What are the Main Genres of American Music?

"Good" music means something different to everyone these days, and this is highlighted by the growing number of genres and sub-genres that circulate in both mainstream and underground circles. Most of these genres have evolved over the years due to several cultural and societal influences, and this is why every region of the world has…
tom jobim and joao gilberto

A Brief History of Bossa Nova Jazz Music

Jazz is regularly declared an American art form, referred to as the first truly American contribution to the canon of music. In some ways, this is true. Jazz was born in the US, and it flourished and changed with the tides of the nation. But to say that jazz is strictly American, that is, US…
coleman hawkins

The Hawk & The Reed

The tenor saxophone was not generally considered a jazz instrument when Coleman Hawkins took it up at the age of nine. At that time, around 1915, swing music was a developing genre—jazz as a whole was a developing sound, for that matter. Coleman Hawkins is a figure who drifts through the history of jazz as…
art_tatum

Art Tatum – Striding Through Life

Some artists are born for their craft. Perhaps the greatest among musicians—whose very name has become synonymous with virtuosity and genius—is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This towering, Classical era composer demonstrated a capacity for musical genius at an extremely young age, and in a radical, almost supernatural way. The legend regarding Mozart’s transcription of Allegri’s Miserere…
john coltrane live

A Fight And A Love Supreme

The late 50s and early 60s were a turbulent time in both American history, and in the history of jazz.  Much of the established culture was being subverted by civil rights activism, and the world at large was turning its attention to the birth of rock & roll. Here's a crash course in '50's Civil…

Who Is Charles Mingus?

Perhaps the best bass player of all time and one of the most influential composers the jazz genre has ever seen, Charles "Chuck" Mingus successfully left a permanent imprint on the jazz genre for generations to come.  Background Born in Arizona in 1922, Charles Mingus lead a relatively unassuming childhood as the son of an…