Retro Music Monday – African-American Music – Part 4 Jazz

From Wikipedia

Jazz music originates from African-American slave folk songs and the cultural influences of West African culture.

The period from the end of the First World War until the start of the Depression in 1929 is known as the “Jazz Age“. Jazz had become popular music in America, although older generations considered the music immoral and threatening to old cultural values.[1] Dances such as the Charleston and the Black Bottom were very popular during the period, and jazz bands typically consisted of seven to twelve musicians.

In 1920, the jazz age was underway and was indirectly fuelled by prohibition of alcohol.[5] In Chicago, the jazz scene was developing rapidly, aided by the migration of over 40 prominent New Orleans jazzmen to the city, continuous throughout much of the 1920s, including The New Orleans Rhythm Kings who began playing at Friar’s Inn.[5] However, in 1920, the cabaret business began in New York City and the growing number of speakeasies developing in the cellars of New York City provided many aspiring jazz musicians with new venues which gradually saw many musicians who had moved to Chicago ending up in on the east coast.[5] It is important to note that Classic Blues became very prominent from 1920 after Mamie Smith recorded Crazy Blues and grew in popularity along with jazz.[5]

In 1920, Paul Whiteman and his band recorded Whispering in New York City, in a subgenre known as symphonic jazz. Meanwhile, in New York City Adrian Rollinibegan playing bass saxophone with the California Ramblers and would later in the decade play with Bix Beiderbecke.[5] Duke Ellington had developed in a successful band leader and Louis Armstrong began to amaze audiences with New Orleans Jazz.[5]


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