Master saxophonist and educator Jacob Lampe provides the following comments on proper jazz articulation:
“Tongue the upbeats and slur into the downbeats. The upbeats whether swing (uneven) or straight can be lightly accented / tongued and you slur into the beats for the jazz style. dat would be more of an ending note, or short note… like do-da-do-dat!
do being slured/unaccented
da being light tongue accent
dat – strong accent”
In chapter 2 of “Jazz Theory Resources Volume One” by Bert Ligon, Bert has a nice section on “Accents and Articulations”.
In the JAN/FEB 2009 issue of the Saxophone Journal, Greg Fishman has a good jazz articulation article entitled “The Art OF Jazz Articulation,Part 1”.
Fishman calls the articulation of sluring into downbeats and tonguing the upbeats as “Mainstream Tonguing”. Sonny Stitt is an excellent example of a wonderful player that uses “Mainstream Tonguing”.
There are countless variations of jazz articulation but this should get you started.
What type of articulation do you use?