Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 30

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

The Development of Bebop

EPFL – Projet SHS 2011

Musique, politique et Société

Prof. Georges Starobinski, Adriano Giardina

Benedickt Fasel
Basile Perrenoud
Jonas Vautherin

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

Table of Contents
Table of Contents................................................................................................................................. 2
Brief introduction to Swing music ......................................................................................................... 4
Society ................................................................................................................................................. 5
Wars and economical crisis ........................................................................................................ 5
Social Situation in the 1940s ....................................................................................................... 6
Racial Segregation ..................................................................................................................... 8
Bebop .................................................................................................................................................. 9
Origins and History ..................................................................................................................... 9
The Music ................................................................................................................................. 11
Important Musicians of the Bebop Era ............................................................................................... 14
Charlie Parker ........................................................................................................................... 14
Dizzy Gillespie .......................................................................................................................... 18
Miles Davis ............................................................................................................................... 22
Analysis of the social and political dimension ..................................................................................... 25
Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 28
Bibliography ......................................................................................................................................................... 29

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

Finally, after decades of a dominating presence of Swing and Blues in jazz music, a new style
emerged in the turmoil of the economic crises and World War II: Bebop. Developed by a handful of
black genies in the early nineteen forties during jam sessions in small clubs in Harlem, New York, it
differed from Swing by its more rapid tempo and more sophisticated arrangement as well as the
importance of improvisation. Bebop provided the foundation of the later rapid evolution of jazz with
styles such as hard bop. It was also the first style of black music that was officially recognized by the
American government1 and for the first time in history black musicians could earn their life with music.

But why did Bebop emerged and why so quickly? To answer this question, it is important to wonder
how Bebop and Bebop musicians were related to all the social events effecting the United States at
that time (crisis, war, segregation, …) but also before. Did Bebop appear as a reaction from black
people to some events? Or in the contrary was it created with the purpose of changing society?
Answering these questions is fundamental to understand not only the creation of Bebop, but also all
the evolution of jazz music through the last century.

That is why, in addition to presenting an overview of Bebop - birth, evolution and characteristics - the
present work pays a special attention to the social and economical causes that led to its birth. At the
end short biographies of three of the main contributors - Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles
Davis - illustrate the musicians‟ life at that time. Then, on the basis of all information collected, this
article ends with a short interpretation about the social implications of Bebop and why it was that

[Horricks84, p.63]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

Brief introduction to Swing music

From Blues and Negro spiritual to Ragtime and New Orleans style, jazz music involved more and
more musicians and instruments. In the Twenties many big orchestras with black jazz players were
created, like the Count Basie Orchestra. However, with an increasing popularity white people began to
be more and more attracted by this kind of music. White musicians, mostly those playing dancing
music, got inspired by Jazz. This led to a new kind of style: the Swing, or swing music, characterized
by a fast but shuffled tempo and relatively basic harmony. Especially after the 1929‟s economic crisis,
young people were looking for something to change their mind. They began to gather at dancing
places where orchestras and Big Bands performed Swing. Usually swing music was performed by big
orchestras staffed with white people playing for white people. The composers as well were usually
white, for instance Glen Miller who arranged the famous song In The Mood in 1939. Even if black
musicians contributed to Swing, as, among others, Duke Ellington with It don‟t mean a thing if it ain‟t
got that swing, Swing was still perceived as an appropriation of their music by white people, losing the
first spirit of jazz. Ellington succinctly stated: "jazz is music; swing is business" (Hasse (1983 : 203)).

Another difference with many jazz styles was that Swing was a written music. The orchestras were
following a conductor and improvisation, although present, was not the center of it at all.2

Glenn Miller Orchestra

http://www.lamediatheque.be/dec/clj/q08_04.htm looked up 2011-03-15
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop


Wars and economical crisis

After the World War I followed a period of social, artistic and cultural dynamism commonly known as
“the Roaring Twenties”3. It was a period of economical prosperity, growth of consumer goods and
urbanization. A lot of new technologies were beginning to be democratized and to become affordable
to the middle class because of mass production. The arrival of automobiles and radio had a large
impact on everyday life and tended to make people think that technology was making everything
possible. In 1922 the first commercial radio station started broadcasting4 which contributed to the
popularity of Jazz. The kind of Jazz that was listened to by the majority at this time was however what
we would call today “sweet music”5. It was usually composed by string instruments such as violin, cello
and bass and was not really improvised music. What was considered as “race music” (also called “hot
jazz”)6, performed by artists like Louis Armstrong, needed a few more years to become known by a
large audience. At this time black musicians were usually not recorded, both because of racial
discrimination and their own will of keeping their music for themselves7. 1920 was the beginning of the
Prohibition as well. During this period manufacture, sale and transportation of alcohol were prohibited
in the United States. Consequently a black market was created and alcohol was illegally sold by some
establishments called “speakeasies”8. In cities such as Chicago and New York - where the owners
often employed jazz musicians to entertain their guests - these establishments greatly influenced the
later development of Bebop9.

The Wall Street crash of 1929 ended this period of economical dynamism and turned the United
States - and then the whole world - in the Great Depression. It was the most important depression of
the 20th century resulting in an incomparable level of unemployment everywhere in the world,
including in the United States of America. In 1933 the rate of unemployment in the United States

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roaring_Twenties, looked up 2011-02-15
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roaring_Twenties#Jazz_Age, looked up 2011-02-15
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speakeasy, looked up 2011-02-15
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
reached 25%10. It had devastating effects on the whole industry and led to difficult living conditions. As
the economy was particularly fragile in the southern states, there was a big migration of black
workforce to the large centers in the north such as New York City, Chicago or Detroit (particularly for
the automobile industry)11. These migrations from southern states to the north were part of the “Great
Migration”12 that saw African Americans escape racism and try to find jobs in industrial cities. Black
musicians were - of course - part of this exodus as well13.

In the beginning of the Forties the war industry largely helped the United States economy and
eventually stopped the depression. Indeed, the rearmament policies everywhere in the world,
including the United States, contributed to drastically reduce the unemployment. The war industry
became so important that during the war even women were required to work closing slowly the gap
between male and female and white and black workforce and strengthening the Unions14.

