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In contrast to the efforts of commentators and enthusiasts of certain types of jazz, who have argued for narrower definitions that exclude other types, the musicians themselves are often reluctant to define the music they play.
As Duke Ellington, one of jazz's most famous figures, said: "It's all music".
The question of the origin of the word jazz has resulted in considerable research, and its history is well documented.
Jazz-rock fusion appeared in the late 1960s and early 1970s, combining jazz improvisation with rock music's rhythms, electric instruments, and highly amplified stage sound.Jazz is characterized by swing and blue notes, call and response vocals, polyrhythms and improvisation.Jazz has roots in West African cultural and musical expression, and in African-American music traditions including blues and ragtime, as well as European military band music.By the swing era, big bands were coming to rely more on arranged music: arrangements were either written or learned by ear and memorized, while individual soloists would improvise within these arrangements.Later, in bebop, the focus shifted back toward small groups and minimal arrangements; the melody would be stated briefly at the start and end of a piece, but the core of the performance would be the series of improvisations.