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Blues People

LeRoi Jones , history professor, Blues People is a groundbreaking history of Aferican-America History ... establishing American Black history, showing that Negro culture is totally different than American or Europian. Establishes 1617 as the beginning of American Negro history ... shows how the Blues developed out of the Black American experience. Tries to establish that Aferica is still in the Negro, even though it has been suppressed for over 300 years.

Nat Turnner , from Virgenia, most prominent person to rise up against white slave owners, learned to read and wright, believer in the accult, black magic ... considered the American Prostant culture evil. Spread talk of a slave rebillion, did lead a revolt in which many whites were viscously killed. In 1831, this sent a wave terror through out the South. This event could be considered the beginning of Black Power. Turnner become a black folk hero, a symbol of revenge against the white oppressors. This is an examble of the Stagerrle, Stak-o-lee myths. The beginning of revenge ... puting the fear of a slave insurection in white slave owners. Stak-o-lee was the myth that proceeded Turnner.

Blues is an expression of the oppressed peoples. Whites could have never have invented the Blues, though anyone could learn the Blues.

Jones (Ameria Beraca), poet, playwirte, very articulate, claimed the Blues for Black Americans, the most potent art form that is uniquely American. In 1961 he is creating Black American History, showing that the Negro culture is NOT primitive, the Blues is high are, its not Aferican, it is Black American. Blues is a fundementally sound historical work. A a critical time in History, 1961-63, Jones starts Black history.

Blues People ... a history a the Negro in the United States ... as reflected in his music ... there would not be the Blues without the Americanization of the Aferican Negro. Their music, dance and religion were about the only aspects of their original culture that the white masters could not deprive them of, and were the only products of the Aferican culture that were saved. It is of some greate importance that the only popular music in this country today is of African derivation.

Blues playing closely imitates the human voice, is the opposite of European music tradition of regular pitch, time, timbre. The Negro's religious music was his original creation and the first completely native American music. So the Blues did begin in slavery, but it was shapped by the Emancipation and the problems that came afterward. This led within ten years to what was really the first time Negroes became actually isolated from the mainstream of American society. So the the post-slave black society in America was a completely unique thing to the ex-slaves -- and to the whole of America. This sudden change was as tramatic as anything in the ex-slave's two hundred year history in America. At this time the Negro stood further away from mainstream America than at any pervious time. It is in this context that what we recongnize as the Blues appears. With their roots in slavery, being saved by the Civil War and Emancipation, being free and re-enslaved in a few short years would give anyone the blues.
Their music was extremely personal, it told of the adventure of heroes such as Stagger Lee, and also about the exploits of the singer. The Blues began with the performers themselves, and not with formal notions of how it was to be performed. A man could not pick cotton and play an instrument at the same time, so the blues developed as without instrumental accompaniment. It wasn't till much after the Civil War that the banjo, guitar, harmonica began to be used in Blues music. Brass instruments did not follow along until even later.
When Negroes began to master these European instruments, they also began to think musically and not just vocally. This would lead to jazz, which should be considered as a very original music that developed out of blues and moved off into its own path of development. Just as blues developed out of the unique Aferican-American culture, so would jazz.
From almost the beginning of Negro history in America, there was developing a black middle class. This was specially strong in New Orleans, with its large free black (Creole) population. It was only natural these black people would seek to emulate the majority white society. This would lead to a split in Negro society which would affect all areas of his life. Jazz can be looked at as an instrmental version of the blues. A story as complex as the development of the blues and jazz cannot be put into simple terms. But it was the black middle class that first became perficient in the use of Europian musical instruments. At the turn of the century, in New Orleans the Creoles (middle class) resisted the crude music of the blues formed marching and brass bands. There were also black (lower class) brass bands that played non-marching instrumental, blues-oriented music. They were call dirty bands or "jass".
It was at this same time that forced segration laws were passed. These laws would hit the black Creoles hardest, but in the long run helped redirect their social and musical energies. So Jazz, just like blues would develop out of circumstance that were unique to African-Americans. Jazz (an instremental version of blues) and blues both developed along the path of least resistance. There was always a border beyond which the Negro could not go, and it was this boundary, this no man's land, that provided the logic and beauty of his music.
Another influence on the Negro pre-jazz music was Ragtime. The irony or paradox of Ragtime is its development from white minstrel music which was the white man's parody of the black music, often performed by whites in black face. In a sence it was negros imitating whites imitating blacks. This example just strengthens the argument of how unique an art blues and jazz is, and how they both developed from the uniquely American culture of its Negroes. Negro music and Negro life in America were always the result of a reaction to, and an adaptation of whatever American Negroes were given or could secure for themselves. Negro music of any given period will be an exact reflection of what the Negro himself is. It is a portrait of the Negro in American.
In a way, Jazz is the resolving of the freedman-citizen conflict.
Mystery Train, Greil Marcus ---

What is thysis, why is R&R so important, what does it say about America ... Robert Johnson, Sly, Elvis?

Thesis : The true artists of Rock 'n' Roll, Elvis, Little Richard, Bob Dylan, ... have a claim to fame that will outlive most of their contempories, even Presidents ...

Popular Culture, is the premeer representation of America, Rock 'n' Roll is the best representation of life today, Elvis is the supreme example of it.

