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Develope of Jazz (1940-1960)


Dizzy Gillespie - Con alma

Jazz performers shifted music from danceable music to more formal music.

The new style had some of the most successful performers in jazz's history, like Charlie Parker (saxophone), Bud Powell (Piano), Thelonious Monk (Piano), Dizzy Gillespie (Trumpet) and Max Roach (Drum set).


Bebop was considered more like an art form, taking apart from

dance music.

The style didn't look for commercial success, like the swing style.

Normally, bebop used very fast tempos.

One of the most important instruments was the drum set, using

a explosive style.

Other instruments in this style were the piano, the trumpet or  

the saxophone.

The rhythm was highly syncopated and with a great complexity.




Bebop music used more complex chords, and a more sophisticated improvisation: Better musicians, better performance.

They used the traditional scales, with some added notes, normally chromatic notes. It is called the "blue scale".

This style only used a few instruments, specially piano, saxophone, trumpet and drum set.

It was very common the jazz trio in this style.


Max Roach - Freedom Day

Thelonious Monk - Round about midnight

Charlie Parker, Jr.


He was born in 1920, and died in 1955.

He was an american saxophonist anc composer, also known as "Yardbird" or "bird".

He used his nickname in a lot of compositions.

He was a highly influential jazz soloist and a leading figure in the development of bebop.

He introduced revolutionary harmonic ideas.

He was able to change the sound of the instrument, from sweet to somber.

He was a great virtuoso performer, and even played other genres like classical music.

He was an icon for the hipster culture and the beat generation, because he was an uncompromising artist and intelectual, and not an entertainer.


He used to recycle his own music, using the same melodies or harmonic progression in several musical pieces.

He used a long and complex melodic line and a minimum of repetition.

With the figure of Parker, the modern jazz was born.


Some works:

Charlie Parker - Ornithology

Charlie Parker - Yardbird suite

Charlie Parker - Now's the time

Charlie Parker & Coleman Hawkins - Improvisation

Cool Jazz 

After the nervous energy and tension of bebop, musicians tried to do a clamer and smoother music, called "Cool Jazz".

This style used favoured long, linear melodic lines.

It was born in New York City during the 1950's.

It was a mixture of the white jazz musician' style and the black bebop style.

This style was born because a black musician, Miles Davis, created a nonet ensemble to perform a smoother music. The album was called "Birht of the Cool".

Some musicians in this style were: Chet Baker, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Stan Getz and the Modern Jazz Quartet.

They tried to avoid aggressive tempos and harmonic abstraction of bebop.


As a reflection of the elegance of classical music, they used piano as the main instrument.

Normally, cool jazz used a few instruments.

The style became strongly identified with the West Coast, but also it had a great success in Europe..

One of the most important artist was Lennie Tristano, who set the theorical underpinning of the cool jazz.


Miles Davis

Chet Baker - Bye bye blackbird

Modern Jazz Quartet - Lonely Woman

He was born in 1926 and died in 1991.

He was an American jazz musician, trumpeter, bandleader and composer.

He is considered one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.

He took part on the developement of the new jazz styles, including Bebop, Cool, hard jazz and fusion.

He was introduced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006.

His major success were two albums:

Birth of the Cool (1949) 

Kind of Blue (1959), with Bill Evans on piano

Autumn leaves

"So what" from Kind of Blue

Bill Evans

He was born in 1929, and died in 1980.

He was an American jazz pianist and composer.

Evans' style is characterized by:

Impressionist harmony.

Inventive interpretation.

Use of block chords.

Melodic lines over independent rhythm.

He was born in New Jersey, and studied classical piano.

During the 50's, he studied in New York and joined Miles Davis' band.

He was part of 'Kind of Blue' album.

In 1959, he founded a jazz trio with LaFaro and Motian.

In 1963, he recorded "Conversations with myself".

He used the overdubbing technique.

After this, he enjoyed a great success in jazz music.

During his last years, he suffered personal loss and struggled with drug abuse.



Make someone happy

Stella by starlight 

Waltz for Debbie

Free Jazz 

It's also called avant-garde jazz.

It was developed during the 60's.

This style used free tonality, and free use of meter, beat and formal symmetry.

It also used world music, specially for India and Africa.

It pretended to transform jazz music into a lively way of life.

It's the jazz style with more improvisation.

Some artist in this style were Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Archie Shepp or John Coltrane.

It was a success in Europe.

This style didn't use too many instruments: three or four.

Piano, drum set and double bass are the most common instruments


Bobby McFerry & Chick Corea - Blues Connotation

Charles Mingus - Reincarnation of the blackbird

John Coltrane

He was also known as "Trane", and he was born in 1926, and died in 1967.

He was an american jazz saxophonist and composer.

At the beginning of his career, he worked on the bebop style.

He was one of the first jazz musicians to use modes on jazz music.

He worked in his youth with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk.

His music took an spiritual dimension.

He is considered one of the best saxophonist in jazz history.

The performance of Coltrane became abstract during the 60's, with the use of devices like multiphonics and overtones.

He always looked for a complete freedom in his performance.

Some Coltrane's work:

Living Space 

New thing at Newport 






First meditations

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