Social Situation in the 1940s

People‟s life during the depression was hard. Many families did not have enough money and were
struggling to feed themselves. With the New Deal President Franklin D. Roosevelt introduced several
welfare programs that were able to ease people‟s lives. Especially the black people were still suffering
most leading to several riots in major American cities. Important to note are the riots in Harlem, New
York, in 1935 and 194315 which show how desperate the living of black people was at the time. After
the great Harlem Renaissance (a literary movement in the 1920s which marked the emergence of
black writers) in the 1930s many of the inhabitants of the neighborhood lost their optimism and were
unsure what the future would bring16. Further, the increasing racism and segregation separated them
more from the white culture.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_home_front_during_World_War_II, looked up 2011-02-17
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_racial_violence_in_the_United_States, looked up 2011-02-17
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/forum/february98/harlem5.html, looked up 2011-02-17
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
On the other side the increasing industrialism and mass production let prices for consumer products
such as radios and cars drop significantly. By 1940 a large part of the households owned a radio 17 and
was now able to listen to music without always going to shows and theatres18. At that time the
Broadway shows were producing some of the most successful musicals too19. As the reactions to H.G.
Wells War of the Worlds show, the radio was very popular and people believed in almost everything
that was broadcast20. In the 1940s the radio was playing a role as important as television in the
1990s21. There was a big potential for the music broadcast on the radio and many young artists were
able to follow and listen to their idols at any time leading to a better musical education and

But the majority of black musicians could not profit much of this new music market. During some
periods they were banned for making concerts and records and got their ideas stolen by white
musicians which were able to make large profits with the Big Bands23. The situation could almost be
compared to the position of black musicians in the 1950s in the Southern States as it is shown in the
musical Memphis except that in the late 1930s and early 1940s there were no white people to help the
black and that the segregation was not that pronounced.

To sum it up the life in the late 1930s and early 1940s was not an easy one. People were poor but the
situation improved fast in the early 1940s. The upcoming of radio and recording techniques allowed
white musicians to become famous whereas black musicians felt their ideas “stolen” by the white and
remained mostly unknown, trying to earn their living by giving small concerts and shows for a mostly
black audience. Although many black musicians were part of the Union they did not get much support

http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/historyonline/us34.cfm, looked up 2011-02-17
We Want Miles Exhibition Montréal, April 30th - August 29th 2010
http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade30.html, looked up 2011-02-17
http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade30.html, looked up 2011-02-17
http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade40.html, looked up 2011-02-17
Memories of: “We Want Miles” exhibition in Montréal, April 30th - August 29th 2010. Course
catalogue: BESSIERES, Vincent, We Want Miles. Miles Davis: le jazz face à sa légende, Musée des
beaux-arts de Montréal, 2009.
Minton‟s by Ralph Ellison, Minton‟s Playhouse by Dizzy Gillespie in [Gottlieb96]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
compared to the white musicians. It is also important to keep in mind that with the end of World War II
a period of economic boom started in the United States24 influencing the musical development as well.

Racial Segregation
Even though slavery had been totally abolished in the United States after the secession war (1861–
1865) the inequalities between black and white people did not disappear. Most of these were actually
reinforced by some American laws, the so called Jim Crow Laws 25. The Jim Crow laws passed de jure
racial segregation (segregation implied by law, in contrast to de facto, in fact) in 1876. These laws
involved the separation of a majority of public services such as transportation, school, restaurants and
drinking fountains, restrooms. They were in force until the Civil Rights Act passed in 1964. Even
though the official version of the Jim Crow laws was to create separate but equal services facilities
reserved to black people were of lower quality than those for whites. Actually, even if the Jim Crow
laws weren‟t in use in most northern states de facto segregation appeared everywhere and all public
institutions separated services for blacks and whites. For instance Judith A. Winston, former
Undersecretary of the United States Department of Education, explains in an article about educational
inequalities: “In 1949, for example, Clarendon County, South Carolina, spent $179 on each white child
enrolled in school but only $43 on each black student.”26
In the beginning of the 20th century a new pattern appeared due to the moving of a lot of colored
people inside the cities looking for industrial jobs corresponding to their lower educational level. White
people moved away from these areas creating communities of black people in the inner cities. When
later the industry moved out the city centers to the suburbs most of the black workforce could not
afford to follow them. As a result the poverty in these communities increased and let to the formation
of the famous black ghettos. This pattern, called hyper segregation has still an impact on today‟s
society in the United States.27

http://kclibrary.lonestar.edu/decade40.html, looked up 17-02-2011
http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm looked up 17-02-2011
http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/what.htm looked up 19-02-2011,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racial_segregation_in_the_United_States looked up 19-02-2011
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop


Origins and History

With the United States becoming more and more involved in the Second World War the draft was
being introduced in 1940 and renewed in 194128. Many musicians playing in Big Bands had to join the
army and were replaced by men too young to be drafted. Because of that “musician shortage” not only
young white musicians joined the Big Bands but also black musicians such as Gillespie and Parker
found a place in those bands and were able to learn the music from the experienced band leaders29.
Many of the musicians that later joined the Bebop movement were educated in music and had a
profound knowledge in music theory and harmonics30. Whenever they could afford it they followed
music theory courses at music academies. At the same time New York became the hotbed of music
and many jazz musicians from other cities of the United States, especially from Kansas City, moved
to New York31.

Minton’s Playhouse
Bebop has mainly been developed at Minton‟s Playhouse situated in the first floor of the Cecil Hotel at
210 West 118th Street in Harlem32. Its owner, Henry Minton, provided a secure place for black
musicians to meet and jam together thanks to his ties with the Union as he was the first colored union
delegate in New York. Everybody could go there without fearing the Union who issued large fines for
black jam sessions33. Moreover, at Minton‟s the musicians got free drinks and food increasing the
popularity of the place. In 1941 Minton handed over the management to Teddy Hill who did not restrict
the musicians on what they should play and the place gained even more popularity. Ralph Ellison
described the atmosphere with the following words:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription, looked up on Feb. 20th 2011
The Verve Music Group:
[Gottlieb96, p. 565, 566]
[Scaruffi07, Chapter 7: Kansas City: Big Bands],
[Gottlieb96, Minton‟s Playhouse by Dizzy Gillespie]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minton‟s_Playhouse, looked up on Feb. 20th 2011
[Gottlieb96, p. 560]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
“Oh, man, it was a hell of a time! A wailing time! Things were jumping, you couldn‟t get in here for the
pople. The place was packed with celebrities. Park Avenue, man! Big people in show business, college
professors along with the pimps and their women. And college boys and girls. Everybody came. You
know how the old words to the „Basin Street Blues‟ used to go before Sinatra got hold of it? Basin Street
is the street where the dark and the light folks meet - that‟s what I‟m talking about. That was Minton‟s,
man. It was a place where everybody could come to be entertained because it was a place that was
jumping with good times.” (Gottlieb (1996 : 547))

