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Zest (AtoZ Challenge 2016 – Jazz Age Jazz)

Zest (AtoZ Challenge 2016 - Jazz Age Jazz) With its zest, its lively mood, its will to break with the past and look for every new ways of expression, its unflinching desire to change, Jazz was the perfect voice of that chanpion of the changing society that were the Roaring Twenties
Zest (Jazz Age Jazz Series) Jazz was destroied and created at the same time. It divided even if it was about collaboration. It was the more precise definition of the Jazz Age #jazz #history Click To Tweet
Z - Zest (AtoZ Challenge 2016 - Jazz Age Jazz)

In psychology, zest and vitality are a combination of the physical sense and the psychological sense of feeling well. Zest is about exhibiting enthusiasm and feeling energised.
In the 1920s, this was what jazz was all about.

It broke the rules to become a new way of making music. It brought about new ways of performing by offering a new and different rendition every time musicians performed, depending on the people’s mood and reactions. It was resilient to be written down. It suffered from recording.

Flappers dancing the Charleston - 1920s

Jazz expressed the exhilaration for a new life, new values, new possibilities and also the unpredictability of the outcome.
It expressed a need for freedom and the opportunity to come together and make something new, even when detractors thought this only created noise without harmony.
It expressed the break from the past. Not the rejection of it, but the breaking away in search of new paths and new possibilities.

It was music that seemed to destroy and create at the same time. That created divisions, even if it was all about collaboration. Music that was deemed devilish and deviant even when encouraging free expression.

For so many reasons, jazz was indeed the more precise definition of the Jazz Age.


Ogren, Kathy J., The Jazz Revolution. Twenties America and the Meaning of Jazz. Oxford University Press, New York, 1989


  • Sophie Duncan
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 09:29

    Congrats on making it all the way through the A to Z – and a great way to end – Jazz grabbed/s life by the short and curlies and goes for it – great message and thanks for enlightening me on the history of this art form.
    Sophie’s Thoughts & Fumbles | Wittegen Press | FB3X

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:12

      You bought out a very good point, Sophie: jazz a really about enjoying life and fight for the right to enjoy it.

      Thanks so much for going along during the challenge. I really enjoyed writing mine and reading others 🙂

  • Tasha
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 11:34

    What a great choice for Z and thank you for sharing your Zest for the Jazz age all through the AtoZ. It’s been an awesome AtoZ and I have very much enjoyed reading your posts.
    Tasha’s Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:13

      Thanks so much, Tasha 🙂
      It was a demanding challenge and for many reasons (I’ll blog about it in the reflextion post), but such a good experience. And you people made all the difference 🙂

  • Kathleen Valentine
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 13:34

    I have learned so much from your posts and enjoyed every one of them! Well done. Thanks for playing. I enjoyed it so much.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:15

      And I’m so happy you enjoyed it 🙂
      It has been a very demanding challenge, but knowing that readers enjoy it makes for it completely.
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

  • Susan Brody
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 13:47

    Sarah, it’s been wonderful getting to know you and your curious mind through reading your A to Z posts. I’ve learned a lot! And thank you so much for generously promoting my posts too. Ciao for now but I hope to catch up with you again soon!

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:16

      Susan, I enjoyed your posts about the past a lot too. Do come by whenever you want. I know that I’ll drop by you again and again. I’m afraid you haven’t seen the last of me 😉

      • Susan Brody
        Posted May 2, 2016 at 00:06

        I hope not!

  • Roland Clarke
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 14:01

    Well done Sarah, you got to Z and taught me so much about the early days of Jazz. And with enjoyable recordings and videos from the Jazz Age. Many thanks.

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:18

      So happy you enjoyed it, Roland. It was a great ride and it was so great because of all the wonderful people that came along.

  • Gail M Baugniet
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 17:52

    Your A to Z posts have added zest to my life over the past month. Thank you for sharing so much information about JAZZ!

    Gail’s 2016 April A to Z Challenge

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:19

      And thanks for dropping by, Gail 🙂
      It was a learning experience fro me (that’s why I love the AtoZ, always something to learn from it) and I loved sharing).

  • Anabel
    Posted April 30, 2016 at 22:21

    Congratulations! You made it! As I said on Twitter (I think) I haven’t always commented but I have read every post and enjoyed learning more about jazz from you.

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:20

      And thanks so much for your support, Anabel. I can’t start to tell you how much I’ve appreciated it.
      But next year, I want to see you on the challenge too! 😉

      • Anabel
        Posted May 1, 2016 at 07:52

        Maybe – I’ve sort of missed it.

  • lynneinpborough
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 11:36

    Dancing to that looked like a full on workout. There’s so much everyone can learn from you AtoZ challenge this year. Well done for getting through to Z. Will look out for your reflections post. No idea what mine will be about bar my slow broadband.. Love the links you put on, some classic recordings and many I hadn’t heard before.
    Glad we finally managed to catch up.

