Jazz music originated from the African American origin, and is done through improvisation, syncopation, and usually either a forceful or regular rhythm. Jazz happens to have many styles. Some of those different styles are; smooth, contemporary, Latin and trad. Smooth Jazz has a bit of a pop feel to it but has little to no improvisation. Contemporary Jazz is another version of Smooth Jazz. Latin Jazz is Jazz music with a bit of a Latin rhythm to it. Trad Jazz, or Traditional Jazz, is the Dixieland and Ragtime Jazz of the early 20th century, typically, it used Trombone, Trumpet, and Clarinet in its’ lineup. Jazz became very popular in the Harlem Renaissance. Overall, many artists have helped developed Jazz music and its many styles during their time of the Harlem Renaissance.
How did Harlem develop Jazz music you may ask? Well, the Harlem Renaissance was all about African Americans being given a voice. Jazz helped African Americans musicians such as, Louis Armstrong, express their opinions through their music. Many people wanted to move to Harlem. They wanted to move to Harlem because down in the South, there were still segregation laws, so they all moved up North to avoid those laws. Harlem was originally a neighborhood for upper-class white families, but they eventually took off out of Harlem as the black families had started moving in. Many of those black families were able to find jobs and create a new and better lifestyle for themselves. Overall, many black families moved to Harlem to have a better lifestyle for themselves and Harlem gave many a voice through Jazz music.
During the Harlem Renaissance, Jazz was obviously the biggest music genre of that time. Jazz happens to have so many different styles. From smooth to cool to Latin to even acid Jazz! Smooth Jazz, also known as, Contemporary Jazz, has a bit of a pop feel to it but has little to no improvisation. Cool Jazz started to gain popularity after World War II, and it described as having a more relaxing tempo and a lighter tone, in contrast to other types of Jazz with more upbeat tones and tempos. Acid Jazz, though keeping with the Jazz theme, is a mix of Hip-Hop, Soul, and Funk. Acid Jazz is also more of a dancing type of music. Some of the musicians during this time of Jazz music are; Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, and William Henry Webb. Billie Holiday, also known as Lady Day, grew up listening to Jazz music and even landed herself a deal at 18-years-old! Billie has many hits such as; ‘What A Little Moonlight Can Do’, and ‘Miss Brown to You’. She also cowrote multiple Jazz hits such as; ‘God Bless the Child’, ‘Don’t Explain’, ‘Fine and Mellow’, and ‘Lady Sings the Blues’. Louis Armstrong had grown up in a poor family in New Orleans and he played with small bands in clubs. Eventually, Louis was invited to play second cornet in a Creole Jazz Band. In 1924, just two years after he was invited to play in a Creole Jazz Band, he moved to New York City in the Roseland Ballroom with the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra. Louis has many hits such as; ‘What A Wonderful World’, ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, ‘We Have All the Time in the World’, and ‘Georgia on My Mind’. William Henry Webb, famously known as Chick Webb, was a Jazz drummer and started playing professionally at 11-years-old. At 17-years-old, Chick Webb moved to New York City to lead his own band. Chick quickly became famously known as one of the best band leaders and drummer of the ‘Swing’ genre. Chick used to compete in Battle of the Bands and was usually crowned the King of Swing. Chick, also, has many famous songs, some of those songs are; ‘Sing Me a Swing Song’, ‘Go Harlem’, ‘Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie’, ‘Harlem Congo’, ‘I Want to Be Happy’, ‘Macpherson Is Rehearsing (To Swing)’, and ‘In the Groove at The Groove.’ Chick Webb became known to many other Jazz drummers as the ‘Father of them all’.
There are many Jazz artists that are still known today. Some of those artists are; Nat Cole King, Louis Armstrong, and Frank Sinatra. Nat Cole King is still well-known today because of his Jazz cover of the famously known pop song, Unforgettable. Many also know his song Sweet Lorraine. Louis Armstrong is still well-known today because almost anyone you ask will know his song What a Wonderful World and it is still used in some Christmas commercials in December. Louis Armstrong has an unforgettable voice that still influences many Jazz artists today. Frank Sinatra is still well-known today because his music is played in any kind of comforting setting. His two most famously known songs, that many children and teens know today, are; Fly Me to the Moon and My Way.
20th century Jazz music has had a big influence on music today. Many artists tend to sample or copy parts of older Jazz songs and they use that copy in their music. Jazz has also combined different genres that many would have never thought to have combined. Bands like the Foo Fighters have combined genres like Latin and Rock just like Jazz did and they use these types of combinations in their music and have gotten quite popular with it. The Beatles have been heavily influenced by Jazz music in their White Album. Their White Album has obvious influences from Jazz musicians with the way they have added a ‘Swing’ to their music. Today, artists like Olly Murrs have used the catchy swing styles of Jazz to create pieces that anyone can enjoy and maybe even dance to. Olly Murrs song, Dance With Me Tonight, has an obvious ‘Swing’ influence to it, it has a catchy tune like most ‘Swing’ songs of the 20th century and it tells kind of a story of how Olly thinks men should be treating ladies.