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Chapter
12
cool Jazz and Hard Bop
Chapter Outline

As jazz becomes an alternative art music, musicians and fans react in different ways: through modernist interpretation (increasing its progressive experimentation), through fusion (trying to reclaim a lost mass audience), and through ethnicity (as jazz becomes more "white," it is emphatically redefined as "black"). Cool jazz is one label that groups together a variety of musicians from the late 1940s through the 1950s who share a reaction against the "hot" qualities of bebop, preferring relaxation and understatement and a general commitment to experimentalism. While covering cool jazz, we learn about Lennie Tristano, the Miles Davis Nonet ("Birth of the Cool"), Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, and the Modern Jazz Quartet, as well as the convergence with classical music under the rubric Third Stream. "Hard bop," one of the most unsatisfying journalistic labels to remain in common usage, encompasses straight-ahead bebop on labels such as Blue Note and Prestige, the organ trios common in black neighborhoods in the 1950s and 1960s, and the jazz-R & B fusion commonly known as "soul jazz," which situate jazz as a new form of blackness. Here we examine the major musicians Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Wes Montgomery, and Sonny Rollins.

  1. New Schools
    1. Bebop was a style that many who had grown up with swing could not accept. When bebop did not fade, many of these same people lost interest in jazz. At the same time, some of the younger swing musicians adapted to the new music.
    2. Even though bop was an introverted, intellectual music, bebop musicians were interested in pleasing their audience: Dizzy Gillespie was a showman; Charlie Parker recorded with strings. In the 1950s new schools of jazz appeared including cool, hard bop, funk, and avant-garde.
    3. Bop was not the first style to cause a schism in the jazz world: conservatives accused Armstrong and Ellington of sacrificing "authenticity" during the 1920s (Armstrong for recording popular songs and Ellington for writing arrangements). Swing fans shunned bop; bop fans shunned avant-garde jazz.
    4. The word jazz achieved its present-day meaning after bebop with the appearance of various schools of jazz. A unifying umbrella term was required.
    5. Interpretations of History
      1. Although jazz was recognized as art music from the beginning (e.g., Ansermet on Bechet), jazz-as-Art reemerged after bebop, as the association of jazz with dance and entertainment diminished. Jazz musicians sought the status of serious artists by playing major concert halls, collaborating with classical music ensembles, and composing ballet and theatrical scores. They expanded forms of improvisation and composition. By doing this, they ceded dance and entertainment to pop music. Interpretations of this development vary:
        1. Modernism sees bop and its successors as part of an inevitable evolution from simplicity to complexity.
        2. Fusion advocates see the severance of jazz and pop music as an error. Jazz should take its cue from its audience, not its critics.
        3. The ethnic interpretation claims that jazz should take its inspiration from African American elements and shun other practices such as experimentation and borrowing from other styles.
        4. The cyclical view sees jazz history as a series of cycles of innovation and elaboration: 1920s jazz is innovative, 1930s saw these innovations become more generally accessible through swing; 1940s bebop is innovative, 1950s jazz was made more accessible; 1960s avant-garde jazz was assimilated during the 1970s. During a post-cyclic period, all styles compete with the classical past.
  2. Cool Jazz
    1. By the early 1950s, "cool" was used to describe a kind of toned-down jazz. Later the term became associated with a number of white musicians who relocated to California where they could get day gigs at movie studios (unlike African Americans) while playing jazz at night. In this form it was called West Coast jazz.
    2. For white players to represent a kind of cool jazz is ironic since the idea of coolness has its roots in African American culture.
    3. Cool jazz contrasts with hot jazz.
      1. Cool: limited vibrato, restrained timbre, stable dynamics, melodic calm, sophisticated harmonies that tempered the blues idiom (Bix Beiderbecke, Lester Young, Teddy Wilson, Red Norvo, John Kirby, Eddie Sauter, Benny Carter)
      2. Hot: aggressive rhythms and improvisation, heavy timbre and vibrato, evocative blues scales, overt expressiveness
    4. Bebop and cool jazz are connected. Charlie Parker composed the cool "Yardbird Suite" and "Cool Blues" and the young Miles Davis wrote "Sippin' at Bells," which obscures blues feeling by using complex harmonies. The link can also be made through two pianists-composers, Tristano and Dameron.
    5. Lennie Tristano (1919-1978) and Tadd Dameron (1917-1965)
      1. Tristano
        1. Blind pianist Lennie Tristano was schooled in the European classics in Chicago. He attracted a coterie of musicians including guitarist Billy Bauer and alto saxophonist Lee Konitz. In 1946 he moved to New York, where he played with Bird and Dizzy and built his own following, playing with Konitz, Bauer, and saxophonist Warne Marsh.