At Minton‟s, of the founders of Bebop, only Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke were actually playing
in the house band. All the others like Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker just went there to play after
they finished their own shows in other clubs and they never got any money but had free food and
drinks. The mostly remembered and loved nights were the famous Monday Night Jam Sessions at
Minton‟s since it was the musician‟s night off. Without any constraints and concerns for the public they
could just have fun and do whatever they wanted. They had the time to completely dive into the music,
explore it and try out new concepts and ways to play. A second place where Gillespie and his men
often went to jam was Monroe‟s Uptown House. There they also got free food and could play as long
as they wanted, often till dawn34.

A New Music Is Born

This liberty allowed slowly the development of a new style of music based on Swing but no longer with
the aim of creating music to dance to: Bebop35. Their main goal was to play music and have fun but
create a music that cannot be copied as easy by whites as the simple and straightforward Swing 36.
Another reason why suddenly they felt the urge to play more elaborate music was the subtle exclusion
of beginners from the jam sessions so that they were left alone and could play whatever they wanted
to without being disturbed by beginners wanting to take part in the jam session. In order to achieve
this they altered chord progressions and invented a more professional and elaborated way of playing
that only the experienced jazz musicians were able to perform37. A third reason for the development of
Bebop was simply the fact that people craved for something new in the music. For over two decades
almost only Swing and Blues were played and people - especially the younger musicians - started to
get bored and wanted a change and especially after the end of World War II Swing got a bad taste

[Gottlieb96, p. 561]
[LeTanneur01, p. 26]
[Gottlieb96, p. 553-554, 562]
[Gottlieb96, p. 561, 564]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
and was disliked by many38. A last reason why Bebop became increasingly popular was simply
because Bebop ensembles were much smaller than big bands, thus costing much less to hire and
needing less space to perform. In addition, many of the young black musicians were used to play in
the small clubs selling alcohol during prohibition, the so called speakeasies. It was only natural that
now they still preferred small, crowded and private clubs over large and anonym clubs. As a
consequence, especially at the beginning, Bebop was played in smaller clubs and the atmosphere
was more private, the public closer to the musicians39.

Because of the recording ban, a period during which the American Federation of Musicians went on
strike due to disagreements on payments, there exist no records from the beginning of the Bebop era.
Only with the lift of the ban in 1944 recordings started again40. But by that time the main characteristics
of Bebop were already developed and except of written sources there are no recordings documenting
the early Bebop phase and how exactly it evolved from Swing. After 1944 Bebop was mostly refined
and the harmonics evolved further, experimenting more and also being more complicated. Selling the
recordings made Bebop more and more popular and it started to become a big business where a lot of
money could be made. Now Bebop was grown up. It changed from being a small movement of a few
musicians and insiders to a mainstream style that hundreds of musicians were performing and
everybody was listening to.

Upcoming musicians such as Miles Davis for example brought in their ideas and some new creativity.
The founders of Bebop such as Gillespie and Parker continued being close to the original Bebop style
but did not hesitate to explore new ways of performing. One famous example is Parker‟s recording
Bird With Strings of 1949 where he was recording together with a string orchestra.

However, after 1949 the potential of Bebop was used up and the jazz players started to play
differently. Miles Davis was one of the leaders of this new development and it was mostly him who
invented Cool Jazz and later Hard Bop.

The Music

[Scaruffi07], [Gottlieb96, p. 655]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
First it is interesting to wonder were the name Bebop comes from. “Be” and “bop” are actually
frequently used sounds in scat music in which the singer is improvising with his voice. Thus, the name
of this style itself refers to one of its main characteristics: improvisation. According to Raymond
Horricks41 and Gillespie himself42 the first use of this name came after a concert of Gillespie during
which the crowd repeated a phrase of Dizzie using these two scat syllables.

Why is improvisation so important in Bebop? As seen before, Bebop emerged as reaction to swing
music. The goal was for black people to re-make a style of their own. No matter if some of them had
been to music school and others couldn‟t afford it: they had access to radio and phonographs and
were listening to the big hits of that time. And, again, their goal was not to write completely new songs
but just to be able to play in their own way independently of what white people were doing. That is why
improvisation took such an important part in bebop style: because it was the best way to make a new
music from existing tunes.43

While playing these songs musicians began to try things, adding notes, making new chords, often less
obvious than the pure ones used in Swing, sometime sounding false, but who gave the color that
characterize Bebop.
Of these “things” that musicians tried and that created Bebop we can retain the “locked hand style” in
piano which consists of playing series of chords but keeping the same position of the hand. In that
pattern many chords are not perfect anymore. The result is less pure, can even sound wrong and take
a new color.
This can be linked to the use, for all instruments, of the chromaticism which, again, involves using
notes out of the scale leading to unexpected phrases in a completely new way and sounding really
different than in swing.
Finally, the diminished fifth has been widely used among bebop musicians, which was something new
and remains typical of bebop style. Some people even say that in scat the interval between the
sounds “be” and “bop” is actually a diminished fifth44.

