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Cool, Hard Bop, and Modal Jazz


Modal Jazz


8. all styles of jazz from Dixieland to contemporary are still being performed and recorded today; all style dates given are approximations of when each respective style came to the forefront of jazz and experienced its most concentrated development; of course, styles and dates overlap

9. IHJ = selection is found on Willie Hill’s The Instrumental History of Jazz; JIA = selection is found on the Jazz in America website (www.jazzinamerica.org)

I. Cool (1949-1955)

jazz images 1

Chet Baker

jazz images 2

Dave Brubeck

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Miles Davis

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jazz images 5

Gerry Mulligan

A. A reaction to Bebop



if Bebop was a reaction to Swing, then Cool was a reaction to the reaction 



Bebop was a fast-paced, energetic, raw emotional, loud, “hot” style of jazz 



Cool was usually a slower paced, more subdued, less emotional, softer, more controlled, “cooler” style of jazz 



Cool repopularized jazz and pulled it back into the mainstream of America 



while Cool jazz was performed by both black and white musicians in all major cities, it has been most closely associated with young white players (e.g., baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, trumpet player Chet Baker, pianist Dave Brubeck, alto saxophonist Paul Desmond) on the West Coast (i.e., Los Angeles and San Francisco); highly significant east coast black Cool innovators included trumpet player Miles Davis and pianist John Lewis  



the size of the Cool groups were more varied than their Bebop counterparts  



Bebop combos usually ranged from quartets to sextets  



Cool combos ranged from trios (three members) to nonets (nine members) 



the instrumentation of the Cool groups were more varied than their Bebop counterparts 



Bebop combos usually consisted of trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass, and drums 



besides the standard Bebop instrumentation, Cool combos often included softer, more “classical” instruments, e.g., flute, oboe, clarinet, French horn, fluegelhorn, vibes, tuba, guitar, etc.) 



Cool influences and tune sources included swing, bebop, pop, and classical music  

B. Performance Practices



written arrangements 



use of polyphony 



Bebop employed more homophony, i.e., one melodic line (the soloist) with accompanying chords (the pianist) underneath 



besides homophony, Cool often employed polyphony, i.e., two or more independent melodic lines sounded together 



integration of arrangement and improvisation; both were important 



rhythm sections were basically passive, providing subtle accompaniment 



the dynamic range (i.e., soft to loud), as well as the emotionally expressive range, was usually more narrow in Cool than in Bebop 



Cool utilized the basic musical language of Bebop, but more simplified; the use of the blues was minimized (more classical influence than blues influence) 



compared to bebop, cool jazz was more “tune oriented,” i.e., more singable, easy, narrow range, simple rhythms  

C. Important Figures



Chet Baker, trumpet (1929-1988)

watch video Video of Chet Baker singing and playing "Time After Time" 



Dave Brubeck, piano (1920-2012)

watch video Video of the Dave Brubeck Quartet performing "Take Five" 



Miles Davis, trumpet (1926-1991)

watch video Video of Miles Davis performing "So What" 



Modern Jazz Quartet (John Lewis, piano; Milt Jackson, vibes, Percy Heath, bass, Connie Kay, drums)

watch video Video of the Modern Jazz Quartet performing "The Golden Striker" 



Gerry Mulligan, baritone saxophone (1927-1996)

watch video Video of Gerry Mulligan and valve trombonist Bob Brookmeyer performing "Open Country" 

D. Listening Examples


"Boplicity," Miles Davis (IHJ), and/or "Bernie’s Tune," Gerry Mulligan Quartet (IHJ), and/or "Take Five," Dave Brubeck (JIA)9 

Audio Snippets

speakerspacer Take Five - The Dave Brubeck Quartet

Video Clips

videospacer Chet Baker - Live in 1964
videospacer Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five (album version)
videospacer Gerry Mulligan - Open Country
videospacer Miles Davis - Boplicity
videospacer Modern Jazz Quartet - Django
the Herbie Hancock institute of jazz
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