Jazz funk

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Definition

Jazz funk is a sub-genre of jazz music. Many of the key features found in jazz music are evident here too – a strong rhythmic ‘groove,’ above which instrumentalists improvise solo passages. The most significant difference from jazz are the instruments within the ensemble. These will typically consist of drum kit, bass guitar, rhythm guitar and synthesiser, in short then, it is the merging of traditional Jazz characteristics with electronic instruments requiring electronic amplification. It is a style that emerged during the 1970s with the ensemble combinations and driving groove patterns being similar with disco.

Examples


In this instrumental example of 'Chameleon' by 'Herbie Hancock' the electronic synthesiser improvises a melody over the groove.


This arrangement is more complex with a brass/wind section (reminiscent of Big Band) and vocalists. As the music continues, there is an instrumental break over which various short improvised patterns can be heard.


This example opens with an improvised bass guitar riff using a slapping technique, over a rhythmic ostinato.

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