A Jazzy Adventure! (Jazz Music Encore)

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Today’s episode kicks off our April Jazz theme on The Music Podcast for Kids! We hope you enjoy this encore presentation of Jazz Music. Mr. Henry and Mr. Fite travel through time to learn all about the history of jazz. Learn about the different styles of jazz that evolved throughout time. Even learn about Mr. Henry’s and Mr. Fite’s experience of playing jazz music! Be sure to leave a review wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks so much for listening!

Listening Challenge Answers:

Which style of jazz do you hear?

  1. Dixieland Jazz
  2. Free Jazz
  3. Jazz Fusion
  4. Bebop Jazz

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Let the music begin in 3, 2, 1... Learning music, having fun. That’s what we’re gonna do. Mr. Henry, Mr. Fite, exploring along with you. Learning music, having fun. That’s what we’re gonna do. Mr. Henry, Mr. Fite love hanging out with you. The Music Podcast for Kids!

Hello and welcome to The Music Podcast for Kids we're your hosts Mr. Henry and Mr. Fite - Music educators extraordinaire! The Music Podcast for Kids is a fun and educational podcast where we learn and explore the best subject ever - music!

In today’s episode, we are learning about Jazz Music.

And now, the music joke of the day. We love jokes, so if you have a joke, please visit our website themusicpodcastforkids.com to submit your joke. And guess what? It doesn't even have to be a music joke; it can be any joke. We will read and enjoy your joke on the podcast and also let everyone know who it came from and where you are in this great big wonderful music world.

Our joke of the day is

What do you get when you cross a sweet potato and a jazz musician?

A Yam Session!

Make sure to send in your jokes by visiting our website themusicpodcastforkids.com a link to the website can be found in the show notes.

And now, the music word of the day.

Bruce: Before we get to our main focus of the day, Jazz, let's take a look at the music word of the day: Improvisation!

Bill: Improvisation is a fancy smancy word for making something up on the spot.

Bruce: The word improvisation can be used for a variety of art forms. We can see improvisation in drama and comedy, dance and of course…. Music.

Bill: You can improvise when playing jazz, blues, and many other genres.

Bruce: In the 1500s through the 1700s there were many performers entertaining people in the streets of Italy. Performers would come up with a basic storyline, but mainly make up the parts during the performance

Bill: That’s right they would improvise! A mime is a popular type of street actor and will typically improvise while interacting with the crowd.

Bruce: Dancers will also improvise quite a bit. Break dancing is usually completely improvised during a performance. A dancer may have some ideas….. but the order in which they perform the dance moves are improvised.

Bill: The tango also relies on improvisation and is encouraged. Many of the moves ARE practiced but, high-level of dancers also use improvisation.

Bruce: Ok, onto Music. Music can be improvised in a variety of styles. Let's take a look at jazz. Listen to this sample of a saxophone performing with drums, piano, and bass. The saxophone in this section does not have any music notes to read…he is just making them up! That is improvisation!

Bill: Next is the blues: take a listen to the piano player improvising with the 12 bar blues……. Nothing is written down. He is just performing anything he wants!

Bruce: In rock music, we often hear the electric guitar taking a solo. Let's take a listen….. At that point, the guitar player is given the opportunity to play whatever he wants. He had to practice a lot to become this good.

Bill: Awesome! And that’s the:

Together: “Music Word of the Day!”

Thank you so much for listening. We hope you are enjoying the show so far. Please subscribe to the podcast to receive the latest episodes and leave a review through iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. Also, get updates on what we are up to through Facebook and Instagram by finding us at Music Podcast for Kids. Links will be found in the show notes. On to the show!

And now, the main subject of the day.

Bill: Jazz came about a long time ago in New Orleans from African American communities during the 19th and 20th centuries. That’s over 100 years ago!

Bruce: Jazz music typically has a swinging beat…..like this (drums play). That is what gave jazz its unique sound and style.

Bill: There are many different styles of jazz, so let’s take a journey from the beginning to now. To the music time machine!!!

Br: Wait, you have a music time machine?

Bill: Yessir, Mr. Fite. Check it out, it’s the Time Travelling Honda Civic 3000.

Br: No way, the Time Travelling Honda Civic 3000.

Bill: You bet ya, 4 cylinders or pure time travel. It can go 0-60 in about a hundred years….ago… wait that doesn’t sound quite righ…..

Bruce: (looking inside) Oh cool, it has cup holders and everything.

Bill: Oh yeah it does. Ok, let's get in. Start this bad boy up, punch in the time 1910. New Orleans.

1910: New Orleans. Dixieland Jazz. Yes, this is where it all started. Typically you would hear instruments like the trumpet, trombone, clarinet with a rhythm section. The rhythm section would have at least two of the following instruments: guitar or banjo, upright string bass, piano, and drums.

