Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as "America's classical music". Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music. Intellectuals around the world have hailed jazz as "one of America's original art forms".
As jazz spread around the world, it drew on national, regional, and local musical cultures, which gave rise to different styles.
The 1950s saw the emergence of free jazz, which explored playing without regular meter, beat and formal structures, and in the mid-1950s, hard bop emerged, which introduced influences from rhythm and blues, gospel, and blues, especially in the saxophone and piano playing. Modal jazz developed in the late 1950s, using the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, and highly amplified stage sound. In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called smooth jazz became successful, garnering significant radio airplay. Other styles and genres abound in the 2000s, such as Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz.
Etymology and definition
The origin of the word jazz has resulted in considerable research, and its history is well documented. It is believed to be related to jasm, a slang term dating back to 1860 meaning "pep, energy". The earliest written record of the word is in a 1912 article in the Los Angeles Times in which a minor league baseball pitcher described a pitch which he called a "jazz ball" "because it wobbles and you simply can't do anything with it".
The use of the word in a musical context was documented as early as 1915 in the Chicago Daily Tribune.  Its first documented use in a musical context in New Orleans was in a November 14, 1916 Times-Picayune article about "jas bands". In an interview with NPR, musician Eubie Blake offered his recollections of the slang connotations of the term, saying, "When Broadway picked it up, they called it 'J-A-Z-Z'. It wasn't called that. It was spelled 'J-A-S-S'. That was dirty, and if you knew what it was, you wouldn't say it in front of ladies." The American Dialect Society named it the Word of the 20th Century.
Jazz is difficult to define because it encompasses a wide range of music spanning a period of over 100 years, from ragtime to the rock-infused fusion. Attempts have been made to define jazz from the perspective of other musical traditions, such as European music history or African music. But critic Joachim-Ernst Berendt argues that its terms of reference and its definition should be broader, defining jazz as a "form of art music which originated in the United States through the confrontation of the Negro with European music" and arguing that it differs from European music in that jazz has a "special relationship to time defined as 'swing'". Jazz involves "a spontaneity and vitality of musical production in which improvisation plays a role" and contains a "sonority and manner of phrasing which mirror the individuality of the performing jazz musician". In the opinion of Robert Christgau, "most of us would say that inventing meaning while letting loose is the essence and promise of jazz".
A broader definition that encompasses different eras of jazz has been proposed by Travis Jackson: "it is music that includes qualities such as swing, improvising, group interaction, developing an 'individual voice', and being open to different musical possibilities". Krin Gibbard argued that "jazz is a construct" which designates "a number of musics with enough in common to be understood as part of a coherent tradition". In contrast to commentators who have argued for excluding types of jazz, musicians are sometimes reluctant to define the music they play. Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, said, "It's all music."
Elements and issues
Although jazz is considered difficult to define, in part because it contains many subgenres, improvisation is one of its defining elements. The centrality of improvisation is attributed to the influence of earlier forms of music such as blues, a form of folk music which arose in part from the work songs and field hollers of African-American slaves on plantations. These work songs were commonly structured around a repetitive call-and-response pattern, but early blues was also improvisational. Classical music performance is evaluated more by its fidelity to the musical score, with less attention given to interpretation, ornamentation, and accompaniment. The classical performer's goal is to play the composition as it was written. In contrast, jazz is often characterized by the product of interaction and collaboration, placing less value on the contribution of the composer, if there is one, and more on the performer. The jazz performer interprets a tune in individual ways, never playing the same composition twice. Depending on the performer's mood, experience, and interaction with band members or audience members, the performer may change melodies, harmonies, and time signatures.
In early Dixieland, a.k.a. New Orleans jazz, performers took turns playing melodies and improvising countermelodies. In the swing era of the 1920s–'40s, big bands relied more on arrangements which were written or learned by ear and memorized. Soloists improvised within these arrangements. In the bebop era of the 1940s, big bands gave way to small groups and minimal arrangements in which the melody was stated briefly at the beginning and most of the song was improvised. Modal jazz abandoned chord progressions to allow musicians to improvise even more. In many forms of jazz, a soloist is supported by a rhythm section of one or more chordal instruments (piano, guitar), double bass, and drums. The rhythm section plays chords and rhythms that outline the song structure and complement the soloist. In avant-garde and free jazz, the separation of soloist and band is reduced, and there is license, or even a requirement, for the abandoning of chords, scales, and meters.
Since the emergence of bebop, forms of jazz that are commercially oriented or influenced by popular music have been criticized.
For some African Americans, jazz has drawn attention to African-American contributions to culture and history.
Female jazz performers and composers have contributed to jazz throughout its history. Although Betty Carter, Ella Fitzgerald, Adelaide Hall, Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, Anita O'Day, Dinah Washington, and Ethel Waters were recognized for their vocal talent, less familiar were bandleaders, composers, and instrumentalists such as pianist Lil Hardin Armstrong and songwriters Irene Higginbotham and Dorothy Fields. Women began playing instruments in jazz in the early 1920s, drawing particular recognition on piano.
When male jazz musicians were drafted during World War II, many all-female bands replaced them. The International Sweethearts of Rhythm, which was founded in 1937, was a popular band that became the first all-female integrated band in the U.S. and the first to travel with the USO, touring Europe in 1945. Women were members of the big bands of Woody Herman and Gerald Wilson. Beginning in the 1950s, many women jazz instrumentalists were prominent, some sustaining long careers. Some of the most distinctive improvisers, composers, and bandleaders in jazz have been women.
Origins and early history
Jazz originated in the late-19th to early-20th century as interpretations of American and European classical music entwined with African and slave folk songs and the influences of West African culture. Its composition and style have changed many times throughout the years with each performer's personal interpretation and improvisation, which is also one of the greatest appeals of the genre.
By the 18th century, slaves in the New Orleans area gathered socially at a special market, in an area which later became known as Congo Square, famous for its African dances.
By 1866, the Atlantic slave trade had brought nearly 400,000 Africans to North America. The slaves came largely from West Africa and the greater Congo River basin and brought strong musical traditions with them. The African traditions primarily use a single-line melody and call-and-response pattern, and the rhythms have a counter-metric structure and reflect African speech patterns.
An 1885 account says that they were making strange music (Creole) on an equally strange variety of 'instruments'—washboards, washtubs, jugs, boxes beaten with sticks or bones and a drum made by stretching skin over a flour-barrel.
Lavish festivals with African-based dances to drums were organized on Sundays at Place Congo, or Congo Square, in New Orleans until 1843. There are historical accounts of other music and dance gatherings elsewhere in the southern United States. Robert Palmer said of percussive slave music:
Another influence came from the harmonic style of hymns of the church, which black slaves had learned and incorporated into their own music as spirituals. The origins of the blues are undocumented, though they can be seen as the secular counterpart of the spirituals. However, as Gerhard Kubik points out, whereas the spirituals are homophonic, rural blues and early jazz "was largely based on concepts of heterophony."
