The 20’s was without any question of a doubt, the Jazz Age! Against new wealth contrasted with poverty and desperation, blues and jazz grew and took root as never before with African-Americans, white Americans as well as audiences from the far corners of the world.
Advances in the recording industry and radio broadcasts made this a fully-fledged music genre. From acoustic guitar buskers on the streets of Texas towns to the more classic blues that women sang in smart theatres backing jazz musicians as well as New Orleans trumpeter orphans to would-be Dukes from black Washington. Listeners and dancers reacted with enthusiasm to a newly-charged atmosphere of creativity and motivation.
By the end of the 20’s the centre of jazz had shifted from Chicago to New York – here Duke Ellington was leading the way forward with the “jungle music’ created by his upmarket Cotton Club Orchestra while Armstrong who returned to New York in 1929 and Bix Beiderbecke also fresh from Chicago were setting the tempo for young trumpeters the likes of Henry ‘Red” Allen and Jabbo Smith.
The variety and litheness of jazz music is due in part to the high standard of its artists and with a long line of immensely gifted and creative players and bandleaders throughout the ages such as Louis Armstrong, Cole Hawkins, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker as well as a plethora of other artists has ensured that jazz has continue to move along and develop into an astonishing music genre and in unparalleled directions never remaining in one place long enough to become stale.