Jazz band

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Seating diagram for a typical big band jazz ensemble.

A jazz band (jazz ensemble or jazz combo) is a musical ensemble that plays jazz music. Jazz bands usually consist of a rhythm section and a horn section, in the early days often trumpet, trombone, and clarinet with rhythm section of piano, banjo, bass or tuba, and drums.

Rhythm section[edit]

Rhythm section consists of the percussion, double bass or bass guitar, and usually at least one instrument capable of playing chords, such as a piano, guitar, Hammond organ or vibes; most will usually have more than one of these. The standard rhythm section is piano, bass, and drums, augmented by guitar at times in small combos and regularly in large ones. Some large swing era orchestras also employed an additional piano, accordion, and banjo.

Horn section[edit]

The horn section consists of wind and brass instruments, which play the melody and main accompaniment. The standard small combo usually limits itself to one trumpet and one saxophone at times augmented by a second saxophone or a trombone. Typical horns found in a big jazz band include 4-5 trumpets, 5-6 woodwind instruments (usually saxophones), and 3-4 trombones. The trombone section consists of three tenor trombones and one bass trombone. The saxophone section consists of two alto saxophones, two tenor saxophones, and one baritone saxophone. The saxophonists may double on flutes, clarinets and soprano saxophones; a trumpet player may sometimes double on a flugelhorn.

Saxophone section[edit]

In the saxophone section, all of the saxophones will play a similar melodic line, but the Baritone sax doubles by occasionally joining in with the Bass Trombone and Bass to play the bass line. The Tenor Saxophone plays the counter melody but in some cases, they have the lead. Saxophone players are often expected to double on Clarinet, Flute, or Soprano Saxophone

Notable jazz bands[edit]

A very short listing of notable jazz bands includes King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band, Jelly Roll Morton and his Red Hot Peppers, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five, the Fletcher Henderson Orchestra, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Benny Goodman Orchestra, the Dizzy Gillespie-Charlie Parker Quintet, the Gerry Mulligan Quartet, the Modern Jazz Quartet, the Miles Davis Quintet, the Jazz Messengers, the Clifford Brown-Max Roach Quintet, the Sun Ra Arkestra, the John Coltrane Quartet, the Bill Evans Trio, Weather Report, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Oregon, Return to Forever, the Pat Metheny Group, and the World Saxophone Quartet.

See also[edit]