Music That Fans of Jazz Will Love

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

Looking for some new music to add to your collection? Check out our recommendations for music that fans of jazz will love. From classic artists to modern innovators, there’s something for everyone.

Introduction to Jazz

Jazz is a musical genre that originated in the African-American communities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is characterized by syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, and the use of original melodies. Jazz has been described as “the sound of America,” and its influence has been felt across the world. If you’re a fan of jazz, or if you’re looking to get into the genre, here are some essential tracks that you should check out.

What is Jazz?

Jazz is a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, United States. It originated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and developed from roots in blues and ragtime. Jazz is seen by many as ” America’s classical music”. Since the 1920s Jazz Age, jazz has become recognized as a major form of musical expression. It then emerged in the form of independent traditional and popular musical styles, all linked by the common bonds of African-American and European-American musical parentage with a performance orientation. The word “jazz” first entered print in 1915.

Where did Jazz come from?

Jazz is a music genre that was created in the early 20th century in African American communities in the United States. The style originated from a combination of European and African musical traditions. Jazz is characterized by syncopated rhythms, polyphonic ensemble playing, and the use of improvisation.

Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African American folk music. Its earliest predecessor was the ragtime music of Scott Joplin, Joseph Lamb, Jelly Roll Morton, and other composers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ragtime was asyncopated music, meaning that the melody was not played on the downbeat of each measure but rather on the second and fourth beats. This gave the music a flowing, syncopated rhythm that was different from the march-like quality of most European classical music.

The Different Types of Jazz

Jazz is a type of music that originated in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation. Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions.

Dixieland Jazz

Dixieland jazz is a style of jazz music that developed in New Orleans at the start of the 20th century. The first use of the term “Dixieland” as a musical genre was in the name of the Original Dixieland Jass Band, their 1917 recordings which popularized the style.

Dixieland is characterized by a fast tempo, ensemble improvisation, and a strong focus on collective improvisation led by horns playing melodic motifs. It also features a contrapuntal polyphonic structure with Jelly Roll Morton’s player piano compositions being early examples. The style is commonly seen as having been influenced by African American music, French Louisiana Creole music, and Western swing.

As with all jazz styles, there is no one definitive Dixieland sound, but important elements include a front line consisting of trumpet and clarinet playing improvised melodic lines supported by trombone and saxophone playing countermelodies; rhythm section instruments including piano or banjo providing chords over which the melody is played; and bass and drums propelling the rhythm forward while also providing countermelodies and rhythms themselves.

Swing Jazz

Swing jazz is a type of jazz that was popularized in the 1930s and 1940s. It is characterized by a strong rhythm section, solo improvised melodies, and often starts with a trumpet or saxophone playing the melody. The best known swing band was probably Duke Ellington’s orchestra. Ellington’s music is still popular today and his band played a significant role in the development of jazz.

Bebop Jazz

Bebop jazz is a style of jazz that developed in the early 1940s. It is characterized by fast tempos, complex chord progressions, and often employs chromaticism. Bebop jazz was developed by musicians who were trying to create a more modern sound and break away from the traditional constraints of swing music. Bebop jazz often features solos that are based on improvisation, and it is known for its fast tempo and complex harmonic structure.

Hard Bop Jazz

Hard Bop is a subgenre of Jazz that developed in the mid-1950s, strongly influenced by Bebop, Swing music, R&B, and Gospel music. Hard Bop was also an extension of the experimental bebop style that arose in the 1940s. Hard Bop jazz departed from the complex harmonic structures of Bebop jazz, using strong blues progressions that gave the music a solid and driving feel. The fast tempos and blues based tunes of Hard Bop attracted young musicians who were looking for a more accessible form of Jazz.

Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins were some of the key figures in the development of Hard Bop. Brown and Rollins in particular were highly influential, creating what is known as the Brown-Roach sound; a perfect blend of strong melodies, soulful phrasing and hard-driving rhythms.

Cool Jazz

Cool jazz is a style of jazz that emerged in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It is characterized by a relaxed, mellow sound and an emphasis on technique and composition over improvisation. Cool jazz often features complex harmonic structures and intricate melodic lines, and it is often played at a slower tempo than other forms of jazz.

Some of the most famous cool jazz musicians include Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, and Paul Desmond. Cool jazz has had a major influence on subsequent styles of jazz, including mainstream jazz and javelin.

Modal jazz is a style of jazz that was developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The term “modal” refers to the use of modes, or scales, in the composition of the music. Modes are simply scales with a different starting note, and they have been used in Western music for centuries.

Modal jazz was popularized by Miles Davis, who recorded the album “Kind of Blue” in 1959. This album is considered one of the greatest jazz albums of all time, and it features some of the most famous modal Jazz compositions, such as “So What” and “All Blues”.

Other well-known modal Jazz recordings include John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” and Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints”. Modal Jazz is often characterized by long, flowing melodies and a laid-back feel. If you’re a fan of Jazz, then you’ll love modal Jazz!

Free Jazz

Free Jazz is a type of jazz where the musicians improvise freely, without worrying about adhering to any specific chords or melody. This style of jazz can be traced back to the 1950s, when musicians such as Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor began pushing the boundaries of what was possible within the genre. While some fans of more traditional forms of jazz may find Free Jazz to be chaotic and unlistenable, others find it to be exciting and full of energy. If you’re looking for something different and experimental, then Free Jazz might be for you.

Avant-Garde Jazz

Avant-garde jazz is a style of music that was popularized in the 1950s. It is characterized by its experimental nature and its use of unusual time signatures and harmonic progressions. This type of jazz often uses elements from other genres, such as classical music, rock music, and folk music. Avant-garde jazz musicians often strive to create new sounds or to improvise new ways of playing jazz.