[Horricks84, p. 15],
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bebop, Looked up 2011-03-20.
[Rodney82, p. 54]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
From a rhythmic point of view as well bebop was really rich in innovations. The drummer is beating the
time on his “ride” cymbal. He just uses the snare drum to color his rhythm, often beating out of time. It
would of course be possible to go a lot more in details to describe what really characterizes bebop
drums because of its sophistication. Globally, drums became an instrument at the same level of the
other, not only here to keep rhythm. Piano and guitar often play out of time as well following this
complicated rhythmic construction that can almost sound like a mess to neophytes.
Since both rhythm and melody are quite complex in Bebop it makes it a style more difficult to listen to.
It cannot really be used a background music where it would appear to sound irritating. Listening to
bebop requires a little bit more focus.45

Regarding the instrument bebop player usually play in smaller formations than Swing. The most
popular are quartets and quintets with piano, guitar, bass, drums and one or two saxophone, trumpet
or clarinet.46

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

Important Musicians of the Bebop Era

Charlie Parker

“Charlie Parker (1920-55) was one of the most innovative and

influential of all jazz musicians, regardless of era. His position in jazz is
analogous to Louis Armstrong‟s in that both musicians advanced the
music that they had inherited with regard to melody, rhythm, and
harmony, inviting all jazz instrumentalists and composers of any era to
reevaluate every aspect of their arts.” (Woideck (1998 : vii))

This quotation summarizes Parker‟s achievements in Jazz very

well. Together with other famous jazz musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Clarke, Charlie
Christian or Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, also called Bird, played one of the most important roles
in the development of Bebop. He mastered the saxophone like nobody else and additionally had a
large background in music theory.47

Bird was born on August 29th 1920 in a suburb of Kansas City. His family did not have much money
and his father was an alcoholic working in the entertainment domain. However, his mother Addie
cared very well for him and wanted that he would study medicine. At the age of 8 the family moved to
the black ghetto of Kansas City, not far away from the night clubs where Parker‟s father hoped to find
a job. A few years later Charlie Parker was allowed to Lincoln High School but he was never much
interested in the classes. Instead he joined the school‟s band and preferred to play saxophone. The
practice of his instrument took an ever greater role in his life until eventually he dropped out of school
and dedicated his life entirely to music. At that time Kansas City was the center of entertainment and
thus of jazz music and one could always listen to music in one of the countless bars and night clubs.

[Gottlieb96, p. 547, 572], [Russel80, p.146],
[Woideck98, p. ix]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
When Parker was 14 years old he made his crucial experience as he wanted to jam in a club for his
first time. He already mastered his instrument well and felt very confident. Parker told the jazz scholars
Marshall Stearns and John Mahler of his unfortunate experience as follows:

“I knew how to play - I‟d figured - I‟d learned the scale and (could) - I‟d learned to play two tunes in, in a
certain key, in key of D for your [alto] saxophone, F concert? … I‟d learned how to play the first eight
bars of [“Up a] Lazy River”, and I knew the complete tune to “Honeysuckle Rose”. I didn‟t never stop to
think about there was other keys or nothin‟ like that... so I took my horn out to this joint where the guys -
a bunch of guys I had seen around were - and the first thing they started playin‟ was “Body and Soul”,
long beat [implied double-time] you know, like this … so I go to playin‟ my “Honeysuckle Rose” and
[unintelligible], I mean, I ain‟t no form of conglomeration [unintelligible]. They laughed me right off the
band stand. They laughed so hard [unintelligible].” (Woideck (1998 : 5))

This unfortunate experience changed Parker‟s way of playing saxophone and from now on he spend
up to 15 hours a day practising his instrument and learning to play all tunes in all keys. This was the
fundament for his later excellent mastering in both playing saxophone like nobody else and

With Kansas City being the center of entertainment of basically the entire United States all different
kinds of drugs were easily available and the people were quite tolerant towards them. It is no surprise
that Parker was introduced to hard drugs with only 15 years when he took for his first time heroin. In a
car accident in 1937 he got serious spine injuries and he was prescribed heroin to ease his pain which
further made him drug addict. His entire remaining life was determined by his drug habits and the
quest for drugs. Nevertheless, 1937 was also his musical breakthrough. He finally became famous in
Kansas City and joined the band of alto saxophonist Henry “Buster” Smith which allowed him to further
improve his skills. The years 1938 and 1939 are not well documented but it is agreed that he went
several months to New York where he worked for a few weeks at Monroe‟s, and further went to
Chicago. In 1940 he came back to Kansas City where he joined the band of his idol McShann. In
Kansas City he also met Dizzy Gillespie for the first time and got his nickname Yardbird which was
later shortened to Bird. In 1942, together with the McShann band, Bird returned to New York where
they played at the Savoy with various other musicians, including Gillespie. Parker was now a well
respected jazz musician and was already influencing other fellow musicians through his playing. Many
jazz musicians came to listen to the concerts of the McShann band just because of Bird. People told
that he was the best saxophone player they ever heard and that he could play twice as fast as Lester
Young and be harmonically much more evolved. Unfortunately, his drug addiction affected his life ever

[Woideck98, Chapter “A Biographical Sketch”],
[Le Tanneur, Chapters 1-4]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
more and during a US-tour he broke up with the band of McShann after collapsing on stage because
of an overdose49.

Bird went back to New York where he could join the band of Earl Hines at Monroe‟s. Dizzy Gillespie
was playing in the same band and together they constantly improved their skills and slowly changed
their style towards what it called today Bebop. The rhythm became faster and the harmonics much
more complex, too complex for ordinary musicians. All the while he regularly went to jam at Minton‟s
during the nights and after concerts further refining their new style. But the drug addiction took its toll
and Bird showed up late for shows, fell asleep on the stage or even missed entire shows. In 1943 Earl
Hines‟ band split up and Parker went back to his mother to Kansas City only to go back to New York to
join the band of Billy Eckstine some months later. During a concert in Saint Louis in 1944 Parker and
Dizzy met Miles Davis for the first time setting the ground stone for their later collaboration. Back in
New York and after a series of concerts in Chicago Bird split with Billy Eckstine and joined the famous
Ben Webster Quintet at Onyx Club on 52nd street. Only now he is so famous that he starts to be a
highly demanded saxophone player and he was regularly playing in other clubs too. One of them is
the Three Deuces where for eight weeks Parker and Dizzy were giving a show together where they
could play whatever they wanted. They music became more crazy and less constrained than before,
expressing a joy never heard before. It was by far the most exciting music happening in New York for
a long time. Finally the recording ban was lifted and in 1945 they started registering their music50.

