One of the most familiar genres of music is jazz and everyone would have experienced jazz music at some point in their lives and it never fails to raise strong emotions within the player and the listener. The main recognisable characteristics of jazz music are the swing notes, the offbeat accents, the polyrhythms and, of course, the use of improvisation.
Back to the Beginning
The jazz genre has really stood the test of time and even today you can find it everywhere you go, including in the hotels near Osterley. Its journey began in the late 1800’s when music from the continent of Africa was combined with the music of the settlers to produce styles such as Ragtime and blues. It developed from there and New Orleans jazz began in 1910, using an instrument playing the main melody while a range of instruments, such as a bass, a clarinet and drums, improvised around the soloist.
From its southern roots, jazz made its way to Chicago and Chicago-style, or Hot jazz, was born, with Louis Armstrong and his band being the faces of this style. This type of jazz inspired Bix Beiderbecke who became one of the most influential jazz musicians that the music world has ever known. In 1927, two of Bix’s recordings, including “I’m Coming, Virginia”, shows how Bix’s unique style and improvisation skills gave birth to the jazz ballad style, a style that later became cool jazz in the 1950’s and influenced musicians such as Miles Davis. The latter half of the 20th century saw jazz become a mish mash of styles such as blues, funk and rock and the 80’s and the 90’s saw jazz go through an experimental stage. Today, jazz styles have a huge range. That span from the traditional to the “anything goes” style, incorporating all different musical styles such as classical, rhythm and blues to create a unique sound.
The London Jazz Scene
As one of the major capital cities in the world, London has a huge number of jazz clubs and many live music scenes to choose from that showcase some of the best contemporary artists from around the world. Situated a mini tube ride away from the Park Grand London Heathrow, The Spice of Life Soho has been a popular venue since the 1960’s, where great folk musicians, such as Bob Dylan and Cat Stevens, have performed. In the punk era of the 1970’s, The Sex Pistols and their followers were regulars at The Spice of Life and in recent years, Jamie Cullum has played at The Spice of Life’s Jazz Club which has become a very popular venue for jazz lovers.
Leave the hotels In Hounslow East behind and head to The Spice on a Wednesday and Thursday night to sample the delights of Open Mic nights; a wonderful evening of drinks and music from rising Jazz stars all in a cosy setting. The Spice also hosts a Jazz Lunch where there are an array jazz styles performed by the best jazz bands and vocalists from all over the world.