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'Now's the Time': Bebop and beyond

Week 8: ‘Now’s the time’: Bebop and beyond


How did World War II disrupt the big bands?

What were the musical, social and cultural explanations for the emergence of bebop?

Was bebop really revolutionary or more about continuity?

To what extent was bebop about the assertion of art over commercialism?

What was the working life of a jazz musician, and what role did drugs play in the jazz community?

To what extent can the 1950s be seen as a ‘golden age’ for jazz?

Laura's Bebop and drugs.ppt

Core readings 

Scott Deveaux, ‘Spitballs and Tricky Riffs’, Ch.4, The Birth of Bebop: A social and musical history (U of Calif, 1997), pp.167-201 [Ebook]

Patrick Burke, 'This Conglomeration of Colors: Jazz comes to 52nd street', Ch 7 in Come in and Hear the Truth: Jazz and Race on 52nd Street (Uni of Chicago Press, 2008) **

Chuck Haddix,’ Relaxing at Camarillo’, ch. 5 in Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker (Uni of Illinois, 2013), pp. 85-104 [Ebook]


Further Reading

David Andrew Ake, Jazz Cultures (2002)

Julie Blackburn, With Billie (2006)

James Campbell (ed.), The Picador History of Blues and Jazz (1995)

Donald Clarke, Wishing on the Moon: The Life and Times of Billie Holiday (1994) Ralph Ellison, Shadow and Act (1967) – see chapter on Charlie Parker

Daniel Fischlin and Ajay Heble, The Other Side of Nowhere: Jazz, Improvisation and Communities in Dialogue(2004)

John Fordham, Jazz (1993)

Nicholas Gebhardt, Going for Jazz; Musical Practices and American Ideology (U of Chicago Press, 2001)

Gary Giddins, Visions of Jazz: the first century (OUP, 1998)

Ted Gioia, West Coast Jazz: Modern Jazz In California, 1945-60 (1992)

Robin D.G. Kelley, Thelonious Monk : the life and times of an American original (Free Press, 2010)

James Lincoln Collier, The Making of Jazz (1978)

James Lincoln Collier, Jazz: The American Theme Song (1993)

Lewis MacAdams, Birth of the Cool: Beat, Bebop and the American Avant-Garde (2002)

Kenny Mathieson, Giant Steps: Bebop and the creators of Modern Jazz, 1945-65 (1999) and Cookin (2002

Dan Morgenstern, Jazz People (1976)

Thomas Owens, Bebop: The Music and its Players (1995)

Art and Laurie Pepper, Straight Life ! The Story of Art Pepper (1979)

Peter Pettinger, Bill Evans: How my heart sings (1999

Brian Priestley, Chasin' the bird: the life and legacy of Charlie Parker (London, Equinox, 2005) [Ebook]

Guthrie P. Ramsey, ‘“We Called Ourselves Modern”: Race music and the politics and practice of Afro-Modernism at mid century’, Race Music: Black Cultures from Bebop to Hip Hop (U of Calif, 2004(, pp. 96-130 [Ebook]

Guthrie P. Ramsey, The amazing Bud Powell]: black genius, jazz history, and the challenge of bebop. (Uni Calif, 2013) [Ebook]

David H. Rosenthal, Hard Bop: Jazz and Black music, 1955-65 (1992)

Ross Russell, Bird Lives! The High Life and Hard Times of Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker (1973)

Alyn Shipton, Groovin’ High: The Life of Dizzy Gillespie (OUP, 2001) [Ebook]

Alyn Shipton, A New History of Jazz (2001)

Parker south of the border