FUTURISTIC MINDS: GILLESPIE & McLAUGHLIN Essay on the development of jazz.

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In 1917 the Original Dixieland 'Jass' Band's released their recording titled Dixie Jass Band One Step. Alexander, Scott (2008) provided information about the first Jazz records. This is considered by most musicologists as the first Jazz record to be released. This brings the history of Jazz almost to a whole century now. As with all musical styles and genres Jazz has changed over the years and developed several branches and sub-genres.

In the early days of the Jazz it was very obvious that this new style of music was based on a fusion of other existing musical genres such as the ragtime, the blues and work songs. Alexander, Scott (2008) provided information about the history of Jazz. New Orleans music is considered to be the first true Jazz style. It was at first played by small bands mainly consisting of African American musicians and included different wind instruments such as the tuba, the trombone, the trumpet and the clarinet as well as stringed instruments such as the double bass, the violin, the banjo or the guitar, as well as different drums or percussion instruments. Ostendorf, Berndt (1979) provided information about early Jazz history. Due to the success of theses bands and the music that they were making white bands started to copy them reflecting the racial tensions of America at the time that gave birth to the Jazz and the Blues.

Over time the Jazz bands and orchestras became bigger and bigger, clearly reflecting the social and cultural climate of the 1920s. Vincent, Ted (2009) provided information about racist violence in The Jazz Age. Not only did big bands and swing bands have their heyday due to the boom of the economy but it was also the beginning of the easing between the tension between black and white Jazz musicians that started Jazz of. The 1920s are often referred to as the golden swing era with Jazz at its commercial highest point in its entire history.

With the depression of the following decade big bands started to struggle and smaller bands became more and more common. The musical style did not change much and swing dance music was still very popular. Brehaut, Tim (2004) provided information about the history of jazz. It was not until the 1940s, which saw the birth of Bebop that drastic musical change occurred. Unlike during the previous decades Jazz seized to be a dance music and a style of popular music. It gradually developed into a form of art music mainly appreciated for artistic beauty and virtuosity rather than mere entertainment. Jazz history in between early 1950’s and early 1960’s is described at . This had as an effect that jazz gradually lost most of its mainstream audience turning to other new and emerging styles such as Rock and Roll. Bebop also gave birth to a multitude of different styles following it. Some of these styles are Cool Jazz, Dixieland, Hard Bop and later Free Jazz and Fusion. It was a true explosion of Jazz sub-genres all with their origins in Bebop.

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As with all musical genres there are many important artists that each individually shaped it and contributed to it. One of these artists was trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie was born in 1917 in South Carolina, the same year the first Jazz record was released. He was to become one of the leading figures of Jazz. According to Gentry (1991, pp. 70-71), his childhood and adolescence were troubled and involved incidents with knife crime. He was self-taught and played the trombone and the piano besides his main instrument the trumpet. Gillespie started by playing for local bands in ...

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