        2. Tristano adapted chord changes of pop songs and added his own convoluted melodies to create a music that sounded virtuosic, experimental, and emotionally aloof. His piano playing featured long, winding phrases that include counterpoint, sometimes in different meters.
        3. By 1949 Tristano held free improvisation sessions. A few years later, he replaced his drummer with taped percussion tracks. Although he attracted only a small, cult following, his influence loomed large through his teaching and protégés such as Lee Konitz.
      2. Dameron
        1. Dameron, in contrast to Tristano, was limited as a pianist, but he was one of the few bop arranger-composer-bandleaders who originally made his mark in swing, composing for Harlan Leonard and his Rockets from Kansas City ("Dameron Stomp," Rock and Ride"). While with Leonard, he made friends with a young Charlie Parker.
        2. In contrast to Tristano's intellectual, difficult music, Dameron's swing experience led him to write lyrical melodies and breezy rhythms, at times with a Latin feeling. He wrote ballads. ("If You Could See Me Now"), fast instrumentals ("Hot House"), and jazz standards. In 1948 he organized a small band at Broadway's Royal Roost with trumpeter Fats Navarro and Wardell Gray and Allen Eager on sax. The spare melodies combined with rich harmonies prefigured the cool jazz of the following year.
  3. Miles Davis and the Birth of the Cool
    1. Every style contains within it the seeds of its own destruction. Experimentalism breeds more experimentalism. In 1945, nineteen year-old Miles Davis played on Parker's first recording. We can hear major differences in his lyricism and personal timbre, longer tones, and silences.
    2. Four years later, in 1949, Davis led a group of musicians who were interested in slowing down the pace of the music and rebalancing the mix between improvisation and composition.
    3. Although there were precedents in jazz for this concept of music (e.g., Ellington), these young modernists looked to classical chamber music for sonorities that favored the middle range instead of high notes, the French horn and tuba to complete the instrumental palette, and a toned-down rhythm in place of the up-front beat of dance music.
    4. Gil's Pad
      1. In 1949, Miles Davis was the youngest of the cool school and had yet to establish himself as a bandleader or distinctive stylist. He was, however, a good organizer, spearheading discussions, rehearsals, and support for new compositions. He landed a recording deal, for which he put together a brass-heavy ensemble of nine musicians-halfway between a big band and a small combo-made up of players most of whom would go on to become leading jazz figures.
      2. Gil Evans was the oldest of the group. An ingenious orchestrator, he made different kinds of repertoire-jazz, pop tunes, classical music-his own. He had led bands as early as 1933 but he really started exploring instrumental possibilities when he worked in the Claude Thornhill band, a band that included French horns, tuba, flute, and bass clarinet in addition to the regular big-band instrumentation. He often used long-held chords that seemed to float.
      3. Evans lived on west 55th Street in New York, which was close to the center of the action on 52nd Street. Musicians, composers, and singers would continually drop by to eat, drink, nap, or talk about modern jazz.
      4. Two of them were Lee Konitz, whom Evans featured in the nonet, and arranger Gerry Mulligan (soon to be a famous baritone sax player). Both played in the Thornhill band. Mulligan did most of the writing for the nonet.
      5. Another regular was composer-pianist John Lewis, who would go on to form the Modern Jazz Quartet and who had played with Bird and Dizzy. Davis insisted that the marquee at the Royal Roost, the site of their only live gig, mention the names of the arrangers-a first.
    5. Coalition
      1. The nonet consisted of a coalition that was interracial, intergenerational, and culturally diverse. Improvisations were woven into written arrangements. All the instruments, low or high, gravitated to the mid-range, medium dynamics, and economical phrasing.
    6. "Moon Dreams"
      1. One of two arrangements for this ensemble by Evans, it is based on a conventional piece written originally for Glenn Miller that never really caught on. This was a peculiar choice for Evans.
      2. There are two surprises here: (1) there is no sustained improvisation, just short, transitional interludes by soloists, and (2), there are two parts to the structure, the first an orchestration of one forty-bar chorus, followed by an entirely new piece featuring dissonant harmonies.
  4. Growth of the Cool
    1. Members of the nonet took the new musical ideas to their own bands. The innovators included John Lewis with the Modern Jazz Quartet and Gerry Mulligan with his piano-less quartet.
