Style: Cool Jazz

  • Frequent use of counterpoint
  • Less aggressive sound
  • Relaxed tempos
  • Emotional detachment 
  • Delicate sounds

Birth of the Cool

  • Group lead by Miles Davis – Pioneered the style of “cool jazz”
  • Interested in playing lighter sound rather than stylistic precedent

New Instruments: Cool Jazz

  • Flute
  • French Horn
  • Oboe
  • Flugelhorn

People: Gerry Mulligan

  • First to use bebop style on baritone sax
  • Developed piano-less quartet
  • Emphasizes counterpoint between bass and melody 

People: Chet Baker


  • Trumpet player/vocalist – “Doomed Jazz Genius” 
  • Ultimate image of cool jazz artist – good looks, romantic musician
  • Terrible junkie

People: Lennie Tristano

  • Jazz teacher/pianist – blind from birth
  • Highly innovative – valued countrapuntal and harmonic content 
  • Abrasive/reclusive personality made him less popular

People: Bill Evans

  • Influence on modern pianists – phenomenal technique/musical sensitivity 
  • Worked w/ Miles Davis
  • His trio redefines roles of rhythym section – uses bass/drum counterpoint

People: Dave Brubeck

  • Clasically trained pianist – Balkan/Middle eastern influence
  • Use of odd-meters
  • Tremendous commercial success 

People: Miles Davis

  • From St. Louis
  • Studied classical trumpet 
  • Had the ability to anticipate stylistic direction jazz needed to take
  •  Had heroin addiction, then cleaned up 

Miles Davis: Bop

  • Simpler style – fewer notes, middle register, more space
  • Valued content over technique
  • Played w/ Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie

Miles Davis: 3rd Stream Jazz

  • Blending jazz/classical music
  • Addition of “non-jazz” instruments
  • Unique orchestration – use of classical forms

Miles Davis: Modal Jazz

  • Tired of bebop cliches – wants originality and freedom 
  • Fewer chords, simplification of harmony 
  • “Kind of Blue” – provides next shift in jazz

Miles Davis: Hard Bop/Funky

  • Heavy gospel/R&B influences 
  • Bluesy – recognizable/catchy melodies
  • Featured shout chorus and ensemble sections

People/Style: Art Blakey

  • Aggressive drummer – central figure in hard bop
  • Forms Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers 
    • Leads band for 30+ years
  • “One man university of jazz” – developed many talented artists 

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People/Style: Horace Silver 


  • Pianist – Plays with Art Blakey
  • Left hand = syncopated and active 
  • Incorporates blues, folk, gospel 
  • Catchy melodies – songs popular in jazz

People/Style: Julian “Cannonball” Adderley

  • (hard bop) Alto sax player – Bluesy/big sound
  • Plays w/ Miles on Kind of Blue
  • Leaves Miles –> forms band w/brother Nat

People/Style: Wes Montgomery

  • Guitar player – uses thumb to play 
  • From Indianapolis, discovered by “Cannonball” 
  • Single lines, octaves, and chords 

People/Style: Jimmy Smith

  • Used Hammond B3 Organ – usually used in church
  • Left = walking bass line, Right = melodies & chords
  • Church influence – funky/gospel sound

People/Style: Clifford Brown

  • Trumpet Player
  • Great tone, technique, time, and harmony
  • “Clean musician” – influences lifestyle choices for others 
  • Dies at age 25 in car accident 

People/Style: Charles Mingus

  • Virtuoso bassist – great composer
  • Music spans many genres – classical, gospel, bebop
  • Music contains civil rights messages
  • Heavily influenced by Ellington/Parker

People: John Coltrane

  • Born North Carolina, grows up in Philidelphia
  • Begins playing clarinet, then alto sax –> later switches to tenor sax
  • Joined military – played in service band

John Coltrane: Hard Bop

  • Joins Miles Davis Quintet
    • Replaced Sonny Rollins
    • Initially, critics dislike style/sound
  • Gets fired by Miles for drugs, then works with Monk
  • Rejoins Miles “Kind of Blue” 

John Coltrane: “Sheets of Sound”

  • Refers to Coltrane’s use of fast scales
  • Plays as much harmonic knowledge as possible at all times

John Coltrane: “Giant Steps”

  • 1959 Album – explores new harmonic movement
  • Very difficult to play
  • Important influence on modern jazz

Definition: Counterpoint

  • 2 seperate melodic ideas occuring simultaneously

Band Members: Miles Davis 2nd Quintet

  • Wayne Shorter – Saxophone
  • Herbie Hancock – Piano
  • Ron Carter – Bass
  • Tony Williams – Drums

Importance: Miles Davis 2nd Quintet

  • More freedom – form/harmony
  • Soloist is a function of the dynamics of the accompaniment
  • Elasticity: band members push/pull on each others melodies, tones, solos without talking

Miles Davis: Fusion

  • Influenced by rock and funk
  • Electric guitar and Synthesizers
  • Simpler musical structures allow greater musical freedom