From the 1920s well into the 1950s, the soundtrack of life in this country was jazz in various forms, and why not? The American Century needed its distinctly American music, and jazz is just that. Its deepest and strongest roots may be in Africa, but it was the intertwining of those roots with European traditions that made jazz what it is. It is the music of the "Melting Pot." For every Armstrong and Ellington there was a Beiderbecke and Goodman. To say jazz is "as American as Apple Pie" is to undersell its American-ness. It could not have come to be anywhere else.