How's this, Country Western, Rock and Roll, Blues and Jazz were ALL born in the USA. They are bound to cross a few boundaries.
Wrong country for being a purest, ay?
If you think about it, one was born from the another, or branched and taken from another. It's not like Opera, Dixieland jazz, Bali, or Bagpipes, crossing lines... Just sayin, more alike than not...
Whatjd, you have to be a little more specific, we seem to have too many different kind of "Blues's"; Delta Blues, country Blues, chicken little blues, Gumbo Blues, and I don't know what else; you see my point.
I'm 100% on your side because I have never liked "Delta Blues" and in no way should it be included with jazz.
However, here is where confusion arises; one of my favorite tunes is "Sandra's Blues"; I knew Sandra, and I remember when she got the Blues, it was because of that no count man she was foolin around with; but Sandra didn't like Blues she was strictly into jazz, the same as the artists who are playing this tune.
Maybe you could clarify that bit of confusion.
With respect, I think some of you are missing the point. If you listen to the best Jazz radio stations (WBGO, Newark, NJ for example) they play a great deal of Blues. I’m not sure what exactly the OP means by “some internet sites” being offenders, but Blues and Jazz are intertwined both historically and stylistically; in a way, inseparable and, yes, overlapping. I can’t speak to what “sites” the OP refers to, or whether their motivation is commercial interests, but I can tell you that there are many very musically legitimate reasons for “clumping” them together.
Each to his/her own, and freedom to like whatever one likes. But like country-rock, "lite-classical, and other hybrids...some may like and some may not. As much as I like B.B. King, I do not consider him Jazz and I do not consider Paul Desmond Blues. and I do believe that singers blur that line more often...like Ella and Dinah Washington.
Have fun, enjoy what you listen to ...even if that is Ernest Tubb.
I’m actually confused about what exactly the issue is. First it seemed that your objection was to the way some blur the lines when naming the various genres. Not sure how that has anything to do with liking or not liking certain artists or certain genres. Why get hung up with strict definitions? I don’t understand comments like “I don’t consider Paul Desmond blues”. Desmond was a lot of things. He played, at various times, West Coast, Cool, Swing, Ballads and, yes, even Blues sometimes.
According to David Lindley, every song can be made into a reggae song.
I largely disregard genre, other than the short pitch- most music (unless you dig deeply into early ethnic stuff that pre-dates recording technology) has a variety of influences. Genres are for marketing, for ranking (ala Billboard) and radio and its modern equivalents.
To the more specific point, listen to Alice Coltrane’s "Turiya and Ramakrishna" from the Ptah album and tell me that isn’t blues. (Of course, not all blues is jazz or vice versa). But lumping stuff together, making lists and categorizing things is something that humans seem to do, however misleading. It does miss the finer grain details of influences, though. I’ve loved the blues since I was a kid, whether it’s early Delta stuff or later electric blues ala Chicago or elsewhere. Jazz- got tired of the warhorses but a few years ago, my interest was rekindled by so-called "spiritual jazz," "soul jazz" and the output of lots of session players who turned inward after mainstream jazz lost its commercial attraction by the early ’70s. So much music, so little time....
They are definitely different genres but jazz musicians have played the blues since the 40's. Most of what they played was "bop and blues" for decades. Countless album titles like "Coltrane Plays the Blues" have been made over the years.
Interestingly blues musicians seem much less interested in playing jazz however.
Speaking as a guitar player myself I will say it's much easier to learn to play the blues with no formal music theory training. Jazz is difficult to play well w/o having some fundamental understanding of music theory. This is all the mechanical part of music. Now how to play the blues and convey soul stirring feeling? You're simply born with that ability.
First and foremost, there is only one Blues, and that is the "Delta Blues"; all other blues are fakes derived from imitating the "Delta Blues".
When jazz musicians refer to the "Blues", they are referring to the emotion of "Blue" as expressed in their music. Have you ever heard a jazz musician sound like "Howling Wolf"?
