To New York And Chicago

The history of jazz may have its origins in New Orleans around the turn of the century, but the music really took off in the early 1920s, when trumpeter Louis Armstrong left New Orleans to create a revolutionary new music in Chicago. Likewise, the migration of artists to New York shortly thereafter heralded a permanent shift from South to North. Chicago was to take the music of New Orleans and make it hot, turning up the temperature not only with Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven bands, but with others as well, including such artists as Eddie Condon and Jimmy McPartland, whose Austin High gang helped usher in a revival of the New Orleans school. Others included pianist Art Hodes, drummer Barrett Deems and clarinetist Benny Goodman.

Armstrong and Goodman eventually made their way to New York, helping create a critical mass that has served the city well, making it the jazz capital of the world. And while Chicago was a recording center, it was New York that truly became the center not only of recording but of performing as well, ushering in such legendary clubs as Minton’s, the Cotton Club and the Village Vanguard, and such performance arenas as Carnegie Hall. Bebop was born in New York City, created and played by such luminaries as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk.

During the 1960s, alternate performance opportunities allowed for even more creative music to surface in both cities. In Chicago, the emergence of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM) and a variety of loft-type venues nurtured a new kind of rough, in-your-face avant garde, headed up by musicians such as saxophonist Fred Anderson. In New York, the loft scene was defined by all manner of musician, especially during the 1970s and ‘80s, offering up players as diverse as saxophonist Sam Rivers, members of the World Saxophone Quartet and the Vanguard Orchestra.

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May 2024
Stefon Harris
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