Jazz and its history
Jazz is a musical style with its roots in the last years of the 19th century. This musical style was born in the United States of America by the black community. As a reminder, the time of slavery was particularly atrocious and harsh for slaves, which is why they spent almost as much time praying as making music. They were called workstrongs and it was they who launched the first influences. Over the centuries, instruments, songs and rhythms have evolved into the various styles we have today.
Who invented jazz?
Jazz is thought to have originated between 1861 and 1865, during the American Civil War. The instruments of the army bands left behind on the battlefield were used by Afro-Americans during the Civil War. We can’t know for sure who invented jazz from such early events, but was it really jazz at the time?
Jelly Roll Morton claimed to be the inventor, switching from ragtime to jazz. At the same time, however, the ragtime greats were Kid Ory, Sidney Bechet and the famous Louis Armstrong. In 1917, the very first jazz record was made: Original Dixieland Jass Band (also known as “Original Dixieland Jazz Band”), to the delight of listeners.
What’s so special about jazz?
Like all musical trends, jazz music has its own particularities.
- Rhythm: the rhythm of the melodies is both relaxing and dynamic, without losing that relaxed feel.
- Improvisation : the melody is in fact a framework to follow, giving free rein to the imagination. In many cases, the musician does not follow a musical score.
Who are the best jazz artists?
Over the years, there have been many artists who have demonstrated their talents as jazzmen to such an extent that their names are still well known today. It’s hard to give a ranking of the best jazz artists, as each one has its own particularities and no one can decide on a fixed ranking. That’s why I’ve listed the top 100 jazz artists, but it’s not a ranking from best to worst. There are many famous people who deserve their names in the ranking, but the list would be endless.
Who are the jazz singers?
Jazz singers are fascinating, they can make us travel with a simple timbre of voice, many artists are recognized by their vocal power and the emotion they can share and especially their numerous compositions. That’s why it was impossible for us not to list these vocal geniuses and find the best jazz singers in our ranking. Once again, it’s not a question of making comparisons: they’re all incredible, and some will touch you more than others with a particular singing style or just a powerful voice.
Here are a few great singers to know:
- Duke Ellington
- Charlie Parker
- John Coltrane
- Miles Davis
- Dizzy Gillesîe
❓ Who are the jazz guitar artists?
The jazz guitarist plays an important role, adding a melody that touches our soul. And yet, there are many styles of jazz guitar: German, French, Italian, British, etc… All this diversity adds up to significant differences between musical styles, offering an infinite musical universe. But who are the best jazz guitarists? To find out, we’ve tracked down the 100 greatest guitarists.
Guitarists to remember:
- Django Reinhardt (composer, musician of: guitar, violin and banjo)
- Wes Montgomery (American jazz guitarist of worldwide influence)
- Pat Metheny (talented guitarist with multiple styles: jazz, jazz-rock, world-fusion and post-bop)
- Charlie Christian (contributed to the birth of bebop and brought the electric guitar to the forefront of jazz bands)
Who are jazz bass artists?
Jazz bassists are often less in the limelight than certain artists, yet there are many talented ones out there! There are 3 main types of jazz bassists: American, French and British. Why shouldn’t they have their own ranking of the best jazz bassists? They deserve it for all the musical power they’ve brought to the jazz we listen to today.
What names of important bassists?
- Ron Carter (genius double bassist and cellist, with the most albums as a double bassist)
- Charles Mingus (talented composer, conductor and instrumentalist)
- Stanley Clarke (magical with his electric double bass)
- Paul Chambers (an artist who died young, yet left his mark on generations of music fans)
- Jaco Pastorius (a major influence on the role of the electric bass, particularly as a soloist)
Who are jazz trumpet artists?
The trumpet artist arrived very early in jazz, and it’s the instrument’s power, high-pitched timbre and harmony that have made jazzmen place the trumpet as a fundamental element. A key element of jazz, the trumpet can be found in many bands. One of the greatest figures is Louis Armstrong, whose name is known the world over. Here’s a video solo.
Our ranking of the best jazz trumpeters will introduce you to such talented artists as :
- Louis Armstrong (a jazz god whose charisma and contribution to today’s music are still felt today)
- Miles Davis (a trumpeter of genius, he surrounded himself with young prodigies and helped jazz evolve)
- Dizzy Gillespie (also an author and composer, he is clearly one of the greatest trumpet players in history)
- Clifford Brown (a bebop musician who revealed his talent in hard bop)
- Lee Morgan (representative of hard bop, he is a recognized figure among his peers)
Who are the jazz drummers?
