Jazz Essays (Examples)

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Concert Review & Analysis

Words: 1188 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 88031888

Jazz Performance eview

The author of this report has been asked to take in a jazz show and offer some information and opinion about it. The venue and artists involved will be named. There will also be other questions answered like whether the music was moving to the author, whether it was accessible or "far out," whether it was emotional or cerebral and whether the author liked the music or not. Overall, the performance taken in was very positive and high-energy and the author was not remotely disappointed. While jazz is not embraced or loved by everyone, the author of this report holds it to be a great musical form and one that all people should at least try to glom onto if they're seeking enrichment and entertainment.

Performance Information

Before getting into the reactions to the performance, the author will explain the details about the show. The name of…… [Read More]


NPS. (2016). A New Orleans Jazz History, 1895-1927 - New Orleans Jazz National Historical

Park (U.S. National Park Service). NPS.gov. Retrieved 21 January 2016, from http://www.nps.gov/jazz/learn/historyculture/jazz_history.htm
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History of Music

Words: 3511 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 98767640

Cool Jazz

A Brief History of Cool Jazz

December 6, 2012, would have marked the ninety-second birthday of pianist Dave Brubeck. The nonagenarian was looking forward to performing at the Palace Theater near his home in aterbury, Connecticut. Sadly, Brubeck died of heart failure just one day shy of the celebratory concert. The concert went on as scheduled, but it was a memorial rather than a birthday party. It is what Brubeck would have wanted. Brubeck was one of the originators of a jazz style that became known as "cool jazz." He was a brilliant pianist who loved to experiment with rhythms and instrumentation in ensemble work. Brubeck never stopped innovating over his long career during which he composed symphonies, classical and religious music, ballets and film scores He valued musical integrity over commercial reward. "You never know what's going to work," he said. "You just go with what you…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Dave Brubeck Quartet. 1961. YouTube. Web. 10 Dec. 2012.

Dryden, Ken. "Take five: The public and private lives of Paul Desmond." All About Jazz.

2 Feb. 2011. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=17894>.
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Politics Literature and Arts

Words: 949 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 21602572

jazz and the culture industry? Is Adorno simply an elitist or is there something useful you can appropriate from his argument? What connections can you draw from Benjamin and the "Andalusia Dog?"

Theodor Adorno was clearly inspired by Walter Benjamin, from whom he founded his philosophy of modern art, versus fine or popular art. Adorno constructed a theory of the modern art movement, as embodied in such early surrealist films as "The Andulasian Dog," that stressed that fine art was primarily characterized by a sense of formal autonomy within its structures. This is unlike modern art, which was the social antithesis of society. Jazz, for example, in its ideal form, is atonal and improvisational in its nature. It is of the moment, and of the individual artist's creation, rather than a creation of formal structures purely and calculatedly designed to please the larger populace. In its purest form, jazz is…… [Read More]

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Nostalgia in Times Square Album

Words: 637 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 48673137

For example, the song opens with the baritone saxophone alone. The riff that the sax plays is repeated at several times during the piece, including a third of the way in, then at coda of the piece, about 7:50 minutes in. In fact, the baritone riff can be heard throughout the song.

The big band nature of the music is apparent as well. Trumpet blasts, walking bass lines, high hats, and the tenor saxophone solos all point to big band sensibilities. Moreover, all the instruments reach a pleasant crescendo with climactic trumpet blasts. After the second false finish, the song ends in earnest. A lingering note on the bass resounds in the listener's ear.

Trombones feature prominently in "Moanin'." Especially at the opening, when the instruments come in one at a time, the trombones offer their characteristic moans. Then the entire big band comes in, as if each instrument plays…… [Read More]

Work Cited

Mingus Big Band. "Moanin.'" Track 2 on Mingus Big Band 93: Nostalgia in Times Square. Dreyfus, 1994.
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Music History

Words: 1075 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 6488635

Avant-Garde Jazz

Jazz music might sometimes be difficult to define because of its many movements. As a purely American form of music, jazz cannot be overlooked for its influence in other musical genres. As jazz has evolved over the years, the genre has witnessed many movements that represent African-American moods and attitudes. One significant movement in jazz is the avant-garde movement, which changed the course of traditional jazz. Along with this new movement comes a diverse array of opinions regarding jazz, contemporary forms of jazz, and jazz audiences.

