Jump Blues began in the 1930's and was a popular and influential style of up-tempo dance blues until the latter half of the 1950's when it was eclipsed by Classic Rock & Roll.
Singer and saxophonist Louis Jordan had a residency at night club Elk's Rendezvous in Harlem and it is argued that Jump Blues was inititially popularised there by Jordan's band, "The Tympany Five". Singer and trumpeter Louis Prima, another musician who dabbled in Jump Blues, was performing as early as the 1920's but in more of a New Orleans Jazz style.
Some major Jump Blues artists including Louis Jordan and Big Joe Turner are accredited with preempting Rock & Roll with a brand of blues that crosses over considerably with early Rhythm and Blues, the style from which it was born. The Rock & Roll connection comes from Jump Blues artists' tendency to shout, "honk" on their saxophones and maintain a hard driving rhythm. Jump Blues also tends to swing, and quite hard. Along with its use of swing, aspects of Jump Blues influenced Big Band Jazz of the 1940s which emerged as quite different from its pre-depression roots.
Jump Blues often emphasises the saxaphone as a melodic and soloing instrument and lyrically tends to follow a narrative that celebrates the lifestyle of many young African Americans' at the time including partying, domestic issues and those surrounding control and authority. Small to medium sized combos were most popular and the guitar provided a rhythmic role as opposed to other blues styles. The form was often 12-bar but varied considerably and borrowed much from jazz both structurally and harmonically.
Contemporary renovators of the style include Brian Setzer, Lavay Smith and Joe Jackson.
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