Brief Jazz History and Django Reinhardt
Elements fazed Jazz is a genre of music that originated in the black communities in the early 20th century in the south of the United States. Jazz represents a merging of many different people and their heritages. Jazz combined the elements of Ragtime, blues and marching band music. What made Jazz deferent was the use of Improvisation often by more than one player at a time. Jazz was a break from traditional Western music where musicians would be trying to play music exactly how it was written on the score.
In a Jazz piece the song is often the starting point or frame for the Caucasians to Improvise around. The songs might have been ditty or blues that they hadn’t composed but by the time they had finished they had created a new piece that was often was quite different to the original song. Many of the musicians weren’t necessarily good sight readers or couldn’t even read music at all but their playing thrilled audiences as the music created at sense of adventure and was exciting and a complete change from the music at the time.
By 1808 the Atlantic slave trade brought themselves almost half a million Sub Sahara Africans to the United States that brought strong musical traditions with hem. The African tradition made use of a single line melody and a call and response pattern but without the European concept of harmony. Rhythms reflected African speech patterns, and the African use of pentatonic scales contributed to the development of blues notes in blues and Jazz. By the 19th century an increasing number of black musicians had learned how to play European instruments. The music from New Orleans had a big effect on the creation of early Jazz.
Many of the early Jazz performers played in venues throughout the city in brothels and bars of he red light district. The instruments of marching and dance bands became the basic Instruments of Jazz. From New Orleans came a horn player known as Buddy Bolder who has been considered to be the first real Jazz musician. He was the first “King” of the cornet in New Orleans and is remembered for his loud clear tone and being one of the finest horn players whose embellishing melodies and fully Improvised solo’s introduces listeners to the earliest sounds of Jazz.
From 1 920 to 1 933 alcoholic drinks In the united States where banned, Resulting In speakeasies (a lace that illegally sells alcoholic drinks) becoming lively venues of what was known as the “Jazz age”. Jazz started to get a reputation of being immoral and many people of the older generation saw it as threatening old values in culture and promoting new decadent values of the sass’s. The sass’s belonged to swing big bands. 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 very complex and ‘important’ music.
Over time, social restrictions regarding racial segregation began to ease and white bandleaders began o recruit black musicians and black bandleaders began to recruit white ones. Of music and make it more challenging music “Musicians’ Music”. Since bebop was meant to be listened to, not danced to, it could use faster tempos. Drumming became a more elusive and explosive style, in which the ride cymbal was used to keep time while the snare and bass drum were used for accents. This led to a highly syncopated, linear rhythmic complexity.
Chord progressions for bebop songs were often taken directly from popular swing era songs and reused with a new and more complex melody, forming new compositions. By the end of the sass the energy and tension of Bebop started to be replaced smoothness and calmness known as “Cool Jazz. This favored long, linear, melodic lines. It emerged in New York City as a result of the mixture of the styles of predominantly white Jazz musicians and black bebop musicians, and it dominated jazz in the first half of the sass.
Hard bop was developed in the mid-sass, partly in response to the vogue for cool jazz in the early sass. Hard bop is an extension of bebop music that uses influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music and blues music. Especially in the piano and saxophone playing. The hard bop style coalesced in 1953 and 1954, paralleling the rise of rhythm and blues. In the sass’s free Jazz which was loosely inspired by bebop came about where free jazz musicians attempted to alter, extend, or break down the conventions of Jazz. In which meter, beat, and formal symmetry all disappeared.
In the late sass and early sass 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 Jim Hendrix. All Music Guide states that “.. Until around 1967, the worlds of Jazz and rock were nearly completely separate. ” However, “… As rock became more creative and its musicianship improved, and as some in the Jazz world became bored with hard bop and did not want to play strictly avian-garden music, the two different idioms began to trade ideas and occasionally combine forces. Contemporary Jazz is essentially a catch all term for the various permutations of popular, mainstream Jazz of the sass and ‘ass which include many different types of jazz some such as “smooth Jazz, Acid Jazz, Nu Jazz Jazz rap, punk Jazz and Jazzier, M ease and etc. Jazz Performer: Decagon Reinhardt Decagon Reinhardt Born: 23rd January 1910- 16th May 1953 Decagon Reinhardt was a pioneering virtuoso Jazz guitarist and composer. He is whole new style of Jazz guitar technique known as “hot Jazz” guitar which has become a living musical tradition in the French gypsy culture.
