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The next 4 categories have been crisscrossed and intermingled by the
musicians themselves often unaware of any category, while the collegiate critics
have disagreed and redefined until confusion is inevitable. Unfortunately
each release is not identified by it's category when it becomes available for
sale. These jazz musicians had no hesitation to try new methods or styles
and it is safe to say that most musicians, especially during this era, were
involved in at least two if not all four of these and/or other styles of jazz.
These 4 styles were all from basically the same era and have become
interpreted by many as "CLASSIC JAZZ".
Bebop
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During the early 1940s, talented musicians grew restless of
playing the same music in their jobs with swing bands. After the band
played their obligatory set, these musicians would stick around for jam
sessions. By the late 1940's to early 50's these jam sessions had moved
into the recording studio. An enormously talented group including:
Charlie Parker (1920-1955), Thelonious Monk (1917-1982), Dizzy
Gillespie (1917-1993), Kenny Clarke (1914-1985) and Charlie Christian
(1916-1942) have been credited for having invented a style that
became known as bebop. Less structured than swing but heavily
dependent on improvisation and because these guys were leading the
way, it required genius, as well. The improvised solos, rather than
following the melody, are based on rapidly changing complex chords.
The music is forceful and you can usually recognize it as bebop,
because it is difficult to remember the melody after just hearing it.
Drums were driven harder, often keeping time on the cymbals. The
classic bebop combo consisted of saxophone, trumpet, bass, drums,
and piano. Other musicians that developed bebop include: Lester
Young, Roy David Eldridge, Dexter Gordon, "Fats" Navarro, Bud
Powell, Sonny Rollins, and Clifford Brown.
Charlie Parker:
The Complete Dial Sessions
Thelonious Monk:
Thelonious Monk Quartet w/ John Coltrane at
Carnegie Hall
Various Artists:
A Jazz Odyssey
Various Artists:
Stitt's Bits: The Bebop Recordings 1949-52
Hard Bop
This music was an outgrowth from bebop. (Hard bop
differs from bebop in that it is more soulful, and has even funkier
characteristics; bebop is arguably more concerned with precision and
speed than groove and feeling.) Hard bop also uses complex
chord
changes. However, hard bop mixes bebop with gospel and blues,