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CD Review: JAZZ ROOTS: MUSIC OF THE AMERICAS
April 05, 2011 Review By: Cheryl Armour

   Release Date 04/05/11  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Olatunji "Drums Of Passion"

 

 

 

 

 

  Bessie Smith

 

 

 

 

 

  Ella Fitzgerald

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sarah Vaughn

 

 

JAZZ ROOTS: MUSIC OF THE AMERICAS 

 

Produced by Larry Rosen, and created in partnership with the Quincy Jones Musiq Consortium.

 

 

This 2-disc, 37 track compilation chronologically covers the history of jazz from African drums through today.  The JAZZ ROOTS recorded music series was inspired by JAZZ ROOTS - A Larry Rosen Jazz Series, a concert and educational program created for performing arts centers across America.
 
                            
            Original Dixieland Band               Count Basie
 
Featured artists include: Scott Joplin, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Machito, Tito Puente, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Elaine Elias, Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, Wynton Marsalis, George Benson, Grover Washington Jr., Kenny G, Chris Botti and Eldar Djangirov. These artists and their key music tracks are included in the package, as well as historic overviews and artist bios, plus links to the Quincy Jones American Popular Music Curriculum and JAZZ ROOTS web sites for additional information.
 
 
This is the first compilation of a new series which traces the history of Jazz beginning with "Drums from Africa" and their impact on the musical DNA of the Americas to the modern style of popular jazz music today.  There are several central qualities shared by African music and jazz.  The most significant among them is the importance of improvisation.   The origins of Jazz are attributed to New Orleans at the turn of the 20th century.  Most early jazz music was played in small marching bands or by a solo banjo or piano player.  Dixieland was the style of jazz most popular in the early 1900’s. This style featured collective improvisation where everyone soloed at once. Louis Armstrong, born in New Orleans in 1901, entered the music scene in the mid-1920s and changed everything.  He developed the idea of musicians improvising during breaks in the music which eventually led to them playing individual solos.  Solo improvisation was born and quickly became the norm.
 
 
Swing music peaked in popularity during the Great Depression.  With its upbeat and exciting feel, swing lifted the spirits of the American people.  The mid-1930s became known as the Swing & Big Band era.
 
 
Jazz underwent many changes as several new variations were created during the 1940's and 50's.  The birth of Bebop came about in the early 1940's.  This fast tempo, arrhythmic style of jazz was officially in vogue by 1945.  Intoxicating rhythms and virtuoso performances were characteristic of the Afro-Cuban music developed at this time combining influences from Spain and Africa to produce a unique Afro-Cuban sound.
 
           
                      Tito Puente                   Antonio Carlos Jobim
    
Vocalists the likes of Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald were hugely popular during the 1940s and 50s. The 50s saw the birth of Cool Jazz, a style of Modern Jazz music.  The term “cool” was used for the first time in 1953.  Hard Bop and Modal Jazz were also introduced during this decade.
 
 
The 1970s and 80s ushered in the sounds of Brazilian jazz (such as Bossa Nova and Samba), Fusion, and Funk which is characterized by a strong back beat and electrified sounds.  
 
                           
              Return to Forever                  Tom Browne
 
The 1990’s produced the Contemporary sounds of George Benson and Grover Washington Jr. and the Smooth Jazz sounds of artists such as Kenny G.
 
                                  
                   George Benson                     Kenny G
 
 
The collection concludes with selections from popular jazz artists of today, Grammy nominated trumpeter and composer Chris Botti and Grammy nominated contemporary jazz pianist Eldar Djangirov.
 
 
You’ll feel as though you’re being transported through time as you follow the progression of Jazz in this collection which highlights distinctive changes in this original American art form  as it has evolved over the years.  The literature included, combined with the wealth of information available on the Quincy Jones American Popular Music Curriculum and JAZZ ROOTS web sites, will help Americans learn about their culture and may also be used as an educational tool for students. 
 
 
This collection provides a comprehensive overview of American jazz history and a nostalgic listening experience sure to be enjoyed by music lovers of all ages.

 

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