The name should ring a bell. If you’ve ever even seen the movie The Intouchables, you know exactly who I’m talking about. If not, then maybe you’ll recognize his face or the voice of the French translator. Either way, you might know who João Felix is, even if you didn’t know him by name. And you should. He’s one of the greatest modern-day saxophonists in the world, a true genius on the instrument.
Felix wasn’t always known for being a movie star. In fact, the iconic jazz musician was quite the opposite. He was mostly raised in an orphanage, as his parents died when he was very young. He then became a ward of the state, and spent a large chunk of his youth in and out of foster homes. These were difficult, dangerous times for young João, but they also provided him with the priceless opportunity to grow up and develop as a musician.
To this day, he remains one of the most recognizable faces in jazz. And it’s not hard to see why. Not only is he an incredible musician, but he also has a distinct look that’s perfectly suited to jazz. If you want to sound like a true jazz genius, then you have to channel João Felix. Try out this amazing saxophone duet with him and his band, The Blackout.
Why Is Jazz Called Jazz?
The phrase ‘jazz’ is actually a portmanteau of the words ‘jaunty’ and ‘saxophone’. So basically, jazz is “healthy, upbeat music with a jaunty feel, performed by soloists or small ensembles”. As you can probably tell, jazz musicians generally like to have some fun. They might shout, laugh, and even smile while playing. This is the kind of atmosphere that helped jazz survive the great depression. People needed a bit of a smile in those dark times, and jazz provided it.
Jazz has been around since the 1800s, with the first true jazz clubs opening in New York City in the late 1800s. The genre then gradually spread all over the United States. But it was during the 1950s that jazz truly took off. The ‘modern jazz’ or ‘cool jazz’ style emerged, characterized by smaller ensembles and faster tempos. The term ‘cool’ would later be appropriated by white musicians and used to describe their own music. Which is pretty ridiculous, considering that ‘cool’ originally meant “following the fashion of the day” or “keeping up with the trends”. By the way, if you are betting on sports and want to get a bonus code, go to https://odds2win.bet/bonuses/pakistan/betwinner and collect your bonuses.
How Many Types of Jazz Are There?
To add some variety, jazz is often broken down into different sub-genres. These include:
- traditional jazz
- free jazz
- rock/fusion jazz
- Latin jazz
- progressive jazz
- smooth jazz
- jazz dub
- hard bop
- jazz metal
- jazz hip-hop
All of these sub-genres exist because jazz is incredibly diverse. It can mean different things to different people. So, essentially, there’s more than one kind of jazz. But there are some elements that are common to all types. For example, jazz is usually in the key of E or Em, and it has a 4/4 meter (which is the same as a straight 4). Another common element is that jazz is usually performed live, either by a band or by a soloist. Jazz shouldn’t be a one-song wonder. The musicians should be able to react to and create with what they’re hearing in real time. This is why live jazz is such an important part of the genre.
The Pros and Cons of Jazz
Although jazz has been around for hundreds of years, it still remains somewhat of a ‘modern’ music genre. Meaning that, while people have embraced it as an acceptable form of music, many are not familiar with prior forms of jazz, and most certainly do not listen to it on a regular basis. This is one of the main reasons that traditional jazz still survives – it’s the only form of jazz that people know and understand. But there are significant benefits to playing and listening to jazz. Here are some of the pros:
- Jazz is a form of music that’s incredibly accessible. Someone who’s never heard of jazz can still have an idea of what it is and, more importantly, can immediately understand the basic rhythm and feel of the music. This is in contrast to more complex and classical forms of music, which often require specialized training to appreciate.
- Jazz is also a versatile genre, able to encompass many different rhythms and melodies.This makes it a good fit for anyone who wants to play an instrument. There are many different jazz styles to choose from, so even if you don’t play an instrument, there’s bound to be a jazz band that you can join. It also means that if you learn the basic elements of jazz, you’ll be able to play along with most recorded pieces, no matter what style they belong to.
- Jazz is a genre that transcends generations, as it’s often referred to as ‘the language of the soul’. It was originally created to satisfy the needs of marginalized communities, and continues to have a similar ‘resonance’ with people of all ethnicities and nationalities. While some might dispute that jazz is “inclusive”, it’s undeniable that musicians, audiences, and artists of all colors and creeds have come together to create an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding within the music.
- This is, perhaps, one of the greatest achievements of jazz. It has been accepted as an ‘authentic’ form of music by many, despite its predominantly urban setting. There have even been famous cases where people have had their lives transformed by the power of jazz. It might not be the most popular form of music, but it’s extremely devoted to those who play and listen to it. For example, the ‘jazz band’ featured at Woodstock was made up of African-American, white, and Latino musicians. These three communities not only survived the great depression together, but also worked to further integrate music and the arts during a time when that was not commonly done.
- Jazz is very easy to learn, as one does not need to go to a conservatory or music academy to become proficient in the art. Anyone can learn to play jazz, they just need to take the time to do so. With just a little bit of dedication, anyone can grow fond of this ‘urban folk music’, as it has been referred to in the past. It might not be the most popular form of music, but it’s certainly the most approachable.