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They would often be extended to an odd number of measures, overlapping the musical stanzas suggested by the harmonic structure.

He would take a breath in the middle of a phrase, using the pause, or "free space," as a creative device.

That understatement of harmonically sophisticated chords would soon be used by young musicians exploring the new musical language of bebop.

By 1945, the use of "bebop"/"rebop" as nonsense syllables was widespread in R&B music, for instance Lionel Hampton's "Hey! Bebop grew out of the culmination of trends that had been occurring within swing music since the mid-1930s: less explicit timekeeping by the drummer, with the primary rhythmic pulse moving from the bass drum to the high hat cymbal; a changing role for the piano away from rhythmic density towards accents and fills; less ornate horn section arrangements, trending towards riffs and more support for the underlying rhythm; more emphasis on and freedom for soloists; and increasing harmonic sophistication in arrangements used by some bands.

The path towards rhythmically streamlined, solo-oriented swing was blazed by the territory bands of the southwest with Kansas City as their musical capital; their music was based on blues and other simple chord changes, riff-based in its approach to melodic lines and solo accompaniment, and expressing an approach adding melody and harmony to swing rather than the other way around.

The overall effect was that his solos were something floating above the rest of the music, rather than something springing from it at intervals suggested by the ensemble sound.

When the Basie orchestra burst onto the national scene with its 1937 recordings and nationally broadcast New York engagements, it gained a national following, with legions of saxophone players striving to imitate Young, drummers striving to imitate Jo Jones, piano players striving to imitate Basie, and trumpet players striving to imitate Buck Clayton.

The term "bebop" is derived from nonsense syllables (vocables) used in scat singing; the first known example of "bebop" being used was in Mc Kinney's Cotton Pickers' "Four or Five Times", recorded in 1928.

Last modified 06-Dec-2019 10:02