Jazz History Visualized on a 1950s Phonograph Circuit Diagram: Featuring 1,000+ Musicians, Artists, Songwriters, and Producers
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Jazz History Visualized on a 1950s Phonograph Circuit Diagram: Featuring 1,000+ Musicians, Artists, Songwriters, and Producers

The danger of enjoying jazz is the possibility of allowing ourselves to fall into the assumption that we understand it. Doing so makes no more sense than believing that, say, the enjoyment of listening to a recording automatically transmits an understanding of the record player. One look at the workings of such a machine would deprive most of us of the idea, just as looking at a map of the jazz universe would free us from the idea that we understand music in all its developed varieties. But the broad jazz map wasn’t easy to come by until this month, when design studio Dorothy sold their Jazz Love Blueprint.

Measuring 80 centimeters by 60 centimeters (roughly two and a half by two feet), the Jazz Love Blueprint visually celebrates β€œthe more than 1,000 musicians, artists, songwriters and producers who have been instrumental in the evolution of this constantly changing and creative musical genre. , ” diagramming the relationships between the artists who defined the great eras and movements in jazz.

These include “innovators who laid the groundwork for jazz” such as Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton, “original jazz giants” such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, “inspired bebop musicians” such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and such leading lights from “spiritual jazz” such as John Coltrane, Alice Coltrane, and the late Pharoah Sanders.

You probably know all of those names, even if you just casually listen to jazz. But you may not have heard of such players on the “lively British scene right now” like Ezra Collective, Shabaka Hutchings, Nubya Garcia, Kokoroko, and Moses Boyd, or those on the “exploding US scene” like Kamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, and Makaya McCraven. The map includes not only the individuals but also the institutions that have shaped jazz in all its forms: clubs like Birdland and Ronnie Scott’s, record labels like Blue Note, Verve, and ECM. Even the most seasoned jazz fan is sure to find a new listening path in the Jazz Love Blueprint. Those with an electronic or mechanical inclination will also notice that the entire design has been based on the circuit diagram of the phonograph: the machine that set so many of us on the path to our love of jazz in the first place.

You can find other charts charting the history of Electronic Music, Rock, Hip Hop, and Alternative Music here.

Related content:

Linked Jazz: Big Data Visualization Mapping Relationships Between Countless Jazz Musicians & Returning Forgotten Women to Jazz History

Listen to 2000 Most Essential Jazz Tracks Recordings: A Huge Playlist for Your Jazz Education

1959: The Year That Changed Jazz

Langston Hughes Presents the History of Jazz in a Children’s Picture Book (1955)

Listen to the First Jazz Record, Which Launched the Jazz Age: β€œLivery Stable Blues” (1917)

Check out MusicMap: The Best Interactive Music Lineage Made Between 1870 and 2016

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcaststs about the city, language and culture. The project includes a Substack newsletter Books about the City, book The Stateless City: Stroll through 21st Century Los Angeles and video series City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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