During the early 19th century an increasing number of black musicians learned to play European instruments, particularly the violin, which they used to parody European dance music in their own cakewalk dances. In turn, European-American minstrel show performers in blackface popularized the music internationally, combining syncopation with European harmonic accompaniment. In the mid-1800s the white New Orleans composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk adapted slave rhythms and melodies from Cuba and other Caribbean islands into piano salon music. New Orleans was the main nexus between the Afro-Caribbean and African-American cultures.
The Black Codes outlawed drumming by slaves, which meant that African drumming traditions were not preserved in North America, unlike in Cuba, Haiti, and elsewhere in the Caribbean. African-based rhythmic patterns were retained in the United States in large part through "body rhythms" such as stomping, clapping, and patting juba dancing.
In the opinion of jazz historian Ernest Borneman, what preceded New Orleans jazz before 1890 was "Afro-Latin music", similar to what was played in the Caribbean at the time. A three-stroke pattern known in Cuban music as tresillo is a fundamental rhythmic figure heard in many different slave musics of the Caribbean, as well as the Afro-Caribbean folk dances performed in New Orleans Congo Square and Gottschalk's compositions (for example "Souvenirs From Havana" (1859)). Tresillo (shown below) is the most basic and most prevalent duple-pulse rhythmic cell in sub-Saharan African music traditions and the music of the African Diaspora.
Tresillo is heard prominently in New Orleans second line music and in other forms of popular music from that city from the turn of the 20th century to present. "By and large the simpler African rhythmic patterns survived in jazz... because they could be adapted more readily to European rhythmic conceptions," jazz historian Gunther Schuller observed. "Some survived, others were discarded as the Europeanization progressed."
In the post-Civil War period (after 1865), African Americans were able to obtain surplus military bass drums, snare drums and fifes, and an original African-American drum and fife music emerged, featuring tresillo and related syncopated rhythmic figures. This was a drumming tradition that was distinct from its Caribbean counterparts, expressing a uniquely African-American sensibility. "The snare and bass drummers played syncopated cross-rhythms," observed the writer Robert Palmer, speculating that "this tradition must have dated back to the latter half of the nineteenth century, and it could have not have developed in the first place if there hadn't been a reservoir of polyrhythmic sophistication in the culture it nurtured."
African-American music began incorporating Afro-Cuban rhythmic motifs in the 19th century when the habanera (Cuban contradanza) gained international popularity. Musicians from Havana and New Orleans would take the twice-daily ferry between both cities to perform, and the habanera quickly took root in the musically fertile Crescent City. John Storm Roberts states that the musical genre habanera "reached the U.S. twenty years before the first rag was published." For the more than quarter-century in which the cakewalk, ragtime, and proto-jazz were forming and developing, the habanera was a consistent part of African-American popular music.
Habaneras were widely available as sheet music and were the first written music which was rhythmically based on an African motif (1803).Creolizing%20Contradance%20in%20t]]rom the perspective of African-American music, the "habanera rhythm" (also known as "congo"),Cubano%20Be%20Cubano%20Bop%3A%20On]]tresillo backbeat The habanera was the first of many Cuban music genres which enjoyed periods of popularity in the United States and reinforced and inspired the use of tresillo-based rhythms in African-American music.
New Orleans native Louis Moreau Gottschalk's piano piece "Ojos Criollos (Danse Cubaine)" (1860) was influenced by the composer's studies in Cuba: the habanera rhythm is clearly heard in the left hand.The%20World%20That%20Made%20New%20Orl]] The figure was later used by Scott Joplin and other ragtime composers.
Comparing the music of New Orleans with the music of Cuba, Wynton Marsalis observes that tresillo is the New Orleans "clave", a Spanish word meaning "code" or "key", as in the key to a puzzle, or mystery. Although the pattern is only half a clave, Marsalis makes the point that the single-celled figure is the guide-pattern of New Orleans music. Jelly Roll Morton called the rhythmic figure the Spanish tinge and considered it an essential ingredient of jazz.
The abolition of slavery in 1865 led to new opportunities for the education of freed African Americans. Although strict segregation limited employment opportunities for most blacks, many were able to find work in entertainment. Black musicians were able to provide entertainment in dances, minstrel shows, and in vaudeville, during which time many marching bands were formed. Black pianists played in bars, clubs, and brothels, as ragtime developed.
Ragtime appeared as sheet music, popularized by African-American musicians such as the entertainer Ernest Hogan, whose hit songs appeared in 1895. Two years later, Vess Ossman recorded a medley of these songs as a banjo solo known as "Rag Time Medley". Also in 1897, the white composer William Krell published his "Mississippi Rag" as the first written piano instrumental ragtime piece, and Tom Turpin published his "Harlem Rag", the first rag published by an African-American.
Classically trained pianist Scott Joplin produced his "Original Rags" in 1898 and, in 1899, had an international hit with "Maple Leaf Rag", a multi-strain ragtime march with four parts that feature recurring themes and a bass line with copious seventh chords. Its structure was the basis for many other rags, and the syncopations in the right hand, especially in the transition between the first and second strain, were novel at the time. The last four measures of Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag" (1899) are shown below.
African-based rhythmic patterns such as tresillo and its variants, the habanera rhythm and cinquillo, are heard in the ragtime compositions of Joplin and Turpin. Joplin's "Solace" (1909) is generally considered to be in the habanera genre:Creolizing%20Contradance%20]] march Ned Sublette hat the tresillo/habanera rhythm "found its way into ragtime and the cakewalk,"Cuba%20and%20its%20Music%3B%20Fro]]hilst Roberts suggests that "the habanera influence may have been part of what freed black music from ragtime's European bass."
Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre, which originated in African-American communities of primarily the Deep South of the United States at the end of the 19th century from their spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants and rhymed simple narrative ballads.
W. C. Handy became interested folk blues of the Deep South while traveling through the Mississippi Delta. In this folk blues form, the singer would improvise freely within a limited melodic range, sounding like a field holler, and the guitar accompaniment was slapped rather than strummed, like a small drum which responded in syncopated accents, functioning as another "voice". Handy and his band members were formally trained African-American musicians who had not grown up with the blues, yet he was able to adapt the blues to a larger band instrument format and arrange them in a popular music form.
Handy wrote about his adopting of the blues:
The publication of his "Memphis Blues" sheet music in 1912 introduced the 12-bar blues to the world (although Gunther Schuller argues that it is not really a blues, but "more like a cakewalk"). This composition, as well as his later "St. Louis Blues" and others, included the habanera rhythm, and would become jazz standards. Handy's music career began in the pre-jazz era and contributed to the codification of jazz through the publication of some of the first jazz sheet music.
