One cannot write or talk about an art form without serious analysis
of the numerous socio-political conditions responsible for its creation
and development. The development of Jazz and its effect upon popular
music in the United States and the rest of the world are the direct
result of the African slave trade and the African Diaspora in the
United States. This unique musical art form initiated by African/Americans
during the latter part of the 19th century is probably the most influential
musical phenomenon produced on the North American Continent.
"Jazz is a music which has its roots in a life of insecurity, in which a single
moment of self-realisation, of love, light and movement, is extraordinarily more
important than a whole lifetime. From a situation in which violence is endemic,
where a man escapes a police bullet only to be cut down by a knife-happy African
thug, has come an ebullient sound more intuitive than any outside the US of what
jazz is supposed to celebrate - the moment of love, lust, bravery, incense,
fruition, and all those vivid dancing good times of the body when the now is
maybe all there is."