In its earlier days, ‘jazzing’ meant ‘having sex,’ a ‘jazzbo’ was a lover of ladies, while ‘a jazz baby’ was an easy woman.
According to the grapevine, Clarence Williams was the first songwriter to use the word “jazz” in a song and somehow, it just got stuck in the lingo of that time, going on to be the name of one of the world’s greatest genres of music.
Fact Two: Jazz is drawing from the largest number of influences, including everything from African rhythms, to European Chamber Music to modern day pop elements.
Fact Three: Some of the greatest dance forms to have originated from jazz—Truckin’, The Shimmy, The Lambeth Walk, Charleston and Black Bottom.
Fact Four: Most jazz musicians will agree that Louisiana has out the greatest volume of jazz musicians and instrumentalists in the world.
Fact Five: The jazz’s most famous quote of what the definition of jazz was, Louis Armstrong famously stated, “If you’ve got to ask, then you’ll never know!”
Fact Six: The Saxophone is quite easily one of the most distinct jazz instruments around but it never found a place in the genre until 1920. Previously cited as a Belgian instrument reserved for chambers and orchestral performances, it was America’s 6 Brown Brothers who brought it to the limelight in jazz as recording stars
Fact Seven: Jazz portrays an unusual duality as far as music genres go. While today most people consider it a genre of the elite and well-established, its roots are quite the opposite. It truly evolved from the oppressed lifestyle of the Black community in America and plenty of vulgarities as can be noted by the origin of the word itself.
Fact Eight: Jazz musicians have their own words they use to describe their music, include the following terms:
Axe – A term for a musical instrument
Blow – The term for playing an instrument.
Bread – money.
Cat – A jazz musician.
Chops – A way to describe someone who can play an instrument well.
Crib – Where the musician lives or sleeps.
Dig – To know or understand something.
Finger Zinger – Someone who can play very fast.
Gig – A paying music job.
Hep – A term used to describe someone who is cool.
Hot plate – A really good recording of a song.
Jake – A term meaning “okay.”
Lid – A hat.
Rusty gate – A jazz musician who isn’t very good.
Scatting – Improvising words to a song that are nonsense syllables.
Sideman – A member of the band, but not the leader.
Skins player – The drummer.
Tag – The end part of a song.
Fact Nine: The United Nations named April 30th as the official International Jazz Day.
Fact Ten: W.C. Handy was considered the true ‘Father of the Blues’ since he laid the foundation for both blues and jazz. Scott Joplin became the pioneer for ragtime and Dett became known as the premier face for classical piano jazz.