The music of New Orleans had a profound effect on the creation of early jazz.
In New Orleans, a white bandleader named Papa Jack Laine integrated blacks and whites in his marching band. He was known as "the father of white jazz" because of the many top players he employed, such as George Brunies, Sharkey Bonano, and future members of the Original Dixieland Jass Band. During the early 1900s, jazz was mostly performed in African-American and mulatto communities due to segregation laws. Storyville brought jazz to a wider audience through tourists who visited the port city of New Orleans. Many jazz musicians from African-American communities were hired to perform in bars and brothels. These included Buddy Bolden and Jelly Roll Morton in addition to those from other communities, such as Lorenzo Tio and Alcide Nunez. Louis Armstrong started his career in Storyville and found success in Chicago. Storyville was shut down by the U.S. government in 1917.
Cornetist Buddy Bolden played in New Orleans from 1895 to 1906.
Afro-Creole pianist Jelly Roll Morton began his career in Storyville.
Morton considered the tresillo/habanera, which he called the Spanish tinge, an essential ingredient of jazz. "Now in one of my earliest tunes, "New Orleans Blues," you can notice the Spanish tinge. In fact, if you can't manage to put tinges of Spanish in your tunes, you will never be able to get the right seasoning, I call it, for jazz."
An excerpt of "New Orleans Blues" is shown below.
Morton was a crucial innovator in the evolution from the early jazz form known as ragtime to jazz piano, and could perform pieces in either style; in 1938, Morton made a series of recordings for the Library of Congress in which he demonstrated the difference between the two styles. Morton's solos, however, were still close to ragtime, and were not merely improvisations over chord changes as in later jazz, but his use of the blues was of equal importance.
Morton loosened ragtime's rigid rhythmic feeling, decreasing its embellishments and employing a swing feeling.Jazz%20Styles%3A%20History]]wing is the most important and enduring African-based rhythmic technique used in jazz. An oft quoted definition of swing by Louis Armstrong is: "if you don't feel it, you'll never know it." Music states that swing is: "An intangible rhythmic momentum in jazz...Swing defies analysis; claims to its presence may inspire arguments." The dictionary does nonetheless provide the useful description of triple subdivisions of the beat contrasted with duple subdivisions: swing superimposes six subdivisions of the beat over a basic pulse structure or four subdivisions. This aspect of swing is far more prevalent in African-American music than in Afro-Caribbean music. One aspect of swing, which is heard in more rhythmically complex Diaspora musics, places strokes in-between the triple and duple-pulse "grids".
New Orleans brass bands are a lasting influence, contributing horn players to the world of professional jazz with the distinct sound of the city whilst helping black children escape poverty.
The Original Dixieland Jass Band made the music's first recordings early in 1917, and their "Livery Stable Blues" became the earliest released jazz record. That year, numerous other bands made recordings featuring "jazz" in the title or band name, but most were ragtime or novelty records rather than jazz. In February 1918 during World War I, James Reese Europe's "Hellfighters" infantry band took ragtime to Europe, then on their return recorded Dixieland standards including "Darktown Strutters' Ball".
In the northeastern United States, a "hot" style of playing ragtime had developed, notably James Reese Europe's symphonic Clef Club orchestra in New York City, which played a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall in 1912. The Baltimore rag style of Eubie Blake influenced James P. Johnson's development of stride piano playing, in which the right hand plays the melody, while the left hand provides the rhythm and bassline.
In Ohio and elsewhere in the midwest the major influence was ragtime, until about 1919.
The Jazz Age
From 1920 to 1933, Prohibition in the United States banned the sale of alcoholic drinks, resulting in illicit speakeasies which became lively venues of the "Jazz Age", hosting popular music, dance songs, novelty songs, and show tunes. Jazz began to get a reputation as immoral, and many members of the older generations saw it as a threat to the old cultural values by promoting the decadent values of the Roaring 20s. Henry van Dyke of Princeton University wrote, "... it is not music at all. It's merely an irritation of the nerves of hearing, a sensual teasing of the strings of physical passion."Jazz%3A%20A%20His]] reported that Siberian villagers used jazz to scare away bears, but the villagers had used pots and pans; another story claimed that the fatal heart attack of a celebrated conductor was caused by jazz.
In 1919, Kid Ory's Original Creole Jazz Band of musicians from New Orleans began playing in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where in 1922 they became the first black jazz band of New Orleans origin to make recordings. During the same year, Bessie Smith made her first recordings. Chicago was developing "Hot Jazz", and King Oliver joined Bill Johnson. Bix Beiderbecke formed The Wolverines in 1924.
Despite its Southern black origins, there was a larger market for jazzy dance music played by white orchestras.
After Whiteman's band successfully toured Europe, huge hot jazz orchestras in theater pits caught on with other whites, including Fred Waring, Jean Goldkette, and Nathaniel Shilkret. According to Mario Dunkel, Whiteman's success was based on a "rhetoric of domestication" according to which he had elevated and rendered valuable (read "white") a previously inchoate (read "black") kind of music.
Whiteman's success caused blacks to follow suit, including Earl Hines (who opened in The Grand Terrace Cafe in Chicago in 1928), Duke Ellington (who opened at the Cotton Club in Harlem in 1927), Lionel Hampton, Fletcher Henderson, Claude Hopkins, and Don Redman, with Henderson and Redman developing the "talking to one another" formula for "hot" swing music.
In 1924, Louis Armstrong joined the Fletcher Henderson dance band for a year, as featured soloist.
The 1930s belonged to popular swing big bands, in which some virtuoso soloists became as famous as the band leaders. Key figures in developing the "big" jazz band included bandleaders and arrangers Count Basie, Cab Calloway, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Earl Hines, Harry James, Jimmie Lunceford, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw. Although it was a collective sound, swing also offered individual musicians a chance to "solo" and improvise melodic, thematic solos which could at times be complex "important" music.
Over time, social strictures regarding racial segregation began to relax in America: white bandleaders began to recruit black musicians and black bandleaders white ones.
While swing was reaching the height of its popularity, Duke Ellington spent the late 1920s and 1930s developing an innovative musical idiom for his orchestra. Abandoning the conventions of swing, he experimented with orchestral sounds, harmony, and musical form with complex compositions that still translated well for popular audiences; some of his tunes became hits, and his own popularity spanned from the United States to Europe.
