Influence of Jazz on Today’s Music

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Jazz, throughout its brief history, has had a profound impact on American society.

Born in America, jazz can be viewed as a representation of the individualism and cultural diversity of this country. Jazz is a type of music with many different variations, but at its core, all types carry individual expressionism through improvisation. Jazz has captured popular music and art music and has expanded them both to a point where their styles are so varied that one might sound completely different from another (Jazz Music: 2012 Par. 1). Initially performed in bars, today Jazz can be heard in clubs, music venues, concert halls, colleges, and large festivals all over the world. In this paper, I will explain how jazz is constant in today’s music variations. Jazz still exist in today’s music; even though it may be a different style, it still exists.

For example, Rhythm and Blues music is a derivative of Jazz music that characterizes funk or soul. Artists who exceeded in this sound of jazz, bebop, and blues recreated Rhythm and Blues into modern styles (Cohn, 314). For instance, Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey are a few of examples of the ones who’ve made this music style mainstream. The wheel of the evolvement of Jazz music keeps turning into new styles, yet turns back at different times toward the root where it began (Jazz Music: 2012 Par. 3).

Rock and Roll music has a lot of jazz roots. Many Rock and Roll songs carry a 12 bar progression, which is notable and foundational in Blues. Rock music was developed in the 1950s in a way that is and on its early stages was characterized as blues, country, and Jazz with electric guitar. In the end 1960s and beginning of the 1970s, musicians were blending jazz and rock so much that a whole new genre was born: jazz fusion. Miles Davis was the most famous example of a jazz fusion artist. Davis combined the electric sounds with the smooth improvisations of jazz to create of the first jazz fusion essentials, Bitches Brew.

As time went on, more bands like the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report released jazz fusion albums, which skyrocketed the genre to new heights. One of the most excellent examples of jazz fusion emerged in 1975 with Jeff Beck’s Blow By Blow, which was produced by former Beatles producer George Martin. In the book “Standing in the Shadows of Motown” by Licks and James Jamerson, he quotes the Detroit based R&B/Soul band stating that their band initially thought of their pop hits as generally something they’d do to earn money. However, what it was actually their prior Jazz knowledge and experience which informed both their playing and arranging.

Traces of Jazz in still evident in contemporary songs. For example, the song “The House of Groove”, by Euge Groove is a representation and portrayal of Jazz music today. The rhythm and the instruments of the song are a clear portrayal of early Jazz. As you tune in to the melody, you hear a drifting saxophone and bass. The band leader who is driving the melody playing the sax, has a prevailing playing style but stable, and the beat segments hold the enduring rhythm. It’s sufficient enough to give have a uplifting dancing melody to it like songs from the Swing Era. The drums play emphasis on 2nd and 4th beats of the bar, also like the majority of the pieces in the Swing era.

Furthemore, Jazz also shares roots with Hip-Hop if we think about the socio-cultural context -the ways which both jazz and hip hop derive their cultural practices from and because of the economically impoverished places of origin. If these urban constructs are the places that the cultural identities of jazz and hip hop are able to take form, then it is in both genres use of language through which these identities are contested, re-negotiated and made their own. The way we conceive of ourselves, both in regards to our self and the world around us, is formed by language, words, and the meanings and concepts we apply to them.

The ways in which jazz and hip hop, like a number of other African-American music and cultures, have both used music as a source of communication and developed alternative languages within the cultures of those musical traditions, is one of the most profound ways in which African-Americans have executed power over the oppressive nature of their existence within a white racist society that seeks to dismantle all sources of economic, political, and social power they might obtain. ‘The power and significance of music within the black Atlantic have grown with inverse proportion to the limited expressive power of language’ (Gilroy 40).

In conclusion it’s safe to say that elements of jazz can exists in today’s rap tunes, pop, hip hop, and many more styles of music, but when it comes down to the true intricate details we must know that even then and now jazz is a style that is hard to recollect when you’re electronically generating music. There’s nothing like the true sound of jazz. That’s why there are so many artists out there trying to keep it alive. Some people say that jazz should be bottomless or never-ending. Jazz will continue to remain as long as those who genuinely love it dedicate themselves to showing others that without jazz, the world of music would not have grown as much as it has; and that’s how jazz still exists.


Cite this paper

Influence of Jazz on Today’s Music. (2021, May 29). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/influence-of-jazz-on-todays-music/

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