But the collaboration with Dizzy should not last long. Bird becoming more and more chaotic, missing
gigs and not being reliable anymore they split. In many eyes Bird was like a god and he always had an
entourage of women, dealers and other people around him, making him forget that his life was playing
music. He started to play irregularly here and there, sometimes recorded some tracks. Miles Davis
started to play more with Bird and they developed a deep friendship. When Bird went to California
Miles joined him after a while and they played together in Los Angeles. Unfortunately Bird‟s drug
addiction was that overwhelming that he was even sent for six months to the Camarillo State Hospital,
a centre for drug addicts. After this stay he was a lot better and could control his drug consumption for
a little while. The years 1947 and 1948 were one of his best and he formed a quintet together with
Miles Davis, Max Roach, Duke Jordan and Tommy Potter. Bebop was big now and many jazz
musicians made a lot of money out of it. Bird stayed in New York for the most of the time with the
exception of numerous tours through the United States and even Europe. He was still consuming

[Woideck98, Chapter “A Biographical Sketch”]
[LeTanneur01, various chapters]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
drugs but was able to control the consumption for the most of the time. Further, his family life with his
new wife was going on well, inspiring Bird and giving him support. He even experimented with string
orchestras and his album Bird with Strings was recorded during a period where he took almost no
drugs allowing him to play even more ingenious and with a very clear and sophisticated melody line51.

A lot of recordings were made and Bird was one of the greatest musicians till his death on March 15th
1955. He died because of pneumonia and cirrhosis. The doctor examining his dead body estimated an
age of 53 but he was only 34 years old. His lifestyle, playing saxophone all the time, often all night
long, and taking drugs was taking his toll, his body was literally used up and destroyed. Days after his
death the words “Bird lives!” where found all over New York, a proof and testimony that he was playing
music like nobody else and that in his music he would life forever. Among his uncountable tracks
Ornithology, Yardbird Suite, Ko-Ko and Groovin‟ High are some of his most popular recordings, still
played today by almost every jazz musician52.

[LeTanneur01, various chapters], [Russel80, part 3]
[LeTanneur01, various chapters]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

Dizzy Gillespie
John Birks Gillespie, also known as Dizzy Gillespie,
is often considered as being the father of Bebop
and “one of the most influential trumpeter since
Louis Armstrong, and followed by Miles Davis53”.
His virtuosity was not only known in jazz music and
he even had the opportunity to play with a classical
orchestra on an occasion in 1961 when he
recorded "Perceptions" (written for him by the
trombonist J. J. Johnson). He received several
prices during his career, and was appointed
"Musician of the year" in 1975 by the "Institute of High Fidelity" in San Francisco. Gillespie is usually
described as a very social person, warm, generous, energetic, open-minded and having a great sense
of humor. According to Raymond Horricks54, he was also extremely devoted to his friends and always
eager to satisfy the public. Finally, he was a humble person as well. None of his success ever made
him arrogant. An example of this was told by Keith Galdson, a Jamaican blind guitarist: He was
surprised to see how Dizzy was complimenting him even though he already was a “living legend”55.

Dizzy Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, and was the last of a family of nine children. The
social situation of his family was modest, but John Birks got love from his parents and a good
education. According to himself56 he had no problems in school even though he was not working
much. He also said that he was fighting everyday which shows that he had a strong character. His
father, being a local bandleader, kept the instruments at home and Dizzy loved playing with them. He
started to play piano when he was four years old. Then he begun playing trombone but did not like this
and changed for trumpet. At the age of ten, the year of his father‟s death, he got a scholarship to study
in “Laurinburg Institute” in North Carolina. It was a technical school for black people and Gillespie
could especially study music theory and harmony there. He eventually turned down his scholarship to

[Horricks84, p. 13],
[Horricks84, p. 34],

[Horricks84, p. 34],
[Gillespie82, p. 22],
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
begin his music career in 1935 when he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and joined the
musicians union and bands. 1935 was also the year of the first big band arrangement he wrote and
when he acquired the nickname “Dizzy”, because of his deliberately eccentric behavior in various big
bands. From then on he joined different bands and begun to develop his own way of playing, his own
rhythm. He even replaced Roy Eldridge from whom he was influenced a lot in the band of Teddy Hill in
1937. However, his non-orthodox way of playing was not always welcome in those years and it
happened that some sidemen threatened to leave the band if Dizzy was not fired 57. Critics were
usually very violent against him in the beginning. For instance, Nesuhi Ertegun, who later became the
president of WEA International58 wrote about Bebop in general: “The american public is mislead.
Future of jazz is dark. Only going back to neo-orlean jazz will allow it to become a form of living art
again”59. Another example would be George Frazier, who wrote: “It is unbelievable that an adult could
create such a thing”60. This bad opinion of Bebop changed a few years later in 1944 when Esquire
wrote that Dizzy was the biggest “new star” of trumpet61.
Once established Gillespie decided to lead a Big Band even though Bebop is particularly convenient
for small bands. That‟s what he did, from 1946 to 1950 (it should be noticed that, apart from these
years, the biggest part of his career concerned quartets and quintets). He had a wide success and
even went on tour in Europe and elsewhere in the world. His music was so well recognized that in the
year 1956 the American government asked him to make a “diplomatic tour” in the Middle-East and in
South America to promote the American image in the world. It was the first time in history that the
American government was recognizing jazz music officially and it had a huge world-wide success.
Because of this he even earned the nickname "the Ambassador of Jazz"62. He appeared in several
movies such as The Hole63 in the 1960s and Voyage to Next64 in the 1970s. As a joke he even applied
to become President of the United States of America proposing a few jazz men to work in his
government. In general, he remained true to Bebop for the rest of his career and died on January 6,

[Horricks84, p. 38],
WEA International is now known as Warner Music Group, from 2004
Translation from [Horricks84, p. 48],
Translation from [Horricks84, p. 49]
[Horricks84, p. 48],
"Ken Burns's Jazz, A Gillespie Biography", Pbs.org, retrieved 2011-03-20.
Realised by Jacques Becker
Realised by Faith Hubley and John Hubley
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
1993 of pancreatic cancer. He was 75 years old. Dizzy Gillespie has a star in the Walk of Fame in

During his early years, while studying at Laurinburg, Dizzy Gillespie played football. He was not really
big, and it was first difficult for him to be considered seriously by the coach. But he fought and worked
hard until he was accepted in the team. After some time, he decided to stop playing football for music
after having had a discussion with his bandmaster. Being hurt because of football would indeed have
compromised his music career. This anecdote shows that Dizzy was a persevering person knowing
what he wanted and ready to fight for it.
We could notice this in other episodes of his life. Still at Laurinburg he once had to explain himself to
the director because he had pulled a knife on another boy, much stronger than him, who wanted to
fight him. He clearly told to the director that “[the boy] outweighted him by over a hundred pounds and
could have hit him in his mouth and ruined his embouchure”65. He had no further problems since it was
considered as self-defense. Dizzy Gillespie always knew what he was doing and was convinced of
himself. A last example to show happened place during his cooperation with Cab Calloway in 1941.
After an altercation Cab slapped Gillespie who slashed him back in the thigh. It seems that Dizzy was,
once again, in his right.