Ellington called his music American Music, rather than jazz, and liked to describe those who impressed him as "beyond category." These included many musicians from his orchestra, some of whom are considered among the best in jazz in their own right, but it was Ellington who melded them into one of the most popular jazz orchestras in the history of jazz. He often composed for the style and skills of these individuals, such as "Jeep's Blues" for Johnny Hodges, "Concerto for Cootie" for Cootie Williams (which later became "Do Nothing Till You Hear from Me" with Bob Russell's lyrics), and "The Mooche" for Tricky Sam Nanton and Bubber Miley. He also recorded songs written by his bandsmen, such as Juan Tizol's "Caravan" and "Perdido", which brought the "Spanish Tinge" to big-band jazz. Several members of the orchestra remained with him for several decades. The band reached a creative peak in the early 1940s, when Ellington and a small hand-picked group of his composers and arrangers wrote for an orchestra of distinctive voices who displayed tremendous creativity.
As only a limited number of American jazz records were released in Europe, European jazz traces many of its roots to American artists such as James Reese Europe, Paul Whiteman, and Lonnie Johnson, who visited Europe during and after World War I. It was their live performances which inspired European audiences' interest in jazz, as well as the interest in all things American (and therefore exotic) which accompanied the economic and political woes of Europe during this time. The beginnings of a distinct European style of jazz began to emerge in this interwar period.
British jazz began with a tour by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1919. In 1926, Fred Elizalde and His Cambridge Undergraduates began broadcasting on the BBC. Thereafter jazz became an important element in many leading dance orchestras, and jazz instrumentalists became numerous.
This style entered full swing in France with the Quintette du Hot Club de France, which began in 1934. Much of this French jazz was a combination of African-American jazz and the symphonic styles in which French musicians were well-trained; in this, it is easy to see the inspiration taken from Paul Whiteman since his style was also a fusion of the two. Belgian guitarist Django Reinhardt popularized gypsy jazz, a mix of 1930s American swing, French dance hall "musette", and Eastern European folk with a languid, seductive feel; the main instruments were steel stringed guitar, violin, and double bass. Solos pass from one player to another as guitar and bass form the rhythm section. Some researchers believe Eddie Lang and Joe Venuti pioneered the guitar-violin partnership characteristic of the genre, which was brought to France after they had been heard live or on Okeh Records in the late 1920s.
The outbreak of World War II marked a turning point for jazz. The swing-era jazz of the previous decade had challenged other popular music as being representative of the nation's culture, with big bands reaching the height of the style's success by the early 1940s; swing acts and big bands traveled with U.S. military overseas to Europe, where it also became popular. Stateside, however, the war presented difficulties for the big-band format: conscription shortened the number of musicians available; the military's need for shellac (commonly used for pressing gramophone records) limited record production; a shortage of rubber (also due to the war effort) discouraged bands from touring via road travel; and a demand by the musicians' union for a commercial recording ban limited music distribution between 1942 and 1944.
Many of the big bands who were deprived of experienced musicians because of the war effort began to enlist young players who were below the age for conscription, as was the case with saxophonist Stan Getz's entry in a band as a teenager. This coincided with a nationwide resurgence in the Dixieland style of pre-swing jazz; performers such as clarinetist George Lewis, cornetist Bill Davison, and trombonist Turk Murphy were hailed by conservative jazz critics as more authentic than the big bands. Elsewhere, with the limitations on recording, small groups of young musicians developed a more uptempo, improvisational style of jazz, collaborating and experimenting with new ideas for melodic development, rhythmic language, and harmonic substitution, during informal, late-night jam sessions hosted in small clubs and apartments. Key figures in this development were largely based in New York and included pianists Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell, drummers Max Roach and Kenny Clarke, saxophonist Charlie Parker, and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. This musical development became known as bebop.
Bebop and subsequent post-war jazz developments featured a wider set of notes, played in more complex patterns and at faster tempos than previous jazz. According to Clive James, bebop was "the post-war musical development which tried to ensure that jazz would no longer be the spontaneous sound of joy... Students of race relations in America are generally agreed that the exponents of post-war jazz were determined, with good reason, to present themselves as challenging artists rather than tame entertainers." The end of the war marked "a revival of the spirit of experimentation and musical pluralism under which it had been conceived", along with "the beginning of a decline in the popularity of jazz music in America", according to American academic Michael H. Burchett.
With the rise of bebop and the end of the swing era after the war, jazz lost its cachet as pop music. Vocalists of the famous big bands moved on to being marketed and performing as solo pop singers; these included Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Dick Haymes, and Doris Day. Older musicians who still performed their pre-war jazz, such as Armstrong and Ellington, were gradually viewed in the mainstream as passé. Other younger performers, such as singer Big Joe Turner and saxophonist Louis Jordan, who were discouraged by bebop's increasing complexity pursued more lucrative endeavors in rhythm and blues, jump blues, and eventually rock and roll. Some, including Gillespie, composed intricate yet danceable songs for bebop musicians in an effort to make them more accessible, but bebop largely remained on the fringes of American audiences' purview. "The new direction of postwar jazz drew a wealth of critical acclaim, but it steadily declined in popularity as it developed a reputation as an academic genre that was largely inaccessible to mainstream audiences", Burchett said. "The quest to make jazz more relevant to popular audiences, while retaining its artistic integrity, is a constant and prevalent theme in the history of postwar jazz." During its swing period, jazz had been an uncomplicated musical scene; according to Paul Trynka, this changed in the post-war years:
In the early 1940s, bebop-style performers began to shift jazz from danceable popular music toward a more challenging "musician's music".
Composer Gunther Schuller wrote: "In 1943 I heard the great Earl Hines band which had Bird in it and all those other great musicians. They were playing all the flatted fifth chords and all the modern harmonies and substitutions and Dizzy Gillespie runs in the trumpet section work. Two years later I read that that was 'bop' and the beginning of modern jazz... but the band never made recordings."
Dizzy Gillespie wrote: "People talk about the Hines band being 'the incubator of bop' and the leading exponents of that music ended up in the Hines band.
Since bebop was meant to be listened to, not danced to, it could use faster tempos.
Bebop musicians employed several harmonic devices which were not previously typical in jazz, engaging in a more abstracted form of chord-based improvisation.
The harmonic development in bebop is often traced back to a moment experienced by Charlie Parker while performing "Cherokee" at Clark Monroe's Uptown House, New York, in early 1942. "I'd been getting bored with the stereotyped changes that were being used...and I kept thinking there's bound to be something else. I could hear it sometimes. I couldn't play it...I was working over 'Cherokee,' and, as I did, I found that by using the higher intervals of a chord as a melody line and backing them with appropriately related changes, I could play the thing I'd been hearing. It came alive." Gerhard Kubik postulates that harmonic development in bebop sprang from blues and African-related tonal sensibilities rather than 20th-century Western classical music. "Auditory inclinations were the African legacy in [Parker's] life, reconfirmed by the experience of the blues tonal system, a sound world at odds with the Western diatonic chord categories. Bebop musicians eliminated Western-style functional harmony in their music while retaining the strong central tonality of the blues as a basis for drawing upon various African matrices."