The most distinctive aspect of the two Genres (jazz and Blues) is where the artists hone their crafts; the majority of Blues players worked in the deep south originally, while jazz musicians worked the big cities; Chicago, Detroit, LA, and New York. Have you ever heard of a jazz musician playing a "Juke Joint"?
I could go on and on in regard to the differences between not only the differences in musicians, but the differences in music that you can plainly hear, but I wont.
Gee, there is only Delta Blues? All my years of listening to Chicago blues, and now I find out it's fake. No more Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Otis Rush. And what about Piedmont blues, Sonny Terry - Brownie McGhee? And Texas blues, Johnnie Copeland, Albert Collins.
I wonder where people would put T-Bone Walker. Jazzy blues or bluesy jazz?
And Bessie Smith, the Queen of the Blues, playing with all those New Orleans jazz musicians.
A link to some "internet info" on Mr. King.
Jazz and Blues have been such a help in the esoteric end of better recordings and software...records, CDs...etc.
Most music forms can continue the growth and excellence of recorded music,....with some potential exceptions.
Although I have to admit KC and the Sunshine Band were quite influential.
Fundamentally, when we say "Blues" we're talking about "Mississippi", and the fact that it spread out through the South from there. The only thing that connects jazz and Blues is "ethnicity".
Culturally the musicians are miles apart; Miles Davis never picked cotton, while most "Blues musicians" have mentioned it in their songs. Albert keeps it real;
Unfortunately, blues musicians are closer to their original heritage; "descendants of slaves" who were forbidden to learn how to read or write.
It is what it is.
Sorry, again with respect, some of you guys are painting with way too broad a brush; or, should I say narrow? Think of it this way:
If “the Blues and Jazz are two completely different genres”, how does one then describe how different the Blues (or Jazz) is compared to, say, European Classical? That they are MORE completely different? THOSE are two completely (!) different genres with entirely different histories, characteristics and aesthetics. The Blues and Jazz are far from “completely” different. The truth is that the Blues is an essential ingredient of Jazz and they share much more than just ethnicity. If you understand the history of each it becomes obvious. To borrow a line used often by someone I know (and you know who you are) “No Blues, no Jazz”.
I’ve always liked food analogies when discussing music. The Blues is to Jazz what Marinara sauce is to Pizza. Way different, right? However, obviously coming from the same place and you can’t have one without the other. Try incorporating tomato sauce in Japanese cuisine; won’t work. THAT’S completely different. Completely different aesthetics.
Not sure what anyone here means when they say the two get “clumped together“. Is it that Blues tunes sometimes get described as being Jazz; or vice versa? Is it that, for some, discussing one leads to discussing the other; or vice versa? Why not? They are father and child.
Going back to the dawn of recorded jazz and blues in the 20’s there was tremendous cross-fertilization between the genres. They are just sides of a coin, so to speak.
If one delves into the free jazz genre, the influence of blues is great. Check out any of Albert Ayler’s recordings to confirm.
Back in the 60’s, it was fashionable to include a slow blues on your average hip jazz album- hundreds of classic Blue Notes followed this formula.
The Real Folk Blues, album titles of both Muddy Waters and Sonny Boy Williamson. I think of that "hybrid" genre designation in terms of rural, acoustic Blues. Before the southern blacks moved north, plugging their new electric guitars into small combo amps, in order to be heard above the din of the audiences in the big city bars they were now playing.
The obvious connection between Blues and Jazz is that is was originally predominantly performed by blacks. Jazz requires a more advanced degree of technical proficiency to be performed properly, at least imo. The musical structure of the songs of the two genres are very different; lots of Jazz is performed over long periods of no "modulation"---no chord changes, just improvising over one chord. It is the interaction between the musicians---the musicianship---that is the focus of the music. Other Jazz has very sophisticated chord structures, modulations, and arrangements (think Ellington and Basie).
