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Episode 1

Episode 1 of 5

Donald Macleod and Geoffrey Smith explore bebop's roots in the work of some of its pioneers: Art Tatum, Charlie Christian, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins and Roy Eldridge.

Bebop! It's a rather silly word for a crucial chapter in jazz history. It didn't just come out of nowhere but evolved, fizzed and bubbled into existence in the USA in the early 1940s, as a result of a gloriously rich and complex musical chemistry involving different combinations of musicians, styles and places. All week, Donald Macleod and his special guest, the writer and broadcaster Geoffrey Smith, have some serious fun investigating this amazing musical phenomenon.

In Monday's programme they start by exploring the roots of Bebop in the work of a varied cast of pioneers: pianist Art Tatum, guitarist Charlie Christian, tenor sax players Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins and trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Then it's off to Minton's Playhouse, the after-hours Harlem club and all-purpose Bebop laboratory, where some of the most innovative jazz musicians of the day let their hair down and jammed together into the small hours, gradually forging the new style through their collective experimentation. Finally, the two central figures of the Bebop revolution emerge from the crowd - alto sax player Charlie 'Yardbird' Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie - first separately, in earlier, pre-Bop incarnations, then playing together, explosively, in two early Bebop classics, 'Groovin' High' and 'Salt Peanuts'.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 14 Nov 2011 18:30

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Music Played

  • Dizzy Gillespie

    'Bebop' [rec. 9 Jan 1945, NYC] – edited version

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie and his All Stars: Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt, vox) Performer: Don Byas (t sax) Performer: Clyde Hart (pno) Performer: Oscar Pettiford (bas) Performer: Shelley Manne (drums)

    • Proper Records Properbox 30.
  • Vincent Youmans/Irving Caesar

    'Tea for Two' [rec. 12 Apr 1939, Los Angeles]

    Performer: Art Tatum (pno)

    • Proper Records Properbox 60.
  • Vincent Youmans/Irving Caesar

    'Tea for Two' [rec. 24 Sep 1939, Harlem Breakfast Club, Minneapolis]

    Performer: Charlie Christian (gtr) Performer: Jerry Jerome (t sax) Performer: Frankie Hines (pno) Performer: Oscar Pettiford (bas)

    • JSP Records JSP909A,.
  • George & Ira Gershwin - 'Lady Be Good' [rec. 9 Oct 1936, Chicago]

    Performer: ‘Jones-Smith Incorporated’ – a.k.a. Count Basie Quintet Performer: Count Basie (pno, ldr) Performer: Carl Smith (tpt) Performer: Lester Young (t sax) Performer: Walter Page (bas) Performer: Jo Jones (drums)

  • Edward Heyman, Robert Sour, Frank Eyton and Johnny Green

    'Body and Soul' [rec. 11 Oct 1939]

    Performer: Coleman Hawkins (t sax) and his Orchestra

    • Affinity CD AFS 1026-6.
  • Turner Layton/Henry Creamer

    'After You've Gone' [rec. 5 Jun 1941, NYC]

    Performer: Gene Krupa and his Orchestra Performer: Roy Eldridge (tpt)

    • CBS 466310 2.
    • 4.
  • Gillespie

    'Kerouac' [rec. May 1941, Minton's Playhouse, NYC]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt) Performer: DonByas (t sax) Performer: Kenny Kersey (pno) Performer: Nick Fenton (bas) Performer: Kenny Clarke (drums)

    • Topaz TPZ 1028.
    • 4.
  • A Hall/J McShann

    'Sepian Bounce' [rec. 2 Jul 1942, NYC]

    Performer: Jay McShann and his Orchestra Performer: Charlie Parker

    • Verve 314 549 084-2.
    • 1.
  • Lucky Millinder

    'Little John Special' [rec. 29 Jul 1942, NYC]

    Performer: Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra Performer: Tab Smith (a sax) Performer: Stafford Simon (t sax) Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt) Performer: Ernie Purce (bar sax)

    • Proper Records Properbox 30.
    • 7.
  • Charlie Parker

    'Red Cross' [rec. 15 Sep 1944, NYC]

    Performer: Tiny Grimes Quintette Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Clyde Hart (pno) Performer: Tiny Grimes (gtr) Performer: Jimmy Butts (bas) Performer: Harold ‘Doc’ West (drums)

    • Savoy ZD70737.
    • 1.
  • John Schoenberger

    'Whispering', arr. Fletcher Henderson [rec. 15 Dec 1938, NYC]

    Performer: Benny Goodman (cl, ldr) and his Orchestra

    • HEP CD 1059.
    • 10.
  • Gillespie

    'Groovin' High' [rec. 28 Feb 1945, NYC]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie Sextet Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt) Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Clyde Hart (pno) Performer: Remo Palmieri (gtr) Performer: Slam Stewart (bas) Performer: Cozy Cole (drums)

    • Verve 314 549 086-2.
    • 7.
  • Gillespie/K Clarke

    'Salt Peanuts' [rec. 11 May 1945, NYC]

    Performer: Dizzy Gillespie and his All Stars Performer: Dizzy Gillespie (tpt, vox) Performer: Charlie Parker (a sax) Performer: Al Haig (pno) Performer: Curly Russell (bas) Performer: Sidney Catlett (drums)

    • Definitive Records DRCD 11382.
    • 5.

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