thumbnail of The Evolution of Jazz; 30; Bop, Part Two
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Closing opposite sentence on the BOP rhythm section would be Ross Russell's remark that properly balanced and disciplined it is productive of a light spirit sound and markedly upon the rhythmic beat. In a later article on bebop instrumentation Ross Russell wrote the real nature of jazz history as organic. Just as Armstrong growing out of the great New Orleans tradition sounds a new style. Roy Eldridge stems from Louis and Dizzy Gillespie from Eldridge. These are the three great trumpet stylists of the past 30 years the same tranz or approximated among the other instruments the contemporary products of the past which they have absorbed the total picture of an instrumental change an individual experiment equals a musical language which constantly extends re-affirms and replenishes itself from Jelly Roll Morton to Max Roach and music as a whole art extended across the time and space of 20th century America and back into the roots of
African culture and Afro American poetry. Those who cannot enjoy the music of Jelly Roll Morton and Armstrong are truly as poor as those who are unable to understand the no less wonderful art of Lester Young and Charlie Parker. The insurgents were invariably frustrated orchestra's sideman at the beginning. Dizzy Gillespie Charlie Parker Charlie Christian Kenny Clark for them free expression meant playing in a small combination and they began gathering together at Minton's after hours and on off nights to exchange ideas and jam. The whole idea of experimentation demanded an absolute minimum number of voices and therefore a substitute of the trumpet for the entire brass section of the history of the 30s and the alto sax for the reed section. These two instruments joined the new three piece rhythm section to set what at first was the standard instrumentation for the new small band. The tenor sax was often substituted for the alto or used to augment the early Bob line. Later the
trombone in the hands of men like JJ Johnson Benny Green and K. windowing became an important part of that front line even in its earliest state was intricate jazz requiring new levels of study and execution. Psychologically too it was a more complicated art form the New Orleans jazz because it was the expression of a more complex way of life. And in part a protest to that way of life. Musically it was more complicated because it could could command jazz skills developed over several generations of instrumental experimentation experimentation where the cream of the orchestral sideman enable them to handle with the most complicated scoring of Jimmy Monday at the solder Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington. That's a technical skill was a requisite for those who would free themselves from what they regarded as the bondage of the orchestra and create a new jazz language. The interesting thing about the new way of play was that the boppers were going back to small band music although the course had been a large small small
band activity throughout the 30s harmonic erudition were merely tools for the revolutionaries. Never except for the untalented and imitative ends in themselves. The main emphasis in the new style was a thorough reexamination of the basic problems of poly rather makes a collective improvisation and jazz intonation to musicians. Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie were to play a role in the forging of the new style. But again jazz history was repeating itself had not strong been the greatest single influence in jazz 20 years before had not Coleman Hawkins almost alone transform the tenor sax from a supporting instrument into one of the greatest possible range of expression. The first real band was actually a combination of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker Plus a suitable rhythm section a collaboration between the two contemporaries began at Minton's around 1940 and continued until the end of 1945. In the intervening years they worked together in the Earl Hines and Billy Eckstein orchestras and fronted a number of combinations on 50 second Street notably at
the Three Deuces in 1943 and 44 jazz fans are familiar with the legends of the original Creole band that electrified Chicago in the 1920s inspiring every musician over Ed King Oliver and Louis Armstrong taking unison breaks the impact of the Gillespie Parker combination on the musicians of the 40s was no less profound the music at first was largely lost on the public but for thousands of musicians it was Messianic. Not a few journeyed across the continent to be in direct communication with Parker and Gillespie and other new jazz men. The stature of the Creole band rests upon a handful of rare records on the Janet and OK labels due to the recording band of 1942 to 44 and the confusion following its germination not to mention the wartime shellacked shortage that created chaos in the record industry. The Parker discography is likewise insufficient but there are some excellent early science. Has this one hot house. And here
the one mindedness required to play cleanly the haunting unison passages is much in evidence. The solo work is splendid and the rhythm section build a book around the great drummer said counsellor who was at home in all styles finishes Eccellenza point coming upon them. The initial listener to Bob may be struck by their strangeness in a sense but after a degree of listening. The place of this music in the mainstream of jazz tradition is I believe quite clear. Dizzy Gillespie Charlie Parker hot house.
