This article appears courtesy of David Meeker and the Library of Congress. Learn more about Jazz on Screen. Overview of Jazz on the Screen By David Meeker The cultural, sociological and technical histories of jazz and motion pictures have run in parallel, sometimes intersecting, lines ever since both forms emerged at the end of the nineteenth century. Neither found it easy to be accepted as a legitimate form of personal or artistic expression. The early days, spent at the very fringes of respectable society, were difficult in each case. Film grew up in vaudeville ...read more
It is no coincidence that jazz emerged around the same time that Edison invented the phonograph. Both jazz and recording by electrical impulses were among the early signs of modernity. Furthermore, jazz is an improvisational form of music that is composed as it is performed, and, unlike classical music with its well-tempered scale and relatively uniform standards, jazz is almost impossible to notate in more than its barest outlines. The only viable way to preserve it is on recordings. Recordings are the footprints of the jazz Goliath as it wends its way through time. However, unlike live performances, the only ...read more
When listening to recorded jazz music it's easy to take for granted the dynamics of what took place behind the scenes in the recording studio. The final listening experience is the culmination of meticulous skill, creativity, and hard work, of not only the performing musicians but also skilled technicians who work diligently to capture the essence of the music that we hear.
Technology has changed both the playing and recording field. All genres of music have been affected to varying degrees by technology and the changing nature of the industry. Whether in the performance, the recording, the mixing, or the ...read more