Categorized | Jazz

Why I Love Jazz

Posted on 29 March 2010 by Robert

To me, jazz is much more than the sound that vibrates your eardrums. It’s a complex style of music, it’s a culture. To me, there’s music, and then there’s jazz. When some people find out that I mainly listen to jazz, they think that it’s odd. I’ve even been told that I listen to “old people music.” I’m not offended by what people think because had they actually been exposed to jazz they would probably understand it the way you and I do.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO1uMjz3n3w

I believe that the number one thing going through the original jazzers minds was fun. Take for example the great video above featuring Louis Armstrong & Dizzy Gillespie. When I watch that video, I can’t help but smile and I almost wish that I had lived in that day. These guys didn’t worry about whether hip-hop is jazz. These guys didn’t worry about whether jazz is dead either (at least not yet). They were having a lot of fun!

Aside from having fun, jazz is also a very emotional genre of music. If you watch Ella Fitzgerald singing “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” you can almost feel what the song is conveying. The lyrics are masterful as is Ella’s delivery. To me, jazz is far more efficient at conveying emotion than any other genre.

The theory behind jazz is complex yet concrete. You have your standard progressions, throw your chord voicings on top with a sweet melody and you’ve got a jazz tune. Now that might sound simple, but as a musician I can say that I’ve failed many times trying to learn some of this theory. It’s tough. Not to mention that many of the times, the music is improvised. I’m always amazed at the technical proficiency of the musicians.

So, share with me please… what do you most like about this wonderful style of music?


3 Comments For This Post

  1. Kelly Says:

    I really like the beats and the fact that jazz allows for so much improv. I think musicians show their real talent when they can feel the beat and create something of their on the spot. Jazz works well in any tempo plus with so many styles, its easy to find one to fit your mood.

  2. Jazzevangelist Says:

    I love jazz in the same way that I love life, food, air, freedom, and communication. It isn’t simply a style of music to me – it’s a continuum of sound that connects us all.

    In the 1890’s people in New Orleans started bringing together sounds and styles from approximately 69 different cultures – anything they heard went into the gumbo – and jazz was born. It has evolved into every style of music made popular in the 20th century. So . . . when someone says “I don’t like jazz”, they are basically saying, “I don’t like any music composed or played that came after the 19th century.

    This is America’s only original art form – and is at the core of our national identity and culture. It represents our democracy, our struggle, our faith, our freedom, and our commitment to equality. It is the sound of our civilization . . . and continues to break down boundaries between young and old, rich and poor, white and black, etc., etc.

    Jazz goes beyond race, creed or culture, allowing us all to swing together in syncopated counterpoint – improvising as we go along, and bringing people together to rag, stomp, swing, groove, and rock in unity.

    Without jazz, there would be no solo improvisation in any song. Without jazz, there would be no groove. All styles go to it, and come from it. It’s who we are.

  3. Robert Says:

    That is a great comment, worthy of it’s own post! Thank you for your wonderful insight!

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