Four decades of Jazz and Blues 1910–1950 (AQA A2)
Background and overview of jazz from 1910 to 1940, with essay preparation and suggestions for listening.
Since this is a dauntingly vast subject, I think that it is important to provide students with a clear, if necessarily simplified, overview of the period. To this end, I provide a compact, but hopefully fairly comprehensive summary of the origins of jazz – which I hope will help in the answering of various types of question. Then I focus on three specific types of question that have typically been set for this area of study, with guidelines on how to answer them and recommended musicians and repertoire. In the third of these, which deals with the careers of Louis Armstrong and Charlie Parker, I look into two historically significant recordings (Louis Armstrong’s ‘Alligator Crawl’ (1927) and Charlie Parker’s ‘Ko-Ko’ (1945) in greater depth – these would also prove excellent examples in the answering of various general questions.