The Bop Pianist - The Musicians And The Music

a website for jazz piano enthusiasts - from bebop to hardbop - video & audio clips included

Bebop To Hard Bop

“I’d been getting bored with the stereotyped changes that were being used, and I kept thinking there’s bound to be something else. I could hear it sometimes, but I couldn’t play it. I was working over ‘Cherokee,’ and, as I did, I found that by using the higher intervals of a chord as a melody line and backing them with appropriately related changes, I could play the thing I’d been hearing. It came alive,” stated Charlie Parker.

The harmonic innovations in bebop would appear to some, to be inspired by experiences to  in Western “serious” music, from Claude Debussy to Arnold Schoenberg, such a scheme cannot be sustained by the evidence from a cognitive approach. And it is also true that Duke Ellington adopted and reinterpreted some harmonic devices in European contemporary music. West Coast jazz would run into such debts as would several forms of cool jazz. But bebop has hardly any such debts in the sense of direct borrowings. On the contrary, ideologically, bebop was a strong statement of rejection of any kind of eclecticism, propelled by a desire to activate something deeply buried in self. Bebop then revived tonal-harmonic ideas transmitted through the blues and reconstructed and expanded others in a basically non-Western harmonic approach.

Learn More


Wynton Kelly

1.Autumn Leaves
2.What’s New
3.Moonlight In Vermont

Wynton Kelly(p)
John Coltrane(ts)
Stan Getz(ts)
Paul Chambers(b)
Jimmy Cobb(d)

Germany (1960)

John Coltrane Quartet

Learn More

From The Blog

Recent Works