Swing to Bop: An Oral History of the Transition in Jazz in the 1940s

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Overview


This book willserve as the basic work on the rise and development of bop in jazz. Engendered by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, bebop, now known as bop, quickly became the most powerful musical force in modern jazz. Today it is still the main musical language of jazz musicians. Over a ten-year period, Ira Gitler interviewed more than 50 of the seminal figures in jazz history to preserve for posterity their recollections of how jazz moved from the big band era in the late '30s and '40s into the modern jazz period. The musicians interviewed recreate not only their own experiences but also evoke the legendary figures of bop who where so influential in its development but were never recorded, people like Clyde Hart and Freddie Webster.
Swing to Bop shows how the music first established itself in jam sessions in Harlem and then spread to New York's famed 52nd Street and beyond. Separate chapters describe how young musicians in major cities such as Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit became swept up in the movement. Along with the music and the personalities who made it, the book vividly recreates the atmosphere of the country in the '30s and '40s: traveling on the ballroom theather curcuit; racial attitudes and interaction; extra-musical pastimes; the relationship to World War II; and the influence of drugs. Thus Swing to Bop reveals not only how the music evolved but the environment in which it flourished and what effect in turn the music had on that environment and the music to follow.

About the Author

Ira Gitler is the author of Jazz Masters of the '40s and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies. He was previously Professor of Jazz History at City College of New York and Associate Editor of Downbeat.

Chronicles the transition from the big band era to the "bob" period of modern jazz. Over 50 leading jazz musicians are interviewed.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195036640
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/1/1987
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Ira Gitler is author of Jazz Masters of the '40s and The Encyclopedia of Jazz in the Seventies.

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