Bop and Cool Jazz Jazz music has developed Into a complex and extraordinary phenomenon since Its advent in the early twentieth century. This unique and coloratura music movement developed many variations, each bringing to light talented musicians characterized by a particular technique or style of play. The audiences for each individual style of music were constantly evolving with their respective cultures, finding themselves gradually integrating this more foreign form of music into their everyday lives.
These Caucasians became highly popularized, gaining success and inspiration as the Jazz movement progressed. Two particular styles include bop and cool Jazz, each of which differ In their musicality and execution, progressing with the cultural spirits and musicians of the time. Although both bop and cool Jazz originated separately, they have acquired certain reoccurring themes within their compositions indicating that prior artistic influence played a factor in their development.
Although bop and cool Jazz popularized In a similar time frame, their Individual anemographic and cultural associations differed drastically. Jazz music began Its rise to popularity in the sass through a style known as bebop, or bop, following the wildly popular dance genre known as swing (Meadows 244). Within this postwar period we saw a high concentration of immigrants, primarily African Americans, seeking opportunity and discovering their Individual Identities (Meadows 243).
This shift in culture brought to life a transition from popular swing music, opting instead for increasingly complex and rich forms of music with unprecedented layering of oldies and harmonies, creating sounds unheard of from any of its predecessors (Devalue & Guldens 12). Music became more daring and musically adventurous, straying away from conventional norms with bands consisting primarily of black musicians located in New York (Devalue & Giddings 11). Bop compositions were rich with rapid chord changes and varying keys making the music looser and more Interpretive (Meadows 15).
On the other hand, cool Jazz began its rise to fame shortly after the bop period In the sass with a toned down form of jazz played primarily by white musicians on the west coast (Depraved & Giddings 12). Cool Jazz provided a greater structure to the delivery of music to an audience. Phrasing became well defined and advanced planning became associated with the successful execution of a composition (“Cool Jazz”). Listening to bop and cool Jazz Invites audiences Into experiencing artists and compositions each with their own varying stylistic elements, themes, and improvisation of melodic and harmonic lines.
One of the pioneering musicians of the bebop style of Jazz was Charlie Parker, an exceptional saxophonist ho featured immense skill In Improvisation with “his ability to extract quotes from various musical sources and artfully weave them into his own lines” (Crow 301 His use of improvisation accurately depicts the desultory and up-tempo style characteristic of bop Jazz. Along similar lines, John Birds Gillespie, better known as “Dizzy’ Gillespie, Is commonly thought to be the most Influential trumpet player during the bop era despite his unconventional playing technique using puffed cheeks to produce sound (Devalue ; Giddings 11).
One of Gillespie most well 1 OFF read representation of bop Jazz complex and chord based structure (Meadows 245). As its name implies, cool Jazz was characterized by less aggressive undertone and more ease for the listener. Miles Davis, an iconic figure of cool Jazz, performed on one of Charlie Parser’s recordings with “major differences in lyricism and personal timbre, longer tones, and silences. ” (Depraved & Giddings 12). Cool Jazz was highly influenced by the 1957 album “The Birth of Cool” by Miles Davis, coining a unique approach to earlier bop improvisation of emphasizing the melodic phrase (“Cool
Jazz”). The use of improvisation alongside original compositions was a common theme in both bop and cool Jazz performances. Improvisation in bop Jazz was based on the combination of harmonic structure and melodic lines, considered quite loose in its structure. Improvisation in cool Jazz was “more linear in nature and there was less emphasis in rhythmic interplay between musicians” (“Cool Jazz”). Saxophonist Gerry Mulligan developed a lighter sound, whereas trumpet players like Cheat Baker took on the role as “one of the most lyrical improvisers in the history of Jazz” (“Cool
Jazz”). Also, musicians generally characterized as playing either bop or cool Jazz occasionally crossed paths and played sets together such as Baker playing with Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan, luminaries of their respective fields. Improvisation in bop Jazz unfolded organically for the audience, having less structure or predetermined direction. As for cool Jazz, improvisations had the tendency to be the solo section of the song, which involves going around to each member of the band and providing a solo.
With these rather distinct performance styles, cool Jazz grew to e more easily understood by audiences with its predetermined structure and mellow undertones. Further discussion and identification of the works of prominent players in the bop and cool Jazz periods provides greater insight on the development of each musician’s personal stylistic elements and how these seemingly separate movements coincide. Despite bop and cool Jazz having quite different overall themes, they are also connected.
For instance, bop musician Charlie Parker composed the cool Miranda Suite” (1946) and “Cool Blues” (1947) while the young Miles Davis wrote “Sipping’ at the Bells” (1947) which “obscures blues feelings by using complex harmonies” (Depraved & Giddings 12). Themes of influence from prior musicians are also found common within bop and cool Jazz. For instance, legendary saxophonist John Chlorate was predominately inspired by virtuoso Charlie Parker of the early bop period spawning some of his earliest inspiration to pursue a career as a musician (“Cool Jazz”).
Although similarities and overlap exist in bop and cool Jazz, in comparing popularized musicians and their compositions of the time we find highly evident differences in structure and appeal. Bop pianist and composer, Telethons Monk, portrayed an individualistic improvisational style while also composing Jazz standards such as “Apostrophe’ (1942), laying a groundwork of performances and compositions featuring dissonance and use of dramatic phrasing through abrupt silences and hesitations (Spencer 11).
In contrast, cool Jazz pianist, Art Datum, developed an extremely fast paced playing style focusing on having keen precision perfect intonation (Lester 44). Throughout Tatum’s career he continued to be an innovator providing virtuous improvisations thought to be futuristic in nature (Lester Blue” (1959), the structural differences become most evident. Parser’s “Confirmation” is extremely complex made up of eighth notes, sixteenth notes and triplets, mostly with uneven syncopation.
Alongside an excessively rapid tempo of BPML, chord progressions moved at a highly technical and advanced pace with a larger variation of chords used. On the other hand, Davis’ “Kind of Blue” (1959) possesses an allure with a slower, more demure bass line and an easy, relaxed flow about the music. There are no intricate melodies, rather drawing in audiences with its less abrasive artistry. Bop and cool Jazz are strong representations of the progression and diversity in the history of music.
Bop Jazz was a true representation of its times, depicting a free-spirited and frantic style of music with fast beats and intricate melodies; however, bop eventually transitioned into cool Jazz, which incorporated structure, control, and softer emotions to music. Through bop compositions, audiences were introduced to the wide array of technical aspects and creativity available in the performance of music, whereas cool Jazz offered a more subdued, yet intricate counterpart to bop.
Each submerge has experienced a wide array of wildly talented musicians, each displaying their unique twist and interpretation of Jazz music. Their fame and eventual praise served as inspiration for future artists and collaborations. Overall, Jazz music has set to define many standards of respected music that exists until this day. While bop and cool Jazz are greatly different on the surface, the musicians and emerging culture of each period worked together to influence, define, and grow Jazz music into the celebrated genre it stands to be today. Bibliography “Cool Jazz.