|1.||a. Compare blues bebop bop Dixieland free hard bop harmolodics mainstream modern jazz New Orleans jazz swing See also trad a kind of music of African-American origin, characterized by syncopated rhythms, solo and group improvisation, and a variety of harmonic idioms and instrumental techniques. It exists in a number of styles|
|b. (as modifier): a jazz band|
|c. (in combination): a jazzman|
|2.||informal enthusiasm or liveliness|
|3.||slang rigmarole; paraphernalia: legal papers and all that jazz|
|4.||slang, obsolete (African-American) sexual intercourse|
|5.||slang (South African) a dance|
|6.||(intr) to play or dance to jazz music|
|7.||slang, obsolete (African-American) to have sexual intercourse with (a person)|
|[C20: of unknown origin]|
"If the truth were known about the origin of the word 'Jazz' it would never be mentioned in polite society." ["Étude," Sept. 1924]The verb meaning "to speed or liven up" is from 1917; all that jazz "et cetera" first recorded 1939; Jazzercise is 1977, originally a proprietary name. Jazz Age first attested 1922 in writings of F. Scott Fitzgerald, usually regarded as the years between the end of World War I (1918) and the Stock Market crash of 1929.
A form of American music that grew out of African-Americans' musical traditions at the beginning of the twentieth century. Jazz is generally considered a major contribution of the United States to the world of music. It quickly became a form of dance music, incorporating a “big beat” and solos by individual musicians. For many years, all jazz was improvised and taught orally, and even today jazz solos are often improvised. Over the years, the small groups of the original jazz players evolved into the “Big Bands” (led, for example, by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Glenn Miller), and finally into concert ensembles. Other famous jazz musicians include Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Ella Fitzgerald.