I remembered the first time I listened to Miles Davis; it felt so inescapable, mystical, a true enigma as if through each note there is a piece of a story that manages to unwrap itself, a warmth that takes hold of us, this alluring attractiveness to such a unique art form. Improvisation takes hold of the music a sense of moving time, where instruments can individually express their artistic property. It's seen throughout popular culture on numerous occasions, it almost becomes mundane to us, from movies like La La Land to influences in today's mainstream music and such prevalence in the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s, the question is why did it matter and continues to matter? Or has it simply become a forgotten genre that clings on to any remains of momentousness?
Jazz infiltrated practically every facet of American culture during the 1920s. It had an impact on everything from fashion and poetry to the Civil Rights movement. To make it simpler to dance to jazz music, the fashion style was altered. Jazz influenced poetry as well, with jazz poetry emerging as a new genre throughout the period. Jazz music has the same depth of emotion and improvisational vibe as these lyrics. The women's liberation movement was a watershed point in American culture, thanks in part to jazz's influence. As dance halls and jazz clubs grew in popularity, more women had a space to express their dissatisfaction with traditional gender roles. They were free to use any language and dress they wanted. At the same time, it provided them with an opportunity to meet other like-minded ladies for the first time.
Additionally, Jazz music had an essential role in the Civil Rights Movement and is an influential part of African American history. Enslaved Black people's work songs gave birth to the music genre during a time when community and self-expression were paramount. While governments and people fought to repress the Black political voice over the centuries, jazz emerged as an outlet. Form household names like Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Charles Mingus, and Duke Ellington. They composed the Civil Rights Movement's soundtrack. Record labels and television networks tried, and sometimes succeeded, to silence these musicians, but the impact of music evoking the emotions of the Black Freedom movement could never be silenced.
Some consider jazz to be the only actual American musical form. What began as a unique style has evolved into a variety of genres in American culture. Jazz has influenced rock, R&B, hip-hop, pop, and other genres. Hip-hop develops all of the aspects of Jazz, such as captivating rhythms and strong melodies, into something new. Improve, or freestyle is a recognized technique in hip-hop that lets rappers express their thoughts and feelings with their music on the fly, much like it is in Jazz.
Jazz is one of those forms of music that everyone who hears, whether they are similar or not, feels something. As a method of expression and a means of bringing people together, jazz has played a significant role in American culture and history. What started as a way to escape reality evolved into a way to express oneself.
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