Mystery Train is a journey into roots music, that illustrates the roots of America, a serious look at Rock 'n' Roll ... Rock 'n' Roll as high art. A story about Randy Newman, The Band, Sly and the Family Stone, people and groops that invented their own versions of Rock ... and the problems caused by an expectation in America of constantly having to reporve themselves.
Greil Marcus, formost rock critic, Mystery Train is a seminal (Highly influential in an original way; constituting or providing a basis for further development),
American history, culture is an interlectual battle between pragmatism (Philosophy. A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences) and free thinking.
Pragmatism , a belief in the rational, Ben Franklin, Farmers Almanic, superstructure, materilism, impersonism, motivated by money. Free thinking, artist, poets, Jothan Edwards (American theologian and philosopher whose original sermons and writings stimulated the Great Awakening, a period of renewed American interest in religion) Whitman, Walt , (American poet whose great work Leaves of Grass (first published 1855), written in unconventional meter and rhyme, celebrates the self, death as a process of life, universal brotherhood, and the greatness of democracy and the United States), sub-culture. Poets often define America, come from a different tradition, too much pragmatism leads to George Orwell 1984, loss freedom, lost on individuality, need of speritial renewal, an Aferican-American tradition
Rock 'n' Roll in US starting in 1950, is a comming out, a reawakening, out of the pragmatism. It was the rebellion of Baby-Boomers against the conformity that their parents represented. The ethic that Monday to Friday was work, Sunday was worship, only Saturday was a day to feel good ... Rock 'n' Roll said that every day was Saturday. The wealth accululating after world war II and the expanding middle class made this kind of rebellion possible. An irony of the Rock 'n' Roll erra is an a real way, it was the desire for American Culture that end Communist domination in Eastern Europe, and it was that same culture that American pragamatism was trying to suppress. As it always happens in America, the success of R&R is coopted by the corport culture of big business.
Robert Johnson ... the notion in America, that with an equal start, anyone could succeed. The Blues is about connection all those people who don't succeed ... coming from the oppression of Black Americans ... As an artist, Johnson had his finger on the pulse of America ... a world without redemption, to succeed he had to become a demone himself, he doesn't buy into the dream of success, he is the voice of utter dispair, no where to go, no promised land ... it was through his dispair, that his music was able to come out. Blues made the terror of the world easier to endure, but blues also made those terrors more real. He dispaired over the hypocrisy of a battle of good and evil ... if only Christmas day would come ... his music was on outlet for this dispair, his constant travel, drink, womanizing ... he lived out a romantic view of America. A ture American folk hero.
Sly and the Family Stone ... and Stagerlee Nat Turner, from Virgenia, most prominent person to rise up against white slave owners, learned to read and wright, believer in the accult, black magic ... considered the American Prostant culture evil. Spread talk of a slave rebillion, did lead a revolt in which many whites were viscously killed. In 1831, this sent a wave terror through out the South. This event could be considered the beginning of Black Power. Turnner become a black folk hero, a symbol of revenge against the white oppressors. This is an examble of the Stagerrle, Stak-o-lee myths. The beginning of revenge ... puting the fear of a slave insurection in white slave owners. Stak-o-lee was the myth that proceeded Turnner.
In Rock music, staggerlee is the continuation of the eveloution of Aferican-American music it the blues and jazz tradition, reflecting Black culture in America. In R & R, Sly is staggerlee, having everything his own way, the essence of his music was freedom.

Elvis ... Elvis is the unterment symbol of American popular culture. America, Rock 'n' Roll is the best representation of life today, Elvis is the supreme example of it. Elvis is the opposite of Robert Johnson, p121 ... a liberator of women, made it posible for women to look at men as sex symbols, led an unconcious revolution, everyday is Saturday, in '50s and '60s, he was considered a great danger, through his music he showed that Rhythm & Blues was an attitude, was not a concious rip off of black music ... broak the ground for all that followed him. Got involved in movies earily because of the uncertainity of how long his and Rock 'n' Roll popularity would last ... raised RnR and R&B to high art in '60s, no one could see that in the '50s. Today Elvis is a commodity ... even a Religion ... he can mean anything to anybody ... Elvis had a great talent and great ambition.
Elvis' great success was the result of his great ambition combiled with a national marketing effort. The combination of his raw talent, ambition, and marketing made Elvis into a notional icon. The supreme example of American Popular culture ... a culture that is in demand world wide. In Elvis' case, push and shove were in the same direction, propelling him to the top, where no one could challange ... even in his death, Elvis is still the King.

How does a socity create larger than life hero's ... George Washington to Elvis?

Popular Culture... consumed by lots of people, big, not sure how to deal with it. In making of a new nation, the United States need heroes to provide identity for its citizen ... what it ment to be American, not European. Who was the American ? George Washington was a natural choice, "Father of our Country." A land owner, slave holder, map maker (important), military leader, guerrilla fighter ... great military figure ... image grew slowly. Parsons Weans was a writer who make a fortune writing about Washington, the literature that people needed, created the mythical figure of Washington.
Daniel Boone , another mythical figure created by real estate companies to prove that moving west was safe, he killed 200 indians by himself ... what is the reason for such a figure ... Davy Crocket , politician in the mold of Andrew Jackson ... president form Tennessee ... anti-elitists ... Crocket was elected to congress as a populists ... in his canpaign he hired a journalist to writht tall tails about his life, bigger than life ... it was paid political ads ... killed at Alamo, he had come to Texas for free land and got caught up in the war with Mexiaco ... Texas, the only state that was originally a nation. Horatio Alger, tales of an American Dream, poor boy does heoric deed, is discouered, and becomes fabulously weathy ... writing during the 'Guilded Age' ... need a way to justify ... if you were poor, than it must be your fault. American Dream ... An American ideal of a happy and successful life to which all may aspire: "In the deepening gloom of the Depression, the American Dream represented a reaffirmation of traditional American hopes ... through hard work you will be somebody ... missing for lifestyles of today ...
By the 1950's, America was ripe for an evolution to a revolution. The baby-bommers, a generation of American were being raised with leasure time and cash to spend. They were ready for the interlectual battle between pragmatism (Philosophy. A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences) and free thinking. We were going to create a consumer socity, and the people were ready for it.
It was the rebellion of Baby-Boomers against the conformity that their parents represented. The ethic that Monday to Friday was work, Sunday was worship, only Saturday was a day to feel good ... Rock 'n' Roll said that every day was Saturday. The wealth accululating after world war II and the expanding middle class made this kind of rebellion possible. An irony of the Rock 'n' Roll era is an a real way, it was the desire for American Culture that end Communist domination in Eastern Europe, and it was that same culture that American pragamatism was trying to suppress. As it always happens in America, the success of R&R is coopted by the corport culture of big business.
Pop Culture is a trail guide to America ... demonstrated by music, from blues, to Jazz, to Rhythm and Blues ... a heritage for Black Americans


Elvis Aron Presley, b. Tupelo, Miss., Jan. 8, 1935, d. Aug. 16, 1977, did not invent rock 'n roll, he did more than anyone to popularize it, and he was rock's most powerful performer. From the mid-1950s, the "King's" vocal mannerisms, sideburns, and attitude--a combination of sex and sneer--made him an international hero of the young. Presley's success began with his recording of the blues song "That's All Right, Mama," written by the black singer Arthur Crudup. Presley's rendition combined his potent, shouted vocal style with a fast, hard, country-and-western-music instrumental backing. It won considerable attention and eventually a recording contract with RCA Victor. With national promotion, Presley's subsequent recordings became instant hits: "Heartbreak Hotel" in 1956, followed by "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," and "All Shook Up." His concerts and television appearances drew huge audiences, and his 33 movies, which were minor films at best, increased his fame. Even after his death, Presley's cult continues, and Memphis, Tenn., where he is buried, has become a place of pilgrimage. The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp on Jan. 8, 1993, the 58th anniversary of his birth. The printing of 500 million was the largest commemorative issue in the postal service's history.

