Cool Jazz, West Coast and Third Stream


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Musical Characteristics

  • Emphasis on medlodic flow, smoother lines
  • Less emotional (Cooler), less accented, little reference to blues
  • Miles Davis and Bill Evans-Model concept, fewer chord changes, slower, introspective
  • Soloist responsible for creating excitment
  • Some used European techniques, odd meters
  • “If its not hot, its cool”


Social Consideration

  • White and African-Am. contribute to style
  • West coast becomes cool jazz center, the style starts to be referred as “West Coast Blues”
  • Third Stream concept- attempt to combine jazz and classical music
  • Introduction to the LP (Long-PLaying) album encourages longer tracks/solos

Lennie Tristano

  • Blind Chicago Piano Player
  • Forerunner, cool jazz ideas
  • Forerunner “Free” jazz ideas
  • No reference to the blues
  • Song titled “Subconcious Lee” The Lennie Tristano Quintet (Notice Brushes on drums)


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Birth of the cool


Cool Jazz, Miles Davis (Album)
Miles Davis


-Mentored by Charlie Parker and Dizzie Gillespie

-Birth of the cool-Nonet with Gil Evans, Jerry Mulligan, and John Lewis as arrangers (1949-50)

-Ever changing style

Bill Evans


-Colloborations with Miles Davis

Third Stream

1st Stream- Classical

2nd Stream- Jazz

3rd Stream- W.E influence

MJQ (Modern Jazz Quartet)

-The “Third Stream”

-W.E influence (Bach)

-John Lewis, Pianist/Arranger

-“Django” (1960)



Dave Brubeck

-Writes all kinds of music

-Complex Arrangments


-Expanded use of W.E ideas

-Use of irregular time signatures

– “Take Five” Most famous song

“Blue Rondo A la Turk” Meter=2+2+2+3

Herbie Hancock

-Joined Miles Davis in 1963

-“Empyrean Isles” Album (64), Miles Quintet, but with Freddie Hubbard on trumpet

-“One Finger Snap” (Hard bop)

Key Artists

  • Lennie Tristano (Piano)
  • Miles Davis (Trumpet)
  • Bill Evans (Piano)
  • Dave Brubeck (Piano)
  • Gerry Mulligan (Baritone Sax)
  • Chet Baker (Trumpet)
  • Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ) John Lewis, (Piano) Milt Jackson (Vibraphone)