.......................................................................Christmas Card for Mom
Check out Jacqueline's form when she pitched for the "Vipers" a few years ago. On my insistence, she faced one batter and threw four strikes before getting a ground ball out. Then the boys took her out of the game.. This was a few years ago during Hurricane Sandy. Though she was very slight of stature, she put her whole body into the pitch and generated some improbable torque on the baseball which made it curve in an unexpected manner. Bill Kennick
|THE HISTORY OF JAZZ
(This article was a winner in the Black History Month essay contest in Greenwood Lake, NY in 2015. Sponsered by Black History Club
by Jacqueline Kennick
Jazz is truly an American art form that was created and raised in America by all jazz musicians but by black jazz musicians in particular. In the 1940s jazz was at an all time high. As with any living art form it has since created offshoots and constantly merged with other influences such as Latin American, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, blues, klezmer etc. (ed) The rhythms of Jazz were influenced from roots in Africa, and the islands of the Caribbean and the harmonies are derived from European music. You had swing, which is considered the most popular form of jazz to date and in response to swing bebop; fast, complex music that was fairly presented as the music of musicians for it was highly intricate.
Bebop was associated with Charlie Parker (alto sax), Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), and Bud Powell (piano). Charlie Parker was a largely self-invented musician who after attempts to solo at Kansas City jam sessions then disappeared off the face of the earth in the summer of 1937 to return to the murmurs of people saying that “Cat’s been shedding.” This refers to the practice of woodshedding, which is when a musician takes time to dissect the intricate workings of jazz and to immerse yourself in the art of jazz and your instrument. To bebop goers such as Charlie Parker woodshedding was the very necessary practice of mastering the mechanics and gaining technique through the journey of learning to hone your instrument; but to people who are not masters of music we simply consider it practice. The term woodshedding comes from the fact that for privacy people would go and practice in their woodshed so as not to be overheard.
At the same time a song by Thelonious Monk (pianist) came out, called round midnight. It is still the most recorded jazz standard by a jazz musician. In England Pannonica de Koenigswarter, heard the song. She was a Rothschild, which was a prominent Jewish family, which had lots of wealth. She then married a baron and she had 5 children. However when she heard the song she decided to come to America to meet Thelonious Monk. She became known as the jazz baroness, a patron of jazz musicians. She became good friends with Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis.
She gave them authenticity an often gave them a place of refuge when they needed a place to stay. When Charlie Parker was sick he came to Pannonica and later died at her house. When the doctor performed an autopsy he reported that Parker had the body of and 80 year old ; Parker died at the age of 36. Out of bebop came cool jazz, which arose, in the late 1940s following World War 2. As the names suggests this form of jazz had more relaxed tempos and a lighter tone compared bebop; it also incorporates elements of classical music.
The big jazz giant in cool jazz was Miles Davis, a trumpet player, who while vaguely involved in the bebop scene was ultimately unable to technically keep up with the fast workings of bebop; however he was undoubtedly an artist as he was the father of cool jazz and went on to prosper in music all the way until his death in 1991, involved in many types of jazz. In the 1950s music starts to incorporate some gospel elements. The most popular form of jazz was hard bop sometimes referred to as funky hard bop, an extension of bebop, which was influenced by rhythm and blues, and gospel music. Hard bop and soul jazz are often closely associated but there are some identifiable differences. Soul jazz as said by Mark C. Gridley more specifically refers to music with "an earthy, bluesy melodic concept and repetitive, dance-like rhythms; where as hard bop has a rollicking, rhythmic feeling. Miles Davis was also very much apart of hard bop writing songs and albums such as dig, blue haze, and walkin.
Towards the end of the 1950s you start to see jazz musicians writing their pieces using modal scales. Modal music meant that the music had fewer chords so you had to create interest using other techniques such as: melody, rhythm, timbre, and emotion. It was composer and bandleader George Russell who began to experiment with modal music; and Miles Davis, Bill Evans, and Herbie Hancock then went on to distinguish Modal Jazz. Also. Blues was also very popular during the 1950s and it was during this period that you start to see rock and roll originate from blues. Later in the 1960s when rock and roll became popular blues, the form of music rock was derived from, also had a big boom In the 1960s the spiritual side of jazz emerges and you start to see several musicians discover religion through music. Several musicians try to spread humanity through their music like Cecil Taylor while other seek god through their music such as John Coltrane and Albert Ayler. A big part of the 1960s is also civil rights..
A revolutionary statement in the 60s was a song by Charles Mingus called Fables of Faubus. It made fun of Arkansas governor Faubus for being racist. In 1957 he sent the National Guard to prevent black children from attending high school In Little Rock. Also in the 1960s you began to see Black jazz musicians finding their own voice instead of performing for white people. Charles Mingus (bass player) straddled bebop one foot in radical jazz; but he carried the torch throughout the 1960s, changing the status quo with his radical song fables of Faubus. One offshoot of radical jazz was the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) noted for their experimentation. They tried to find new ways to use instruments and tried to sever their ties to European roots of jazz music. In the 1960s jazz musicians were considered renaissance men in a sense for they not only studied music but also religion, mysticism, politics, philosophy, literature, dance, physhics, metaphysics, and other forms of science in addition to other arts such as poetry and painting. Leading into the 1970s other countries started to influence jazz music.
Abshalom Ben Shlomo is a black Jewish jazz musician who went to Israel to get in touch with his roots. He introduced jazz to Israel and then incorporated Middle Eastern influences into his music. He still performs at the Red Sea Jazz Festival today. Not only Abshalom Ben Shlomo’s music was influenced by non-western music; Chick Corea incorporated Latin elements into his music. In the 1970s the Beatles and Motown as much as jazz influenced new artists such as Chick Corea and George Benson. Miles Davis was involved in Jazz Rock also known as fusion or jazz-fusion. This form of music was made by mixing funk, rhythm, and blues and rhythm. It used the electronic effects and instruments of rock, as well as jazz instruments, and derived complex time signatures from Middle Eastern music. Jazz and rock mixed in the late 1960s – 1970s. Though in the 1970s a few well-established blues names flourished for the most part blues music struggled to prosper.
Different influences continued to contribute to jazz in the 1980s and still continue to do so. Many different forms of music came out such as acid jazz and jazz rap in the 1980s and the bugaloo from Puerto Rico. The dispersal of jazz throughout the world truly happened under the influence of American blacks and still lives on to this day.
Bibliography Charley, Gerard. Thelonius Monk Originals and Standards. Brooklyn, New York: Sarzin publishing co., 1991. Print. Robin, Kelley. Thelonious Monk The Life and Times of an American original. New York, New York: Free Press A division of Simon & Shuster, Inc., 2009. Print. George, Lewis. A Power Stronger Than Itself The AACM and American Experimental Music. Chicago, Illinois: The University of Chicago Press, 2008. Print. Readers Digest , . Treasury of Great Show Tunes Hits from the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals. Pleasantville, New York : The Reader's Digest Association, Inc., 1993. Print. Julia, Rolf and Jeff Watts. The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia Jazz & Blues. Fulham, London: Flame Tree Publishing, 2007. Print. Hannah, Rothschild. The Baroness. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2012. Print.