In contrast, lots of Blues songs have the traditional I-IV-V chord progression, with more formal song structures than lots of Jazz. An intro, 1st verse, 2nd verse, chorus, guitar solo over a verse chord progression, repeat the first verse, chorus, outro. Or a variation on that structure. Not all, but lots. The first time I saw the following (maybe a year before their first album was released), they were named The Steve Miller Blues Band. Boz Scaggs was just the band’s rhythm guitarist, playing chords on his Gibson ES335.
We white suburban (San Jose, CA) kids were first exposed to Blues by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in ’66, so the English Blues/Rock bands that followed (Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac) didn’t sound like real Blues to me. It sounded like a pale imitation, sort of like Pat Boone covering a Little Richard song. No offense, lovers of Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, and early-Fleetwood Mac fans ;-) .
Another common denominator between Blues and Jazz is the absolute requirement of being able to "swing". It helps for other musicians, but is absolutely essential for drummers. You might be surprised by how many can’t play a good shuffle (what the swing feel is called in Blues), pure Rock drummers in particular. Not to disparage the dead, but Neil Peart revealed himself as being unable to swing when he performed at the tribute show he put together to honor the recently-deceased Buddy Rich. That’s not me talking Peart fans, that was a number of other pro drummers after the show.
One guitarist who can play both very well is Robben Ford. He was living in San Jose for a while in the early 70's, and I used to see him live regularly (the bassist in my senior year high school band was playing bass in The Charles Ford Band, named after Robben and his two brothers'---also in the band--- dad). Robben later joined Charlie Musselwhite's band, and later Miles Davis himself. Musselwhite and Miles---as Blues and Jazz as you can get, and very different from one another.
Glad you added that “other common denominator”. I was about to point that out as a response to your “obvious connection” of ethnicity comment. Putting ethnicity aside, swing is the most important component of both Blues and Jazz and another obvious common ground as you point out. And as your Neil Peart account describes so well, the reason that relative “difficulty“ is not as obvious as it may seem. Sure, from a music theory and “technical” standpoint, Jazz is usually more complicated; but, not always. Take Miles’ “KOB”, most of those modal tunes are actually even simpler harmonically than many Blues tunes. I would bet BB could have played some relatively simple, but very tasty solos over some of those tunes. The tasty part? THAT’S the difficult part. There’s good reason why Jazz players often judge another player’s true mettle based on whether that other player can play the Blues.
Surely there are different styles of music, but for the most part the labels we placed upon them are marketing terms that assist record labels, radio stations and other music distributors. Genre labels can be helpful, but they shouldn't be taken too seriously. Is it really that important that southside Chicago blues was slightly different than westside Chicago blues?
It's my observation that if you can make a living playing music that you have the versatility and talent to play most forms of popular music. As an example, take Paul Humphrey. He's primarily known as a jazz drummer, but he worked with Albert King, Frank Zappa, Dusty Springfiled, Jerry Garcia, Tony Orlando and Marvin Gaye. He was also the drummer in the Lawrence Welk Orchestra. He made a living playing music.
The premise of this thread is quite relevant, and one that I have often wondered about myself.
We have clearly illustrated that even the people who create the two genres are so very different; then why shouldn't the music be different. Beyond the commonality of ethnicity, I can't see any similarities. Even the same word means two different things; when a jazz musician refers to "The Blues", does his reference sound like Howling Wolf?
A custom (also called a tradition) is a common way of doing things. It is something that many people do, and have done for a long time. Usually, the people come from the same country, culture, or religion. ... Many customs are things that people do that are handed down from the past.
50 years ago certain radio stations only played certain kinds of music and they were lumped together, not by genre, but by ....... You fill in the missing blank.
Now tell me, what do jazz, blues and Gospel have in common?
Once a tradition is started, it just carries on beyond the time that anybody knows why?
Blues came from gospel. Jazz came from New Orleans Dixieland. There was a lot of gospel in New Orleans. Jazzy Beale Street is in Memphis, a suburb of Mississippi, where Delta Blues originated. Chicago Blues arose from southerners ' moving from the south. All of this is totally correct and entirely wrong in so many ways.