Before starting with the topic, let us know something about Harlem and Jazz in a very short.
Harlem is situated in the Northern side of America and a neighborhood of Manhattan. It is known as the primary African-American residential, cultural, and business center.
During the beginning of the twentieth century, many Black Americans faced racism and discrimination and moved to a neighborhood in Upper Manhattan:- Harlem. Slowly it had become a place of a cultural center in the early 1900s. During this period, the Harlem Renaissance was seen as a watershed for the country but especially in arts. The renaissance of Harlem established itself as a period of great innovation within jazz.
What Is Jazz?
Jazz is a piece of American music created mainly from ragtime and blues. It is characterized by propulsive syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, varying degrees of improvisation, and often by deliberate distortions of pitch and timbre.
Jazz joints are where much of the magic takes place, fueled by the talents of soon-to-be the icons like Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker. Even one of Harlem’s subways was immortalized in songlines. Billy Stray’s horn, a composer at that time, was inspired by “Take the a Train” (the jazz standard made famous by Duke Ellington) after Ellington included the phrase when guiding him with the directions to his home in Harlem.
Jazz Music different types and styles:-
1. Early Jazz:-
The earliest forms of jazz began at the end of the 1800s and the very early 1900s. The style was known as “ragtime” / “playing hot” and took off in New Orleans. During this period, the instruments consistent with the bands are eventually getting replaced. Vision is replaced by guitar, and the other like the cornet, clarinet, trombone, drums, the double bass is replaced by a banjo and a tuba. It is the golden era for Syncopated notes and rhythms, which is also highly popular amongst the audience.
2. Big Band & Swing Music:-
The Swing music, also called the Big Band, is featured as a forward impulse imparted to each player’s note. You first played it during 1914-1926, and after that, it is re-emergence around 1930. This type of refreshing style, robustly performed by a group of at least 10-16pieces. Swing is as popular as dance music which creates an immense connection from people to the music.
It came into force from the mid-1940s, and it is the most complex version of New Orleans style and swing. Its complex melody and harmonic structure were the beginning of the earliest pop songs. Improvising the Scat singing along with the soloist is commonly used together with the rhythm of Bebop tunes. The Bebop separated itself from swing, granting itself an art form rather than commercial dance music.
4. Post Bop/ Non – Free:-
This form of style is a process of a modern restructuring and re-examination of Bop elements. From 1958 to 1973 it was very much popular. Its combination is difficult to identify immediately.
5. Hard Bop:-
It features dark and soulful pitches, blues-like melodies, gospel-like chord progressions, and emphasized drumming. It is a sophisticated and diverse style and had an emergence in the 1950s and 1960s.
It was prevalent in the late 1940s and continues to remain the same till approx 1964. It is recognized as a subdued style, understated as well as emotionally “cool.” The harmony and the tone of cool jazz were soft and lighted out compared to Bop and Swing.
It is also known as “Avant-Garde. ” It is a style. The style is generalized without chord progressions or any arrangement. True Free jazz soloists cannot play together to give a truly impulsive and also “free” performance. The free jazz style started mainly between the 1950s and 1980s.
This type of music style fuses jazz with rock, soul, and funk. It was popular during the times of 1968-1984 and highly energized, unlike non-other previous style. Though it was an innovative and commercially popular jazz style, the Fusion will not go with many purists as for the cross-over with other techniques.
Jaaz had progressed over the years, emerging out of classical and African music influences and containing a wide array of unique genres. Choose a correct style that you will find easy to tune with the musical horizons with so many genres.