This last episode marked the end of Birks‟ childish behavior. He always kept his sense of humour but
became more mature and reliable. As seen before, some even say that he was one of the most
reliable jazz leaders. Moreover, he never fell into drugs and had a pretty healthy way of life. This, in
addition to his dynamism, made him a real business man. He was very active, was never tired of
organizing events and leading bands. He had strong capabilities to seduce the audience and to
convince musicians to join him for events. By 1956 he was famous in the entire world and his salary
was bigger than Dwight D. Eisenhower‟s one who was the president of the United States of America at
that time.

Gillespie‟s way of playing was considered as unique. He was constantly alternating between rapid
soars and regular phrases. He was a very fast player with an incomparable flexibility. He was capable
of playing complex phrases in a high register which made him unique. Miles Davis, according to Dizzy,
was playing in a similar way but in a lower register. Dizzy‟s sonority was pretty close to Elridge‟s one;
it was warm66. He always thought that a musician had to find his own style, his own rhythm. But other

[Gillespie82, p.39]
[Horricks84, p. 41],
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
musicians played a large role in the search of his own style. He inspired himself from a lot of people
such as Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Christian and so on, and said that even himself in
his autobiography67. Ian Carr, an English trumpeter adds to this that Gillespie was always surprising.
He was always shocking with new thoughts, new ideas.
More specifically, concerning Gillespie‟s role in the creation of Bebop, he was highly responsible of
arrangements, chords progressions and in a way in formalizing Bebop. He was always a master of the
situation. He always knew what he was doing and why. Parker was much more spontaneous and
Dizzy, with his strong theoretical knowledge, was able to formalize this. He also translated all these
ideas to big orchestras. Moreover, Gillespie was the first to hire modernist musicians in other clubs
than Minton‟s Playhouse which helped in Bebop‟s popularization.

Dizzy Gillespie, in his manner, contributed to promote peace and to fight against racism. During his
tours in the world, and more specifically in Middle-East, he was emphasizing the fact that his band
was constituted of black and white musicians that they were doing a wonderful job together. He was
saying that music was a kind of adoration and that the music was able to make racism and other
similar ideas disappear. He even wrote a tribute to Martin Luther King called “Brother King”.

[Gillespie82, p 63],
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

Miles Davis
Although Davis isn‟t involved in the origin of Bebop he is recognized as one of the most influential jazz
musicians of the past century. From Bebop to Hard Bop, but also in Cool Jazz, Modal Jazz and Jazz
Fusion, his contribution has been enormous.

Miles Dewey Davis was born on 26th of May 1926, in Alton, Illinois. Born in a wealthy family and with
a mother who wanted him to learn piano Miles dove early into the world of music. He began to play at
the age of 13 when his father offered him his first trumpet, mostly to annoy his mother who didn‟t like
the sound of this instrument. Miles Davis took lessons with Elwood Buchanan whose influence on his
style remained for his entire life. As Miles said in his autobiography: "Mr. Buchanan was the biggest
influence on my life up until then. He was definitely the person who took me all the way into music at
that time"68.

At 16 years Miles was already playing professionally but before getting involved even more seriously
his mother insisted that he first finished high school. That‟s how after graduation at the age of 18,
Miles moved to Juilliard School of Music, in New-York City. His move to New York marked the
beginning of his Bebop career. His first intention in New York was to meet with his idol Charlie Parker.
During his quest to find him Davis went through many jazz places meeting renown musicians like
Colman Hawkins. After finding Parker, Davis became used to play regularly at Minton‟s Playhouse, as
well as at Monroe‟s as both nightclubs were regularly holding jam sessions. He quickly became an
important person in these events and was learning a lot from all the musicians there. As he wrote: "I

[Davis90, p. 31]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
could learn more in one session at Minton's than it would take me two years to learn at Juilliard"
(Davis (1990 : 60))

1945 is for Miles Davis the beginning of his professional career. He got his first professional contract
and recorded a first disc with saxophonist Herbie Fields. In October 1945, Dizzie Gillespie left Parker's
band and Miles joined the quintet as his replacement. Gillespie came back around a month later but
was then playing piano with Parker's band, leaving the trumpet to Davis. That's how, in 1946, Miles
Davis finally recorded with Parker - at that time in his best capacity and really successful - the classic
songs Moose The Mooche, Yardbird Suite, Ornithology and A Night In Tunisia. The smooth sound of
Miles‟ trumpet was very different from Charlie Parker's impulsiveness. This difference first yielded to
criticism, but was soon considered as Miles‟ personal style. The Esquire magazine gave him the title
of "New star of jazz trumpet". 1946 is also the year when Miles composed his first song Donna Lee69
and was approached by famous arranger Gil Evans. But, as seen before, there was a dark side to
playing in Parker's band. The saxophonist and some of his friends were used to drugs, especially
heroin. Even though Miles, at first, was able to avoid it he got soon irritated by its influence on the
musicians' behavior. When Parker had to stop playing because of the drug's impact Davis remained
without a band. He managed to join other musicians such as Charles Mingus and Billy Eckstine. But in
spring 1947 he had no more work and fell into cocaine and heroin. Playing first in Gillespie's big band
he then joined Parker who got better again. Even though in a few years Miles Davis had been playing
with legendary jazz men and recording famous discs he remained frustrated and willing to create a
style of his own. And that's what he did.

In summer 1948, getting back with Gil Evans, he created a new band. Differently from bebop where
musicians usually play in a quintet Davis created a nonet: drums, bass and piano for the rhythm
section and his trumpet plus a soprano saxophone, a baritone saxophone, a trombone, a tuba and a
french horn for brass. The music they were playing contained, as bebop, lots of improvisation but was
relax and melodic. They played for one and a half year, sometimes with some changes in the crew,
but always with the same instruments. Musicians were chosen according to their skills and not their
skin. Many unemployed black musicians complained about the fact that Davis‟ nonet was also
employing white musicians. In parallel, other jazz men began to play in the same way as them. When
in 1956 the recording of the nonet was finally released under the name Birth Of Cool, it gave its name
to this new kind of music: Cool Jazz. Even though the album wasn‟t a big success at that time Davis
always claimed the invention of the style.