Bo Diddley ... blackman, electric guitar ... blues gospel, songs all named after him, a real character. Born in Mississippi, grew up in Chicago, signed by Chess Records, did not make much money from his music ... sold rights to his songs for almost nothing, Highway 61 north ...

Louis Armstrong , New Orleans, Jazz Trumpet, played with King Oliver Creo jazz Band, made famous the Jazz soloist ... individual expressiveness, breaking out of the combo to an individual, also famout for his vocals, popularized Skat ... making your voice sound like the instrament ... popularized Jazz, proved that a Jazz artice could be an echonomic success.

Duke Ellington ... self taught, gospel, dance, ragtime, a great natural Blues musician, changes the rules with his creative piano bring Jazz to new hights through his composing, bring Europian music into American own Jazz.
Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington, b. Washington, D.C., Apr. 29, 1899, d. May 24, 1974, was a pianist and orchestra leader and the most prolific composer in JAZZ history. As the leader of his own band, Ellington became a popular New York City jazzman in the early 1920s. From 1927 to 1931, he and his orchestra were the stars of Harlem's famous Cotton Club; Ellington's broadcasts from the club made him a national celebrity. His first European tour (1933), brought him international fame as well. His orchestra featured many of the greatest jazz artists of the time and Ellington's compositions were tailored to their special talents. They created a unique sound and a precision and clarity that won them a reputation as the finest orchestra in jazz. Ellington wrote over 1,000 short pieces--"Mood Indigo," 1930, was his first important hit, and there were countless others; concertos for orchestra and jazz soloist, including "Clarinet Lament" and "Concerto for Cootie" (both 1935); long concert pieces in the jazz idiom, such as "Black, Brown and Beige," (1943); three large religious works; and several movie scores.

Miles Davis , for Illinois, grew up in St. Louis, migrated Jazz to the next level, playing music that was unique each performance. The introduction of long playing records allowed Davis to bring his style of playing to many people, the Birth of Cool, hard bop, be bop, he was always elevating his music, breaking new ground. Miles Dewey Davis, Jr., b. Alton, Ill., May 25, 1926, d. September 28, 1991, was a jazz trumpeter, composer, and bandleader. Davis was one of the most innovative musicians of the 1960s and '70s, helping to establish several important jazz styles. Born to a well-to-do black family, Davis studied at the Juilliard School. He joined Charlie PARKER's BEBOP band in 1945. In 1949-50 his small jazz group made some of the first "cool" jazz records, reflecting a departure from the hard-driving, aggressive bop of Parker. In 1954, Davis's recording "Walkin'" initiated the hard-bop style that dominated jazz for several years. In the 1960s he recorded music that blended rock and jazz elements. His best-selling album, Bitches Brew (1970), signaled his success in extending the boundaries of jazz and established a style that was heavily explored by other musicians throughout the 1970s. In 1981, after a five-year hiatus in his musical activity, Davis returned to performing and recording. Davis's work in the 1980s included the soundtrack to the film Siesta (1987), and Amandla (1989). Davis played with and influenced many talented young performers--most notably John COLTRANE--who later became jazz masters on their own.

Woodie Guthrie , born in Oklahoma, a song writer, newspaper, bad singing voice, was on his own as a teenager, traveled widely, lived by his witts, a man of great contraditions, in California, played on the streets, womenizer, became involved in social movements, IWW, migrant workers, communist party. Left wing, right wing, checken wing, all the same to me. Became a commercial success in New York. Genuinely for the people. A true American. Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie, b. Okemah, Okla., July 14, 1912, d. Oct. 4, 1967, was a folksinger and songwriter who represents for later generations the quintessential folk poet. Guthrie was an itinerant laborer and wandering musician in his youth, and his works--more than 1,000 songs--reflect his life-long involvement with such issues as unemployment and social injustice. His relaxed, ironic, counter-culture style provided a model for later singers, especially Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, and Tom Paxton. Guthrie's songs fall into several broad categories: Dust Bowl Ballads, 12 records made in the 1930s for the Library of Congress Folk Song Archive; political and union songs; songs he wrote in support of various New Deal projects and for the American war effort; and a large group of children's songs. "This Land is Your Land" is perhaps his most famous work. His son, the composer and singer Arlo Guthrie, b. New York, July 10, 1947, continues in his father's profession, although his songs--including the 1967 hit "Alice's Restaurant"--are less overtly political. He played himself in the successful film Alice's Restaurant (1969).

Leadbelly , from La., real Blues man ... traveled in Louisiana and Texas, spent many years in prosion where he developed much of his music. Was discovered by the Lomax's who recorded some of his music. Toured country with Woody Guthery, his music expressed the emotions of everyday life in America. The black singer and guitarist Leadbelly, b. Huddie Ledbetter in Mooringsport, La., Jan. 21, 1888, d. Dec. 6, 1949, spent most of his life as an itinerant laborer and street singer in the small towns of the deep South. Accompanying himself on his 12-string guitar, Leadbelly sang the work songs, blues, hollers, and dance tunes of the black country people of his time. The folk-song archivist John A. Lomax heard him in a Louisiana penitentiary, recorded his songs, and helped obtain his release. Leadbelly came to New York in 1934 and, from that year until his death, sang throughout the country and abroad, both in concert and on recordings. His posthumous influence on the folk music revival of the 1950s and '60s was enormous.

