When discussing the history of Jazz, an important type of music is developed that changed the music industry. This music, bebop, helped to influence other types of music, and it also let us appreciate jazz more
As is so often the case in jazz, when a style or way of playing becomes too commercialized, the evolution turned in the opposite direction. A group of musicians, who had something new to say, something definitely new, found each other reacting against the general Swing fashion.
This new music developed, at first in spurts, originally in Kansas City and then most of all in musician's hangouts in Harlem, particularly at Minton's Playhouse, and once again at the beginning of a decade. Contrary to what has been claimed, this new music did not develop when a group of musicians banded together to create something new, because the old could no longer work. The old style worked very well. It also is not true that the new jazz style was developed as an effort on behalf of an interconnected group of musicians.
The new style formed in the minds and on the instruments of very different musicians in many different places, independent of each other. But Minton's became a focal point, just as New Orleans had been forty years earlier. And just as Jelly Roll Morton's claim to have "invented" jazz then is crazy, so would be the claim of any musician to have "invented" modern jazz.
This new style called bebop was like, onomatopoetically, the then best-loved interval of the music: the flatted fifth. The words "bebop" or "rebop" came into being, when someone attempted to "sing" these melodic leaps. Bebop, which was also called bop, was the fis...
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... during the bebop period, but also gave to the music of later periods. That bebop was a revolutionary music is a given fact by most historians and critics, but the length to which it affected society and the musicians who played it has not been fully explored.
1. Berendt, Joachim E., The New Jazz Book. Hill and Wang, New York, 1959. p. 17-19.
2. Tirro, Frank Thro Jazz- A History, W.W. Norton & Co, Inc., New York, 1982. p. 287, 290-291.
3. Davis, Nathan T. Writings in Jazz. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. Dubuque, IA. 1996. p. 152-153, 163, 166.
4. Hodeir, Andre. Jazz: Its Evolution and Essence. Hill and Wang, New York, p. 110.
5. The World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 11, 1994. p. 72-73.
6. http://blackhistory.cb.com/cgi-bin/switcher. Internet
7. The New Yorker, November 7, 1959. p. 158.
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