It is confession time. And it is not even about books.. it is about music.
I love Jazz music. Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Paul Whiteman, Ethel Waters and Bessie Smith.Their voices or their songs are well known even now.
Though the fist mentions of Jazz music go back as the 19th century, the first documented use of this form of music is found in the city of New Orleans in 1910 which is why most people connect the music with that town. In the early 20's we see a lot of the Jazz musicians move to Chicago and New York though. With the growing number of speakeasies in these town those where the places to be. The audience in the new places were confronted with Louis Armstrong's New Orleans Jazz, Paul Whiteman's more symphonic Jazz and not to forget the introduction by the big audience of Blues with Mamie Smith's Crazy Blues.
New York was confronted mostly with big Jazz orchestra's, Chigaco saw more bands forming of the musicians that where visiting the city. Louis Armstrong was roaming the Chigaco streets and Duke Ellington arrived in New York in 1922. It was clear Jazz was a serious form of music and people were actually able to make money with their performances despite the bad reputation of the music.
In 1924 Louis Armstrong moved to New York bringing his own style and sound to the Fletcher Henderson dance band. He changed the style of the music played in New York. Introducing surprisingly lively solo performances able to improvise at every given point he set a whole new standard.
Nicknamed "King of Jazz" Paul Whiteman was often scolded because he wanted to write down every piece of music as he felt that would improve the quality. Still his songs were well received and did a lot of good for the reputation of Jazz. With over 3000 arrangement in his name he was one of the most successful Jazz musicians from that period. Not to forget he got Bing Crosby introduced to the big audience.
A lot of music written during this time has been recorded again later by famous artists like Billy Holiday and Nat King Cole.
There is much written about Jazz you can read on the internet already but the most important is the music so I made a playlist on Youtube with some of the greatest artists and jazz pieces from this period.
Cannot get enough... do visit the host of Jazz Age January Book Speaks Volumes for more Jazz