Josh White , folk singer, song writer, with Lead Belly, great singing voice, did not sound like a blues singer, became a big echonomic success, very popular in New York. The Weavers, formed in 1948, were the first folk musicians to achieve commercial success, paving the way for the great popular boom in folk music in the late 1950s and 1960s. Folksinger and banjoist Pete SEEGER and bass-voiced singer Lee Hays, b. Little Rock, Ark., 1914, d. Aug. 26, 1981, had sung in the early 1940s with The Almanac Singers (their members numbered, at one time or another, Woody GUTHRIE, Burl IVES, Josh White, and Cisco Houston),

The Lomax's, Alan and John , well educatied, funded by the Library of Congress to document folk songs in the south. Worked to perserve much of the black music and song in the '30s and '40s. Worked with Lead Belly and Josh WHite ... captured slave culture. The field of American folk song study is founded in the work of John Avery Lomax, b. Goodman, Miss., Sept. 23, 1875, d. Jan. 26, 1948, and his son, Alan Lomax, b. Austin, Tex., Jan. 31, 1915. John was an English professor and banker who studied folklore as an avocation. In the early 1900s, equipped with an Ediphone cylinder recording machine, he traveled the backroads of the Southwest, collecting songs that had never appeared in print before the publication of his book, Cowboy Songs and Other Frontier Ballads (1910). In 1933, with his 18-year-old son, Alan, and with a recorder built into the back of his car, Lomax traveled the South and West again. The results of that trip were published as American Ballads and Folk Songs (1934). The Lomax working materials were given to the newly formed Archive of American Folksong of the Library of Congress, and Lomax was made honorary curator--a post later filled by Alan, who continued to collect and record both in America and in Europe.

Pete Seeger , from wealthy family, fold singer, left home at 19, traveled widely, populist, environmentalest, saved middle of Hutson, involved in communists party in '40s, black listed by committee on unAmerican activities, did not want to be a pop culture star ... "If I had a Hammer, This land is you Land", popularity revived in '60s. 1948 Joe McCarthy ... kill the new deal, black list anyone involved with sociolists party, fold music was communists. American folksinger, composer, song collector, and five-string banjo virtuoso Peter Seeger, b. New York City, May 3, 1919, has been a leading force in the movement to revive the FOLK MUSIC tradition in America. His father, Charles Seeger, b. Mexico City, Dec. 14, 1886, d. Feb. 8, 1979, was a musicologist. Pete's stepmother Ruth Crawford Seeger, b. East Liverpool, Ohio, July 3, 1901, d. Nov. 18, 1953, composed her own music, tightly organized atonal pieces, as well as transcribing and arranging hundreds of folksongs from the Archive of American Folksong. Half brother Michael, b. New York City, Aug. 15, 1933, is a folk-song collector and founder of the New Lost City Ramblers. Half sister Margaret (Peggy Seeger), b. New York City, June 17, 1935, sang as a soloist and with her husband, the Scottish folk specialist Ewan MacColl (1915-89). Pete Seeger left Harvard University during his sophomore year, first to hobo around the United States, then to work in the field with John and Alan Lomax (see LOMAX family), the song collectors. In 1940, Seeger and Woody GUTHRIE organized the Almanac Singers; in 1948, Seeger helped to found The Weavers, a commercially successful folk group and the inspiration for such later groups as the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Seeger recorded more than 50 albums and, after the blacklisting 1950s, appeared regularly in concerts and on television. The many famous songs he composed include "If I Had a Hammer" (written with Lee Hayes), "Kisses Sweeter than Wine," and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone."

Irma Thomas ... New Orleans original, roots in gospel, R&B pioneer, not well recogonized until recently.

Bessie Smith ... great vocolests, blues singer for Tennessee, influenced by minstrel shows traveled widely, 159 recordings, primative sytle, Janice Joplan influence, died in contraversal car accident ... Known as the "Empress of the Blues," Bessie Smith, b. Chatanooga, Tenn., Apr. 15, 1894, d. Sept. 26, 1937, was the most successful female blues singer of the 1920s. She began her career as a singer in honky-tonks and tent shows, but in 1923 went to New York for her first recording session. She was an immediate sensation, and during the succeeding decade she recorded and toured extensively. She was hearty, forthright, and totally uninhibited in her performance as well as in her life. Because of her impeccable rhythmic sense and her ability to improvise around the structural confines of the blues, Gunther Schuller, in his book Early Jazz, calls her the first important jazz singer. The circumstances of her death, in an automobile accident in Mississippi, were the subject of a play by Edward Albee (The Death of Bessie Smith, 1960).

Ellis MARSALIS , professor of music at UNO, father of Winton, Bradford, and other, chair of Jazz studies, There is no Jazz industry ... Jazz is bigger than life, but not well understood. The name Marsalis became known to jazz enthusiasts in 1980-81, when trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, b. New Orleans, La., Oct. 18, 1961, joined Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, and his dazzling technique and genius at improvisation were first heard. The son of jazz pianist and teacher Ellis Marsalis, Wynton studied classical music at New York's Juilliard School. In 1982, he formed his own band with older brother Branford, b. New Orleans, Aug. 26, 1960, a brilliant tenor saxophonist. Wynton has been the only artist to win Grammy awards for both classical and jazz recordings, in 1984, and has since won many other awards for his work in jazz. His recent recordings include 1991's three-volume Soul Gestures in Southern Blue. Branford is not only a fine jazz and classical artist, he is also an accomplished rock musician--he has played with rock star Sting, among others--and a movie actor (Throw Momma from the Train, 1987, School Daze, 1988). In 1992 he joined the Tonight Show as music director for new host Jay Leno. Delfeayo Marsalis, b. New Orleans, July 20, 1965, is gaining renown as a producer of jazz recordings, including Branford's 1992 blues recording.

Fats Domino , Rock 'n' roll progenitor Antoine "Fats" Domino, b. New Orleans, La., May 10, 1929, grew up playing a pounding rhythm-and-blues-style piano and singing in his hometown. Domino's first million-selling record, "The Fat Man," was released in 1949, and he was eventually to record 23 gold singles, most of them during rock 'n' roll's formative years, 1955-60. "Blueberry Hill" (1956) is his most famous recording

Ella Fitzgerald , Jazz singer, Virgenia, American success story, influenced by Harlam Renassance, Jazz singer, couldn't sing the bluse, instremental singer, Scat, 1st Lady of Song, a singer Musician. The singer Ella Fitzgerald, b. Newport News, Va., Apr. 25, 1918, is second only to Billie Holiday in her popularity and in the influence she has had over several generations of pop-music singers. Her career began (1934-39) with Chick Webb's band, which she led for a year after his death. After recording (1938) "A-tisket, A-tasket," she had countless hits, sang with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and other major bands, and appeared as a soloist with more than 40 symphony orchestras. A great scat singer and ballad interpreter, she consistently lifted often trivial material to the level of high jazz art.

