Download Bebop: The Music and Its Players by Thomas Owens PDF

By Thomas Owens

While 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 state swinging to the easily orchestrated sounds of the massive bands, this progressive move of the Nineteen Forties should have appeared destined for a brief existence at the musical fringe. yet at the present time, Owens writes, bebop is not anything lower than "the lingua franca of jazz, serving because the critical musical language of millions of jazz musicians." In Bebop, Owens conducts us on an insightful, loving travel throughout the tune, avid gamers, and recordings that modified American tradition. Combining brilliant photos of bebop's large personalities with deft musical research, he levels from the early classics of contemporary jazz (starting with the 1943 Onyx membership performances of Dizzy Gillespie, Max Roach, Oscar Pettiford, Don Byas, and George Wallington) throughout the vital function of Charlie Parker, to an instrument-by-instrument examine the main gamers and their options. Illustrating his dialogue with various musical excerpts, Owens skillfully demonstrates why bebop was once so progressive, with attention-grabbing glimpses of the tempestuous jazz global: Thelonious Monk, for instance, did "everything 'wrong' within the experience of conventional piano technique....Because his correct elbow fanned outward clear of his physique, he frequently hit the keys at an attitude instead of in parallel. occasionally he hit a unmarried key with a couple of 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 informed of the way his personal mellow saxophone taking part in may wander away less than paintings Blakey's livid drumming: "He may do a type of well-known four-bar drum rolls going into the subsequent refrain, and that i might thoroughly disappear. He might holler over at me, 'Get up out of that hole!'" during this magnificent account, Owens comes correct to the current day, with money owed of recent musicians starting from the Marsalis brothers to lesser-known masters like pianist Michel Petrucciani. Bebop is a jazz-lover's dream--a critical but hugely own examine America's such a lot certain song.

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Many of these pieces were recorded with poor equipment, and their acoustical qualities vary from poor to abysmal. Many also are frustratingly incomplete, because the person doing the recording wanted to save tape and was interested only in recording Parker's solos. ) But within this hodgepodge are some treasures, which I included in the list above. One of these treasures is the concert at Carnegie Hall on 29 Sep- 44 B E B O P : THE M U S I C A N D ITS P L A Y E R S tember 1947 given by Parker, Gillespie, John Lewis, bassist Al McKibbon, and drummer Joe Harris.

According to Reig, Gillespie played piano during Parker's two choruses and trumpet during the introduction and coda. That explanation is plausible, but during the few extant measures of the Cherokee melody in take 1 someone plays piano while Gillespie continues on trumpet. That pianist could have been Davis, who had a moderate command of the keyboard, or Argonne Thornton, a marginally competent pianist who had already played on Thriving from a /^(unfortunately). So any of three people could have comped for Parker on take 2,18 The issue is incidental, however, for the comping is basic, functional, and entirely subservient to the stunning solo that Parker created.

Near the end of the theme chorus the winds continue playing, but they simply toss the same triplet figure from one to another. In later public performances Parker used an improved theme, one in which section a is complete and section a' has a better ending. Later performances also preserve more extended solos. But this inaugural recording is important because it is one of three takes that offer us another chance to compare Parker's musical thought processes from one moment to the next. As expected, his solos on each take are quite different from one another.

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