Jazz
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Jazz

HISTORY OF JAZZ:
Pre-Jazz
Ragtime
Dixieland
Tin Pan Alley
Boogie-Woogie
Swing
Dance Bands
BeBop
Cool
Hard Bop
West Coast
Free Jazz
Bossa Nova
Rock Fusion
Neobop
Soul Jazz
Latin Jazz
World Fusion
Pop Jazz
Modern Creative
Contemporary Jazz
Retro-Swing

JAZZ SLANG:
Jazz Slang

JAZZ DICTONARY:
Jazz Dictonary

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Free Jazz (a.k.a. "The New Thing")

Free jazz is one name for the music of Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, and their colleagues and disciples. Though Coleman and Taylor had recorded before the '60s, the free jazz term was not common until then. The free designation derives from Coleman's decision to offer performances that were not always organized according to preset melody, tempo, or progression of accompaniment chords. Freedom from these guidelines allows improvisers a greater degree of spontaneity than was available in previous jazz styles.

Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman

Cecil Taylor

Cecil Taylor

Albert Ayler

Albert Ayler

Though nonmusicians find much of Coleman's music indistinguishable from bebop, musicians make distinctions according to the methods used (lack of preset chords) and the melodic vocabulary (original not bebop-derived). Much of Cecil Taylor's music is extremely active. It is densely packed with rapidly shifting layers of complex harmonies and rhythms. And some recordings of Albert Ayler, Pharoah Sanders, and Ornette Coleman include loud screeches and shrieks from trumpets and saxophones, combined with nonrepetitive, highly complex sounds from basses and drums. For these reasons, some listeners equate the term "free jazz" with high-energy, seemingly chaotic group improvisations, even though freedom from adhering to preset chord progressions does not necessitate high "energy" playing or any particular tone qualities or ways of organizing tones for melodic lines. For example, some of John Coltrane's music of the middle 1960s is often classified with "free" jazz, probably because of its collectively improvised turbulence, despite its using preset arrangements of the harmonies guiding the improvisers.

 


 

 

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