Brett & Kate McKay write: Jazz. It’s the music that many men say they like, but don’t actually know anything about. Which is a shame for a whole host of reasons.
For starters, jazz has had a major influence on most popular music genres in the 20th century — rock, hip-hop, Latin…the list goes on and on. Having an understanding of jazz will give a music connoisseur a deeper appreciation of whatever their favorite genre happens to be.
Second, jazz music perfectly encapsulates the American ideal of collaboration mixed with individuality, and its history is really the history of the country. Born from the music of African-American slaves, it intertwines with so many different facets of modern American life – movies, dance, art, literature, and of course, race. Thus, an understanding of jazz will provide the student of history a fascinating window into 20th century America.
Third, I think it goes unnoticed by lots of folks, but there’s definitely a masculine ethos that underlies jazz. Its emphasis on the solo and improvisation requires a performer to ...