The lack of polyphony of counterpoint in early BOP is apparent and was the most serious weakness of the new foreign but as we'll see it as a return and not a linear improvisation in modern jazz. In the last few years in considerable strength. Russell continues by saying that most of the. Designs of Bob however intricate warhead arrangements prop was improvised jazz seldom read any of the 100 odd sides of Russell himself supervised reading music was seldom in evidence in the recording studio in fact it was invariably necessary to secure the services of a skilled music copyist to transcribe the composition from the record in order to apply for a copyright complaints that BOP is not melodic work quite frequent the same complaints created greeted as music at the turn of the century many more dollars. So where the lessons by aggressive Goodman Ellington basi Henderson Armstrong Oliver and Morton those who are unable to hear the beautiful melodies of hothouse groove in High Point of thought. Relaxing at Kemah
blues or confirmation says Russell are simply not listening with open minds. Such melodies have become part of the same jazz Treasury and high society Savoy blues solitude Mood Indigo filled time special the sound the intonation of baht was unique. In jazz or for that matter and music in general it can be likened to that profound and delightful change in texture that occurred in French music with JVC and in French painting with Monet and online as a more haunting quality and less for Bravo than earlier jazz intonation. It said once round and light airy and brilliant it had little relation to any academic concept of intonation. Just as New Orleans and Chicago Jazz had their individual sounds and so was Bob unique and as we'll see in the cool school this kind of intonation was even more evolved into one and a newer kind of sound a lighter side and with even less of a bridle.
However first here is an example of the BOP sound with Charlie Parker an album Miles Davis one of the progenitors of the cool school on trumpet Jordan piano and Tommy Potter bass and Max Roach drums is also an example of how beautiful a bop melody could be. It's called Bird of Paradise.
Particular interest of the historian Ross Russell continues at the environmental conditions of the bot movement. Bob grew out of it in sessions of the late 30s and 40 41. He ran a swift Corps from an esoteric form supported by a handful of innovators to a relatively popular style from 1942 to forty six fifty second Street in particular in the industry in general enjoyed a boom. The like of which it had not known and which has a favorable climate for playing on commercial jazz can be compared to New Orleans before 917 Chicago in the early 1920s and Kansas City in the early 1930s. The straight 30 second straight of the world war to Iraq was in one of the chief meteors of jazz during this period the street supported at least seven major clubs featuring name jazz talent usually on a continuous alternate attraction basis talent included almost every important name and certainly every style of playing he Wilens was represented by baby dogs sit in the shade on Johnson. Chicago by our holiday is George Brown as well Bill Davis and the 30s by Ben Webster Bonnie Bogart Tatum
Coleman Hawkins Roy Eldridge Lester Young said Kathleen stored in Teddy Wilson. The street Incidentally since then has declined and so far as I know there are now no jazz clubs on the street. The honest critic must ask himself Russell is that given the opportunity to hear all jazz styles as played by the outstanding exponents of each. Why did the generation which was creating a new uncommercial jazz style discard or at least certainly change the previous models and accept as the contemporary way of playing jazz. The historical reality is that the boppers had absorbed unconsciously or consciously from their antecedents the language of earlier jazz and were bent on forging a new idiom which would communicate the ideas and emotions not of the 1920s or the 1930s but the 1940s unconsciously had again I don't mean anything but through cultural influence. The most misleading theory of all remains that which I argue is that Bob is music fostered by
motion picture soundtracks jazz arranger and been Tin Pan Alley and violent revolt against all three. It's especially the intransigent opponent of Tin Pan Alley indeed the war against the horrible products of the Smiths which began with Fletcher Henderson in the 1920s began much before that actually New Orleans has been brought to a successful conclusion by many boppers who take standard melodies that will stand them on their head and create new compositions. Retaining only the harmonic relationship with the original. That's what is this thing called love becomes hot house. How High the Moon becomes on authority and so on. Properly asserted the individuality of a jazz musician as a creative artist. Playing spontaneous and melodic music within the framework of jazz but with new tools new sounds new concepts. Heard at Minton's and later on tour and parking in the park or go SB quintet. Set standards for the new way of ensemble playing this is from about 42 to 45.
