There are some people who have asked me that famous question, What is Jazz? They could be new to it or they simply do not understand it. Louis Armstrong’s famous answer/quote was “Man, if you have to ask what it is, you’ll never know.” That could be true for some but could also be cruel for many others who simply never had the chance/opportunity to listen to Jazz. The constant bombardment of so-called “Pop” music on the radio dial has not allowed many to learn Jazz in the past but now with internet radio, it is available. There are many who are intrigued by Jazz and are genuinely interested in finding out more. For this reason Jazz Con Class Radio was started, the outlet is there and the listeners do have that choice now. Make a project of it and learn more about Jazz and its origins. Begin by conducting your own online search, type the question “What is Jazz?.” The results will expose many explanations and theories that will set a good foundation to further understand. I suggest to pay more attention to the explanations from Jazz musicians themselves.
I personally fell in love with Jazz the very first time I heard it and understood it immediately. I had the advantage of growing up in an era where music in general was rebellious and “Popular” music was not as infectious. There are many who did not grow up during the 60’s like I did and/or were blocked from listening to all types of music in their household. That’s alright with me because I have two great presentations that will definitely help everyone who is having trouble understanding what Jazz is.
The first one is an audio of Leonard Bernstein named What is Jazz and recorded in 1956:
The second would be documentary: Jazz: A Film By Ken Burns
You can purchase it here or if you have Netflix, you can watch it there.
Here’s the intro:
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