Samuel Floyd states that blues was both the bedrock and propelling force of bebop, bringing about a new harmonic conception using extended chord structures that led to unprecedented harmonic and melodic variety, a developed and even more highly syncopated, linear rhythmic complexity and a melodic angularity in which the blue note of the fifth degree was established as an important melodic-harmonic device; and reestablishment of the blues as the primary organizing and functional principle. Kubik wrote:
These divergences from the jazz mainstream of the time met a divided, sometimes hostile response among fans and musicians, especially swing players who bristled at the new harmonic sounds.
The general consensus among musicians and musicologists is that the first original jazz piece to be overtly based in clave was "Tanga" (1943), composed by Cuban-born Mario Bauza and recorded by Machito and his Afro-Cubans in New York City. "Tanga" began as a spontaneous descarga (Cuban jam session), with jazz solos superimposed on top.
This was the birth of Afro-Cuban jazz. The use of clave brought the African timeline, or key pattern, into jazz. Music organized around key patterns convey a two-celled (binary) structure, which is a complex level of African cross-rhythm. Within the context of jazz, however, harmony is the primary referent, not rhythm. The harmonic progression can begin on either side of clave, and the harmonic "one" is always understood to be "one". If the progression begins on the "three-side" of clave, it is said to be in 3-2 clave (shown below). If the progression begins on the "two-side", its in 2-3 clave.
Mario Bauzá introduced bebop innovator Dizzy Gillespie to Cuban conga drummer and composer Chano Pozo. Gillespie and Pozo's brief collaboration produced some of the most enduring Afro-Cuban jazz standards. "Manteca" (1947) is the first jazz standard to be rhythmically based on clave. According to Gillespie, Pozo composed the layered, contrapuntal guajeos (Afro-Cuban ostinatos) of the A section and the introduction, while Gillespie wrote the bridge. Gillespie recounted: "If I'd let it go like [Chano] wanted it, it would have been strictly Afro-Cuban all the way. There wouldn't have been a bridge. I thought I was writing an eight-bar bridge, but... I had to keep going and ended up writing a sixteen-bar bridge." The bridge gave "Manteca" a typical jazz harmonic structure, setting the piece apart from Bauza's modal "Tanga" of a few years earlier.
Gillespie's collaboration with Pozo brought specific African-based rhythms into bebop.
Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria first recorded his composition "Afro Blue" in 1959. "Afro Blue" was the first jazz standard built upon a typical African three-against-two (3:2) cross-rhythm, or hemiola. The song begins with the bass repeatedly playing 6 cross-beats per each measure of 128, or 6 cross-beats per 4 main beats—6:4 (two cells of 3:2).
When John Coltrane covered "Afro Blue" in 1963, he inverted the metric hierarchy, interpreting the tune as a 34 jazz waltz with duple cross-beats superimposed (2:3). Originally a B♭ pentatonic blues, Coltrane expanded the harmonic structure of "Afro Blue."
In the late 1940s, there was a revival of Dixieland, harking back to the contrapuntal New Orleans style. This was driven in large part by record company reissues of jazz classics by the Oliver, Morton, and Armstrong bands of the 1930s. There were two types of musicians involved in the revival: the first group was made up of those who had begun their careers playing in the traditional style and were returning to it (or continuing what they had been playing all along), such as Bob Crosby's Bobcats, Max Kaminsky, Eddie Condon, and Wild Bill Davison. Most of these players were originally Midwesterners, although there were a small number of New Orleans musicians involved. The second group of revivalists consisted of younger musicians, such as those in the Lu Watters band, Conrad Janis, and Ward Kimball and his Firehouse Five Plus Two Jazz Band. By the late 1940s, Louis Armstrong's Allstars band became a leading ensemble. Through the 1950s and 1960s, Dixieland was one of the most commercially popular jazz styles in the US, Europe, and Japan, although critics paid little attention to it.
Hard bop is an extension of bebop (or "bop") music that incorporates influences from blues, rhythm and blues, and gospel, especially in saxophone and piano playing.
Modal jazz is a development which began in the later 1950s which takes the mode, or musical scale, as the basis of musical structure and improvisation. Previously, a solo was meant to fit into a given chord progression, but with modal jazz, the soloist creates a melody using one (or a small number of) modes. The emphasis is thus shifted from harmony to melody: "Historically, this caused a seismic shift among jazz musicians, away from thinking vertically (the chord), and towards a more horizontal approach (the scale)," explained pianist Mark Levine.
The modal theory stems from a work by George Russell. Miles Davis introduced the concept to the greater jazz world with Kind of Blue (1959), an exploration of the possibilities of modal jazz which would become the best selling jazz album of all time. In contrast to Davis' earlier work with hard bop and its complex chord progression and improvisation, Kind of Blue was composed as a series of modal sketches in which the musicians were given scales that defined the parameters of their improvisation and style.
"I didn't write out the music for Kind of Blue, but brought in sketches for what everybody was supposed to play because I wanted a lot of spontaneity," recalled Davis. The track "So What" has only two chords: D-7 and E♭-7.
Free jazz, and the related form of avant-garde jazz, broke through into an open space of "free tonality" in which meter, beat, and formal symmetry all disappeared, and a range of world music from India, Africa, and Arabia were melded into an intense, even religiously ecstatic or orgiastic style of playing. While loosely inspired by bebop, free jazz tunes gave players much more latitude; the loose harmony and tempo was deemed controversial when this approach was first developed. The bassist Charles Mingus is also frequently associated with the avant-garde in jazz, although his compositions draw from myriad styles and genres.
The first major stirrings came in the 1950s with the early work of Ornette Coleman (whose 1960 album Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation coined the term) and Cecil Taylor. In the 1960s, exponents included Albert Ayler, Gato Barbieri, Carla Bley, Don Cherry, Larry Coryell, John Coltrane, Bill Dixon, Jimmy Giuffre, Steve Lacy, Michael Mantler, Sun Ra, Roswell Rudd, Pharoah Sanders, and John Tchicai. In developing his late style, Coltrane was especially influenced by the dissonance of Ayler's trio with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray, a rhythm section honed with Cecil Taylor as leader. In November 1961, Coltrane played a gig at the Village Vanguard, which resulted in the classic Chasin' the 'Trane, which Down Beat magazine panned as "anti-jazz". On his 1961 tour of France, he was booed, but persevered, signing with the new Impulse! Records in 1960 and turning it into "the house that Trane built", while championing many younger free jazz musicians, notably Archie Shepp, who often played with trumpeter Bill Dixon, who organized the 4-day "October Revolution in Jazz" in Manhattan in 1964, the first free jazz festival.