The trumpet should assume leadership of the new combination was inevitable from the time of the New Orleans jazz the trumpet or cornet had been the lead jazz voice powerful forthright and robust its range corresponded most nearly to that of the male tenor voice which had supplied the lead in pretty instrumental Afro American music by Golden King Oliver Buck Johnson Freddie kept right Louis Armstrong it all been aggressive personalities. They're all musicians who dominated the musical groups with which they were associated by the mid-1920s. I'm striving to become the most imitated musician of the day. As a successful young big band leader he abandoned the early cornet ensemble style taking up the trumpet soon expanded its range and flexibility making it more individual and expression. The Armstrong trumpet style is the foundation style of every trumpet player who has followed him and there are certainly few brass men unfamiliar with Louise middle period style. But I think musician between Armstrong and the president was Roy Eldridge a figure of only secondary
in importance. Some believe in jazz I believe that has very enough does that he is of key importance but whose stylist stylistic influences were enormously influential. Roy was the most listened to most admired and imitated trumpet player in jazz for quite a period. His records. Like the hecklers hop we played while discussing him have only occasionally captured the compelling force of his playing Fred and president especially during the 37 39 period when he had his own six piece band Roy was of the most exciting of musicians. In fact Eldridge took as his point of departure for the fantastic style of the middle Armstrong period. Roy's trumpet went beyond low in range and brilliance though not in essential quality and emotional power. Because Louis was Nonpareil in those fields it had greater agility Eldridge is trying but his style was more nervous his drive was perhaps the most intense jazz Id ever known. After abandoning the small band Eldridge was featured trumpet with bands
and was sort of the King of the jazz trumpet player as well as the youngsters until that memorable night in 1941 a 40 to 20 classical tells the story is not sure exactly when the Dizzy Gillespie caught up with him at Minton. Monday night was always a free for all admittance Clark recalls. All the young musicians in town would be in the place with their horns waiting for a chance to get up on the stand and broke. Big name stars used to drop in especially if they were playing with a band at the Apollo Theater a few blocks away. Charlie Christian Lester Young especially Roy Eldridge Roy was the king. Dizzy Gillespie is in style during this period may be attributed to his long association to detour for a moment with the teddy Hill band which the 19 year old Gillespie had joined around 1937. Dizzy listening to Teddy his band broadcasting from the Savoy Ballroom over NBC when it
Feather recalls had found a musical idol. In Hill's diatribe a man of the time Roy Eldridge and was playing in a style approximating Roy Roy left to join the Fletcher Henderson in Chicago and said he was looking for someone who could play like Roy having once had a disease in Philadelphia. He invited him to come to rehearsal. By the time as he made his first record session with Hale in March 1937 he had established his musical value to the band. His solos attested to his careful study of Roy Eldridge. Before long as he was playing for his trumpet with help also taking most of the solos and the other two men in the section and 39 and 40 Joe guy in the late Al Killian were learning from Desi rather than teaching him. He helped them with their reading impress them with his musical diligence. After his band broke up does he want to work with a Cab Calloway orchestra and was one account away during this period Edmonton's when he finally conquered Gillespie. First let's hear dizzy as he was experimenting. In May of 1941 admins.
So Kenny Clark remembers Dizzy Gillespie started out playing like Roy but had gotten on the new kick working out his ideas with Charlie Parker Thelonious Monk Nick Fenton and myself. Those of us who were in the regular band admin and starting in forty one does a good play man and his ideas were new but try as he would Does he could never cut Roy Roy I was just too much. Roy had drive an execution and he could keep going chorus after chorus every time dizzy tried Roy gave him a lesson and made him pack but dizzy never quit. Then one night dizzy came in and started blowing. He got it all together that night he cut Roy to everyone's satisfaction and that night Roy packed his horn and never came back. Dizzy was the new king and the cats were already beginning to call him Bob. Thereafter Gillespie was the idol of the younger generation and so to the prophet of the new style. Once established Gillespie's talent increased in depth and breath of all of operas does he is perhaps the most solidly entrenched in jazz tradition. Oliver Armstrong Eldridge and OSB are securely in linear contact with one another.
Here is a mature Gillispie record of I Can't Get Started recalling the excellent bunny Berrigan version. This is all the more interesting and Dizzy Gillespie his use of the evolved jazz language Bob. I.
Whoa. Whoa whoa. Whoa whoa. Whoa. Whoa.
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.
The Evolution of Jazz
Episode Number
Bop, Part Two
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-f7667x7v).
Episode Description
The second part of this program talks about bop and its place in the history of jazz. Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie is focused upon.
Other Description
Jazz historian Nat Hentoff presents a series that traces the history of jazz, from its musical and cultural roots to its contemporary forms. "The Evolution of Jazz" was originally broadcast from WGBH in 1953-1954, and was re-broadcast by the National Educational Radio Network in 1964.
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Media type
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Host: Hentoff, Nat
Producer: Hentoff, Nat
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
Subject: Gillespie, Dizzy, 1917-1993
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 55-32-30 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:28:51
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “The Evolution of Jazz; 30; Bop, Part Two,” 1954-06-04, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 28, 2022,
MLA: “The Evolution of Jazz; 30; Bop, Part Two.” 1954-06-04. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 28, 2022. <>.
APA: The Evolution of Jazz; 30; Bop, Part Two. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from