The World Of Jazz

Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz were united under the name Latin Jazz. Afro-Cuban Jazz appeared in America after the period of bebop, Brazilian jazz developed a little later – by the end of 1960s. The beginnings of Afro-Cuban jazz could be traced in the music of bebop performers – Dizzy Gillespie and Billy Taylor. The jazz substyle was under impact of Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians. There is another name of Brazilian jazz – Bossa nova, this was a style mixing up the main features of samba however under strong influence of jazz music and of some other music styles of the century.

Bossa music was characterized by 120 beats per minute, with eight notes and sophisticated rhythm structure. America welcomed Brazilian jazz in 1962, it was played by Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd there. At the end of 1960s the phenomenon of jazz fusion appeared. Jazz innovators started to combine jazz and rock music, using sophisticated chords and harmonies and a lot of electric instruments: guitar, piano, bass and twenty years later – synthesizers. Popular performers of jazz fusion music were Chick Corea, Tony Williams, Larry Coryell and others.

During 1970s and 1980s jazz music transformed into the so-called “smooth jazz”, which was supported by some innovators in 1990s and in 2000s – by fusion bands. The next source for improvisation of jazz performers were medieval church modes, this movement got the name Modal jazz and it was popular among pianists, sax and trumpet players. At its pick of popularity during 1960s was soul jazz, the sales of these records were the highest. Based on rhythmic “groove” musicians developed significant bass line. An outstanding musician of this style was Horace Silver.

This period of jazz music development was known for growing gap between the older audience concentrated on the traditional jazz styles and those who were craving for new extensions. In the 1980s drums were getting louder and saxophones rougher, however 1990s brought on the contrary a new quiet style – smooth jazz or cool jazz, which shouldn’t be mixed up with the cool jazz of 1950s.

The new jazz style presented a blending of jazz and rock with beat moving to the background of the composition. This style was very popular and was developed by Grover Washington, Jr., Kenny G and some other saxophonists. Another substyle of 1980s was acid jazz, based on some elements of disco, but characterized by intensive and even aggressive rock drums and electric guitar. Nu jazz blended jazz with modern electronic music. At the end of 1980s appeared jazz rap – a kind of combination of jazz with hip-hop. When different forms of electronic music gained their popularity in 1990s, some musicians tried to fuse jazz elements with electronic music. Their experiments had various names: “future jazz”, “jazz-house”, “Junglebop” (Gridley, 2000).

Actually this music could not be placed among other jazz variations as it lacked the key element – improvisation. The more traditional jazz performers of the period were pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, trumpeter Nils Petter Molv? r, the trio Wibutee, and Django Bates (Monson, 1996). The United Kingdom Cinematic Orchestra made a significant contribution to this area as well. In 2000s jazz or its mixture with Urban music was produced by neo-soul musicians Jamie Cullum, Jill Scott, Norah Jones and other. However there was a strong dispute whether their music could be related as jazz or not.

In 2006 Christina Aguilera issued the jazz-based album – Back to Basis by. On the 13th November 2006 the International jazz festival took place in Vilnius, in the list of musicians stood: DENNIS ROLLINS BADBONE & Co (from Great Britain), Jay Phelps, Johnny Heyes, Pete Cochrane, Alex Morgan, Dewi Young and other. Overall, history of jazz music is rather long and rich in events. Starting from the 1920s this music trend appeared and till the moment it holds a firm place among other music genres. During the years of its development, jazz influenced other genres, mixed up with some of them, which resulted in various forms of jazz music.

It is really hard to foresee the future of jazz music, most likely that it will continue its transformation and development and there will always be jazz musicians and audience admiring this great music genre.


Dale, R. (1996). The World Of Jazz. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books. Erlewine, M. (1998). All Music Guide to Jazz: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Jazz Recordings. 3d ed. San Francisco: Miller Freeman Books. Gioia, T. (1997). The History of Jazz. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *