Acid Jazz: the Disciplined Child of Jazz
Jazz was a direct derivative of spiritual music. Jazz represented the freedom not only in the physical form but in thought. As African Americans slowly progressed from slavery, through reconstruction, lynching, and Jim Crow, artists started to express themselves in ways those living in North America had not seen. This expression through music created Jazz music. As Jazz music began to influence artists on a global scale, there was more focus to blend in with mainstream music.
Jazz was wild, free and untamed!
Dave Brubeck said, “Jazz is about freedom within discipline. Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.”
The history of Acid Jazz involved two groups of musical movements. The first was disc jockey DJ’s releasing rare jazz tracks, particularly from the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. These tracks included live recordings and performances by American artists touring in Europe, and other not so known artists. The second was DJ’s mixing these conventional jazz tracks with electronic, percussion and other club beats. Groups were inspired and influenced by these jazz recordings and focused on creating a groove and consistent rhythm method to music. Something to dance to! Free but not as conventional jazz. Thus this was the creation of Acid Jazz, bringing the beauty of jazz into the dance club.
Acid jazz uses components of jazz, blues, funk and electronics. Jazz was considered the foundation of live musical creative expression. Acid Jazz implemented a lot of percussion, live music, and specifically a consistent melody so it was danceable. The focus on keeping a dance groove aligned it with funk, club music, and now hip hop.
Acid Jazz in simple terms is jazz, but rhythmic enough to dance to. It combines the electronics, club beats and percussion with the unique freedom and precision of jazz.
The last element is adding a lyricist/vocalist that sings and raps. Acid Jazz combines many elements of all genres but has the electronics combined with live instruments that have been a part of jazz since the beginning.