Latin jazz  

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"In the 1930s, the "Latin invasion" that had begun with the tango took off again when American jazz, dance music, and popular song were revolutionized by the "discovery" of other music forms of the Caribbean, Central and South America, a process that was triggered by a significant influx of migrants to the United States from Cuba, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands in the 1940s. The blending of Latin rhythms and instrumental jazz was pioneered by established American musicians like Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie and by recently-arrived 'Latin' musicians like Machito and others, some of whom soon became stars in their own right. Latin beats rapidly became an essential part of the rhythmical vocabulary of American popular music, providing composers and musicians with a vastly enhanced repertoire of beats and meters. During the 1930s and 1940s, newly appropriated Latin music genres created a series of music movements and dance crazes, including the merengue, the samba, and the rumba." --Sholem Stein


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Latin jazz is the general term given to music that combines rhythms from African and Latin American countries with jazz harmonies from Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe and United States.

The two main categories of Latin Jazz are Brazilian and Afro-Cuban.

Contents

History

One of the contributions of Latins (Latinos in Spanish) to America, Latin jazz gained popularity in the late 1940s.

Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton began to combine the rhythm section and structure of Afro-Cuban music, exemplified by Machito and His Afro-Cubans, whose musical director Mario Bauza created the first Latin jazz composition "Tanga" on May 31, 1943, with jazz instruments and solo improvisational ideas. On March 31, 1946, Stan Kenton recorded "Machito", written by his collaborator / arranger Pete Rugolo, which is considered by many to be the first Latin jazz recording by American jazz musicians. The Kenton band was augmented by Ivan Lopez on bongos and Eugenio Reyes on maracas. Later, on December 6th of the same year, Stan Kenton recorded an arrangement of the Afro-Cuban tune The Peanut Vendor with members of Machito's rhythm section.

In September of 1947, Dizzy Gillespie collaborated with Machito conga player Chano Pozo to perform the "Afro-Cuban Drums Suite" at Carnegie Hall. This was the first concert to feature an American band Afro-Cuban jazz and Pozo remained in Gillespie's orchestra to produce "Cubana Be, Cubana Bop" among others.

Differences with traditional jazz

In comparison with traditional jazz, Latin jazz employs straight rhythm, rather than swung rhythm. Latin jazz rarely employs a backbeat, using a form of the clave instead. The conga, timbale, güiro, and claves are percussion instruments which often contribute to a "Latin" sound.

Sub-types of Latin jazz

Samba originated from nineteenth century Afro-Brazilian music such as the Lundu. It employs a modified form of the clave. Bossa Nova is a hybrid music based on the samba rhythm, but influenced by European and American music from Debussy to US jazz. Bossa Nova originated in the 1960s, largely from the efforts of Brazilians Antonio Carlos Jobim and João Gilberto, and American Stan Getz. Its most famous song is arguably The Girl from Ipanema sung by Gilberto and his wife, Astrud Gilberto.

Playing style

Latin jazz music, like most types of jazz music, can be played in small or large groups. Small groups, or combos, often use the Be-bop format made popular in the 1950s in America, where the musicians play a standard melody, many of the musicians play an improvised solo, and then everyone plays the melody again. In Latin jazz bands, percussion often takes a center stage during a solo, and a conga or timbale can add a melodic line to any performance.





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Latin jazz" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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