The History and Characteristics of the Jazz Combo

Harmony Cardenas

Jazz is an American artwork variety whose roots day again to the mid-19th century slave tracks and chants. The early 20th century noticed the art kind blossom as instrumental audio in the southern United States, primarily along the Mississippi river and especially New Orleans, Louisiana.

Early instrumental jazz combos of New Orleans various in instrumentation.  A lot more frequently than not, these early jazz teams usually consisted of trumpet, clarinet, trombone, tuba and drums.  This instrumentation became what is recognised as the “dixieland” combo, producing its way up the Mississippi river to Chicago wherever the audio turned popularized by jazz greats these as Louis Armstrong.

Dixieland combos can be assumed of as groups that engage in “polyphonic” improvisational new music.  Each individual instrument is unbiased of every other instrument, with every single player making different musical improvisations dependent on identified melodies, or “tunes” of the working day.

The gamers of these early jazz combos every had a independent role inside the group.  The trumpet player was depended upon to point out the melody of the track, even though the clarinet would improvise advanced lines earlier mentioned him.  The trombonists job was to improvise or “fill in” the middle sign-up with strains and notes that were being vital to the chord adjustments of the song by itself.  The tuba player (or bass participant) normally laid down root notes (and 5ths) of each chord on beats 1 and 3 of each and every measure.  The tuba served as the harmonic anchor for the group. Finally, it was the drummers part to preserve absolutely everyone with each other by maintaining a regular conquer all over the entirety of the music.

As jazz audio made all over the 1940s and 1950s, jazz combo instrumentation began to grow to be extra standardized.  The jazz “quintet” and “sextet” grew to become very well-liked for the duration of this time.  The quintet consisted of trumpet and alto (or tenor) sax as the principal melodic devices although the rhythm part (piano, bass and drums) took treatment of rhythm and harmony. 

The sextet additional a trombone to form what primarily was a a few horn entrance line, with rhythm portion accompaniment.  The further melodic instrument of the sextet made it probable for the horns to add additional harmonic depth to the sound of the group.  Every single instrument had a purpose not only as a melodic voice, but also as an integral element of the harmonic framework as effectively.

Modern jazz combos consist of a range of instrumentation – 4, 5 horn combos are prevalent area.  As the group grows in sizing having said that, the identify “combo” is changed by “band” or “small big band”. 

The jazz combo has delivered a musical and innovative outlet for numerous musicians in excess of the final 100 several years.  The jazz combo carries on to provide jazz musicians the option to operate jointly to make new music not only as a group but also to create their very own voice as personal jazz improvisers.  It is, and in all probability generally will be, the excellent automobile for studying the artwork of jazz improvisation.

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