Bruce: Pretty cool stuff. Love that Dixieland sound. Do you think we could stop for some Gumbo…I’m kinda hungry.

Bill: Oh no, we have no time to waste!

Bruce: No time to waste? But we are in a time machine. We have all the time in the world!

Bill: No, no we must get to the next destination. The 1930’s. Swing Bands! (dials in) and gooooooooooo

Bill: In the 1930s big band swing was rockin. It was created for people to dance to! The band grew bigger with more trumpets, trombones, saxophones and definitely had a rhythm section. The rhythm section included the piano, bass, drums, and sometimes guitar.

Bruce: Good stuff. It definitely makes me want to dance.

Bill: Yeah me too! Ok, onto the next stop! The 1940’s! Wooooahahahhhhhahah

Bill: In the 1940s bebop arrived. Bebop has super fast tempos. Tempo is the speed of music and Bebop was the fastest out there.

Bruce: It was created by musicians who were looking to perform challenging music. Dizzy Gillespie was well known for getting the bebop style of jazz in place.

Bill: They would have to practice and play a bunch to get that fast! Wow!

Bruce: That is the fastest playing I’ve ever heard.

Bill: I know right! Ok, the next stop is a little later in the 1940s…when the music chilled out a little.

Bruce: Oh chilled out…. Does that mean we can stop for ice cream?

Bill: Ice cream? No no no, ok let me punch in the numbers. Here we goooooo!

Bill: Later in the 1940s, Cool Jazz was born. Cool jazz is a calmer, slower, and smoother sound. They would hold notes out longer, and longer and longer and…. Hey, do you think you could end that note there? How is he holding that note for so long? (music stops). Oh, well thank you. Miles Davis was well known for his cool jazz trumpet solos.

Bruce: That is pretty….cool (drum set hit)

Bill: Yes, Mr. Bruce, thank you for that. Ok onto the 1950s! Goooooooooo

Bill: In the 1950s, free jazz was introduced.

Bruce: Free jazz? You mean no one paid for it anymore?

Bill: Oh no no. People paid for it all right. Free Jazz has an unusual sound for many reasons… but one reason is because of the different meters. So for example, if we listen to this swing beat and I count to four, it fits perfectly (1234)…but in free jazz, you may hear something like this….the meter could change from 3 to 4 to 5…all over the place. Let's listen. That would allow musicians to freely play anything they want, and experiment with different sounds, progressions, melodies, and so on. They were thinking outside the music box.

Bruce: You mean they used a music box in free jazz? (music box plays)

Bill: Oh boy…No no no… I mean…oh forget it. Let's move on. It’s time to get to the 1960s! Woooooahhhhhhh.

Bill: In the 1960s-70 jazz fusion or sometimes called “jazz-rock” fusion was born.

Scientist (In a scientist's voice) Ah yes, fusion. Is the process of combining two or more distinct entities into a new whole. For example, binaural fusion (drops the background) is the cognitive process of combining the auditory information received by both ears. Nuclear fusion: multiple atomic nuclei joining to form a nucleus lighter than the combined input nuclei. Or Cold fusion, a hypothesized type of nuclear reaction that would occur at or near room temperature…

Bill: Hey who is this guy?

Bruce: Oh, that’s my scientist buddy babbling about fusion again.

Bill: Hey, um Mr. Scientist guy… um well, we are talking about Jazz Fusion…not Binaural fusion.

Scientist: Jazz Fusion? Hmmmmm? Interesting.

Bill: Ok, the word fusion deals with mixing two things together. So during this time, rock and jazz music were mixed together to create what we know as fusion. Fusion focused around improvisation and used rock and electronic instruments heavily. Ready for the next stop?

Bruce: You betcha!

Bill: What about your scientist friend?

Bruce: Oh he will be OK here…I think he is going to study more about jazz fusion.

Bill: Well Ok! To the ’80s. Here we gooooooooooooo.

Bill: In the 1980s, smooth jazz was introduced. Many times the saxophone played the melody with a sweet smooth sound.

Bruce: Artists like Kenny G, the yellowjackets, and many more were popular during this time. Onto the 2000s! Woooooahhhhhh!

Bill: In the 2000s- Latin and Afro Cuban jazz were being performed and could be highly rhythmic using a variety of percussion instruments and sounds like the drum set with cowbell, woodblocks.

Bruce: Woah those are some cool sounds!

Bill: Super cool! Welp, I guess it’s about time to travel on back. Back to the fu…

Bruce: Woah I think I just saw the younger version of myself! Wow, I looked so young….and

Bill: Come on Mr. Bruce. Back into the Time Travelling Honda Civic 3000. Gotta learn about what's cookin' in the jazz world now! Woooooahahhhahahahaha.

Bruce: Nowadays we find all types of jazz music. Kids and adults learn how to play the earlier jazz music and combine all different styles together. You may even have a jazz band in your elementary, middle, or high school! Phew, we learned a lot about the history of jazz today.

