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1950’s West Coast Jazz

Jazz is a form of music that arose in the early 20th century and it is mainly attributed to African American communities. Jazz has since significantly evolved and consists of a range of music from ragtime to the present date. Jazz considerably makes use of polyrhythms, swug notes, improvisation and syncopation. Jazz is perceived as an American origin art of music. As jazz grew and gained worldwide acceptance, it evolved into many different and distinct styles.

Before 1950, New York was the centre and hub of the American jazz scene but in 1950 new sound known as the west coast cool or west coast jazz started emerging from California and generated both controversy and excitement. Dave Brubeck was at the centre of it all and his aim was to modernise jazz music from the traditional nature as depicted by the New York jazz. The 1950s west coast jazz begun as a movement that later gained its popularity in the United States of America.

Overview of 1950s west coast jazz

There was an emergence of many jazz styles in the 1950s and many people did not know how to describe them at that time. Some of the arrays of styles of modern jazz that were evident in the 1950s are described by cool jazz, hard bop and west coast. Most of the people believed that the west coast jazz was just an imitation of bop with some additional earthly quality known as funk that was believed to be outsourced from gospel and blues. Contrary, the 1950s west coast jazz was not only limited to imitation but encompassed young and talented musicians trying to exploit their musical capabilities and forming their musical styles that were not based on the traditional New York jazz styles.

West coast jazz was significantly criticised as the music for the whites and was restricted to a particular region. The west coast jazz was also criticised of losing the original styles that were based on African American community. The African American perceived the rise of the west coast jazz as an imitation and a form of piracy that was meant to cut the original African American jazz music out of the market.

Impact of emergence of 1950s west coast jazz

This controversy developed a significant confusion among the fans and some resulted in looking at the differences between the west coast jazz and the traditional form of jazz rather than looking at the concept in the music to comprehend the styles and the music.