Ornette Coleman , Sax, poor backgroun, self taught, "Free Jazz" Style, improvising, invent your own music, brought the blues back to Jazz, Ornette Coleman, b. Fort Worth, Tex., Mar. 9, 1930, is a saxophonist and composer whose ideas have aroused bitter controversy while at the same time obtaining new avenues for avant-garde jazz musicians. Largely self-taught, Coleman began playing alto sax in his early teens. His recording Free Jazz (1960), a 37-minute improvisation for jazz octet on Coleman-composed themes, set the tone for his later work, much of which continues in the improvisational mode. Other works, however, are completely scored compositions: a 21-movement suite for orchestra (Skies of America, 1972), for example.

John Coltrain , piano ... uperclass black family, only chile, speritial music, BeBop, Wanted to solve world probles through his music, in SF Church of John Coltrain ... John William Coltrane, b. Hamlet, N. C., Sept. 23, 1926, d. July 17, 1967, is considered one of the major innovators of contemporary jazz. A saxophonist (tenor and soprano) and composer, Coltrane began his career in big bands, played with Miles Davis in the late 1950s, and formed his own quartet in 1960. He became one of the leaders of a jazz movement, called the New Wave, that sought greater freedom from harmonic and thematic restrictions in improvisation. Coltrane created incredibly sustained periods of improvisation within the confines of a single chord or scale pattern--a style related strongly to Indian musical practice. His influence on modern jazz is considered second only to that of Charlie Parker.

Thelonious Monk , piano, New York, power in one note, fame didn't come until '60s. Played with John Coletrain, styles were very different, but blended well together, studied at Juliard, Beets "Beet Nikes (Sputnick) ... underground Jazz, Pianist and composer Thelonious Sphere Monk, b. Oct. 10, 1918, d. Feb. 17, 1982, was one of the founders of the jazz style that became known as BEBOP. Although he played in bands with Dizzy Gillespie, another bebop originator, and with Coleman Hawkins, most of Monk's work was as a soloist or as the leader of small groups. As a composer he contributed numerous pieces that are still standards in the jazz repertoire. Among them are "Round Midnight" and "Straight No Chaser." Because of his harmonic manipulations, which stretched the boundaries of tonality, he is considered one of the principal influences on avant-garde jazz.

Elvin Jones , less well known, drummer ... most distintive style, played with Coltrain, made the drums into an instrument ... nobody better.

Son House , from Mississippi, mentor of Robert Johnson, Bottle Neck Blues Guitar, played in Jackson ... Blues or Black Church, -- Alan Lomax ... reduicovered in 1960's ... was first a preacher, than a Blues man.

Chuck Berry , from St. Louis, a poet, family man, more popular in Europe, great performer, recorded for Chess Records, played many different types of music, blues, R&R, R&B, C&W ... seminal Rock & Roll musician ... lived a wild life as a teen and young adult, exployted by press ... used to make Rock & Roll star an outlaw, every parrent's worst nightmare ... many soungs about autos, was an auto thief in youth, autobiagraphy is a good book about how it was being a black man in America. Basicly uneducated. "Roll over Beethoven" here comes Rock & Roll ... a revolution ... played at Bill Clenton's inaugural. Charles Edward Anderson Berry, b. Wentzville, Mo., Oct. 18, 1926, is a black American singer-songwriter-guitarist who has been one of the most important influences in the development of ROCK MUSIC. From 1955, the year of his first hit, "Maybellene," Berry's music has characteristically combined blues tunes with wry, country-influenced narratives describing teenage frustration, young love, and fast cars. Such Berry songs as "Roll Over, Beethoven"(1956), "Rock and Roll Music" (1957), "Sweet LIttle Sixteen" (1958), and "Johnny B. Goode" (1958) have become classics of the rock genre.

Robert Johnson ... Hwy 61 ... the Blues Man, jump a train, play some blues, rebelling against slave culture, wanted complete freedom, died at age 27 ... posioned, played the bottle neck guitar, nasel singing, direct link to Aferican music.

Billy Holiday ... from New York, lived a hard life, didn't like being called a blues singer ... influenced by Harlam Resoniance, nickname Lady, through her sining, she make music her own, became a herion addict in later life, The jazz singer Billie Holiday, b. Eleanora Fagan in Baltimore, Md., Apr. 7, 1915, d. July 17, 1959, is ranked by many as the finest vocalist and stylist that jazz produced in the 1930s. The illegitimate child of a jazz guitarist, Holiday's early years were scarred by poverty. After moving with her mother to New York City, she began singing in small Harlem nightclubs and recorded a few songs with Benny GOODMAN and Duke ELLINGTON. But wide public recognition came only with a series of recordings (1935-39) she made with the pianist Teddy WILSON and his band. Her subsequent recordings were almost always accompanied by groups that included the top instrumentalists of the day; among the finest are those she made with the saxophonist Lester YOUNG. Holiday's later career was marred by personal tragedy and by a drug addiction she tried vainly to conquer. She made her final appearance (June 1959) at a benefit concert in New York, where a few days later she was arrested on her deathbed on narcotics charges. Her most memorable recordings include several acid-toned songs, among them "Strange Fruit" (1939), about a lynching in the South and "God Bless the Child" (1941), one of her own compositions, about poverty.

Crockett, Davy Limestone, Tenn., Aug. 17, 1786, was one of America's most colorful frontiersmen and folk heros. Coming from a poor pioneer family, he received no real education as a child but picked up the skills of a hunter, scout, and woodsman. He served (1813-14) under Andrew Jackson in the wars against the Creek Indians. After returning to Tennessee to farm, he was appointed (1817) a local magistrate, an office that required him to learn to read and write more proficiently. Elected a "colonel" in the militia, he also served two terms (1821-25) in the Tennessee legislature, and he defended the squatter rights of his west Tennessee constituents. As a U.S. congressman (1827-31, 1833-35), Crockett won a reputation as an amusing, shrewd, and outspoken backwoodsman, and it was in Washington that the legend of the man as a coonskin-hatted bear hunter, Indian fighter, and tall-tale teller was promoted by his Whig allies to compete with President Jackson's image as a democrat. Crockett's opposition to Jackson's Indian-removal policies estranged him from the Democratic party, and this disagreement cost him his fourth bid for election in 1834. His bitterness over the defeat inspired him to leave (1836) Tennessee for Texas, where he died on Mar. 6, 1836, defending the ALAMO during the TEXAS REVOLUTION.

