Chapter

Early Classics

Thomas Owens

in Bebop

Published in print October 1996 | ISBN: 9780195106510
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853182 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195106510.003.0002
                   Early Classics

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In the winter of 1943–4, the first small group organized to perform the still-unnamed new music debuted at the Onyx Club on Fifty-Second Street in New York City. It was a quartet, then a quintet, co-led by Dizzy Gillespie and bassist Oscar Pettiford. The other members were pianist George Wallington, drummer Max Roach, and then tenor saxophonist Don Byas. The group remained intact only a few months and did not record as a quintet, though some of the members recorded as sidemen for other leaders. Perhaps the finest example of big-band bebop in the 1940s came from the Woody Herman band. Herman, whose swing-style clarinet and saxophone playing hardly changed at all during his career, was nonetheless sympathetic to the new idiom. By late 1947, his was essentially a bebop band, though its repertory included his earlier swing-style hits as well.

Keywords: Dizzy Gillespie; Oscar Pettiford; George Wallington; Max Roach; Don Byas; bebop; Woody Herman; band

Chapter.  6083 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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