The term "the lick" in jazz refers to a musical phrase or motif that is commonly used and repeated by jazz musicians in their solos. A lick is a brief sequence of notes that outlines the harmony or chord progression of a tune and is often used as a basis for improvisation. It typically consists of a few bars of music that are easily recognizable and memorable, and can be used to build a solo or as a starting point for further improvisation.
Licks have been a part of jazz music since its inception, and they have been passed down from generation to generation of musicians. They are an important part of the jazz tradition and are often associated with specific jazz styles and eras. For example, early jazz musicians developed licks that were specific to the blues, while later musicians developed licks that were specific to bebop and hard bop.
Licks serve several purposes in jazz music. They provide a way for musicians to express themselves creatively and to develop their own personal voice as soloists. Licks also provide a common language for musicians to communicate with each other, as they can be used to build a solo or as a basis for improvisation. Additionally, licks can help musicians to build their technique and to develop their skills as improvisers.
Licks are often developed and passed down through the process of transcribing solos. This involves listening to recordings of jazz musicians and carefully transcribing their solos note for note. Transcribing solos is a common practice among jazz musicians, and it is considered an important part of the learning process. By transcribing solos, musicians can learn new licks and ideas and can get a better understanding of the language and style of jazz music.
In conclusion, "the lick" in jazz refers to a musical phrase or motif that is used and repeated by jazz musicians in their solos. Licks serve several important purposes in jazz music, including providing a basis for improvisation, serving as a common language for musicians, and helping to develop technique and personal voice. Licks are an important part of the jazz tradition and are often passed down from generation to generation of musicians through the process of transcribing solos.