Chapter Overview

Fusion is a different narrative for understanding jazz. It perceives jazz to be in a constant dialogue with the "popular," whether in dance grooves or popular song. The beginning of this chapter considers the aftermath of bebop, when jazz begins losing the populist traditions of the Swing Era (Louis Jordan). By the 1950s, musicians began to realize that jazz had lost its touch and tried connecting with new currents in pop music, especially those who (like Ray Charles) defined new archetypes of "blackness." "Soul jazz," which aggressively sought to situate jazz improvisation in new grooves, is examined as are the organ trios (featuring the Hammond B-3) that filled nightclubs in black neighborhoods. The relationship between jazz and the pop singing of Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, and Sarah Vaughan is also explored. Appearing in music for film and television, jazz becomes a symbol for urban tension while the Latin jazz phenomenon (including bossa nova) develops a working kinship with an entirely different dance groove.

Chapter 16 Jukebox