Jazz is by far the most influential music ever created. I know this is a bold statement, but it is true. Jazz music has a critical global influence. I would wager there is no place in the world anyone can travel and not hear some form of Jazz. There are no pages left in Jazz’s passport. The genre has never had any problems making its way through customs. Jazz music, once known as jungle music, and music of the savage, capable of corrupting minds of the most pure soul, and inherently evil, ascended out of the brothels of Storyville, danced its way through the mean streets of St. Louis and Chicago, learned to swing in Harlem, and took flight across The Pond with all the sensibilities of the Black American struggle, was ultimately embraced by the world.
Jazz, also known as American Classical Music, carries with it the entire narrative of the Black presence on American soil. It is truth, it is emotion, it is literate, it is pompous, it is fresh, it is uncontainable, and it is love all at the same time. Jazz is universally appealing and has the ability to change lives.
As the Jazz genre emerged out of the turn of the century, it shifted and transformed its style, rhythm, and movement to accommodate the changing cultural and social tides in America. Today, moreover, through it all it has been sincere in its production and its message to the masses.
Continue to celebrate this BMM and listen to as much Jazz as you possibly can. Check out the origins of Jazz in the recordings of Scott Joplin and Buddy Bolden. Listen to the role of the Blues in the formation of Jazz with W. C. Handy, and Jelly Roll Morton. Dive deep in to the era that placed Jazz on the map and check out the work of Louis Armstrong. Learn about swing through the bands of Count Basie, Cab Calloway, and Duke Ellington. Listen to amazing and classic voices (singers struggle to emulate today) of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, and Johnny Hartman.
Find out what all the fuss is about Bebop by listening to Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, and Bud Powell. Listen to the magic of Jazz through Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Groove to the descargas of Afro-Cuban Jazz y escuchan a Chano Pozo, Tito Puente, Cal Tjader, Dizzy Gillespie (yes him again), Eddie Palmieri. Then be reminded Jazz is still hot today and check out the new lions such as Joshua Redman, Roy Hargrove, Gregory Porter, Esperanza Spalding, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Robert Glasper.
For now, listen to 4 of my favorites.