The avant-garde movement of jazz is the often referred to as the bebop era. Lewis Porter asserts that bebop was a "revolt" (Porter 174) from bag band arrangements and the confines of tradition. Characteristics of bebop include a melody that does not last for a long time and many beboppers aimed for dissonance, which means experimenting with new sounds. Porter notes that…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Evans, Bill. "The Jazz Cadence of American Culture. "

Gottlieb, Bill. "The Anatomy of Bop."

Jones, Leroi. "The Jazz Avant-Garde."

Lewis Porter. "Reaction to Bebop."
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West German Military Response to Invasion of Czechoslovakia

Words: 1662 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 93630806


The objective of this work is to examine the question of what would have happened to jazz if there had been a crackdown on illegal "after hour" clubs in Kansas City in the 1930s? Toward this end, this work will examine the literature in this area of study.

In the 1930s, while the rest of the United States and its cities were in the grips of The Depression, Kansas City was churning out jazz all night long. Kansas City was for all intents and purposes under the control of a local politician/mob boss/entrepreneur in the form of Jim Pendergrast who upon dying passed his power to his brother who was not as honest or ethical as Jim but who sustained an economic boom in Kansas City right in the middle of The Depression.

Where Did Jazz Get…… [Read More]


Pearson, Nathan W. (1994) Going to Kansas City. University of Illinois Press 1994.

Erenberg, Lewis A. (1999) Swingin' the Dream: Big Band Jazz and the Rebirth of American Culture. University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Ogren, Kathy J. (1992) The Jazz Revolution: Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz. Oxford University Press U.S., 1992

Driggs, Frank and Haddix, Chuck (2005) Kansas City jazz: from ragtime to bebop-- a history. Oxford University Press U.S., 2005
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Music the Evolution Musical Notation

Words: 1150 Length: 3 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 33312257

Fake books with jazz notation might look as if they are intended for amateurs. However, although beginners may use the simplified notation to practice music, the fake book's original intention was to provide a stepping-stone for a musician or an ensemble to create their own, unique rendering of the music. Thus jazz notation reflects the stress in this musical tradition upon the musician or the band's individual style. The musician, rather than the composer is the star, when using jazz notation. Rather than attempt to slavishly recreate a performance from the past, which is impossible, as every audience, every musical context changes from night to night, jazz notation empowers the musician to create a living and vibrant performance on the stage, with his or her fellow musicians. ("Fake Books," ikipedia, 2006)

Fake books and jazz notation originated with illegal transcriptions of overheard music, although most fake books today copyrighted with…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Fake Book." Wikipedia. [6 Jun 2006]


Marsalis, Wynton. "On a slave's need for improvisation." From Jazz: A PBS documentary by Ken Burns.2001. Companion Website. [6 Jun 2006] http://www.pbs.org/jazz/time/time_slavery.htm

Musical notation." Wikipedia. [6 Jun 2006] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musical_notation
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Charlie Parker

Words: 8078 Length: 20 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 59674313

Charlie Parker


The music of United States changed significantly during the twentieth century, and each generation went on to develop its own music. These were all immensely popular, had strong rhythmic touch and were very different from the earlier forms which existed. These were used for dancing or just for the purpose of listening. When the twentieth century started it was the time for a variety called Ragtime. After the end of the First World War, Jazz had its origin and it influenced all other forms till it was affected by the stock market crash in 1929. This period was called the roaring twenties. Then it was time for a new form to emerge and this was in the music of the ig ands and led at different stages by Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Jimmie Lunceford, Glen Gray and Chick Webb in the beginning. They were then followed by…… [Read More]


Weinstock, Len. "The Big Band Era, Or How America Came Out Of the Great Depression and Went On To Win World War II, 1991" Retrieved at  http://www.redhotjazz.com/bigbandessay.html . Accessed on 03/08/2004

