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Musical Considerations


-emphasis on virtuosity spurred by competition

-fast tempos

-complex chord changes

-unison melody lines

-played standards with alternate melodies called “Heads”

-Influneced with the blues, K.C influence from Charlie Parker

-Soloist expected to know the chord changes



Social Considerations

-Reaction against swinging and commercial music grows out of cutting/jam sessions

-music by and for musicians

-initally african american artists create style and white musicans soon after

-incubated at Mintons Playhouse, Later attracted a racially integrated audience at NY clubs

-No recording of early style


Key Artists

Dizzie Gillepsie (Trumpet)

-virtuosity and extended range studied harmony;became an icon for bebop; later helped usher in afro-cuban jazz

Charlie “Bird Parker” (Alto sax)

-created a fusion of rhythm and blues

-employed chromatic and double time playing

rhymthic displacement; turning point in jazz improv; long life struggle with addiction

Thellonius Monk (Piano)

-unique style rooted in tradition yet unpredicabtle, early days at Mintons, ahead of his time, recognized by peers not public, Song: “Criss cross”

Why did artists want to move to bebop? and Where

-Minton, New York

-Kellys Stable, NY (closed for health reasons)


Musicians seeking freedom to improvise without compromise.

integrated audiences