Definition of jazz noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//dʒæz//
; NAmE NAmE//dʒæz//
Styles of music
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  • [uncountable] a type of music with strong rhythms, in which the players often improvise (= make up the music as they are playing), originally created by African American musicians a jazz band/club traditional/modern jazz jazz musicians the rising stars of the New York jazz scene CollocationsMusicListening listen to/​enjoy/​love/​be into music/​classical music/​jazz/​pop/​hip-hop, etc. listen to the radio/​an MP3 player/​a CD put on/​play a CD/​a song/​some music turn down/​up the music/​radio/​volume/​bass go to a concert/​festival/​gig/​performance/​recital copy/​burn/​rip music/​a CD/​a DVD download music/​an album/​a song/​a demo/​a videoPlaying play a musical instrument/​the piano/​percussion/​a note/​a riff/​the melody/​a concerto/​a duet/​by ear sing an anthem/​a ballad/​a solo/​an aria/​the blues/​in a choir/​soprano/​alto/​tenor/​bass/​out of tune hum a tune/​a theme tune/​a lullaby accompany a singer/​choir strum a chord/​guitarPerforming form/​start/​get together/​join/​quit/​leave a band give a performance/​concert/​recital do a concert/​recital/​gig play a concert/​gig/​festival/​venue perform (British English) at/​in a concert/(especially North American English) a concert appear at a festival/​live go on/​embark on a (world) tourRecording write/​compose music/​a ballad/​a melody/​a tune/​a song/​a theme song/​an opera/​a symphony land/​get/​sign a record deal be signed to/​be dropped by a record company record/​release/​put out an album/​a single/​a CD be top of/​top the charts get to/​go straight to/​go straight in at/​enter the charts at number one see also acid jazz CulturejazzJazz is one of the greatest forms of music originating in the US. The names of its stars are known around the world. Most people have heard of stars like Ella Fitzgerald, 'Count' Basie, 'Duke' Ellington and Louis Armstrong. Wynton Marsalis, who plays in the traditional style, is one of the best-known jazz musicians today.Jazz was begun in the South by African Americans. Many of its rhythms came from the work songs and spirituals (= religious songs) of black slaves. New Orleans street bands first made jazz popular. Early forms of jazz created at the beginning of the 20th century were ragtime and the blues. Ragtime musicians included the singer 'Jelly Roll' Morton and the composer and piano player Scott Joplin. Famous blues singers included Bessie Smith and later Billie Holiday. Dixieland developed from ragtime and the blues and made a feature of improvisation (= making up the music as it is being played), especially on the trumpet and saxophone. Dixieland stars included Louis Armstrong and Sidney Bechet.In the 1920s many African Americans moved north, taking jazz with them, and Chicago and New York became centres for the music. This was the beginning of the big band era. In the 1930s swing music came into fashion and people danced to jazz. Radio and the new recording industry helped to make it even more popular. The big bands were led by Basie, Ellington, Woody Herman, Glenn Miller, and ‚the King of Swing‘, Benny Goodman. In the 1940s there were new styles such as bebop, developed by 'Dizzy' Gillespie, Charlie 'Bird' Parker and Thelonious Monk. Freer forms like progressive jazz and free jazz developed in the 1950s with stars including Stan Getz, John Coltrane and Dave Brubeck. Cool jazz followed in the 1960s, led by Getz and Miles Davis. More recent styles have included funky jazz, jazz-rock and hip-hop jazz.In Britain jazz attracts a small but enthusiastic audience. The height of its popularity was in the 1940s and 1950s, when large crowds gathered to hear big bands. British jazz has always been heavily influenced by US jazz. In the 1960s pop and rock music replaced jazz as the music of the young generation. There are now few jazz bands, although smaller combos (= groups) continue to play a wide range of trad (= traditional), bebop, cool and avant-garde jazz. The most famous British jazz musicians have included Johnny Dankworth and Cleo Laine, George Melly, Humphrey Lyttleton and Courtney Pine. The home of jazz in Britain is Ronnie Scott's club in London. See related entries: Styles of music
  • Word Originearly 20th cent.: of unknown origin.Idioms (informal) and things like that How's it going? You know—love, life and all that jazz.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: jazz