The Jazz Years
The origins of Jazz lie in late-nineteenth century New Orleans where marching bands began experimenting with rhythm, changing a standard 6/8 to a more interesting 2/4 rhythm. In 1899 Scott Joplin publishes Maple Leaf Rag and with it ragtime is born
1900s & 1910s - the era of Cakewalk, Ragtime, Dixieland Jazz & Stride Piano
Ragtime and Marching Band music were the dominant popular music styles at the beginning of the twentieth-century.
Stars of this early era include Scott Joplin Jelly Roll Morton, Buddy Bolden, W.C. Handy, 'King' Oliver and Sidney Berchet. The word 'Jazz' itself first appeared in print in 1913.
1920s & 1930s - Early Jazz, Big Band, Dixieland & European Jazz
The introduction of Prohibition in the US unwittingly aided the rise of jazz music through the growth of Speakeasies. The Cotton Club opened in 1922 and quickly became an icon of jazz, helping to launch the careers of Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington.
The 1930s witnessed the rise of such names as Fats Waller, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Benny Goodman and from Europe, Django Reinhardt.
1940s & 1950s - the age of Swing, Big Band, Bebop & Cool Jazz
During the war years the sound of swing and big bands were dominant but a new approach to jazz was also growing. Bebop would become the new musical movement, with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie changing jazz music forever.
The 1950s saw further exploration of the possibilities of jazz music from the like of John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and Miles Davis who released his modal masterpiece Kind of Blue in 1959.
1960s & 1970s - Bebop, Easy Listening, Jazz Rock Fusion & Jazz Funk
The early 60s saw further musical exploration. Coltrane experimented with modal and free jazz and released A Love Supreme in 1964 arguably one of the most important albums ever recorded.
Miles Davis pioneered the fusion of jazz and rock with Bitches Brew. Jazz rock and fusion would be complimented by the jazz funk music of Herbie Hancock and the band Weather Report
1980s & 1990s - Smooth Jazz, West Coast, Jazz Funk, Acid Jazz & Hip Hop Crossover
By the 80s jazz has lost nearly all of its great names. Davis however continued to write and perform until his death in 1991. Britain in the early 90s saw the rise of the Acid Jazz which mixed classic jazz with hip hop and funk.