Bill: We sure did.

Bruce: What’s your favorite style of jazz?

Bill: Oh tough to say, I do like them all. Bebop is fun to listen to, though…all those fast notes! What about you Mr. Bruce?

Bruce: Welp…I’d have to say cool jazz.

Bill: Oh yeah, well why is that?

Bruce: Because it keeps me thinking about ice cream…specifically mint chocolate chip ice cream .it’s the best…the cool minty taste with the combination of a sugar cone on a hot day just chillin’ to the cool jazz

Bill: Oh boy….

The Music Podcast for Kids is brought to you by brucefite.com. Our very own Mr. Bruce Fite has truly fun and educational songs to listen to and sing along to. Music can be purchased through Facebook, CDBaby, and other downloadable websites. Stream Bruce’s music through Spotify, Amazon Radio, or wherever you listen to music. Bruce also performs live events. Visit brucefite.com for more information about his music and booking live events.

Time for the super-duper music challenge. It’s time to test your ears. Test your ears? I don't think you can really give your ears a test Mr. Henry. I mean how do your ears hold a pencil without bleeding? Oh no Mr. Fite, when I say test your ears I mean listening to something and trying to figure it out through hearing it. Oh right of course. Time to play the music podcast for kids super duper music listening challenge. A little bit long of a title? We’ll have to work it out. Okay onto the challenge.

For today's challenge, we are going to listen to some jazz music and you have to figure out which style of jazz it is. I will give you two options. Here is number 1. Is this Cool Jazz or Dixieland Jazz? Number 2 is this Free Jazz or Swing Jazz? Number 3. Is this Jazz Fusion or Afro Cuban Jazz? and number 4. Is this Dixieland Jazz or Bebop? To check your answers, go to the show notes. We hope you did an awesome job

Just Chattin’:

So Bruce we talked about jazz and the different styles. Have you ever played in a jazz band? Yes, but I wouldn't call myself a jazz musician. When I was in college they had a jazz band and they welcomed me into the group. I played guitar and it was really kind of learning on the job. Like they didn’t expect much which was kind of nice. It lowered the pressure. But they taught me a lot. They challenged me with the scales in the playing the standards. That was something I appreciated that we played a lot of the jazz standards. Coltrane, things like that. Cool and soloing and you would do solos? Yeah, and they had me do some solos. It was just to kind of feel that pressure of you know you're on. And you know whatever. I had a professor that talked about making mistakes and he used to say when you improvise you really don't make mistakes yeah you just made a decision you didn't think you were going to make and you keep on moving. And it was kind of nice because I think it kind of took the pressure off oh I messed up a note or whatever. Music can be so precise. Improv is just like having a conversation. You mess up a word or whatever, but no big deal. yeah, you just keep going yeah yeah. How about you? We did have a jazz band towards the end of my high school career and I played the drum set in that band. That was fun you know just playing standards. It was a very small school so there weren't many of us. Then in college, I auditioned for piano and drums and was lucky enough to play both of those. So I would actually kind of like switch off in between songs. Wow yeah. And then towards the end of the college career, I was starting to play in so they had a big band and then they had an octet which was just eight players. And so I was able to play drums for that and then sometimes would play piano as well. But then we got a good friend of mine, he was a really good piano player and jazz piano player. And also he was always the guy doing the piano on that which is really cool. So which was nice for me because I like playing the drums too. So it was really cool playing with him. So in and then we would actually play, the three of us there was him, which was Phil and myself and a kid named Ben who's a really good bass player. And we started to kind of play some stuff just the three of us. Like a trio. It was a lot of fun. And then even today the band I play with we play pop music but we did a lot of jazz stuff as well. Just standards and that was a trio. then we had a saxophone player right so yeah. Speaking of good players, my wife and I, we had an opportunity to go to Puerto Rico for a couple of days. It was a gift someone gave us. And a guy there has a restaurant called a piano bar and he toured with the Beach Boys for ten years and when he retired from that he opened up his own restaurant. We came in and played. Like we were sitting there like oh my goodness and he was phenomenal. All original music, original jazz. And he actually used a melodica keyboard. He had it set up on top doing the left-hand right. It was so it was really cool to see right there in front of you. Like this guy who traveled the world, he was just so relaxed. I love what you said about the improv part of jazz because that is like it's so much fun to do and you don't really think about it differently than you know making sure you get all the notes right. so yeah good stuff. Love it.

Time to wrap it up, folks! Thank you so much for tuning in to the Music Podcast for Kids. We hope you enjoyed the show, and most importantly, learned something cool today about music. Remember to send in your jokes or even a topic in music you would like us to discuss by visiting our website themusicpodcastforkids.com. Please visit iTunes to leave a review of the podcast and also share the podcast with friends, relatives, aliens, whoever! Again we thank you so much for tuning in!

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