Alger, Horatio Although he was an ordained Unitarian minister, Horatio Alger, b. Jan. 13, 1834, d. July 19, 1899, is best known as the author of such juvenile novels as Ragged Dick (1867), Luck and Pluck; or, John Oakley's Inheritance (1869), and Tattered Tom (1871). The Alger formula is always the same: a brave but poor youth performs a daring rescue that wins the gratitude and patronage of a wealthy benefactor. Mabel Parker, written in 1878 but published only in 1986, is one of Alger's few novels for adults, but it shares with his works for children a clumsy plot and a multitude of stereotypes. Despite the essential mediocrity of his writings, however, more than 20 million of his books were sold during his lifetime.

Mike Fink , c.1770-1823, an American frontier hero, was a keelboatman on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers whose physical prowess became legendary in oral and written folklore. A formidable brawler dubbed "king of the keelboatmen," he was also known for his skill in telling tall tales.

Billy the Kid was one of several aliases of William H. Bonney, b. New York City, Nov. 23, 1859, a New Mexico outlaw whose short, bloody career became a legend. By the age of 18 he had been charged with 12 murders. While working as a cowhand in the Pecos Valley, he turned to cattle rustling. After the gang he led killed a sheriff and a deputy, he was captured and sentenced to death. He escaped from jail, killing two guards, but was trapped and shot to death on July 13, 1881. A ballet based on his life, with music by Aaron COPLAND, was first performed in Chicago in 1938.

Stax Records the R&B record house, in Memphis, provieded a place for the polished studio sound to be recorded for many aferican-American groups and artices. MoTown Records

Nat Turner , b. Southampton County, Va., Oct. 2, 1800, d. Nov. 11, 1831, led the deadliest black slave revolt in United States history and died for it. Turner, born a slave, became a skilled carpenter as well as an exhorter, or preacher. He believed that he was the chosen instrument of a vengeful God; through violence he hoped to achieve retribution and freedom for his race. Interpreting a solar eclipse as the signal for action, Turner launched his insurrection on Aug. 21, 1831. His following grew to about 70, and at least 57 whites were killed before the revolt was quashed about 4 days later. Turner, captured on October 30, was tried and executed, as 16 of his followers already had been. The insurrection caused hysteria among southern whites, prompting the vengeful killing of many innocent slaves and leading to the enactment of stricter slave codes. It effectively ended any southern sympathy for abolitionism.

Whitman, Walt ... The greatest of 19th-century American poets, Walt Whitman, b. West Hill, Long Island, May 31, 1819, d. Mar. 26, 1892, abandoned his given name Walter when he published (1855) his first book of poetry, LEAVES OF GRASS, which must be counted among the seminal works of American literature. From then on he became "Walt Whitman, an American, one of the roughs, a kosmos," a poet who sought a personal relationship with his readers. The third of eight children, Walt Whitman was born near Huntington, Long Island, on a small farm that the family left in 1824 when they moved to Brooklyn, where his father was an unsuccessful builder, and where Walt attended public schools. At the age of 11 he began to learn printing, a trade with which he remained associated for many years as printer, journalist, and newspaper editor. Although his formal education was limited, he was teaching school in Long Island by the time he was 17 years of age. In 1838-39 he edited a weekly newspaper, The Long Islander, which is still in existence. For the next 10 years Walt drifted from one job to another, often losing newspaper posts because of his political views. He occasionally taught school, wrote short stories and poems for magazines, and edited such newspapers as the New York Aurora and Evening Tatler and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. As a contributor (1848) to the New Orleans Crescent, he made a trip to the South, his first exposure to the vastness of the "States" that he later extolled in his poetry. About 1850 he returned to his family in Brooklyn and, until the death of his failing father in 1855, assisted him in the building business. Paid for, and in part typeset, by Whitman himself, Leaves of Grass (1855), including the famous "Song of Myself," launched his career as a poet. The book did not win universal acclaim, however, because his irregular poetry as well as his candid anatomical references antagonized many early readers. Until the beginning of the Civil War, while revising and expanding Leaves of Grass, Whitman supported himself by free-lance journalism. Late in 1862, Whitman went to the battlefront in Virginia to find his brother George, who had been wounded, and then returned to Washington, where he worked in various government departments. He served as a volunteer nurse to soldiers, Northern and Southern, who were sick and dying in the unhygienic military hospitals in Washington. He supplied his "comrades" with food and other necessities and wrote letters home for them. In Drum-Taps (1865) Whitman printed poems based on his wartime experiences; Sequel to Drum-Taps (1865-66) contained what later became two of his most famous works, "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" and "O Captain! My Captain!" commemorating the death of Lincoln. A prose volume, Democratic Vistas (1871), followed a few years later. Whitman remained in Washington until 1873, when he suffered a paralytic stroke that left him permanently crippled. Moving to Camden, New Jersey, to be near his mother and his brother George, he remained there until his death. Although he never again held a job, he regained some of his former strength and supported himself by printing and selling his own books and writing for newspapers and magazines. Leaves of Grass, which was constantly expanded, slowly became known in the United States and abroad; and Whitman, now acknowledged as a major literary figure, welcomed writers and artists from all over the world to his modest house on Mickle Street, which is today preserved as a shrine. Personally as well as poetically revered, he collected his autobiographical reminiscences in Specimen Days and Collect (1882), which incorporated the earlier Memoranda during the War (1875). Although frequently in great pain after 1885, Whitman continued to write poems and prose pieces. He completed the last revision of Leaves of Grass shortly before his death; he is buried in a tomb, which he designed himself, in Harleigh Cemetery, Camden. Having set himself a difficult task--to create a poetry that would reflect the American melting pot of races and nationalities, the democratic aspirations of the people, and the physical vastness of the United States--to accomplish his goals Whitman replaced traditional English form and meter with a rhythmic unit based on the meaning and natural flow of the lines. The subject matter, like the rhythm, was intended to be as free as the people and included topics usually avoided by the era's poets--commonplace experiences, labor, sexuality. He remains the nation's great celebrator and affirmer of democracy, freedom, the self, and the joys of living.