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 18:53

      Happy you enjoyed what you saw 😉

      It’s been a crazy month for me.. and not just because of the AtoZ. That’s what I’ll blog about in my Refrections post.
      Last year I blogged about what I learned from the challenge.

  • Molly
    Posted May 1, 2016 at 13:50

    What a great Z entry!

    I so enjoyed learning about Jazz through your entries, and getting to know you through this challenge.

    I hope we can keep in touch 🙂

    • Post Author
      Posted May 1, 2016 at 18:54

      Thanks Molly. I enjoyed your challenge a lot too… and I’m not yet caught up, now that I think about it. But I will 😉

  • Jeffrey Scott
    Posted May 2, 2016 at 21:26

    A fitting end to the series. For me, a well known song. Though I can’t seem to recall where I may have heard it from. I’m not familiar with many of these age old songs, even if I do like jazz.
    Congratulations on completing the challenge!!! 🙂

    • Post Author
      Posted May 3, 2016 at 09:46

      Thanks Jeffrey 🙂

      I think this is one of the most famous songs from the Twenties, very often cited. I don’t know where I first heard it either, but it’s a good one.

  • Zeljka
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 06:54

    Congratulations on completing the challenge Sarah! Great tune for finishing it (as always). I enjoyed learning and listening to Jazz with you! 🙂

    • Post Author
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 14:50

      I’m happy to hear that. I enjoyed your challenge very much too 🙂

  • Roshan Radhakrishnan
    Posted May 3, 2016 at 10:48

    Speaking from a personal point of view, while I don’t know most of the songs that come under the ‘jazz/blues’ category, I remain a big fan of the music and really wish it would make a big comeback in the years to come – there was so much life and energy & yet it could be melancholic too.

    Congrats on AtoZ 🙂 We made it 🙂

    • Post Author
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 14:52

      Jazz is a very versatile music. Not an easy one, I’d say. I had may commenters say they aren’t particularly into it, but I think that knowing its history and phylosophy helps appreciate it more. It certainly did it for me.

  • Celine
    Posted May 4, 2016 at 13:27

    Well done on finishing A to Z! Champagne uncorked and in the flutes 😉 or rather in the cups, as would be more suited to the Roaring Twenties 😉

    I loved the ideals that went behind Jazz, the breaking of the norm and doing new things. I have to admit I’m not a huge jazz fan myself, partly because I can never quite make sense of it, but I like this idea that it’s all about breaking away from the well trodden path. It makes me want to give jazz another go.

    • Post Author
      Posted May 4, 2016 at 16:36

      I think jazz is one of those music you learn to love, not one that you love strat away as soon as you hear it. I did learn to love it. And knowing about its history really make me appreciate it even more.

  • Alex Hurst
    Posted May 5, 2016 at 21:07

    I’m sorry that I missed this year’s A-Z posts! I literally had no time for anything in April except the Move, which will forever after have to be written with an ominous capital letter. 😛

    I’m not a huge fan of jazz, but earlier jazz isn’t so bad. 🙂 Maybe you have some artists you can recommend?

    • Post Author
      Posted May 6, 2016 at 15:01

      And I thought you were all happy and settled!
      Well, I’m happy you are, now. I had to move from one flat to another when I lived in Dublin. I had very few things and I walked from one place to the other. I can’t imagine moving across continents (shudders).

      There are many great artists from the 1920s jazz environment, but if you shoudl only listen to one, I’d sure recommand Bessie Smith. She’s my absolute favourite. She had a great voice (I always think that she gives me shivers listening to the poor quality 1920s recordings, I can’t imagine what might have been like listenign to her live), a great personality and such a verve.
      I’ve only inlcuded a couple of her songs, because I thought I shouldn’t be too partial 😉

      But I really like Jerry Roll Morton too. Joe Oliver Creale Band has such a typical 1920s sound to me, I enjoy that too. Cab Calloway is also great fun (though his recording are more from the 1930s). And of course Louis Armstrong.
      I know I’m naming soem of the gratest, but you know, there’s a reason why we’re still listening to them nearly 100 years later 😉

  • Kristin
    Posted May 9, 2016 at 01:00

    I’ve enjoyed jazz for many years. I remember the summer I discovered my mother’s old 78 records when I was in college. some of them are still among my favorites.

  • Lori
    Posted May 10, 2016 at 14:41

    Sorry to be late to the party, but looking forward to reading your a-z posts. Your theme is a decade behind mine, and I could have learned a lot following you. Signing up now.

    • Post Author
      Posted May 12, 2016 at 05:14

      I’m happy I’ve found your blog too. I love connecting with writers who write in eras close to mine.
      I’d have loved to meet you doring the challenge, but it’s good that we finally met, don’t you think? 🙂

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