Bebop Essentials

Bebop Essentials

Emerging in the early ‘40s as a reaction to swing’s codified function as dance music, bebop empowered young players to pursue an explicitly virtuosic yet breathlessly fun new sound. Pioneers like saxophonist Charlie Parker, trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, pianist Bud Powell, and drummer Max Roach accelerated tempos, experimented with complex chord and key changes, and engaged in heroic, harmony-based improvisation, developing a template that many still regard as the standard for small-group jazz. By the late ‘50s, that approach had been streamlined, but these fiery acts of fiercely driving derring-do remain unparalleled in their influence.

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