Cult figure, rock & roll legend and music writer, Cub Koda defined jump blues as an up-tempo, jazz-tinged style of blues that first came to prominence in the mid- to late '40s. Usually featuring a vocalist in front of a large, horn-driven orchestra or medium sized combo with multiple horns, the style is earmarked by a driving rhythm, intensely shouted vocals, and honking tenor saxophone solos all of those very elements a precursor to rock & roll. The lyrics are almost always celebratory in nature, full of braggadocio and swagger.
After starting out as an unsuccessful pop singer (working under the name Vance Arnold), Joe Cocker found his niche singing rock and soul in the pubs of England with his superb backing group, the Grease Band. He hit number one in the U.K. in November 1968 with his version of the Beatles' "A Little Help from My Friends." His career really took off after he sang that song at Woodstock in August 1969…
Back in the early 40's, blues and jazz were pretty much synonymous. The big bands were exciting audiences with their new stomping jump blues performances, which Billboard recommended for "hepsters who go for swing and boogie, and beats in a loud, hot unrelenting style." Jump Blues combined the popular boogie-woogie rhythms of the day with gritty swing solos and "playful lyrics laced with jive talk." More than seven decades later, Jump Blues still pulls listeners out of their seats and onto the dance floor with its boogie-woogie grooves and heavy, insistent beats.
Ear training is a skill that can be built to identify chords, their quality, intervals and rhythmic structure. This skill is invaluable for those wishing to learn songs, and compose music by ear.