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

But not only was Davis involved in the evolution of Bebop and the invention of Cool Jazz, he also
contributed to the emergence of Hard Bop: after a long trip to Paris in 1949, the musician went back in
the USA where he soon got depressed. He had to leave the woman he loved (the French actress
Juliette Gréco) and was missing the feeling of tolerance he had found in Europe. He fell back into
heroin which affected both his capacity to play and his reputation. Even if he still played, especially
with Charlie Parker, his life until 1953 was particularly difficult. He went better in 1954 after locking
himself inside a room at his father‟s place. But his big come back was in 1955 at the Newport Jazz
Festival when his solo on “Round Midnight”, song written by Thelonious Monk, was celebrated in a
standing ovation. After that night Davis created what is known as his “first great quintet” with John
Coltrane (tenor saxophone), Red Garland (piano), Paul Chambers (bass), and Philly Joe Jones
(drums). After the bad time he had in his life Davis started something new: a new band but also a new
style: the music they were playing was slower than Bebop with more simple chords, closer to Blues
and with a harder beat. A style that developed quickly and was soon played by many. They called it
Hard Bop.

Later Davis would again prove the same visionary capacity, being able to foresee what would become
of major importance in history of jazz, but also to recruit young musicians that would soon prove to
have amazing capacities: none of the musicians of the first quintet were really famous at the time but
their names are known to all jazz listeners nowadays. Since the later part of Miles Davis‟ life is no
more related to Bebop and its evolution details of his further career are omitted. It‟s however
interesting to note that during all his life Davis evolved with the music and made the music evolve with
him. He kept on recording, one of his biggest successes being Kind of Blues in 1959. For the rest of
his life, Miles Davis continued to be part of every emerging style. He adapted his band to electronic
music in 1964, met later with James Brown and Jimmy Hendrix, and in the last years of his life,
recorded with Marcus Miller, with Darryl Jones, bassist of the Rolling Stones and collaborated with
Prince. He died on September 28, 1991 at the age of 65 but remains a reference in jazz music for half
of the past century.

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

Analysis of the social and political dimension

The social situation in the United States of America during the Forties had several implications on jazz
music. It probably contributed to the birth of Bebop in the sense that Bebop is particularly adapted to
small formation, usually quartets or quintets. The period of prohibition clearly tended to create small
circles of people and therefore reinforced the need of small formations. However, Bebop required
some time before being accepted and suffered from strong criticisms at its beginning as has been
stated in the biography of Dizzy Gillespie. One of the reasons for these criticisms, apart from being a
revolution in the jazz music people were used to, is maybe that it was played mainly by black people
who were often victim of racism. Even though it has never been explicit it seems that it was a way for
black people to differentiate from white people and play their own music. Some black people
sometimes said that white people were stealing their music and the literature generally agrees on this
fact. In no source that was analyzed it was written that Bebop musicians did not feel their music stolen
in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. On the other hand the Bebop musicians did not
want neither to exclude a certain race to play their music. They just want to make sure that it was
impossible to easily copy their music and make money out of it. By playing complex melody lines,
chord progressions and harmonics only the good musicians could join the movement and skin color
had no influence on this. Consequently, one could argue that Bebop moved the limitations from the
skin color to the real level of the musicians and contributed to improve the relationship between black
and white people. Indeed, Bebop musicians usually were black people but white musicians that were
able to play well were never refused. Bebop musicians were actually not directly engaged and
opposed to white people. They were not fighting for a better social situation but playing music for
themselves with no other goal than entertaining themselves.

On the other hand Bebop had a symbolic signification for different reasons. First of all it was the first
time that black people made money with music. Then they could not be refused in a band because of
their skin color since it was their music but the music was not restricted to only black people. It was the
first jazz style to be broadly accepted by everybody and even the government of the United States of
America officially recognized it and promoted it around the world to represent the USA.

Even though the first goal of bebop musicians was not to fight against racism they often had to deal
with it. For instance Miles Davis had several troubles with the police due to his color. In his

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
autobiography he recalls the conversation with a policeman who asked him to “move on” as he was
outside the place he was hired to play in:

“I said, "Move on, for what? I'm working downstairs. That's my name up there, Miles Davis" and I pointed
to my name on the marquee all up in lights. He said, "I don't care where you work, I said move on! If you
don't move on I'm going to arrest you." (Davis (1990 : 238)).

That night Miles ended at the hospital after having been knocked on the head by the police. In his
book Davis recalls other events of the same kind:

“The two white cops who saw this probably thought that I was a drug dealer and that's why they came
back. Needless to say, if I had been a white person sitting in that Ferrari, they would have gone about
their business”. (Davis (1990 : 307))

These events marked him so much that when Pannonica de Koenigswarter asked him for three
wishes his only answer was “to be White”70. This condition is certainly a reason for which many Bebop
musicians eventually contributed to the fight against racism. Dizzy Gillespie for instance wrote a tribute
to Martin Luther King called “Brother King”71 and was often referring to the fact that his bands were
constituted of both black and white musicians which “were doing a wonderful job together” 72. Later, in
1985 Miles Davis joined the group “Artists United Against Apartheid” which protested against the
South African apartheid.

Another reason for the development of Bebop is more closely related to economy and how people
lived at the time. In the nineteen thirties people did not have a lot of money and struggled for their
survival. They did not have a lot of spare time for culture and when they had the wanted to enjoy
themselves. Probably because of this reason Swing and Blues did not evolve much during this
decade. However, by the end of this decade economy started to take off again and the appearance of
the radio allowed for a better distribution of the music and ordinary people could easily listen to music
when they wanted which has not been the case before. Moreover Swing got a bad taste because it
was overused during World War II. It is straightforward to understand that because of all this reasons
people wanted a change in the music. They wanted to hear something new, something different. Thus,
musicians started to explore different ways of evolution and changing their current style. One of those
various emerging styles was Bebop and with a bit of a chance it made the breakthrough and became

[Horricks84, p. 70], [Gillespie82]
[Horricks84, p. 64]
SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop
a famous music style. As already written in the first part of the analysis one can also comprehend why
the style was close to Swing but much more complicated: the musicians probably wanted to stay close
to their roots (Swing has its origins in the black music) they wanted to produce a music that was no
longer possible to imitate easily so that they would finally get the credits for their playing.