A series of recordings with the Classic Quartet in the first half of 1965 show Coltrane's playing becoming increasingly abstract, with greater incorporation of devices like multiphonics, utilization of overtones, and playing in the altissimo register, as well as a mutated return to Coltrane's sheets of sound. In the studio, he all but abandoned his soprano to concentrate on the tenor saxophone. In addition, the quartet responded to the leader by playing with increasing freedom. The group's evolution can be traced through the recordings The John Coltrane Quartet Plays, Living Space and Transition (both June 1965), New Thing at Newport (July 1965), Sun Ship (August 1965), and First Meditations
In June 1965, Coltrane and 10 other musicians recorded Ascension, a 40-minute-long piece without breaks that included adventurous solos by young avante-garde musicians as well as Coltrane, and was controversial primarily for the collective improvisation sections that separated the solos. Dave Liebman later called it "the torch that lit the free jazz thing.". After recording with the quartet over the next few months, Coltrane invited Pharoah Sanders to join the band in September 1965. While Coltrane used over-blowing frequently as an emotional exclamation-point, Sanders would opt to overblow his entire solo, resulting in a constant screaming and screeching in the altissimo range of the instrument.
Free jazz was played in Europe in part because musicians such as Ayler, Taylor, Steve Lacy, and Eric Dolphy spent extended periods of time there, and European musicians such as Michael Mantler and John Tchicai traveled to the U.S. to experience American music firsthand. European contemporary jazz was shaped by Peter Brötzmann, John Surman, Krzysztof Komeda, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Tomasz Stanko, Lars Gullin, Joe Harriott, Albert Mangelsdorff, Kenny Wheeler, Graham Collier, Michael Garrick and Mike Westbrook. They were eager to develop approaches to music that reflected their heritage.
Since the 1960s, creative centers of jazz in Europe have developed, such as the creative jazz scene in Amsterdam.
Latin jazz is jazz that employs Latin American rhythms and is generally understood to have a more specific meaning than simply jazz from Latin America.
In the 1960s and 1970s, many jazz musicians had only a basic understanding of Cuban and Brazilian music, and jazz compositions which used Cuban or Brazilian elements were often referred to as "Latin tunes", with no distinction between a Cuban son montuno and a Brazilian bossa nova. Even as late as 2000, in Mark Gridley's Jazz Styles: History and Analysis, a bossa nova bass line is referred to as a "Latin bass figure." It was not uncommon during the 1960s and 1970s to hear a conga playing a Cuban tumbao while the drumset and bass played a Brazilian bossa nova pattern. Many jazz standards such as "Manteca", "On Green Dolphin Street" and "Song for My Father" have a "Latin" A section and a swung B section. Typically, the band would only play an even-eighth "Latin" feel in the A section of the head and swing throughout all of the solos. Latin jazz specialists like Cal Tjader tended to be the exception. For example, on a 1959 live Tjader recording of "A Night in Tunisia", pianist Vince Guaraldi soloed through the entire form over an authentic mambo.
For most of its history, Afro-Cuban jazz had been a matter of superimposing jazz phrasing over Cuban rhythms.
This occurred in parallel with developments in Cuba The first Cuban band of this new wave was Irakere. Their "Chékere-son" (1976) introduced a style of "Cubanized" bebop-flavored horn lines that departed from the more angular guajeo-based lines which were typical of Cuban popular music and Latin jazz up until that time. It was based on Charlie Parker's composition "Billie's Bounce", jumbled together in a way that fused clave and bebop horn lines. In spite of the ambivalence of some band members towards Irakere's Afro-Cuban folkloric / jazz fusion, their experiments forever changed Cuban jazz: their innovations are still heard in the high level of harmonic and rhythmic complexity in Cuban jazz and in the jazzy and complex contemporary form of popular dance music known as timba.
Brazilian jazz, such as bossa nova, is derived from samba, with influences from jazz and other 20th-century classical and popular music styles. Bossa is generally moderately paced, with melodies sung in Portuguese or English, whilst the related jazz-samba is an adaptation of street samba into jazz.
The bossa nova style was pioneered by Brazilians João Gilberto and Antônio Carlos Jobim and was made popular by Elizete Cardoso's recording of "Chega de Saudade" on the Canção do Amor Demais LP. Gilberto's initial releases, and the 1959 film Black Orpheus, achieved significant popularity in Latin America; this spread to North America via visiting American jazz musicians. The resulting recordings by Charlie Byrd and Stan Getz cemented bossa nova's popularity and led to a worldwide boom, with 1963's Getz/Gilberto, numerous recordings by famous jazz performers such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, and the eventual entrenchment of the bossa nova style as a lasting influence in world music.
Brazilian percussionists such as Airto Moreira and Naná Vasconcelos also influenced jazz internationally by introducing Afro-Brazilian folkloric instruments and rhythms into a wide variety of jazz styles, thus attracting a greater audience to them.
There was a resurgence of interest in jazz and other forms of African-American cultural expression during the Black Arts Movement and Black nationalist period of the 1960s and 1970s. African themes became popular, and many new jazz compositions were given African-related titles: "Black Nile" (Wayne Shorter), "Blue Nile" (Alice Coltrane), "Obirin African" (Art Blakey), "Zambia" (Lee Morgan), "Appointment in Ghana" (Jackie McLean), "Marabi" (Cannonball Adderley), "Yoruba" (Hubert Laws), and many more. Pianist Randy Weston's music incorporated African elements, such as in the large-scale suite "Uhuru Africa" (with the participation of poet Langston Hughes) and "Highlife: Music From the New African Nations." Both Weston and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine covered the Nigerian Bobby Benson's piece "Niger Mambo", which features Afro-Caribbean and jazz elements within a West African Highlife style. Some musicians, including Pharoah Sanders, Hubert Laws, and Wayne Shorter, began using African instruments such as kalimbas, bells, beaded gourds and other instruments which were not traditional to jazz.
During this period, there was an increased use of the typical African 12/8 cross-rhythmic structure in jazz. Herbie Hancock's "Succotash" on Inventions and Dimensions (1963) is an open-ended modal 128 improvised jam, in which Hancock's pattern of attack-points, rather than the pattern of pitches, is the primary focus of his improvisations, accompanied by Paul Chambers on bass, percussionist Osvaldo Martinez playing a traditional Afro-Cuban chekeré part and Willie Bobo playing an Abakuá bell pattern on a snare drum with brushes.
The first jazz standard composed by a non-Latino to use an overt African 128 cross-rhythm was Wayne Shorter's "Footprints" (1967). On the version recorded on Miles Smiles by Miles Davis, the bass switches to a 4 4 tresillo figure at 2:20. "Footprints" is not, however, a Latin jazz tune: African rhythmic structures are accessed directly by Ron Carter (bass) and Tony Williams (drums) via the rhythmic sensibilities of swing. Throughout the piece, the four beats, whether sounded or not, are maintained as the temporal referent. The following example shows the 128 and 44 forms of the bass line. The slashed noteheads indicate the main beats (not bass notes), where one ordinarily taps their foot to "keep time."
