Bebop : Third Ear - The Essential Listening Companion by Scott Yanow

By Scott Yanow

At the heels of swing, bebop lifted jazz from the dance ground into an artwork shape powered by means of virtuoso avid gamers. This enticing selection of essays, biographies and reports by way of veteran jazz journalist Scott Yanow probes the lives and progressive works of greater than 500 nice beboppers, together with the giants: Charlie Parker, Dizzie Gillespie, Bud Powell, Max Roach and Thelonious Monk. The advisor additionally explores key artists comparable to Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Christian and the younger Miles Davis, plus such later figures as Joe cross and Barry Harris.

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I used a ten-point rating system for the CD reviews. Here are what the ratings mean: * Limited edition box setMost highly recommended for completists and veteran collectors but be careful to get it while you can! 10 A gem that belongs in every serious jazz collection 9 Highly recommended 8 A very good release 7 An excellent acquisition 6 Good music but not quite essential 5 Decent but not one of this artist's more important works 4 So-so 3 A disappointing effort with just a few worthwhile moments 2 A weak release 1 Stinks!

Kenny Clarke, as the drummer with Edgar Hayes's Orchestra, had mastered swing and starts to experiment with his style. 1939: Glenn Miller's band catches on as the most popular of all swing bands, Coleman Hawkins records "Body and Soul," and both Charlie Christian and Jimmy Blanton begin to make strong impressions. Dizzy Gillespie joins Cab Calloway's orchestra for a two-year period. Charlie Parker visits New York for the first time, at one point working as a dishwasher at a restaurant so he can hear Art Tatum play there nightly.

The trumpeter sounds merely OK while Basie is quite predictable; no magic occurs. While with the Pablo label, Basie was recorded in three basic settings: with his big band, in all-star groups, and as a pianist (sometimes teaming up with Oscar Peterson for two-piano duets or in a quartet). No less than 33 Count Basie CDs are currently in the Fantasy/Pablo catalog (not counting a "Best of" sampler). The four-CD retrospective The Golden Years does an excellent job of summing up Basie's Pablo years, with the music divided into live concerts, smallgroup outings, dates with vocalists, and big band showcases.

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