Often relegated to the background, the jazz drummer is the master of rhythm, adapting and guiding the other musicians. As “players in the shadows”, they play a key role in structuring jazz. Improvisation, soloing, tempo control, rhythm creation – the role of the drummer artist is extremely important, so discover our ranking of the best jazz drummers! Let’s put these talents back in the spotlight.
A little culture, these drummers are important:
- Buddy Rich (improvisation, power, dexterity and mastery represent this artist well)
- Elvin Jones (recognized for his polyrhythm and innovation, he was an influence on drumming at the time)
- Max Roach (bebop futurist, composer and percussionist)
- Roy Haynes (genius drummer, recognized by the greatest jazz artists)
- Jack DeJohnette (drummer and American jazz pianist, a discreet but impressive figure)
Who are the jazz saxophonists?
Over the years, the saxophone has become an increasingly important part of the musical mainstream. Today, it rivals even the trumpet and is often a jazz icon. Yet today’s great saxophonists seem less represented than the saxophone stars of yesteryear. Here’s a quick roundup of the best saxophonists, past and present.
As a reminder, here are some of the great saxophonists:
- Coleman Hawkins (often described as the father figure of the saxophone)
- Sonny Rollins (he made his mark, especially in the post-bebop era)
- Lester Young (went against the grain of powerful saxophonist movements and showed a new saxophone ideology)
- John Coltrane (clearly futuristic and revolutionary – remember him as an avant-gardist)
- Charlie Parker (also known as Bird or Yardbird, he’s one to remember)
Who are the jazz piano artists?
The piano really came into its own in jazz in the 1940s. But that doesn’t mean pianists didn’t exist before then! On the contrary, here are some of the best jazz pianists we can list. There were, of course, jazz bands that sometimes included a pianist before 1940, but they were rarer. The piano in jazz allows you to play single notes as well as chords, unlike other instruments.
Some truly impressive jazz pianists:
- Art Tatum (a piano virtuoso who studied music at the Grandes Ecoles and played many instruments)
- Thelonius Monk (also a composer, impressive for his improvisation)
- Bill Evans (American jazz composer and pianist, involved in many of the greatest hits)
- McCoy Tyner (immersed in music from an early age, and drawn to the piano, he immediately fell in love with the instrument)
- Oscar Peterson (O.P. to his friends and Maharaja of the keyboard to his fans, his reputation is unquestionable.
Jazz today and new artists
Over the ages, music has evolved into the many styles we enjoy and listen to on a regular basis, and we may all have danced to swing. Many people think that jazz is a lost style, but this is completely false! The style is constantly evolving and changing, but it never dies. Did you know that? Basic rap has its roots in jazz.
Enjoying the music of our favorite artists
In many cities, you can find jazz in cafés, bars, festivals, concerts, tours, etc. So mark your calendars! The cradle of music continues its journey, and musical tastes change as we grow older. Many generations go through different styles of music, but one thing’s for sure: many listeners end up listening to jazz or swing dancing! The old standards have left a fabulous treasure trove that is listened to and shared over the generations, while newsolo artists and even jazz bands draw on the “classics” to produce superb albums and records. Promising new artists and little geniuses are evolving styles, tonalities and rhythms, but in the end, it’s still jazz.
Many of today’s artists are offering a concert or two, to the delight of our ears and eardrums – and that’s good news! A concert? But how do you find one? Don’t worry, in France you can get tickets for concerts in major cities. If you’ve never been to a concert before, you won’t be disappointed!
Star tours and dates
Our stars regularly offer dates, so to find out which tour is coming up soon, be sure to follow your artists on social networks, as they are often the first vector of information. If a tour is coming up, it’s highly likely that the band will share preview tickets via their networks for their biggest fans and listeners, so make a note of the date in your paper diary or mobile calendar to seize the opportunity.
Available artist albums
Finally, if you prefer, there are bars and cafés where the atmosphere is calm but relaxing. I’ve even seen conferences where artists take part with fans, which are very rare but enriching. Last resort: albums, titles or singles by jazz bands. They support them, bring them to life and enable them to create new music. It’s also a good time to have a quiet moment at home with your favorite tunes and songs.