So let’s get something out of the way first. If you aren’t as big of a fan of jazz as you’d like to be, it might simply be because of one reason; you weren’t exposed to all genres of jazz.
This isn’t an exaggeration though. Jazz isn’t just the smooth, one-rhythm tune that you’ve heard on the radio or during Christmas time on TV. Jazz has always been about improvisation, about adding something new to the mix, about being daring. Original jazz tracks had long solos, fast tempos that ebbed and flowed, advanced scales and chords, multiple instruments that somehow came together to create magic.
Yet, for some time, all that the world was exposed to was a simplified style of music. You could say that maybe it was done to introduce the masses to jazz. However, it did more harm than good.
With a world obsessed with the shock factor and daring music, the simplicity of jazz was simply too boring for them. And that caused some people to make quick judgments about the genre. Nevertheless, for those who recognized the potential that jazz had, they dug deeper. And thankfully, found a treasure trove of music that had been there for them since the 1920s.
The Balancing Act
We won’t get into the nitty-gritty of it all because it’s simply too complex.
Yes, we know that some people think of jazz as smart-people music. And when those same people aren’t able to understand this style, they become offended. After all, if jazz is indeed such an all-encompassing genre, why isn’t it appealing to them!
Nevertheless, this is a simple misconception. Jazz isn’t just limited to highly intelligent people, although some could argue that the reason why some intellectuals might prefer jazz is because they like the complexity of the rhythm.
The reason why jazz appeals to some, and not others, is preference. For example, whereas some people might find the improvisation of the music to be highly refreshing, for others, it might disturb the balance. No two brains are wired the same. Some prefer balance, order, repetition in all aspects. When they listen to jazz, they feel uncomfortable, because it goes against what they prefer.
So Why the Bad Name?
Simply stated, it’s because Jazz – mainstream jazz – has a lot of stereotypes surrounding it, and some of those baseless rumors and generalizations do end up affecting our tastes. This is why we must understand the basis of jazz.
Like any other genre of music, jazz is a language. And if we want to understand it, appreciate it, we must make an effort to understand it well.
Start with the classic style of jazz; Dixieland jazz!
Hire a live jazz band like Razzmajazz for your next event, and bring in some experienced jazz musicians to jazz things up. We offer jazz band services in Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington and in numerous areas in Texas. Call us today at (877) 218-1148.