Some well-known avant-garde jazz musicians include Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, and Anthony Braxton.

The Best Jazz Albums of All Time

If you’re a fan of Jazz, you know that the genre has produced some of the best music of all time. From the early days of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis to the more modern sounds of Herbert Grover and Wynton Marsalis, there is a lot of great Jazz out there. But what are the best Jazz albums of all time?

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue

Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
This 1959 release is one of the most influential jazz albums of all time, and many fans consider it the best. It features Davis’s legendary band — with John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb — and cemented Davis’s reputation as one of the genre’s greatest innovators.

John Coltrane – A Love Supreme

Recorded in late 1964 and released early the following year, John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme is a spiritual and musical landmark. It’s one of the most influential jazz albums ever recorded, and its impact can still be felt today, more than 50 years later.

A Love Supreme is a suite in four parts, each of which is built around a different chord progression. The first part, “Acknowledgement,” is based on the simple but powerful opening chord of E minor 7th. The second part, “Resolution,” features a more complex chord progression in F minor.

The third part, “Pursuance/Pursuance 2/Psalm,” is where things really get interesting harmony-wise. The section starts with a ii-V-I progression in D minor (the “pursuance” chord progression), before moving into a section based on a ii-V-I progression in G major (the “pursuance 2” chord progression). Finally, the section ends with a return to the D minor ii-V-I progression, this time followed by an extended vamp on an Em7b5 chord (the “psalm” chord).

The fourth and final part of the suite, “Psalm/Epilogue,” begins with a return to the Em7b5 vamp from the end of the previous section. This time, however, the vamp is followed by a glorious sojourn through the key of A major, featuring some of Coltrane’s most beautiful and lyrical playing on the album. The section ends with a reprise of the opening E minor 7th chord from “Acknowledgement,” bringing the suite full circle.

A Love Supreme is an essential album for any fan of jazz. It features some of Coltrane’s best playing on record and showcases his genius as both a composer and arranger. If you’re new to jazz, or if you’re looking for an entry point into Coltrane’s vast catalogue, this is the perfect place to start.

Charles Mingus – The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

Mingus is one of the most prolific and important jazz bassists and composers of all time, and this record – his magnum opus – is a perfect example of his genius. The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is a concept album that tells the story of an erotic encounter between two people, and it features some of Mingus’s best writing for large ensemble. The record is complex and challenging, but also incredibly rewarding – it’s one of the best jazz albums of all time.

Ornette Coleman – The Shape of Jazz to Come

Ornette Coleman’s groundbreaking album The Shape of Jazz to Come was released in 1959 on Atlantic Records. The tunes on this record are some of Coleman’s most famous and iconic, including “Lonely Woman” and “Peace”. This record is considered by many to be one of the best jazz albums of all time, and it cemented Coleman’s place as one of the most innovative and important jazz musicians of his generation.

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

Miles Davis – Bitches Brew

If you’re looking for the best jazz album of all time, you can’t go wrong with Bitches Brew by Miles Davis. Released in 1970, this album changed the landscape of jazz forever and is still considered one of the most influential albums in the genre. With its deep grooves and soulful melodies, Bitches Brew is an essential album for any fan of jazz.

Wayne Shorter – Speak No Evil

Wayne Shorter’s third album as a leader, Speak No Evil is an all-time classic. It features Shorter’s iconic composition “Footprints,” which has become one of the most recorded jazz standards of all time. The album also features the standouts “Infant Eyes” and “Dolores,” which showcase the lyrical beauty of Shorter’s saxophone playing. With Miles Davis on trumpet and Elvin Jones on drums, Speak No Evil is one of the all-time great jazz albums.

Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage

In 1965, Herbie Hancock released his fifth album as a leader, Maiden Voyage. The record was a hit with fans and critics alike, and it ended up being one of the most influential jazz albums of all time.

Maiden Voyage is notable for its use of modal jazz, a style of jazz that employs extended harmony, often based on scales or modes instead of chord progressions. This gives the music a more open feel, and it allows the soloists to explore the harmony in interesting ways.

The album also features some of Hancock’s most memorable melodies, including the title track and “Dolphin Dance.” The band is top-notch, with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, saxophonist George Coleman, bassist Ron Carter, and drummer Anthony Williams forming a powerhouse rhythm section behind Hancock’s inventive piano playing.

If you’re a fan of jazz, or if you’re simply looking for some great music to listen to, Maiden Voyage should definitely be at the top of your list.

McCoy Tyner – The Real McCoy

If you’re a fan of McCoy Tyner, then you need to check out The Real McCoy. Released in 1967, this album is a true work of art. From the very first track, “Passion Dance,” you’ll be hooked. The entire album is filled with beautiful jazz tracks that will make you fall in love with the genre all over again.

Miles Davis – In a Silent Way

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of In a Silent Way in the development of jazz fusion, an electric, experimental style that would come to dominate the genre in the 1970s. Recorded over two days in February 1969, the album saw Davis working with a group of young musicians who would go on to become some of the most revered names in jazz, including Chick Corea, Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams.

The result was an album that was both groundbreaking and hugely popular, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard jazz chart and cementing Davis’ reputation as one of the most innovative and influential musicians of his generation.

Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners

This isn’t just one of the best jazz albums of all time, it’s one of the best albums, full stop. Pianist and composer Thelonious Monk was in a class of his own, and this is his masterpiece – an album of staggering originality that influenced generations to come. It’s complex, challenging and completely mesmerizing from start to finish.

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