Musical Genres

Bebop: The Music and Its Players by Thomas Owens

By Thomas Owens

Whilst bebop used to be new, writes Thomas Owens, "many jazz musicians and many of the jazz viewers heard it as radical, chaotic, bewildering music." For a country swinging to the easily orchestrated sounds of the massive bands, this progressive flow of the Forties should have appeared destined for a brief lifestyles at the musical fringe. yet at the present time, Owens writes, bebop is not anything below "the lingua franca of jazz, serving because the primary musical language of hundreds of thousands of jazz musicians." In Bebop, Owens conducts us on an insightful, loving travel in the course of the tune, gamers, and recordings that modified American tradition. Combining brilliant graphics of bebop's great personalities with deft musical research, he levels from the early classics of recent jazz (starting with the 1943 Onyx membership performances of Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Oscar Pettiford, Don Byas, and George Wallington) during the crucial function of Charlie Parker, to an instrument-by-instrument examine the foremost gamers and their ideas. Illustrating his dialogue with various musical excerpts, Owens skillfully demonstrates why bebop was once so progressive, with interesting glimpses of the tempestuous jazz global: Thelonious Monk, for instance, did "everything 'wrong' within the feel of conventional piano technique....Because his correct elbow fanned outward clear of his physique, he usually hit the keys at an attitude instead of in parallel. occasionally he hit a unmarried key with multiple finger, and divided single-line melodies among hands." as well as his discussions of person tools and avid gamers, Owens examines ensembles, with their occasionally unstable collaborations: within the Jazz Messengers, Benny Golson advised of the way his personal mellow saxophone taking part in might wander off below artwork Blakey's livid drumming: "He may do a kind of well-known four-bar drum rolls going into the subsequent refrain, and that i may thoroughly disappear. He could holler over at me, 'Get up out of that hole!'" during this extraordinary account, Owens comes correct to the current day, with debts of latest musicians starting from the Marsalis brothers to lesser-known masters like pianist Michel Petrucciani. Bebop is a jazz-lover's dream--a severe but hugely own examine America's such a lot detailed tune.

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Additional resources for Bebop: The Music and Its Players

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The theme is a simple and repetitive tune in aaba form, with the a section based on the a of / Got Rhythm and the b section based on chromatically descending dominant sevenths. But the nicest surprise of the recording is, as in Good Bait a year earlier, a second theme that Parker and Gillespie play in unison during most of the last chorus. Unlike the riff-filled main theme, it is inventive and varied, matching more closely the melodic styles used when these men improvised. The next landmark record date occurred in May, when Gillespie and Parker recorded the definitive versions of Salt Peanuts and Hot House.

13 The second is the better of the two, and is the first famous bebop recording. Here performing together are the two leading bebop spokesmen, Gillespie and Parker. Granted, their rhythm section, except for the timidly comping pianist Clyde Hart, is swing-oriented. But the nature of the theme, the primary soloists, and the fame of this piece make this an early bebop classic. First, the theme. Filled with explicit outlines of the ii-V progression in three different keys and of the iii7-''iii7-ii7 progression, it is significantly more complex than the typical swing-era theme.

In the first six measures the players visit B major, D major, and C major before easing back into the home key of A k when the final a returns. After the theme chorus each soloist has a half-chorus solo. Stewart and Sims each solo in the first half of the second and third choruses, where the chords are easier; Chaloff and Getz begin their solos in the thicket of bridge chords, and have some difficulty, Chaloff more than Getz. The last two choruses are written out for the band except for a bridge in which Herman solos on clarinet.

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