar. This style requires technical mastery, a good ear and strong understanding of the musical theory.

Musicians : Charlie Parker - Dizzy Gillespie - Thelonius Monk
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to hear a sample, click on the album


Miles Davis Birth of the Cool - CoolMiles Davis gave birth to cool jazz in 1949 in trying to break away from the spiraling virtuosity of bebop playing. The Birth of Cool in 1949 sets the trend in bringing back smoother rhythms and simpler compositions. This greater acccessibility will give cool jazz increased popularity, especially with West Cost musicians, setting the stage to much fusion of styles (notably with brazilian music to create bossa nova). Cool jazz is free, filled with silence & intensity. It's got the phrasing of bebop, the attitude of the musicians as well as being an easy listening music of many moments.

: Miles Davis - Chet Baker - Dave Brubeck
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to hear a sample, click on the album


John Zorn - FreeFree jazz grew in 1950-1960. John Coltrane is one of the musicians who has produced some of the best free jazz. This music is typically played in small groups. Popular knowledge at the onset is that free jazz is heavy, agressive and dissonant. Many critics think that the abandonment of familar jazz elements is due to the lack of technique by the musicians. This point of vue has changed and free jazz has now built it's tradition of free jazz. Free jazz uses the basic structure of jazz but with compositions that are less structured than the previous jazz styles. Improvisation is quintessential and a major influence in the growth of the free improvisation style.

Musicians : John Coltrane - Ornette Coleman - Cecil Taylor - John Zorn
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to hear a sample, click on the album

Hard Bop

Art Blakey Moanin' Hard BopThis music grew in 1955-1960 and is a return to the roots of music, to Africa, as well as an agressive reaction (musically speaking) to cool jazz (meaning of the term "hard"), mostly dominated by white musicians. Even if most of the musicians learned and are influenced by bebop (meaning of the term "bop"), this style is influenced by rhythm & blues, blues and gospel. Hard bop is generally slower than bebop, and even if it has the bebop harmonic influence, the rhythm is stronger, probably due to the important contribution of drummers Max Roach & Art Blakey.

Musicians : Art Blakey - Max Roach - Sonny Rollins
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to hear a sample, click on the album


McLaughlin Mahavishnu FusionJazz-rock, also called jazz fusion, grew in 1960. Miles David launched the style in trying to distance himself from bebop, using amplified music, and fusing jazz, rock, rhythm & blues, soul, funk and even classical music. « Bitches Brew » & « In a Silent Way » (1969) are considered the starting points of the style. Another essential album of the style is John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra « The Inner Mounting Flame» (1971).
Musicians : Miles Davis - John McLaughlin - Weather Report - Uzeb
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to hear a sample, click on the album


Poncho Sanchez Conga Blue LatinLatin jazz is the general term given to music that combines rhythms from african and latin American countries with jazz harmonies from the United States. The two main categories of latin jazz are afro-cuban and brazilian. Afro-cuban jazz includes salsa, merengue, songo, son, mambo, bolero, charanga and cha cha cha. Brazilian jazz includes bossa nova and samba. Afro-cuban latin jazz originated in the late 1940s when Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton began to combine the rhythm section and structure of afro-cuban music, exemplified by Machito and his afro-cubans, with jazz instruments and solo improvisational ideas. Poncho Sanchez released Conga Blue, another true latin jazz recording.

Musicians : Poncho Sanchez - Machito - Antonio Carlos Jobim
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to hear a sample, click on the album


Guru Jazzmatazz AcidAcid jazz (also known as groove jazz or more recently club jazz) is a musical genre that combines jazz influences with elements of soul music, funk, disco and also nineties english dance music, particularly repetitive beats and modal harmony. It developed over the 1980s and 1990s, first in London with labels such as Talking Loud, and could be seen as taking the boundary crossing of jazz fusion onto new ground. One of the ideas of this genre is to return jazz to where it was born, in the dancing hall. That is why it has soulful, groovy, catchy inclinations and sound.

Musicians : Guru
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to hear a sample, click on the album


Joel Miller ModernModern : Modern jazz can be resumed by the transpiring styles of the language of jazz after multiple score readings. It is the contextual harmonic transformations & the rythmic components opening up to composed mesures. It is the aptitude to transgress styles, the excitement of spontaneous playing & the creation of complex melodies. Modern jazz recordings can be inspired by the available musical ressources. Emotions can also certainly be a factor of modernism.
Musicians : Wayne Shorter, John Zorn, Uri Cane, Chris Potter, Dave Holland, The Jazz Composer Collective, The Trio Prysm, and closer to home, many Effendi Records musicians such as Joel Miller (sample), Yannick Rieu, François Bourassa, Christine Jensen.

to hear a sample, click on the album

Choice of albums & audio clips in collaboration with


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