Jazz is nowadays viewed as one of the most popular music genres. Born from the roots in blues and ragtime, Jazz is a music genre that gained popularity in the 1920s. The jazz originated in African American communities of New Orleans, America.
The jazz was born in the late 19th century, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that jazz became recognized as one of the major forms of musical expression. There have been many influential artists over the years, but these are the five you need to hear and listen in order to understand jazz. Most of the modern jazz artists draw their inspiration from the following five artists.
Arguably one of the most influential artists not just in jazz, but in music history as well. He is one of the most important figures in Ameican history. He is known as “Satchmo” and “Pops”. A jazz trumpet player and singer from New Orleans, Armstrong made jazz popular among population of all ages. He is widely recognized as one of the people that had major role in the creating of modern jazz. Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby acknowledged and admitted that it was Armstrong’s singing that inspired and influenced their careers.
Louis is probably the first jazz artist to popularize the trumpet as a solo instrument. Before, there was trumpet in jazz, but only as part of a band. He is also credited for popularization of scat singing. As for his trumpet, it served as an inspiration for Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. In one sentence, his influence on music as a whole is almost immeasurable. Over the years, he has won many awards, but it never really mattered to him.
Nat King Cole
Nat King Cole was a household name in jazz music for so many years. People adored his voice. Some didn’t like his orchestral pieces, but there was no denying Cole inspired so many musicians. His signature sound was strings and a piano, and that was the sound many tried to emulate over the years. Many people view King Cole as an alternative artist. In any case, there is no denying his immense talent as a jazz performer.
Ellington was not only a popular jazz artist, he also excelled in other genres as well. He is known as the pioneer of jazz music. However, he also tried playing blues, classical, popular, gospel, and even soundtrack. He is widely regarded as one of the most popular pianists. His charisma and inventive use of the orchestra allowed Ellington to turn jazz into an art form.
You can say he was the Mozart of jazz. Duke’s performances resembled classical music concerts at time. In his life, he won 13 Grammy awards, a Pulitzer prize, and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. Proving to be one of the most important figures in jazz music, Ellington inspired artists like Tony Bennett, Earl Hines, Sonny Stitt, Joe Pass, and many more.
Miles Davis went through so many different eras. Some people know her as one of the central figures in the early 20th century. She was instrumental in helping jazz grow as a music genre. Others know him as the Miles Davis of the late 60s, when he was in his Bitches Brew era. You can say Miles Davis was a culture shock for everyone who listened jazz. Some didn’t understand his music, but everyone knew they need to listen to him.
Davis is known for emergence of several sub-styles including cool jazz, funk, techno music, be-bop, hard bop, fusion, and much more. He was always ahead of the game and constantly tried to reinvent his musical style. That is what made him special and unique. So many people passed through her band, probably even he doesn’t know the name of all his lineups. Many artists owe their success to Miles Davis, including Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter, and others. He won 8 Grammy Awards and is part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He will always be remembered as one of the most innovative musicians of the 20th century.
Known simply as “Bird”, Charlie Parker is one of the names that comes to mind when you mention jazz. A pioneer as an alto-saxophone player, Parker was also a great musicians and composer. Known for his virtuosic style and clean tone, Parker was at his best when he improvised. Truth be told, his improvisational abilities greatly influence other musicians and made him famous.
Parker brought complex chord progression in jazz music, as well as revolutionary harmonic form. He completely changed the standards for composition and helped associate the hipster persona with jazz. But most importantly, Parker made it known that jazz musicians are artists and intellectuals, not just entertainers.