Jazz and History

(18) Jazz in New York 

Thomas Fats Waller


James Fletcher Henderson


George Gershwin

At the end of 1910's, Jazz had just arisen in New York, the largest city in the U.S. A technique mixed Ragtime piano and Blues was born. This technique is called "stride" that a player takes rhythm with a left hand.

During 20's, Fats Waller gained a reputation with this technique. He has been considered as an original that one sings along with playing piano, and was the greatest pianist in Harlem.

In New York, Fletcher Henderson and his band established big band style. Once Louis Armstrong and Coleman Hawkins were Henderson's band members.

On the other hand in 1924, George Gershwin held first Jazz concert in New York. He presented "Rhapsody in Blue", and this was the first experiment to play Jazz in a form of concert. Moreover, this concert was an important historical event that Jazz has influenced on classical music since then.

Cotton Club
Cotton Club, a famous fancy club opened in 1922, and the white people came to listen Jazz played by the black people. In 1927, Duke Ellington and his orchestra became exclusive band to Cotton Club. The photo seemed to be end of 30s after it moved to Broadway.

At first, King Oliver refused to be Cotton Clubs' house band since he could not reach an agreement with the club over money.

Cotton Club closed in 1940.

Duke Ellington(1899-1974) at Cotton Club

Ironically, this fact resulted in Ellington's band to be the house band and to acquire fame.

Many new melodies were introduced one after another. Followings were released earlier:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
I've Got The World On a String
Stormy Weather
Don't Worry 'bout Me

Currently, Cotton Club sites on 656, West 125 St., but it is not original. However you can enjoy Blues, Jazz, Gospel and other hot performances every night with charge between 1,500 yen to 3,000 yen.

[translated by Mariko Ukawa]

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