A Brief History of Jazz

by Michelle Blower

  Jazz has possibly existed as early as the formation of the oceans. Polyrhythmic waves sifted the first jawed vertebrates to the shore-line, with their sharp and elongated canines. These teeth were often used for tearing jazz apart.

   Later, gazelles burst across the African savanna. They were all about the jazz. All about the bass, the drum, the snare drum breeze. The piano, chiming 2-5-1 chord progressions from the forest on one side. Saxophone sliding through the grassland on the other. Deep across the desert, the dippity-dip-dip of the clarinet.

Jazz can be heard echoing across eons up to the apocryphal story of Romulus, who in 753 BC, founded the city of Rome on jazz. Fossilised remains of a trombone have been discovered and Arctic exploration has proved that jazz can exist in sub-zero temperatures.

The first cosmonaut came swinging into space in search of new forms of jazz. Exoplanets orbiting around O stars. Blue stars and blues. A jazzy planet trumpeting its way around a blue centre of mass.

All synchronised. Improvised.

Gravity pulls jazz towards the Earth, back to the ground, towards New Orleans, towards the dancers in Congo Square. In Louis Armstrong Park.

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