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

By Thomas Owens

Whilst bebop was once new, writes Thomas Owens, "many jazz musicians and lots of the jazz viewers heard it as radical, chaotic, bewildering music." For a kingdom swinging to the easily orchestrated sounds of the large bands, this innovative circulate of the Forties should have appeared destined for a brief existence at the musical fringe. yet this day, Owens writes, bebop is not anything lower than "the lingua franca of jazz, serving because the central musical language of hundreds of thousands of jazz musicians." In Bebop, Owens conducts us on an insightful, loving travel throughout the tune, gamers, and recordings that modified American tradition. Combining vibrant graphics of bebop's immense 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) in the course of the primary position of Charlie Parker, to an instrument-by-instrument examine the most important avid gamers and their thoughts. Illustrating his dialogue with various musical excerpts, Owens skillfully demonstrates why bebop used to be so progressive, with interesting glimpses of the tempestuous jazz international: 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 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 enjoying may wander off lower 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 may thoroughly disappear. He may holler over at me, 'Get up out of that hole!'" during this awesome 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 critical but hugely own examine America's such a lot distinct tune.

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Sample text

The most important result of this temporary partnership was the Latintinged A Night in Tunisia," a piece that Gillespie had written in 1942 and arranged for Earl Hines's big band. Cast in the usual aaba mold, its most ear-catching features are its chord-derived main motive— —and its insistent use of the ''Il-i harmonic relationship (Etl3-DMi), the tritone substitution. The a section ends with V7-i, but the E^-D relationship moves into the melody, in the form of the ^9-7-8 figure that Gillespie brought with him from his Eldridge-inspired early style.

Al Haig's solo is competent if uneventful, while Parker's is a model of a finely crafted solo and Gillespie's is a typically exuberant emotional high point. In Hot House we get to hear all the main ingredients of bebop assembled in one recorded performance for the first time. After a brief drum, introduction, the complex theme begins, with its chromatic melody hopping around within chords such as C13(*n> and FMI9(MA7>. Complementing this angular melody is Haig's energetic comping and Catlett's punctuating fills, all supported by Russell's relentless walking bass lines.

The rest of the solo is good, but cannot match the excitement of this spectacular phrase. Another great phrase occurs in A Night in Tunisia, from the same recording session, but its place in his music is far different. Parker's first recording of this piece came a month after Gillespie recorded it with a septet, and he adopted most of Gillespie's arrangement. Both recordings begin with the same Latin-tinged introduction and theme statement, and both abandon the Latin rhythm at the interlude. Next Parker plays a four-measure solo break (Gillespie's were two measures long) that is as stunning as any in recorded jazz.

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