Jam session

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A jam session (from English jam : jargon for "improvising" and session : "meeting", "event"; often also jam session ) is a casual interplay of musicians who usually do not play and sing together in a band .

The jam session in jazz

In jam sessions, jazz musicians either play pieces whose harmonic schemes and melodies are known to all fellow musicians (so-called jazz standards ) or they improvise freely. The rhythm section , mostly consisting of piano , double bass and drums , is often put together for the session in advance so that the new musicians know what kind of music to expect. The musical material of the jam sessions is made up of the jazz standards, which are documented in collections such as the Realbook . Apart from the piece, only the tempo is agreed; further details (e.g. the order of the solos and their length as well as further interactions) result from the action.

Jam sessions were of great importance for the entire development of jazz: for jazz musicians who earned their money in commercial studio or dance orchestras, they give the opportunity to show themselves to the full. In the early 1940s, for example, many swing musicians (some from big bands , some from small formations) met at Minton's Playhouse in Harlem to jam a little "after hours" (after midnight) . From these meetings in the early hours of the morning the bebop arose and with it the basis for all modern jazz .

The jam session at Contact Improvisation

In experimental dancing as part of a contact improvisation jam, there are various thematic forms (focused jams) in addition to free jams:

  • Blind Jam: with your eyes closed / blindfolded
  • Underscore Jam
  • Silent Jam: without music

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b Ekkehard Jost in: Wolf Kampmann (Ed.), With the assistance of Ekkehard Jost : Reclams Jazzlexikon . Reclam, Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-15-010528-5 , p. 631.
  2. CI website for Switzerland: What is CI - Contact Improvisation? Retrieved June 29, 2015
  3. ^ The Washington Post : Improv Dancers Have Impact, November 4, 2005, accessed June 29, 2015