Jazz is universally recognized as one of the most iconic music genres in history, having started in the African-American communities as a mixture between blues and modern vibes. It rose to the forefront in the 30’s during the Golden Years, a period when all music genres including jazz managed to touch the hearts of all Americans and people worldwide, thanks to the smart lyrics and infectious rhythms! Many great singers have been inducted into the Hall of Fame thanks to their contribution to jazz and music overall. It is generally acknowledged that jazz as a music genre influenced many others but exactly how? In this article we will try to explore just how much of Jazz can be found in other equally prevalent styles of music.
Rock is one of the many music areas to be influenced by jazz. The end of the golden age of jazz was sometime in the 60’s and 70’s when rock started to take over all the radio stations. Many contend that rock borrowed certain elements from blues, but the truth is that some of the main elements are from jazz. There were many improvisational moments in jazz and these were often taken from jazz directly to the rock stages. Bands like Led Zeppelin would use some of the paces common to jazz rhythms as well as many other elements, like the themes of the songs. One of the biggest rock bands that gave a lot of credit to jazz was The Beatles who were among the first bands to acknowledge this source of inspiration, heard in their early songs.
Hip Hop is one of the most popular music genres nowadays and probably the most similar to jazz. There are so many variations of this music style and the elements taken from jazz range from rhythm to accompaniment and even entire pieces of songs. There are many Hip Hop artists that like to pay a tribute to the old glory days of jazz and they mix their default lyrics with a jazz melody. The resulting song is simply amazing and there are actually many Hip Hop artists that first started as jazz performers. Even some of the major themes that appeared in jazz like oppression, love and social justice can be found in popular Hip Hop songs.
This is another music style that was influenced by jazz and blues alike. This popular genre is considered to be one of the richest styles in terms of lyrics, but Jazz is equally known for having amazing lyrics and approaching sensitive subjects. R&B is a very complex music genre that has also borrowed improvisational moments from jazz and transformed them into whole lyrical works. The rhythms of the R&B are also very similar to jazz, but the overall atmosphere given by R&B is different, thanks to different pace and accompaniment. Overall, the two music genres are very related, and many consider R&B the successor of jazz.