    2. Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996) and West Coast Jazz
      1. Born in New York, Mulligan started writing arrangements as a teenager for radio bands, touring, composing, and playing reeds. In 1948 he joined the Thornhill band, where he met Gil Evans. Evans brought him into the Davis nonet, for which he did most of the writing. In 1951 he went to Los Angeles to look for a job with the Kenton band. His own 1952 quartet, formed in California, epitomized West Coast jazz.
      2. Kenton's band was known for its progressive music, which was sometimes criticized as pretentious. Nevertheless, he knew how to combine jazz, pop vocals, and experimentalism in a way that made the band very popular. He also hired many important players and arrangers who took their cue from European music. All were white, resulting in the characterization by some of West Coast jazz as white, intellectual, and pretentious.
      3. Kenton did not hire Mulligan but did record a few of his compositions ("Young Blood," "Limelight," "Walking Shoes"). These arrangements influenced a generation of composers.
      4. Piano-less
        1. After Mulligan returned to New York to briefly lead his own ten-piece group, he went back to Los Angeles and started to play at the Haig restaurant with a quartet of baritone sax, trumpet, drums, and bass-no piano. This band exemplified the laid-back southern California attitude. After a reasonably successful recording of "My Funny Valentine," they became very popular.
        2. Chet Baker: without a pianist, Mulligan and trumpeter Chet Baker could include more contrapuntal interplay. Baker played with an even lighter timbre than Miles and also kept to the middle register. In addition, he was a very good ballad singer.
        3. Chico Hamilton: the drummer with the band, he was known for his mallet rolls. He later went on to form his own band. As an African American, he stood for racial integration in the band.
        4. The quartet only lasted for around a year, but it was very popular. Mulligan and Hamilton played in some Hollywood movies,; and actors often tried to copy Baker's look when playing jazz musicians. Mulligan went on to lead a number of bands, both large and small; to write several jazz standards; and to win many polls as a baritone saxophone player. Unless for a reunion with Baker, he refused to play in piano-less quartet again. Baker's career was marred by drug addiction. Hamilton led many bands and introduced many important players, including Jim Hall, Ron Carter, Eric Dolphy, and Charles Lloyd.
    3. Bop, Blues, and Bach: John Lewis (1920-2001) and the Modern Jazz Quartet (MJQ)
      1. In contrast to the Mulligan quartet, the MJQ was an African American, East Coast, and long-lasting band. Started by John Lewis, it was a cooperative band with each member having extra-musical duties. Lewis, who was in charge of the music, had a lifelong interest in polyphony and the conviction that Bach and blues were compatible.
      2. Lewis studied at the University of New Mexico, where he heard and was influenced by Ellington. He played with Kenny Clarke while stationed in France. Clarke helped him join Dizzy's band in 1946. At the same time, he resumed his studies at the Manhattan School of Music and recorded with the likes of Charlie Parker. His style was spare but inflected with the blues. Dizzy encouraged him to compose and to feature the rhythm section.
      3. Milt Jackson: Lewis formed his group by 1952. It included the first major vibes player since the 1930s, Milt Jackson. In contrast to Lewis, Jackson played with blues-drenched energy.
      4. Kenny Clarke: the most established of the group, he was interactive and rambunctious.
      5. Percy Heath: a bassist who had only been playing for a few years. He was the eldest of the famous Heath family.
      6. Lewis wanted to change how jazz was presented. He insisted that every performance be like a concert, even if it was in a club. All the members had to wear identical tuxedoes, pieces were introduced, and the musicians would enter and exit the stage.
      7. Once they were lauded in Europe, American critics got on board. The music was cool (genteel and cerebral) on the surface, but hot (rhythmic and intense) at the core.
      8. "All the Things You Are"
        1. This is from the MJQ's first recording in 1952, which contained two standards and two Lewis compositions, each arranged by Lewis and featuring counterpoint. This song has a long history in jazz. Originally part of an unsuccessful Broadway show, it became a hit for Tommy Dorsey in 1940 and then a favorite of beboppers.
        2. At first each instrument has its own line. The texture gradually moves to a more standard bop texture, but at no time does it end up as soloist and accompanist.
    4. John Lewis, Gunther Schuller, and the Third Stream
      1. The MJQ lasted for over forty years with only one change: Kenny Clarke left the band because he wanted more time for improvisation in the arrangements. The new drummer was Connie Kay. During these years the MJQ played with jazz and classical music ensembles.