The minor pentatonic scale is often used in blues improvisation, and like a blues scale, a minor pentatonic scale can be played over all of the chords in a blues.
Levine points out that the V pentatonic scale works for all three chords of the standard II-V-I jazz progression. This is a very common progression, used in pieces such as Miles Davis' "Tune Up."
Accordingly, John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" (1960), with its 26 chords per 16 bars, can be played using only three pentatonic scales. Coltrane studied Nicolas Slonimsky's Thesaurus of Scales and Melodic Patterns, which contains material that is virtually identical to portions of "Giant Steps". The harmonic complexity of "Giant Steps" is on the level of the most advanced 20th-century art music. Superimposing the pentatonic scale over "Giant Steps" is not merely a matter of harmonic simplification, but also a sort of "Africanizing" of the piece, which provides an alternate approach for soloing. Mark Levine observes that when mixed in with more conventional "playing the changes", pentatonic scales provide "structure and a feeling of increased space."
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the hybrid form of jazz-rock fusion was developed by combining jazz improvisation with rock rhythms, electric instruments and the highly amplified stage sound of rock musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa. Jazz fusion often uses mixed meters, odd time signatures, syncopation, complex chords, and harmonies.
According to AllMusic:
In 1969, Davis fully embraced the electric instrument approach to jazz with In a Silent Way, which can be considered his first fusion album. Composed of two side-long suites edited heavily by producer Teo Macero, this quiet, static album would be equally influential to the development of ambient music.
As Davis recalls:
Weather Report's self-titled electronic and psychedelic Weather Report debut album caused a sensation in the jazz world on its arrival in 1971, thanks to the pedigree of the group's members (including percussionist Airto Moreira), and their unorthodox approach to music. The album featured a softer sound than would be the case in later years (predominantly using acoustic bass with Shorter exclusively playing soprano saxophone, and with no synthesizers involved), but is still considered a classic of early fusion. It built on the avant-garde experiments which Joe Zawinul and Shorter had pioneered with Miles Davis on Bitches Brew, including an avoidance of head-and-chorus composition in favour of continuous rhythm and movement – but took the music further. To emphasise the group's rejection of standard methodology, the album opened with the inscrutable avant-garde atmospheric piece "Milky Way", which featured by Shorter's extremely muted saxophone inducing vibrations in Zawinul's piano strings while the latter pedalled the instrument. Down Beat
Although some jazz purists protested against the blend of jazz and rock, many jazz innovators crossed over from the contemporary hard bop scene into fusion.
According to jazz writer Stuart Nicholson, "just as free jazz appeared on the verge of creating a whole new musical language in the 1960s... jazz-rock briefly suggested the promise of doing the same" with albums such as Williams' Emergency! (1970) and Davis' Agharta (1975), which Nicholson said "suggested the potential of evolving into something that might eventually define itself as a wholly independent genre quite apart from the sound and conventions of anything that had gone before." This development was stifled by commercialism, Nicholson said, as the genre "mutated into a peculiar species of jazz-inflected pop music that eventually took up residence on FM radio" at the end of the 1970s.
By the mid-1970s, the sound known as jazz-funk had developed, characterized by a strong back beat (groove), electrified sounds and, often, the presence of electronic analog synthesizers. Jazz-funk also draws influences from traditional African music, Afro-Cuban rhythms and Jamaican reggae, notably Kingston bandleader Sonny Bradshaw. Another feature is the shift of emphasis from improvisation to composition: arrangements, melody and overall writing became important. The integration of funk, soul, and R&B music into jazz resulted in the creation of a genre whose spectrum is wide and ranges from strong jazz improvisation to soul, funk or disco with jazz arrangements, jazz riffs and jazz solos, and sometimes soul vocals.
Early examples are Herbie Hancock's Headhunters band and Miles Davis' On the Corner album, which, in 1972, began Davis' foray into jazz-funk and was, he claimed, an attempt at reconnecting with the young black audience which had largely forsaken jazz for rock and funk. While there is a discernible rock and funk influence in the timbres of the instruments employed, other tonal and rhythmic textures, such as the Indian tambora and tablas and Cuban congas and bongos, create a multi-layered soundscape. The album was a culmination of sorts of the musique concrète approach that Davis and producer Teo Macero had begun to explore in the late 1960s.
The 1980s saw something of a reaction against the fusion and free jazz that had dominated the 1970s.
For example, several musicians who had been prominent in the fusion genre during the 1970s began to record acoustic jazz once more, including Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. Other musicians who had experimented with electronic instruments in the previous decade had abandoned them by the 1980s; for example, Bill Evans, Joe Henderson, and Stan Getz. Even the 1980s music of Miles Davis, although certainly still fusion, adopted a far more accessible and recognisably jazz-oriented approach than his abstract work of the mid-1970s, such as a return to a theme-and-solos approach.
The emergence of young jazz talent beginning to perform in older, established musicians' groups further impacted the resurgence of traditionalism in the jazz community.
The young Jazz Messengers' contemporaries, including Roy Hargrove, Marcus Roberts, Wallace Roney and Mark Whitfield were also influenced by Wynton Marsalis's emphasis toward jazz tradition. These younger rising stars rejected avant-garde approaches and instead championed the acoustic jazz sound of Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and early recordings of the first Miles Davis quintet. This group of "Young Lions" sought to reaffirm jazz as a high art tradition comparable to the discipline of classical music.
In addition, Betty Carter's rotation of young musicians in her group foreshadowed many of New York's preeminent traditional jazz players later in their careers. Among these musicians were Jazz Messenger alumni Benny Green, Branford Marsalis and Ralph Peterson Jr., as well as Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash, Curtis Lundy, Cyrus Chestnut, Mark Shim, Craig Handy, Greg Hutchinson and Marc Cary, Taurus Mateen and Geri Allen.
A similar reaction took place against free jazz.
Pianist Keith Jarrett—whose bands of the 1970s had played only original compositions with prominent free jazz elements—established his so-called 'Standards Trio' in 1983, which, although also occasionally exploring collective improvisation, has primarily performed and recorded jazz standards. Chick Corea similarly began exploring jazz standards in the 1980s, having neglected them for the 1970s.
In 1987, the United States House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill proposed by Democratic Representative John Conyers Jr. to define jazz as a unique form of American music, stating "jazz is hereby designated as a rare and valuable national American treasure to which we should devote our attention, support and resources to make certain it is preserved, understood and promulgated." It passed in the House on September 23, 1987 and in the Senate on November 4, 1987.