Azinhais, Joao "The King of Jazz" Retrieved at  http://www.redhotjazz.com/whitemanarticle.html . Accessed on 03/08/2004

Weinstock, Len. "The origins of Jazz" Retrieved at  http://www.redhotjazz.com/originsarticle.html . Accessed on 03/08/2004

Slave Songs of the United States" A. Simpson & Co. Retrieved at  http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/allen/allen.html . Accessed on 03/08/2004
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Music History Appreciation

Words: 2252 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 81622761

Music appreciation [...] my personal attraction to jazz music and some of its composers and performers. Jazz music has been called a particularly American invention, and the many forms of jazz epitomize a successful and exciting country on the move. Jazz encompasses many facets of music, from be-bop to swing, and one testament to jazz's endurance is its continued popularity today. Jazz breathes life into the listener, and embodies life in America.

Jazz, a state of mind! " (Osgood 7)

Jazz is a uniquely American creation, and perhaps that is one reason I enjoy it so much. In the early part of the 20th century, the music we call jazz and blues were beginning to develop into popular songs people enjoyed. One critic writes, "Unquestionably, the most significant contribution made to music by the United States in the period under discussion lay in the field of popular music" (Hansen 84).…… [Read More]


Friedlander, P. Rock and Roll A Social History. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996.

Gioia, Ted. The History of Jazz. New York: Oxford University Press U.S., 1997.

Hansen, Peter S. An Introduction to Twentieth Century Music. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1961.

Osgood, Henry O. So This Is Jazz. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1926.
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Accelerating Past Bebop Music

Words: 1628 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 62949217

Evolution of Jazz

Dizzy Gillespie was a jazz musician and composer who mostly known for his work on the trumpet. He also played several other instruments, including the piano and alternative horns. His tenure in jazz was fairly lengthy, and spanned several eras including big band and bebop, the latter of which he helped to popularize. He also played swing music on more than one occasion and performed vocals on both recordings and during live sets. Count Basie was mostly known for his work on the piano and his compositional skills. He was one of the most noted jazz musicians during the time in which this art form initially became popular. Basie was a part of the big band movement in jazz, and led expansive jazz orchestras for the vast majority of his career. Chet Baker was a jazz musician who was largely renowned for his work on the trumpet,…… [Read More]


Bourne, M. (1972). Fat cats at lunch: an interview with Dizzy Gillespie. www.downbeat.com Retrieved from http://www.downbeat.com/default.asp?sect=stories&subsect=story_detail&sid=1015

Brady, S. (2011). Gordon Goodwin & the big phat band. http://jazztimes.com Retrieved from http://jazztimes.com/articles/27612-gordon-goodwin-the-big-phat-band

Chinen, N. (2004). The complete verve Gerry Mulligan concert band sessions. http://jazztimes. Retrieved from http://jazztimes.com/articles/14567-the-complete-verve-gerry-mulligan-concert-band-sessions-gerry-mulligan

Owens, T. (2015). Jazz Profiles from NPR. www.npr.org Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/programs/jazzprofiles/archive/mulligan.html
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Music History Appreciation

Words: 2241 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 4045523

New Orleans as a Focal Point in the Development of Jazz

New Orleans is known a melting pot of culture and music and it has played a major role in early development of jazz. It was full of opportunity and rich with the fine arts of music and dance, while offering a breeding ground for innovation. In the back alley city streets, clubs and saloons, basements of homes and African-American dance halls, jazz was born. Brass bands marched in numerous parades and played to comfort families during funerals. There were numerous society dances that required skilled musical ensembles for entertainment. New Orleans was home to Joe "King" Oliver and his leading student, Louis Armstrong. They hailed from New Orleans along with other influential musicians to include Jelly Roll Morton.

In 1718, the French started building the city of New Orleans. Located at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the city…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Barlow, W. And Morgan, T. From Cakewalks to Concert Halls: An Illustrated History of African-American Popular Music, From 1895-1930. Washington, D.C.: Elliott and Clark, 1992.

Mabunda, L. The Reference Library of Black America. Gale, 1997.