      2. Lewis composed many pieces that became standards in the jazz repertoire including "Django" and "Afternoon in Paris," as well as film scores. He was a jazz educator and activist, directing the Lenox School of Jazz ( 1957-1960 )and the Monterey Jazz Festival (1958-1982), and co-founding and conducting Orchestra U.S.A. (1962) and the American Jazz Orchestra (1986-92).
      3. Lewis collaborated with composer, conductor, and musicologist Gunther Schuller on what he called Third Stream. Schuller played French horn with the Davis nonet and worked with Lewis at the Lenox School. In a 1957 lecture he suggested that a mix of Western art music and jazz would emerge as a Third Stream. They collaborated on the album Jazz Abstractions (1961), and Schuller wrote "Variants on a Theme of Thelonious Monk." The architects of cool set the stage for Third Stream, but it did not last.
    5. Heating Up the Cool
      1. For some, Third Stream acted as buffer between cool, hard bop, and avant-garde jazz. It provided an apprenticeship for some musicians, such as Charles Mingus, who joined the mostly white Jazz Composers Workshop in 1953, where he composed several Third Stream pieces.
      2. Red Norvo: prior to 1953, Mingus played in a trio with vibes player Red Norvo and guitarist Tal Farlow (1950-1951). Norvo had a hit on xylophone with bass clarinet in 1933, which Schuller cited as a precursor to Third Stream. Norvo then led a big band, and he had recorded with Bird by the early 1950s. The trio with Mingus and Farlow played with a light texture but also with hot swing and improvisation. Pianist George Shearing developed this same kind of cool-bop sound.
      3. Lester Young's Influence: the lightness of Young's playing influenced cool jazz and a generation of tenor saxophonists, who went in two directions:
        1. Black tenors (Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Illinois Jacquet, Gene Ammons) changed Young's legato phrasing by adding a strong attack.
        2. White tenors (Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Allen Eager) focused on Young's lyricism.
      4. The "white Lesters" played in Woody Herman's band and were later dubbed the "Four Brothers' after the Jimmy Giuffre piece of that name and featured by Herman's sax section. Their sound was characterized by little or no vibrato and a high, delicate sound.
    6. Changing Time: Dave Brubeck (b. 1920)
      1. Dave Brubeck grew up in California with a musical family and learned classical piano from his mother. He studied with composer Darius Milhaud, who employed aspects of the blues in his music. During the late 1940s he organized an octet, which was not successful. In 1951 he hooked up with another "white Lester," Paul Desmond, and organized a very successful quartet (making the cover of Time in 1954).
      2. The quartet was both hot (Brubeck) and cool (Desmond). Both were good at chord substitutions, but Brubeck's improvisations were formally predictable. His primary trademark was the use of odd-numbered meters.
      3. Time Out (1959) became a national sensation and "Take Five," in 5/4 time, became a hit. These odd meters were subdivided into groups of twos and threes. For example, 5/4 was counted as two plus three. By the end of the century, unusual time signatures were no longer uncommon.
  5. Hard Bop
    1. In opposition to cool, hard bop was an East Coast revival of bop but with a harder edge.
    2. Miles Davis instigated this turn when he reacted to what he viewed as overintellectualized jazz and started, in 1954, to record a tougher, more urban, straight-ahead, more rhythmic and emotional music ("Walkin'"). Even his work with Gil Evans reflected this change to the new mainstream jazz, which was adverse to experimentation.
    3. This music was played mostly by urban musicians originally from Detroit and Philadelphia and reflected an East Coast, extroverted response to urban life. It contrasted with the West Coast's cooler, more introverted response.
    4. In contrast to cool jazz, the timbre of hard bop was heavy, dark, and impassioned and focused on the lower tenor sax and drummers who played in a more assertive style. Some hard-bop bands reduced the harmonic complexity of bop to chords in a way reminiscent of R & B, resulting in a subset of hard bop called soul jazz. Some of the bands that played this music featured the electric organ, a mainstay of church music. In effect, they were trying to reconnect with popular music.
    5. Both cool and hard bop represented natural developments from bop.
    6. Microgroove and Live Recordings.
      1. In 1948, Columbia introduced twelve-inch microgroove LP recordings that had about twenty minutes per side of music and were made of unbreakable vinyl. RCA-Victor introduced the 45-rpm vinyl single-play recording the same year.
      2. The LP allowed recordings of longer jazz pieces that better reflected live performance.
    7. Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) and Long Solos
      1. When Norman Granz started JATP in 1944 he began recording the concerts on a disc-recorder and releasing them on his own newly created labels (Clef, Norgan) in the form of several three-minute 78s. By doing so, he was trying to catch the building enthusiasm of the audience and the musicians during live performance.
