Although most of the singers were female there were

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Unformatted text preview: Sweat and Tears and “Rikki Don’t Lose that Number” by Steely Dan Smooth Jazz Smooth Jazz is a type of fusion that is one of the most commercially successful forms of jazz in the early 21st century. Musicians typically combine layered synthesizer and rhythm tracks with “live” performance of instruments such as soprano sax, electric keyboards, percussion and guitar into a highly polished recording. The total “ensemble” sound is more important than the individual parts, and improvisation is minimal. Because the resulting sound flows steadily with minimal contrasts (such as change in dynamics), it is unobtrusive and similar to New Age music, and is hence sometimes described as ‘aural wallpaper.’ Very successful musicians in this category include Joe Sample, Kenny G, Marc Antoine, David Sanborn, Bob James, Dave Koz, and Keiko Matsui. Once again, consider comparing these two examples for the “African- American” and “White” contributions to jazz. Listening Examples: Joe Sample’s “Spellbound” and “Songbird” by Kenny G KEY MUSICIANS 27 Jazz has one of the longest and richest histories of any music genre in the United States. There are literally hundreds of “key” musicians who have contributed significantly to its development. Choosing the top five is an extremely difficult task, nevertheless, I have chosen musicians I believe most jazz fans would agree are worthy for selection here, and am hopeful that including the work of additional musicians in the other sections of this book will be at least a bit compensatory for the notable exclusions. You are encouraged to explore on your own the many additional musicians whose contributions and influence on jazz have been important. Louis Armstrong Known as “Satchmo” or “Pops,” few people could argue that Louis Armstrong is one of the most important musicians in jazz history. Indeed, he played the major role in its creation. Born in New Orleans in 1901, he came of age as jazz emerged and was among the first to record in the 1920s. A virtuosic trumpet player as well as a unique singer (he apparently invented “scat” one night when he was singing a song and forgot the words), he had a tremendous influence on subsequent jazz musicians. In addition to his incredible musicianship, he was very charismati...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014.

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