Congo Square

A place where slaves were permitted to dance

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Now called Louis Armstrong park

ring shout –has a cluster of individuals moving in a circular pattern.  Comes from a ritual African ceremony

New Orleans City Council 1817 designated Congo square as the official site for slave dances

Other parts of the country did not permit this and outlawed any African elements in the music of slaves.   

Minstrel Shows

Developed before the Civil War (1861-65)

Placed white performers in black makeup, where they mimicked, ridiculed, & made fun of the music, dance and culture of the slave population.

Replaced by vaudeville by 1900

Often the writer of the music had little knowledge of southern black music.  Most composers were from the Northeast.  Ex. Stephen Foster.


Usually thought of as a piano genre.  Does not swing.  

It has an even division of the beat, and comes from the military march form.  


Race Records

A term applied between 1921 & 1942 to recordings made especially for African-American listeners. 

Coined by Ralph Peer of Okeh, the first company to have a race series.  

Okeh started its 8000 series in 1921. 

Valuable today. 

Robert Johnson

wrote: “Hell Hound on My Trail”

uneven phrases. 

Text declamation:




Nasal vocal quality

Jelly Roll Morton

A pianist, composer, and bandleader from New Orleans. 

First important jazz composer. 

Blended composition with improvisation. 

i.e. he “wrote it down”

Bridged the gap between ragtime piano style and jazz piano style.

Jelly Roll Morton’s Red hot Peppers in Black Bottom Stomp


Piano, trumpet, trombone, clarinet, banjo, bass, drums.

Displays the following elements:

Call & Response

Solo Break

Stop Time

Louis Armstrong

extroverted player.

used marijuana to easy the pain of racism.

Has an FBI file for

the Little Rock 9

Played cornet and trumpet

Bix Beiderbecke

composed for piano.

first great white musician. more introspective than louis.

self taught- unorthodox technique

Three Periods:

wolverines with Hoagaay Carmichael

Frankie Trumbauer (Tram)

Paul Whiteman (very commercial)


Periods of Jazz

Early Jazz



Cool Jazz (west coast)

Hard Bop

Post Bop

Free Jazz

Swing Period

basic stylistic Components, developing of arranging, dance music, 3 main components, main instrumentation. Big band became standard. drum set was consolidated. rhythm section was now piano, bass, and drums. no more tuba and banjo.

 Equal emphasis on all beats.

Big Bands

5 saxophones, 3-4 trumpets, 3-4 trombones, piano, bass, guitar, and drums. 

Count Basie

Kansas city swing style, Brass vs. reeds, first great rhythm section, riff based compositions, disappearance of stride, Lester Young influence

Duke Ellington
more than 2000 compositions. master of the three minute form. cotton club in Harlem. often wrotemore than one veresion of one song. Critics called it “jungle sounds” because of “buber” miley and his plunger mute and growls
Benny Goodman

King of Swing

As a soloist, he defined jazz clarinet as no other, before or since.

Established standards of technical perfection unheard of in that era. 

Autocratic approach to band leading. (The Ray!!)

Popularized swing, he became a pop icon. Began in 1935 as a trio. 

First racially mixed band.

Charlie Christian

 long solo lines, amplification 

 w/ Goodman sextet. 

Blues form.  This is a compilation of several solos. 

Each solo is introduced by a 4 bar phrase. 

First example of amplified electric guitar. 

Art Tatum

Severely limited vision

Amazing Technique & velocity at piano


Willow Weep for Me

Tiger Rag

Django Reinhardt

only used two fingers, addition of the violin, European jazz musician


basic stylistic characteristics, melodic chromaticism, fast tempos, cabaret cards, move from entertainer to artist, artifacts for copyright reasons, decline of big bands (no single event was responsible), young musicians were drafted. petroleum/ shellac were in short supply.

Charlie Parker

  • May be the most important musical figures in the history of jazz.
  • Densely packed solos. 
  • Played fast, and played a lot of notes. 
  • Prolific composer. 
  • Jazz club took his name. (Birdland)
  • highly addictive, died early, alternate takes

Dizzy Gillespie

Gillespie pouches, Chano Pozo, worked with Bird, Afro-Cuban influence

West Coast (cool Jazz)

  •  a lighter, softer, more subtle version of bebop, and easier to follow. 
  • Saxophonists were influenced by Lester Young 

Dave Brubeck

mixed meters, west coast school, cerebral, Blue Rondo a la Turk, crossrhythm, supermetric, 

Rboert Johnson

guitar. unmeasured phrases


Slam Stewart
bass. Solo style
Dave Brubeck
Dizzy Gillespie
Chet Baker
Cootie Williams
piano, vibraphone, drums, bass
Art Tatum
Pianist. willow weep for me
Gerry Mulligan
sax and clarinet
Lester Young
one of the most influential sax players
Count Basie
Charlie Parker
Art Tatum
Coleman Hawkins
tenor sax, tritone substitution
Chano Pozo
Sidney Bechet
Charlie Christian
Benny Goodman
Clarinet. King of Swing
Django Reinhardt
gypsy guitarist
Milt Jackson