      2. A number of jazz musicians started to take advantage of the longer recording time available through LPs by composing longer pieces (Ellington) or taking longer solos (Zoot Sims and Art Blakey).
      3. Hard-bop musicians were inclined to play long solos partly because of the new technology. The longer solos, however, threatened to alienate audiences, so some major labels were not enthusiastic about recording hard bop. The slack was taken up by independents such as Blue Note, Prestige, Contemporary, and Riverside, which realized that there was an audience for rootsier, creative jazz.
      4. Another reason the independents liked longer solos is that longer solos meant fewer tunes on a recording, which in turn meant fewer royalties to pay out. By adding a backbeat on beats two and four, they added to the interest of the music, since now audiences could tap, snap their fingers, or move their heads to the beat.
    8. Messengers: Art Blakey (1991-1990) and Horace Silver (b. 1928)
      1. Originally from Pittsburgh, Blakey came to New York in 1942 to work with Mary Lou Williams; in 1944 Dizzy recruited him for the Eckstine band.
      2. He became one of the central drummers of bebop, using idiosyncratic techniques such as the press-roll, usually during the turnaround sending the soloist into the next chorus. His attentiveness made him a good drummer for Monk.
      3. In 1953 Blakey formed a quintet with pianist Horace Silver called the Jazz Messengers. They made a few recordings that in two years codified hard bop: quintet music that combines harmonically complex improvisation with bluesy simplicity, gospel-inspired themes, and backbeat rhythms. Silver left in 1956 to form his own group.
      4. Blakey's musicians: there is a long list of well-known musicians that began or matured in the Messengers and a long list of albums that reflect the consistency of the hard-bop musical concept.
      5. A lot of this had to do with the nature of Silver's compositions for the group. Silver was influenced by a wide variety of musics, including Cape Verdean folk music, the study of tenor saxophone, blues singers, boogie-woogie, swing, and bebop. Stan Getz discovered Silver playing in Hartford, Connecticut. Silver worked with Hawkins, Young, and Bird. In 1954, he helped Miles to turn from cool jazz to hard bop.
      6. Silver could mix gospel, R & B, and the folk song. He also wrote catchy melodies and revived the word funk with his piece "Opus de Funk" (1953). This word has a long history in African American culture. For music it meant back-to-roots musical values. Many of his compositions, such as "Song for My Father," became standards.
      7. "The Preacher"
        1. This is one of Silver's best known compositions, although it almost did not get recorded due to objections from the founder of Blue Note Records that it sounded too much like Dixieland jazz.
        2. It has a sixteen-bar structure, a memorable melody, and undemanding harmony. It evokes church music, African American folk song, and blues. The riffs are fairly ragged but they add to the gospel-like mood of the piece, reinforced by Silver's tremolos, false fingerings, backbeat rhythms, and bluesy phrases.
  6. Three Soloists
    1. By the 1960s, hot had won over cool. Cool jazz musicians such as Stan Getz and Zoot Sims were also playing in a harder style. Indeed, all of jazz was developing a more aggressive way of playing.
    2. The tenor saxophone had supplanted the trumpet as the leading voice of jazz. Many 1960s jazz musicians explored the middle ground between bop and avant-gardism through hard bop; examples: Coltrane (Miles's band), Wayne Shorter (Messengers), and Joe Henderson (Horace Silver). Coltrane became an avant-gardist but the others adapted bop to the looser 1950s and 1960s environment. Some of the major soloists include:
    3. Clifford Brown (1930-1956).
      1. His career only lasted four years. He died in a car accident at the age of twenty-five. He was born in Delaware and went to Maryland State College, then played in Philadelphia and toured with an R & B band. He had great tone, technique, time, and creativity.
      2. Unlike Parker and other young jazz musicians, Brown did not drink, smoke, or take drugs.
      3. Dizzy and Fats Navarro encouraged Brown. He replaced Navarro in 1953 in the Tadd Dameron band. He joined Lionel Hampton's band later that year and toured Europe with them. On his return, he made some recordings but really gained acclaim when he played with Art Blakey at Birdland in 1954, where they made two albums.
      4. Brown-Roach Quintet: in 1954, drummer Max Roach brought Brown to Los Angeles for a concert. After this they formed their own band, which was considered by many as the last great bebop band. It influenced emerging hard-bop bands with its driving performances of unusual pieces and originals (e.g., Brown's "Joy Spring"). Brown also recorded with Zoot Sims and singer Dinah Washington, which led to requests from other singers such as Sarah Vaughan and Helen Merrill as well an album with strings. In 1955 tenor player Harold Land left the group, to be replaced by Sonny Rollins.
