Zest (AtoZ Challenge 2016 – Jazz Age Jazz)

Zest (Jazz Age Jazz Series) The soul of jazz was the soul of the Roaring Twenties: free of expression, hunger for life

Jazz Age Jazz - Zest

JAZZ AGE JAZZ - Zest #AtoZChallenge The spirit of the #JazzAge and its music Click To Tweet

Z - Zest (AtoZ Challenge 2016)

In psychology, zest and vitality are 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 exactly 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 mood of the people and their reactions. It was resilient to be written down, it suffered from recording.

Flappers dancing the CharlestonJazz 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 positivity of coming together and make something new, even when detractors thought this only created noise without any harmony.
It expressed the break form the past. Not the rejection of it, but the breaking away in search of new paths and new possibilities.

It was a music that seemed to destroy and create at the same time. A music that created divisions even if it was all about collaboration. A music that was deemed devilish and deviant even when encouraged 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

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About the Author

I was born, raised and I still live near Verona (Italy), though I worked for a time in Dublin. I started writing fantasy stories as a kid. Today I’m a bookseller who reads fantasy, history, mythology, anthropology and lots of speculative fiction. Somehow, all of this has found its way into my own dieselpunk stories.

34 Comments on "Zest (AtoZ Challenge 2016 – Jazz Age Jazz)"

  1. 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
    Sophie Duncan recently posted…Murder Most Foul! – Z is for Zenith – Cozy Mystery #AtoZChallenge 2016My Profile

    • 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 🙂

  2. 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)
    Tasha recently posted…Z – Zhong Kui – Fictional Phantoms #AtoZChallenge 2016My Profile

    • 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 🙂

  3. 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
    Kathleen Valentine recently posted…Z is for Zeke & Gabe: Blogging the #AtoZchallengeMy Profile

    • 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.

  4. 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!
    Susan Brody recently posted…Z IS FOR ZINESMy Profile

  5. 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.
    Roland Clarke recently posted…Z for Zelotic – #atozchallengeMy Profile

  6. 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
    Gail M Baugniet recently posted…Z is for ZEALOUS THOUGHTS ABOUT DESTINY #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    • 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).

  7. 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.
    Anabel recently posted…Toronto: an island walkMy Profile

  8. 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.
    lynneinpborough recently posted…Zucchini #AtoZChallengeMy Profile

    • 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.

  9. 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 🙂
    Molly recently posted…Sunday Salon: May 1, 2016My Profile

  10. 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!!! 🙂
    Jeffrey Scott recently posted…Battle of the Bands – Talking In Your SleepMy Profile

    • 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.

  11. Congratulations on completing the challenge Sarah! Great tune for finishing it (as always). I enjoyed learning and listening to Jazz with you! 🙂
    Zeljka recently posted…Zhukov Memorial StatueMy Profile

  12. 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 🙂
    Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted…Everything you Need to Know about Captain America: Civil War before entering the theatreMy Profile

    • 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.

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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?
    Alex Hurst recently posted…Trollish Reader Returning BooksMy Profile

    • 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 😉

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

    • 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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