Digtionary

Just for fun, dig these jazz expressions. Some of them are now used in everyday speech.

Bag - A style, complete with personal vocabulary, of improvising jazz. Many cats, especially these days, have several bags to dip into. Some avoid bags altogether, and become cats who jump out of the bag.

Blowing - Soloing.

Boo-Boo-Be-Doop - Marilyn Monroe, scat singing in Some Like it Hot.

Bread - Money. Lester Young ('Pres' - President of the tenor sax) used to ask, "How's the bread smell? (how much?)

Cat - A jazz musician.

Changes - The chords or harmony of the tune.

Cool - A Lester Young invention that has stood the test of time to be embraced by all generations. "Chill Out" is a recent update. Like Pres, the "cool" school of jazz is relaxed and mellow, unlike it's "hot" predecessor.

Dig - Dig is a flexible term. It can mean: to understand, to appreciate or to listen to.

Gig - A job playing jazz for money.

Groove - Rhythmic pattern that repeats to create a certain type of flow or feeling to the tune.

Head - The melody of the song. Players indicate when to return to the melody after soloing by pointing to their heads. Also known as the 'top.'

Hip - To be hip is to be aware, or to understand.

Lay Out - Stop playing for a while while the rest of the band keeps playing.

Lick - A short jazz phrase. Players may use various licks in their improvised solos. Players create their own licks and also imitate other people's licks.

In the pocket - Improvising a solo that is within the boundaries of the original harmonies.

Riff - A short repeated melody that is kind of catchy. Often used in the blues.

Scat Singing - A vocalist's way of improvising without words The vocalist's instrument is his or her voice, and the nonsense syllables they use to improvise a solo allow them to have as much creative freedom as any instrumentalist. For a reference from life, consider a baby before it learns to talk. It's babbling is the original scat singing.

Solo - What each player does when they take their turn improvising.

Stroll - To lay out for a while.

Taking it out - Improvising outside the basic harmony of the tune, or using unusual accents, rhythms, phrasing, etc. Sometimes it gets very "stretched out."

Ya ba da ba doo - Fred Flintstone scat singing.