      5. A number of hard-bop trumpeter modeled themselves on Brown as an alternative to Miles.
      6. A Night in Tunisia
        1. This recording was one of Brown's last. It was made in Philadelphia in 1956 in a small club. The recording only surfaced in the 1970 and is a good indicator of how he interpreted music as a soloist.
        2. It also shows how the reliable but not outstanding rhythm tried to keep up. In 1999 this solo was used in the play Side Man.
    4. Sonny Rollins (b. 1930)
      1. Like Brown, he was a model for many young tenor players in the 1950s.
      2. Unlike Brown, he had a long, successful career, changing his style a number of times along the way. Unpredictability and playfulness characterize his playing.
      3. Born and raised in Harlem, he studied piano and alto and then tenor at sixteen. At eighteen, Monk asked him to take part in rehearsals, where he learned much, including the idea that improvisation should play off the melody as well as the harmonies.
      4. At nineteen he was a sideman with Bud Powell and J.J. Johnson, playing with the timbre of Hawkins and the fleetness of Bird. As a member of Miles's band, he composed pieces that jazzers loved to play ("Airegin," "Oleo," and "Valse Hot," the first bop waltz).
      5. In 1955 he recorded the album Worktime, and then in 1956 Saxophone Colossus, both central albums of the period. He often plays older unlikely pieces. In 1959 he took a two-year hiatus, the first of three, to practice and recharge.
      6. Expanding Bop
        1. Rollins had taken bop's swing, harmonic sophistication, and melodic invention into other areas such as calypso ("St. Thomas"), avant-garde, and rock (he has recorded with the Rolling Stones and written rock-type pieces). His solos are characterized by humor and the following musical characteristics:
          1. Timbre: it frequently changes and yet is always recognizable as his voice.
          2. Motives: instead of just playing off the chords, he reprises key phrases of the melody.
          3. Cadenzas: although these have been used in jazz before (e.g., Armstrong on "West End Blues"), Rollins makes them an integral part of his performances.
          4. Ebullience: since Armstrong, elation has been part of the jazz experience. Rollins aims for transcendence.
      7. "Autumn Nocturne"
        1. Recorded at a 1978 concert performance: Rollins remembered it from a Claude Thornhill recording. He starts with a long cadenza during which he toys with the timbre and tonality.
        2. He performs one chorus of the melody while still playing with the timbre and the melody.
    5. Wes Montgomery (1923-1968)
      1. Charlie Christian opened the floodgates for electric guitar players who, each in their own way, phrased like horn players or combined linear solos with chords voiced in ways that were idiosyncratic to the guitar. One of these, Wes Montgomery, altered the sound and chordal approach of the guitar.
      2. Born in Indianapolis, he had two brothers who are also jazz musicians. He taught himself starting at the age of twenty and ended up using a right-hand thumb technique, creating a mellow tone.
      3. He also learned to play octaves and chords as part of his improvised solo. His solos usually started with single notes and then moved on to rhythmically intense octaves and then chord riffs. In 1948 Lionel Hampton hired him.
      4. Tiring of life on the road, he returned to Indianapolis to form a group with his brothers Monk (bass) and Buddy (piano, vibes). Cannonball Adderley heard him and brought him to New York, where he made an immediate impression.
      5. In 1967 he moved over to a pop label and emerged as a mainstream pop musician while he continued to play jazz live.
      6. "Twisted Blues"
        1. Like many Montgomery compositions, this one is tricky. It starts out sounding like a blues but ends up as a thirty-two-bar piece that resembles a sixteen-bar blues played twice. It was first recorded in 1961 with a small group and then again in 1965 with a big band arranged by Oliver Nelson.
        2. The tempo is fast, but Wes sounds at ease phrasing against the beat, mixing blues with bebop harmonies, chromatic riffs, two-note chords, octaves, and full chords, all the while interacting with the band and his preferred drummer, Grady Tate.
      7. A Parable
        1. Montgomery did not have much time to savor his success. His 1965 album Goin' Out of My Head received a Grammy and his more commercial A Day in The Life for A and M records was the best-selling jazz album of 1967. From then on his label insisted that he follow the formula of his pop album. He died in 1968.
        2. The moral was: for every commercial album, make one for yourself. None of the post-1965 live jazz performances were ever recorded.
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