Jazz is a musical art form which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States from a confluence of African and European music traditions.
From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th century American popular music. Its West African pedigree is evident in its use of blue notes, improvisation, polyrhythms, syncopation, and the swung note but one of jazz's iconic figures Art Blakey has been quoted as saying, "No America, no jazz. I’ve seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn’t have a damn thing to do with Africa".
Jazz : 20th century original American music
1910s - New Orleans Dixieland
1930s and 1940s - big band-style swing
1940s - bebop
1950s and 1960s - Latin jazz fusions such as Afro-Cuban and Brazilian jazz
1970s - jazz-rock fusion
1980s - developments such as acid jazz, drum 'n' bass.
As the music has spread around the world it has drawn on local national and regional musical cultures, its aesthetics being adapted to its varied environments and giving rise to many distinctive styles.
(source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jazz)
(September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967) An American jazz saxophonist and composer working in the bebop and hard bop idioms early in his career, Coltrane helped pioneer the use of modes in jazz and later was at the forefront of free jazz. He was astonishingly prolific: he made about fifty recordings as a leader during his recording career, and appeared as a sideman on many other albums, notably with trumpeter Miles Davis and pianist Thelonious Monk. As his career progressed, Coltrane's music took on an increasingly spiritual dimension. His second wife was pianist Alice Coltrane, and their son Ravi Coltrane is also a saxophonist.
He influenced innumerable musicians, and remains one of the most significant tenor saxophonists in jazz history. He received many awards, among them a posthumous Special Citation from the Pulitzer Prize Board in 2007 for his "masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz."
(source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Coltrane)
(May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, and composer. Widely considered one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century, Miles Davis was, with his musical groups, at the forefront of several major developments in jazz music including cool jazz, hard bop, free jazz and fusion. Many well-known jazz musicians made their names as members of Davis' ensembles, including John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Cannonball Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, Tony Williams, George Coleman, J. J. Johnson, Keith Jarrett and Kenny Garrett.
On January 16, 2002, his album Kind of Blue, released in 1959, received its third platinum certification from the RIAA, signifying sales of 3 million copies.
(source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miles_Davis)
(October 11, 1919 – October 16, 1990), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Also known as Abdullah Ibn Buhaina, he was an American jazz drummer and bandleader.
Along with Kenny Clarke and Max Roach, he was one of the inventors of the modern bebop style of drumming. He is known as a powerful musician and a vital groover; his brand of bluesy, funky hard bop was (and remains) profoundly influential on mainstream jazz. For more than 30 years his band the Jazz Messengers included many young musicians who went on to become prominent names in jazz.
The band's legacy is thus not only the often exceptionally fine music it produced, but as a proving ground for several generations of jazz musicians.
(source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_Blakey)
(August 16, 1929 – September 15, 1980) was an American jazz pianist. His use of impressionist harmony, inventive interpretation of traditional jazz repertoire, and trademark rhythmically independent, "singing" melodic lines influenced a generation of pianists, including Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, as well as guitarists Lenny Breau and Pat Metheny.
The music of Bill Evans continues to inspire younger pianists like Marcin Wasilewski, Fred Hersch, Bill Charlap, Geoffrey Keezer, Lyle Mays, Eliane Elias and arguably Brad Mehldau, early in his career.
(source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Evans)