Jean “Dagon” Reinhardt was born on the 23rd of January 1910 to a family of gypsies. Decagon spent most of his youth in Romania close to Paris. He was attracted to music at an early age and played the violin. When he was 12 he received a banjo guitar as a present. He quickly learned to play by watching and mimicking the fingers of other musicians. By the age of 13 Decagon was able to make a living from playing music. As a result he received little education. At the age of 18 doctors told Decagon was told he would never play guitar again after he was injured in a fire that ravaged his caravan he shared with his first wife Florien Bella Mayer.
They were very poor and help their income his wife made fake flowers out of celluloid paper which made their home very flammable. Late one night Decagon was returning from a performance and knocked over a candle n his way to bed. Although he was pulled out quickly he received second degree burns over half his body. His right leg was paralyzed and third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burnt. Doctors intended to amputate one of his legs but Decagon refused the surgery and was able to walk a year later with a cane. His brother Joseph Reinhardt who was an already accomplished guitarist bought him a new guitar.
With rehabilitation and practice he relearned his craft in a completely new way, even as his third and fourth fingers remained partially paralyzed. He played al of his guitar solos with only two fingers, and used the two injured digits only for chord work. Between 1929 and 1933 Decagon abandoned the banjo as he preferred the guitar. And at the time was a fan of Louis Armstrong. Shortly afterwards he found a violinist with very similar musical interests called SSTphone Graspable. The two would Jam together along with a loose circle of other musicians.
In 1934 Decagon and SSTphone were invited to form the “Quintet du Hot Club De France” with his brother Joseph Reinhardt and Roger Chapeau on guitar and Louis Volta on bass. When world war two broke out the original quintet was on tour in the U. K. Decagon went back to Paris at once leaving his wife behind. Decagon reformed the quintet replacing SSTphone Graspable with Herbert Roosting on clarinet. In 1943 Decagon married Sophie “Imagine”Ziegler. Together they had a son called Aback Reinhardt who became a respected guitarist. Decagons problems were compounded by the fact that the Nazis also officially disapproved of Jazz.
Decagon became interested in other musical directions, attempting to write a Mass for the Gypsies and Symphony (since e could not write music, he would perform improvisations to be notated by an assistant). His modernist piece Rhythm Future was intended to be acceptably undead like. Decagon survived the war unscathed unlike many other Romania. After the war Decagon rejoined with SSTphone Graspable in 1946 and went on tour in the United States with special guest Duke Elongating and his orchestra. At the end of the tour he played two nights at Carnegie Hall he received a great ovation and took six curtain calls on the first night.
After returning to France in 1946 Decagon spent the meander of his days re- immersed in Romania life, having found it difficult to adjust to the modern world. He was known by his fans to be unpredictably and would do such things as skip sold out concerts and walk to the beach instead. He retired in 1951 to Samos sure Seine near Fontainebleau where he live until he died. He still hesitant towards the instrument. The last recordings of Decagon show him moving in a different musical direction. He had taken the vocabulary of bebop and fused it with his own melodic style.
One Saturday whilst walking home from the railway station, after a playing in a Paris Jazz club Decagon collapsed from a brain hemorrhage. The doctors took a whole day to arrive and declared him dead on arrival at the hospital in Fontainebleau. He was 43. For about a decade after Reinhardt death, interest in his musical style was minimal, with the fifties seeing bebop superseding swing in Jazz, the rise of rock n roll, and electric instruments taking over from acoustic ones in popular music. But Decagons friends and sidemen Pierre Ferret and his brothers continued to perform their own version of gypsy swing.