Thursday, 10 December 2009
The Melting Pot
From the limited research that I've done it just seems to me that the jazz explosion from the beginning of the century to the end of the War seemed almost inevitable. It seems widely acknowledged that the music was born in the city of New Orleans which, by all accounts, was a thriving metropolis by the turn of the century. The socio-political-economic brew of the times enabled this young, brash and improvisational artform to thrive. The U.S. was still a very young country, had just come through a devastating civil war and was still expanding its territory. It's probably fair to say that it was only finding its feet in the world economically at the beginning of the century. New Orleans was itself a port where many immigrants from around the world congregated. Jazz took the form of the blues and provided the entertainment, hence the upbeat nature of all the dixieland tunes that I've been listening to lately. It was a celebration of individuality. An expression of freedom in this expanding republic.