Jazz instruments have gone through some hilarious transformations over the years. From the old-timey horns played by jazz pioneers to the electric guitars of modern jazz fusion, there’s no denying that styles have changed. But have you seen the latest jazz instrument craze? It’s a mix between a ukulele, a kazoo, and a theremin. The sound it produces is totally unique and equally hilarious. Check out our photo gallery to see the most comedic jazz instruments through the ages.
You Won’t Believe What Jazz Musicians Used to Play!
Jazz Music: Then and Now
Jazz music has come a long way since its inception in the late 19th century. With its rich cultural roots in African American communities, jazz has played a significant role in shaping American music and culture. Today, jazz music has evolved into various sub-genres that have attracted fans from all walks of life. However, jazz has gone through a lot of changes over the years, and some of the things that jazz musicians used to play may surprise you!
The Weird and Wacky Instruments that Jazz Musicians Used to Play
Jazz musicians have always been known for their innovative approach to music. However, some of the instruments they used to play were downright bizarre. For example, the theremin was an electronic instrument that was popular in the 1920s and 30s. It was played by waving your hands in front of two metal antennas, which would create an electromagnetic field that produced a sound. Another strange instrument was the serpent, a wind instrument shaped like a snake that was used in the military bands of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Perhaps one of the oddest instruments used in jazz was the glass harmonica. Developed by Benjamin Franklin in the 18th century, this instrument was made up of a series of spinning glass bowls that produced a haunting, ethereal sound. Jazz musicians like Harry Partch and Sun Ra experimented with this instrument in some of their recordings, creating truly otherworldly sounds.
The Surprising Songs that Jazz Musicians Covered
Jazz musicians have always been known for their improvisational skills, taking familiar tunes and putting their own spin on them. However, some of the songs that jazz musicians covered in the past may surprise you. For example, in the 1940s, saxophonist Charlie Parker famously covered the Looney Tunes theme song, creating a swinging jazz rendition that has become a classic.
Another surprising cover was Dizzy Gillespie’s rendition of the classic pop song “Umbrella” by Rihanna. Gillespie turned this chart-topping hit into a jazzy salsa tune, complete with brass section and percussion. And who could forget the time that Louis Armstrong covered the classic Disney song “When You Wish Upon a Star”? Armstrong’s gravelly voice added a touch of grit to this beloved children’s song, making it a hit with all ages.
The Silly Saxophone Solos of the Past
Saxophone players have always been a staple in jazz music, and many of them have gained notoriety for their technical skill and emotive playing style. However, some saxophonists in the past took a more lighthearted approach to their solos. For example, in the 1930s, Rudy Wiedoeft was known for his novelty songs, which featured silly lyrics and wacky sound effects.
Another saxophonist who embraced the silly side of jazz was Benny Hill. Hill was known for playing comical solos on his saxophone, incorporating honks, squeaks, and other humorous sounds. While some jazz purists may turn their noses up at these types of performances, there’s no denying the joy and entertainment value that they brought to audiences of the time.
Jazz music has always been a platform for experimentation and innovation. While the instruments, songs, and solos of the past may seem strange by today’s standards, they all played a role in shaping the jazz music we know and love today. With its rich history and ever-evolving sounds, jazz music will undoubtedly continue to surprise and delight listeners for many years to come.