More Jazz Quotes!

“It doesn’t matter all that much. It’s just that when you’re playing, Stephane, you’ve got both Chaput and me backing you, but when I’m soloing I’ve only got one guitar behind me!” – Django Reinhardt

“I’m beginning to understand myself. But it would have been great to be able to understand myself when I was 20 rather than when I was 82.” – Dave Brubeck

“I don’t like rap music at all. I don’t think it’s music. It’s just a beat and rapping.” – Nina Simone

“You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.” – Charlie Parker

“Some people try to get very philosophical and cerebral about what they’re trying to say with jazz. You don’t need any prologues, you just play.” – Oscar Peterson

“Wrong is right.” – Thelonious Monk

“When I first came to New York everybody on the scene would treat me like I could play, but I couldn’t.” -Wynton Marsalis

“Hot can be cool, and cool can be hot, and each can be both. But hot or cool, man, jazz is jazz.” – Louis Armstrong

Quotes courtesy of http://www.jazzquotations.com

To Bebop or not to Bebop? That is the question…

Inspired by http://www.opus28.co.uk/bebopperp.pdf

While surfing the internet this morning, I stumbled upon this piece and I remembered how and why I fell in love with Bebop.

Bebop is so much more than just a small movement from the 40’s, with a meagre following of die-hard supporters. According to the article above, it is “pretty much the “grammar” of modern jazz, and bebop “licks” are not so much clichés as essential elements of speech within the jazz language”.

I got hooked into Bebop from the moment I heard it in my favourite Coffee Shop. It was Charlie Parker I believe…

The first 30 seconds or so of the track started off and to a practical jazz virgin sounded pretty generic, jazz standard. Then… the bomb dropped! The next 3 minutes would change the course of my taste in music (yet again).

I remember sitting there mesmerised by the skill of the players, the way that they seemingly conjured up this melody from a collection of random notes. With ever member of the band saying their piece, with their own style and rhythm, in their own musical accent. As I have mentioned before, I love when I can feel the energy of the band, playing off each other, competing to try to out-do each other. It was as if I was sitting in the room with them, listening in on a jam session. I felt like I could almost reach out and touch them.

My favourite tracks from Jazz, to this day, still have the feel and the ambience of the Bebop movement.

Although it sometimes sounds random, or un-arranged, there are logical rules to this genre which were experimental and complex for the day. These were real musicians, who truly pushed the boundaries of what was possible with music.

Many of the musicians that came up through the “Bebop era”, like Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Charlie Christian and Sonny Stitt,  took the Bebop blueprints and evolved them into a myriad of different types of Jazz. The free-form style of Miles Davis, was a logical evolutionary step from the equally rebellious Beboppers all those years before.

Whether you like it or not, I believe, it was the Bebop generation that made Jazz as we know it.

For those of you who are new readers of my blog, don’t miss the Hank Jones Interview from last month, or take a glance at more Jazz articles