Tirro, T. "Morton, Jelly Roll," World Book, 2001.
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Sidney Bechet

Words: 2899 Length: 8 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 95033044

Sidney echet truly led the life of a jazz musician. He was a supporter of Dixieland Jazz who played the clarinet and was the first person to play Jazz on a Soprano Saxophone. Domineering is a word frequently used to express his music. Various fights showed he had a short temper that reflects in his music. His solos were often soaring and passionate, endlessly inventive, direct rather than ornate. Throughout his life, he never had the discipline needed to play in a regular band; he always preferred to be a soloist and worked in many different bands.

Personal Life

echet was born on May 14, 1897 in New Orleans, Louisiana to a black Creole family. His father Omar was educated in a private school so he spoke and wrote both Creole Patois and English. His mother Josephine was black, but was referred to as a passeblanc. echet grew up in…… [Read More]


Schuller Gunther. Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development. Oxford University Press. 1968.

Chilton John. Sidney Bechet: The Wizard of Jazz. Oxford University Press. 1987.

Larlan Colin. Ed. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Stockton Press.1992.

Collier, James Lincoln. The Making of Jazz: A Comprehensive History. Dell.1979. Marsalis Wynton. Copyright (c) 1997 http://www.jazzradio.org/sidney.htm
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Jelly Roll Morton Was Born Ferdinand Joseph

Words: 1278 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 57935987

Jelly oll Morton was born Ferdinand Joseph La Menthe in 1890 and later became a pioneer of modern American jazz. Growing up in New Orleans, he played piano in saloons and brothels when he was still a child. As an adult, he formed a band, the ed Hot Peppers and also played on his own. Morton is renown for his ability to bring traditionally black musical styles to the mainstream and he was heavily influenced by his New Orleans upbringing. Morton is particularly remembered for a series of recordings he made in Chicago for CA Victor in the 1920s, and Morton is credited as being one of the first to mix individual improvisation with more structured group arrangements. Although he claimed to have invented jazz, this is not strictly true; instead, he is credited as the first jazz composer. After Morton, improvisation became a staple of jazz. His best-known tunes…… [Read More]


"Jelly Roll Morton." The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz. Accessed 10 October 2004.


"Jelly Roll Morton." Accessed 10 October 2004.  http://www.redhotjazz.com/jellyroll.html 

"Jelly Roll Morton. World Book online. Accessed 10 October 2004. http://www2.worldbook.com/features/aamusic/html/morton.htm
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Great Gatsby and the Resonating

Words: 612 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 94208752

108). These types of seemingly innocuous observations are actually powerful commentaries on the darkness that is spreading over society in the 1920s, and the divisions between those on one side of the glass from those on the other.

The separation of the classes; that is, the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor in America, can also be traced to jazz age, providing further evidence that this period was a detriment, as opposed to a benefit, to society. Those on the side of the glass enjoying their lavish parties and their fancy cars and their expensive clothing were oblivious to those who remained on the outside looking in, because wealth had become so important that it defined human existence. If one did not have the largest house or gaudiest jewelry, then they did not deserve any acknowledgement.

For many of the socialites with which Jay Gatsby associated, the poor…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Fitzgerald, F. Scott, The Great Gatsby, Scribner Publishing, 1999. Print.
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Satchmo The Genius of Louis

Words: 738 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 41091954

Other performers admired him, and many other coronet players tried to emulate him, but there was only one Louis Armstrong, one music master, one unique singer, and one ambassador of jazz. He was a legend, and many of his musical numbers live on today, including "Hello Dolly," and "What a Wonderful World," which staged a comeback after it was used in the soundtrack for the film "Good Morning Vietnam" (Giddins 5). This book reads more like an homage to Armstrong, rather than a simple telling of his musical life and that may be the book's biggest weakness. It is clear the author is a fan and admirer of Armstrong, his musical talent, and his many accomplishments, and so, it is difficult to find any real criticism of his work or his music here. The author does mention other criticism of Louis, but is skeptical of most of it, and so,…… [Read More]


Giddins, Gary. Satchmo: The Genius of Louis Armstrong. New York: Da Capo Press, 2001.