Dylan, Bob , born Robert Allen Zimmerman in Duluth, Minn., May 24, 1941, is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Dylan was perhaps the most influential voice of the protest era of the early 1960s and is today one of the leading musicians in the field of folk rock. The son of a small-town storekeeper, Dylan taught himself to play the piano, guitar, and harmonica. Influenced by Woody Guthrie and the blues genre, he began his career as a folksinger in 1960. His appearances in New York City's Greenwich Village coffeehouses soon earned him a recording contract. His song "Blowin' in the Wind" became the anthem of the civil rights movement, and the folk protest songs he wrote from 1961 to 1964 seemed to express the hopes and angers of his generation. In 1965, Dylan turned to rock music, and concert tours with his new rock band made him an international celebrity. Dylan's 5-record set, Biograph (1985)--which contains over 50 of his songs written from 1961 to 1981--chronicles the changes in Dylan's musical attitudes: fiery and impassioned in the early years; more personal, withdrawn, and apolitical as the years wear on. Dylan has published a prose and poetry assemblage, Tarantula (1971), has acted in and directed films, and continues to tour and record.

Black Panther party was a militant organization of blacks founded in Oakland, Calif., in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby G. Seale . Panther leaders called upon blacks to arm themselves for a struggle against their oppressors and collected small arsenals. At the same time, the party provided free breakfasts, financed by donations from local merchants and wealthy sympathizers, for children in some ghetto areas. It also opened schools and medical clinics. Several armed clashes with the police occurred. Huey Newton was found guilty of killing an Oakland policeman in 1967, but the conviction was reversed on appeal. He was charged with murder in a street brawl in 1974 and fled to Cuba. Seale and other Panther leaders were accused of torturing and murdering a former Panther whom they suspected of being a police informer, but the jury failed to reach a verdict. Another leader, Eldridge CLEAVER, fled to Cuba and Algeria to avoid imprisonment for parole violation; he later returned, abandoned radicalism, and became a proselytizer for Christianity. The Panthers lost a leader in 1969 when Chicago police made an early-morning raid on a Panther residence and killed Fred Hampton in his bed. The movement declined after quarrels among its leaders increased and as black radicalism waned in the 1970s. Two former Black Panthers were implicated in the Brink's robbery incident in New York in 1981.

Populist ... The Populist party was formed in the 1890s at the culmination of a period of agrarian discontent in the United States. The party traced its roots to the farmers' alliances, loose confederations of organizations that had formed in the South and West beginning in the late 1870s and expanded rapidly after about 1885. The alliances advocated tax reform, regulation of railroads, and FREE SILVER (the unlimited minting of silver coins). In 1890 many candidates who supported alliance objectives were elected in state and local contests. Encouraged by these results, alliance leaders formed a national political party, officially the People's party, but usually called the Populist party. At a convention in Omaha, Nebr., in 1892, the Populists nominated James B. WEAVER of Iowa as their presidential candidate. Hoping to unite Southern and Western farmers with industrial workers of the Northeast, the party adopted a platform calling for government ownership of the railroads and the telephone and telegraph systems; free silver; a graduated income tax; a "subtreasury" plan to allow farmers to withhold crops from the market when prices dipped; the direct election of U.S. senators; immigration restriction; an 8-hour day for industrial workers; and other reforms. In the election of 1892, Weaver received more than a million popular votes and 22 electoral votes, but the Democratic candidate, Grover Cleveland, won the election. Several Populist candidates won election to Congress that year and in 1894. In 1896 the Populist party was overshadowed by the Democrats, who took up the issue of free silver and other Populist goals and nominated William Jennings BRYAN of Nebraska. The Populists supported Bryan but substituted their own candidate, Thomas Edward WATSON of Georgia for the Democratic vice-presidential nominee. The Republican candidate, William McKinley, won the election. As farm prices rose, agrarian protest was defused. The Populist party, unable to broaden its base by winning the votes of industrial workers, split in 1900 over the issue of fusion with the Democrats. Although Watson ran as the Populist candidate in 1904 and 1908, the party's significance all but disappeared after 1908. The term populism, however, continued to be used in U.S. politics to refer to the grass-roots movements claiming to represent the "common people" against big business and industry. Huey Long of Louisiana was a notable populist, in this sense. Populism in recent years has been invoked in presidential campaigns by Fred Harris of Oklahoma, George McGovern of South Dakota, and George Wallace of Alabama.

Jazz ...

Jazz is the only indigenous American musical form to have exerted an influence on musical development throughout the Western world. Created by obscure black musicians in the late 19th century, jazz was at first a synthesis of Western harmonic language and forms with the rhythms and melodic inflections of Africa. The African musical idiom present in black vocal music--SPIRITUALS, the work song, the field holler, and blues--was the structure through which popular tunes of the time were transmuted into jazz. The music was characterized by improvisation, the spontaneous creation of variations on a melodic line; by syncopation, where rhythmic stress is placed on the normally weak beats of the musical measure; and by a type of intonation that would be considered out of tune in Western classical music. (See BLUES for a discussion of this type of intonation.)

In its beginnings jazz was more an approach to performance than a body of musical compositions. The black marching bands of New Orleans, which often accompanied funeral processions, played traditional slow hymns on the way to the cemetery; for the procession back to town, they broke into jazzed-up versions of the same hymns, RAGTIME tunes, or syncopated renditions of popular marches. The instruments in the marching band--a cornet or a trumpet to carry the melody, with a clarinet and trombone to fill in, and a rhythm section of drums or a string bass--formed the nucleus of the first jazz bands, which usually added only a piano, guitar, or banjo.


The earliest recordings identified as jazz were made in 1917 in New York by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band under the leadership of Nick La Rocca. The members were white musicians from New Orleans, playing in a style that they learned from blacks in that city. Although the early jazz artists occasionally cut records, it was only when jazz bands traveled to Chicago and New York City that the music became available nationwide through recordings released by the major record companies. The first important recordings by black musicians were made in 1923, by King OLIVER's Creole Jazz Band, a group that included some of the foremost New Orleans musicians then performing in Chicago: Louis ARMSTRONG, Johnny and "Baby" Dodds, and Honore Dutrey.

Many white groups in Chicago and elsewhere adopted the style, among them the New Orleans Rhythm Kings and the Wolverines, led by Bix BEIDERBECKE. The characteristics of this early style, known as Dixieland, included a relatively complex interweaving of melodic lines among the cornet (or trumpet), clarinet, and trombone and a steady chomp-chomp beat from the rhythm instruments (piano, bass, drums). The texture was predominantly polyphonic. Most bands used no written notation, preferring "head" arrangements agreed upon verbally; improvisation was an indispensable factor.

During the 1920s jazz gained in popularity. The two most important recording centers were Chicago and New York, although all sections of the country were caught up in the dances that were closely associated with the music. The period itself became known as the Jazz Age.