In the early 1980s, a commercial form of jazz fusion called "pop fusion" or "smooth jazz" became successful, garnering significant radio airplay in "quiet storm" time slots at radio stations in urban markets across the U.S. This helped to establish or bolster the careers of vocalists including Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Chaka Khan, and Sade, as well as saxophonists including Grover Washington Jr., Kenny G, Kirk Whalum, Boney James, and David Sanborn. In general, smooth jazz is downtempo (the most widely played tracks are of 90–105 beats per minute), and has a lead melody-playing instrument (saxophone, especially soprano and tenor, and legato electric guitar are popular).
In his Newsweek article "The Problem With Jazz Criticism", Stanley Crouch considers Miles Davis' playing of fusion to be a turning point that led to smooth jazz. Critic Aaron J. West has countered the often negative perceptions of smooth jazz, stating:
Acid jazz developed in the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, influenced by jazz-funk and electronic dance music. Acid jazz often contains various types of electronic composition (sometimes including Sampling (music) or a live DJ cutting and scratching), but it is just as likely to be played live by musicians, who often showcase jazz interpretation as part of their performance. Richard S. Ginell of AllMusic considers Roy Ayers "one of the prophets of acid jazz."
Nu jazz is influenced by jazz harmony and melodies, and there are usually no improvisational aspects. It can be very experimental in nature and can vary widely in sound and concept. It ranges from the combination of live instrumentation with the beats of jazz house (as exemplified by St Germain, Jazzanova, and Fila Brazillia) to more band-based improvised jazz with electronic elements (for example, The Cinematic Orchestra, Kobol and the Norwegian "future jazz" style pioneered by Bugge Wesseltoft, Jaga Jazzist, and Nils Petter Molvær).
Jazz rap developed in the late 1980s and early 1990s and incorporates jazz influences into hip hop. In 1988, Gang Starr released the debut single "Words I Manifest", which sampled Dizzy Gillespie's 1962 "Night in Tunisia", and Stetsasonic released "Talkin' All That Jazz", which sampled Lonnie Liston Smith. Gang Starr's debut LP No More Mr. Nice Guy (1989) and their 1990 track "Jazz Thing" sampled Charlie Parker and Ramsey Lewis. The groups which made up the Native Tongues Posse tended toward jazzy releases: these include the Jungle Brothers' debut Straight Out the Jungle (1988), and A Tribe Called Quest's People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990) and The Low End Theory (1991). Rap duo Pete Rock & CL Smooth incorporated jazz influences on their 1992 debut Mecca and the Soul Brother. Rapper Guru's Jazzmatazz series began in 1993 using jazz musicians during the studio recordings.
Although jazz rap had achieved little mainstream success, Miles Davis' final album Doo-Bop (released posthumously in 1992) was based on hip hop beats and collaborations with producer Easy Mo Bee. Davis' ex-bandmate Herbie Hancock also absorbed hip-hop influences in the mid-1990s, releasing the album Dis Is Da Drum
The relaxation of orthodoxy which was concurrent with post-punk in London and New York City led to a new appreciation of jazz. In London, the Pop Group began to mix free jazz and dub reggae into their brand of punk rock. In New York, No Wave took direct inspiration from both free jazz and punk. Examples of this style include Lydia Lunch's Queen of Siam, Gray, the work of James Chance and the Contortions (who mixed Soul with free jazz and punk) and the Lounge Lizards (the first group to call themselves "punk jazz").
John Zorn took note of the emphasis on speed and dissonance that was becoming prevalent in punk rock, and incorporated this into free jazz with the release of the Spy vs. Spy album in 1986, a collection of Ornette Coleman tunes done in the contemporary thrashcore style. In the same year, Sonny Sharrock, Peter Brötzmann, Bill Laswell, and Ronald Shannon Jackson recorded the first album under the name Last Exit, a similarly aggressive blend of thrash and free jazz. These developments are the origins of jazzcore, the fusion of free jazz with hardcore punk.
The M-Base movement started in the 1980s, when a loose collective of young African-American musicians in New York which included Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, and Gary Thomas developed a complex but grooving sound.
In the 1990s, most M-Base participants turned to more conventional music, but Coleman, the most active participant, continued developing his music in accordance with the M-Base concept.
M-Base changed from a movement of a loose collective of young musicians to a kind of informal Coleman "school", with a much advanced but already originally implied concept. Steve Coleman's music and M-Base concept gained recognition as "next logical step" after Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, and Ornette Coleman.
Since the 1990s, jazz has been characterized by a pluralism in which no one style dominates, but rather a wide range of styles and genres are popular.
Harry Connick Jr. began his career playing stride piano and the dixieland jazz of his home, New Orleans, beginning with his first recording when he was ten years old. Some of his earliest lessons were at the home of pianist Ellis Marsalis. Connick had success on the pop charts after recording the soundtrack to the movie When Harry Met Sally, which sold over two million copies. Crossover success has also been achieved by Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, Kurt Elling, and Jamie Cullum.
A number of players who usually perform in largely straight-ahead settings have emerged since the 1990s, including pianists Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Terence Blanchard, saxophonists Chris Potter and Joshua Redman, clarinetist Ken Peplowski and bassist Christian McBride.
Although jazz-rock fusion reached the height of its popularity in the 1970s, the use of electronic instruments and rock-derived musical elements in jazz continued in the 1990s and 2000s. Musicians using this approach include Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie, John Scofield and the Swedish group e.s.t. Since the beginning of the 90s, electronic music had significant technical improvements that popularized and created new possibilities for the genre. Jazz elements such as improvisation, rhythmic complexities and harmonic textures were introduced to the genre and consequently had a big impact in new listeners and in some ways kept the versatility of jazz relatable to a newer generation that didn't necessarily relate to what the traditionalists call real jazz (bebop, cool and modal jazz). Artists such as Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Flying Lotus and sub genres like IDM, Drum n' Bass, Jungle and Techno ended up incorporating a lot of these elements. Squarepusher being cited as one big influence for jazz performers drummer Mark Guiliana and pianist Brad Mehldau, showing the correlations between jazz and electronic music are a two way street.
In 2001, Ken Burns's documentary Jazz was premiered on PBS, featuring Wynton Marsalis and other experts reviewing the entire history of American jazz to that time. It received some criticism, however, for its failure to reflect the many distinctive non-American traditions and styles in jazz that had developed, and its limited representation of US developments in the last quarter of the 20th century.
The mid-2010s have seen an increasing influence of R&B, hip-hop, and pop music on jazz.
Another internet-aided trend of 2010's jazz is that of extreme reharmonization, inspired by both virtuosic players known for their speed and rhythm such as Art Tatum, as well as players known for their ambitious voicings and chords such as Bill Evans. Supergroup Snarky Puppy has adopted this trend and has allowed for players like Cory Henry to shape the grooves and harmonies of modern jazz soloing. YouTube phenomenon Jacob Collier also gained recognition for his ability to play an incredibly large number of instruments and his ability to use microtones, advanced polyrhythms, and blend a spectrum of genres in his largely homemade production process.