Jazz History in a Nutshell

Jazz History

Presented online by CCM Faculty Member Peter Evans

Wednesday, April 14, 5:30 - 6:30 pm

JAZZ HISTORY IN A NUTSHELL: 1959: Mingus, Miles, Coltrane, Ornette, and Brubeck.  How did we get here, and where did we go?
It seems if you could look back to 1917 through 1957, you'd discern a new stylistic period in Jazz every ten years or so, from Dixieland, to Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens, to Swing to BeBop, to Hard Bop. In conjunction with record companies that harnessed the latest in recording technology, Jazz in the year of 1959 seemingly exploded into many directions at once. This lecture will use five exemplar recordings from the time to show how artists looked back in order to leap forward:
John Coltrane's Giant Steps  — the last word in Bop
Miles Davis's Kind of Blue — the epitome of Cool
Dave Brubeck's Time Out — Jazz and odd meters
Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come — the first word in Free Jazz
Charles Mingus's Mingus Ah Um — Jazz and the post-modern
We'll start with the last recording listed and it's recommended that you listen to Mingus Ah Um before attending, including "Jelly Roll", "Open Letter to Duke" and "Bird Calls".  From there we'll explore the repercussions, fallouts, and influences that still stem from 1959 to this day.