In Chicago the most influential artists were members of small bands like the Wolverines. In New York, on the other hand, the trend was toward larger groups with two or more trumpets, one or two trombones, three or four reeds, plus a rhythm section. The larger groups played in revues and vaudeville shows and in large dance halls and theaters.


As the decade progressed, the performance styles in all groups featured more written arrangements and placed increasing emphasis on solo performance. Representative of the many players who led the outburst of jazz virtuosity that marked the 1920s were Sidney BECHET, Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" MORTON, Coleman HAWKINS, Armstrong, and James P. Johnson. Among the leaders in establishing the sound of the new big bands were Fletcher HENDERSON (with Don Redman, his arranger) and Edward Kennedy "Duke" ELLINGTON. It was Henderson who developed the performance style that became known as SWING, featuring call-and-response patterns between brass and reeds, extensive use of the riff--the repetition of a motif--for ensemble work and as accompaniment for soloists, elaborate written arrangements, and the frequent insertion of improvised solos. Ellington extended the role of bandleader beyond mere arranging and into the area of composition, principally because of his need to provide music for the Cotton Club revues in Harlem. Many of his compositions were popular hits in their own time and have become standards for jazz players.

Another important facet of the jazz scene in New York was to production of vocal blues recordings marketed principally to blacks. Because of the unique form of the blues, many of the best jazz performers were used as back-up artists for the insertion of instrumental "comments" between the sung phrases. The most definitive singer of the period was Bessie SMITH, whose 1920s recordings are considered landmarks of vocal blues.


The dominant idiom of the 1930s and much of the 1940s was swing. Utilized almost exclusively for dancing, the music of the big bands borrowed heavily from the techniques introduced by Henderson. Among the most popular bands were those led by Benny GOODMAN, Glenn MILLER, Woody HERMAN, Tommy and Jimmy DORSEY, and Artie Shaw. As a counterpart of the highly arranged orchestrations of these New York-based bands, a Kansas City swing style developed under the influence of Count BASIE and Bennie Moten that emphasized a blues vocabulary and form as well as tempos of breakneck speed and an overwhelming use of riffs. Among the outstanding soloists associated with Kansas City was Lester YOUNG of the Basie band.


In the early 1940s a rejection of the restrictive arrangements required by big-band style spread among jazz musicians. Under the leadership of Charlie PARKER, Dizzy GILLESPIE, Thelonious MONK, and others, a style known as bop, or BEBOP, emerged on the New York scene.

It represented a return to the small group concept of Dixieland, with one instrument of a kind rather than the sections used by swing groups. Emphasizing solos rather than ensembles, bop players developed an astounding degree of virtuosity. Bop was extremely complex rhythmically; it used extensions of the usual harmonic structures and featured speed and irregular phrasing. It demanded great listening skill, and its erratic rhythms made it unsuitable for dancing. Because of its sophistication, bop resulted in the first breakaway of jazz from the popular music mainstream. The style was adopted by many performers during the 1940s and 1950s but was rejected by others who preferred the more conservative techniques of swing.


One of the most important new jazz styles of the 1950s was known as "cool." Inaugurated by a group of highly trained academic performers under the leadership of Miles DAVIS, cool was a return to the carefully organized and scored principles of swing but without the latter's emphasis on call-and-response and riffing. The ensembles played frequently as an entire unit and included a number of new instruments in jazz: French horn, flute, baritone sax, flugelhorn, and others. The players rejected the emotional emphasis of bop as well as its exploitation of range and virtuosity. They preferred to play in the middle register, utilizing a smooth attack, little vibrato, and largely on-beat phrasing.

Third Stream

Closely allied to cool jazz was the attempt to combine modern classical forms with jazz techniques. The style, known as "third stream," used improvisational segments interwoven with compositions scored for symphony orchestras and chamber groups, including string quartets. Musical forms identified with classical tradition were utilized--fugue, rondo, symphonic development. Polyphony became an important texture, best exemplified by the jazz fugues played by the MODERN JAZZ QUARTET.


The jazz of the 1960s was in many ways a mirroring of the social ferment of that decade. Much of the performance was characterized by a search for freedom from melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic restraints. One of the leaders was Ornette Coleman, whose 1960 album, Free Jazz, set the tone of the decade. It featured eight musicians improvising individually and collectively without predetermined thematic material of any kind. The ultimate result was a breakdown in the traditional framework for improvisation, which had relied for decades on melodic variations based normally on a stated tune or harmonic progression. Cecil TAYLOR and others moved even farther away from traditional jazz practice and used atonality and other dissonances.

The leading figure of the decade was John COLTRANE. In many of his performances he abandoned tonality completely and improvised at length within a single scale structure or over a single chord or mode. His many followers cultivated an almost totally emotional style, extending the expressive range of their instruments to screaming, moaning, and piercing outbursts of passionate sound. As a result, the audience for jazz decreased dramatically and many critics expressed the fear that the art was doomed.


The decade of the 1970s, however, brought renewed interest in jazz, with a revival of many of the older, more traditional concepts and the addition of several new ones. The popularity of big bands, using many of the devices of swing, spread to high school and college campuses. Thad Jones, Mel Lewis, Woody Herman, and Count Basie provided the leadership for this renaissance of big-band style.

Many leading musicians, on the other hand, turned toward a fusion of ROCK MUSIC and jazz, trading on the overwhelming popularity of the 1960s rock innovations. Among the leaders in the fusion movement were Miles DAVIS, Herbie Hancock, Chick COREA, Wayne Shorter, and George Benson. Their music placed great emphasis on the use of electronic instruments, enlarged percussion sections, repeated melodic and rhythmic figures, and relatively long segments performed without any significant harmonic change.

Other leading players like McCoy Tyner experimented extensively with modal themes and drone effects, reflecting the black identification with Eastern religions and spiritualism. Large-scale dissonant compositions for jazz groups gained in popularity under the influence of men like Anthony Braxton and Sun Ra. At the same time, more traditional performers like the New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band found enthusiastic audiences.

The 1980s were years of eclectic additions to jazz language. African music began to penetrate and color the jazz picture, just as in Africa the new "Afro-Pop" combined jazz influences with African sounds and rhythms. Latin-American music--Brazilian music, especially--added another new strain to jazz.

More jazz musicians were classically trained, and many of them, like the MARSALIS brothers, were technical perfectionists. Yet, in contrast to a music that was becoming more difficult and complex, interest was reviving in improvisation, the heart of jazz before the electronic age.