During the 1920's, a new style of jazz became highly popular. Big bands began to dominate the jazz scene. The big band era was split into two different styles: “hot” jazz and “sweet” jazz. Jelly Roll Morton and Paul Whiteman were two bandleaders and composers who were highly recognized and well-known during this musical time period. Jelly Roll Morton was highly influential in the “hot” jazz genre, while Paul Whiteman became celebrated for his “sweet” jazz music. Two songs that mark each musician's distinct style are “Black Bottom Stomp” by Jelly Roll Morton and “If I Can't Get the Sweetie” by Paul Whiteman. These songs demonstrate the unmistakable differences, yet one definite similarity between the two sub-areas of jazz. The differences in these two brands of jazz is easily noticeable. In “Black Bottom Stomp”, all of the musicians in the ensemble listen and respond to each other through the music, utilizing their instruments as a form of communication, while “If I Can't Get the Sweetie” follows a more rigid and pre-determined form, requiring the musicians to play together at specific intervals in the song. “Black Bottom Stomp” is also more energetic, upbeat, and lively, a true dance song with a quick rhythm, while “If I Can't Get the Sweetie” is much slower, emotional, and sentimental. However, the one similarity the two genres have is their ensemble size. Both orchestras are made up of several musicians playing various instruments in the background, a distinguishing trait of big band music overall.
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