On the other hand there is no evidence or any hint that Bebop would have directly influenced the
society. Indirectly it certainly did since it was the first time musicians just played for their fun and not as
a pure entertainment for the public. It could almost be seen as a rupture in the development of the
music opening the door to other experiments that later lead to other styles that may have influenced
the society. Bebop did not directly influence the society because the main goal of the musicians was to
entertain themselves and not entertaining the public nor pass on a message. It did neither become a
style that everybody was listening to so the range of people that could have been affected by the
music was very small, too small to lead to any changes in society.

Finally, it is certainly no surprise neither why Bebop emerged in the early Forties and not much earlier
or later. Before the Forties black people were still struggling to find back to their life and culture
because of the abolished slavery. In the early nineteenth century they were part of the very lowest part
of the society and were not really recognized as humans equal to white people. Only with the start of
World War II the United States suddenly were in a large need of workforce and soldiers. This allowed
black people to take on jobs that have earlier been occupied by white people and everybody was able
to see that black and white people were equal and equally well performing. This does not only hold for
the industrial jobs but also for the music. As an illustration one can refer to the biographies of Parker
and Dizzy who were both able to first join existing big bands mostly staffed with white musicians
because they had to replace the musicians that were drafted. For the first time black musicians were
able to play in front of a non-black and larger public and were able to gain experience in playing in
front of the public setting the ground stone for their later careers.

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop


Bebop definitely implied enormous changes in the world of jazz music but was not really created in the
purpose of being an active reaction from its creators against a specific social or economical situation
in the United States. It was not meant to be opposed to some specific values of the society at this
time. Instead, it should be considered mainly as an evolution in jazz music and a consequence of the
social situation. A logical evolution which was leaded by young musicians; new generations always felt
the need to push the old concepts to their limits in every domain. And Bebop can be considered as
such: young musicians created a revolution in the jazz music which was popular at this time. Their
main concern was to try new solutions, chord progressions, harmonics, even if it was often not well
accepted in the beginning.

Moreover, the social situation at this time was propitious to smaller formations and clearly contributed
to the success of Bebop. The absence of limitations due to the skin color was a point as well. And
even if it was not directly a reason why its founders begun playing Bebop (Charlie Parker and Dizzy
Gillespie never were refused in a band because of their skin color), it had implications on its birth. As
being a music mainly played by black people, it was a way to differentiate, and therefore the social
situation had an influence on Bebop‟s popularity among black people.

Bebop itself had a lot of social and even political implications. First of all, it made the limitations from
the skin color disappear and only was restricted to good musicians, either black or white. Nobody was
ever refused because of racial discrimination. Even though Bebop is not engaged by essence, some
of the musicians were. Gillespie wrote a tribute to Martin Luther King and Miles Davis had really
suffered of racism, for instance. Musicians were not indifferent to the problems in the world, and music
sometimes was a way to fight against them. Moreover, it was the first kind of jazz music that was
officially recognized by the government of the United States of America, which was an important

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop


ALLEN, H.C, Les Etats-Unis, trad. Th. Henrot, Londres, Enerst Benn Limited, 1967, 1st english
edition: 1964.

[Davis90]: DAVIS, Miles and TROUPE, Quincy, Miles, The Autobiography, Touchstone, 1st ed., 1990.

[Koenigswarter07]: DE KOENIGSWARTER Pannonica, Les musiciens de Jazz et leurs trois vœux,

Buchet-Chastel, 2007.

GARNER SMITH, William, L‟amérique noire, trad. Rosine Fitzgerald, Upper Saddle River, Prentice-
Halls, 1972, 1st edition english: 1970.

[Gillespie82]: GILLESPIE, Dizzy with Al Fraser, To Be Or Not To Bop, London, Quartet Books Limited,

[Gottlieb96]: GOTTLIEB, Robert, Reading Jazz. A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and

Criticism from 1919 to Now, New York, Vintage Books, 1996.

[Hasse83]: HASSE, John Edward, Beyond Category: The Life and Genius of Duke Ellington, New
York, Da Capo, 1993.

[Horricks84]: HORRICKS, Raymond, Dizzy Gillespie, trad. Paul Couturiau, Paris, Editions Garancière,
1st english edition: 1984.

[LeTanneur01]: LE TANNEUR, Hugues, Charlie Parker, Librio Musique, 2001.

[Nisenson83]: NISENSON, Eric, „Round About Midnight: Un portrait de Miles Davis, trad. Mimi Perrin,
Paris, Denoël, 1983.

PRIESTLY, Brian, The Definitive Dizzy Gillespie, Vervemusicgroup.com, retrieved 2010-11-20.

SHS – Musique, Politique et Société The Development of Bebop

[Rodney82]: RODNEY, Dale, Le monde du jazz, Paris, Bordas, 1982.

[Russel80]: RUSSEL, Ross, Bird, la vie de Charlie Parker, trad. Mimi Perrin, Editions Filipacchi, 1980.

[Scaruffi07]: SCARUFFI, Piero, A History of Jazz Music 1900 - 2000, Omniware, Redwood City, 2007.

TROUPE, Quincy, Miles Davis, Miles et Moi, Bègles, Le Castor Astral, coll. “Castor Music”, 2009.

[Winston03]: WINSTON A. Judith, “Rural Schools in America: Will No Child Be Left Behind? The
Elusive Quest for Equal Educational Opportunities”, Nebraska Law Review, n°190, University of
Nebraska, 2003

[Woideck98]: WOIDECK, Carl, Charlie Parker: His Music and Life, University of Michigan Press, 1998.

[Unknown author], "Ken Burns's Jazz, A Gillespie Biography", Pbs.org, retrieved 2011-03-20.

http://www.jazz-styles.com/styles/jazz.php?genre=Swing, Looked up 2011-02-20
http://www.lamediatheque.be/dec/clj/q08_04.htm Looked up 2011-03-15
www.milesdavis.com/fr/biographie Looked up 2011-03-15

1 – Glenn Miller Orchestra: http://pd56.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/GlennMillerOrchestra.jpeg
2 - Charlie Parker: http://www.allaboutjazz.com/photos/profile/Charlie_Parker.jpg
3 – Dizzie Gillespie: http://www.jazzpages.com/Deker/pics/gillespie_dizzy_450p.jpg
4 – Miles Davis: http://www.jazzfm.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/miles-davis.jpg