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Birth of the Cool

Guy Barker continues to explore the history of jazz, charting the emergence of a modal style of playing and the importance of Miles Davis.

Guy Barker continues to explore the history of jazz, focusing on the turning points and pivotal events that have shaped the genre, and discovering some great stories and larger-than-life characters along the way. Episode seven, Birth Of The Cool, charts the emergence of a modal style of playing and the importance of Miles Davis.

Miles Davis' series of recordings released as Birth Of The Cool remains one of the defining, pivotal moments in jazz. Miles was seeking a more relaxed alternative to bebop and began to experiment with a new group, the nonet, which recorded in 1949. Featuring unusual instrumentation and several notable musicians such as Gerry Mulligan and Lee Konitz, the music marked a major development in post-bebop jazz.

Miles' work in the 1950s led to one of jazz's most important new elements: the modal style. This was a new approach to harmony in which chord changes were far less frequent, thereby encouraging far more melodic improvisation based on a specific scale or key, as heard in jazz's biggest selling album of all time, Kind Of Blue. Jazz musicians on the West Coast began to develop this more relaxed style, playing without the ferocity of bebop, which became known as the "Cool School". Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker formed the first piano-less quartet creating a sparse and utterly beautiful texture to their jazz.

Guy Barker looks at the rise of Cool Jazz with contributions from jazz legends Dave Brubeck, Jimmy Cobb, Gunther Schuller, Chico Hamilton, Bill Crow, John Surman, and jazz authorities Lewis Porter, Ted Gioia, Dan Morgenstern and Loren Schoenberg. There further archive contributions from Gil Evans* (1912-1988) and Gerry Mulligan (1927-1996).

1 hour

Last on

Sat 11 May 2019 04:00

Music Played

  • Gerry Mulligan

    Limelight

    • COMPLETE RECORDINGS GERRY MULLIGAN - CHET BAKER QUARTET.
    • LIONHILL JAZZ.
    • LHJ10356.
  • Miles Davis & Tadd Dameron

    ORNITHOLOGY

    • IN PARIS INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL DE JAZZ.
    • COLUMBIA.
    • 485257 2.
  • Dave Brubeck, Eugene Wright, Joe Morello & Paul Desmond

    The Trolley Song

    • Greatest Hits.
    • CBS.
    • CDCBS-32046(1).
  • Shorty Rogers

    PIROUETTE

    • West Coast Sounds.
    • Fresh Sound.
    • 22-31.
  • Gerry Mulligan

    WESTWOOD WALK

    • THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION; THE ORIGINAL QUARTET AND THE TENTETTE.
    • AVID ENTERTAINMENT.
    • AVC886.
  • Miles Davis

    Godchild

    • The Complete Birth of the Cool.
    • Capitol Records.
    • 7243 4-94550 2 3.
  • Gerry Mulligan

    Walking Shoes

    • THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION; THE ORIGINAL QUARTET AND THE TENTETTE.
    • AVID ENTERTAINMENT.
    • AVC886.
  • Red Nichols and His Five Pennies

    Eccentric

    • FEELIN' NO PAIN.
    • AFFINITY.
    • AFS1038.
  • Red Nichols

    IDA, SWEET AS APPLE CIDER

    • FEELIN' NO PAIN.
    • AFFINITY.
    • AFS1038.
  • Frankie Trumbauer

    Mississippi Mud

    • Twenty Jazz Classics.
    • EMI.
    • CDMFP6163.
  • Dave Brubeck Band

    Bossa Nova USA

    • Columbia Jazz Legacy.
    • Columbia.
    • 88697-13375 2.
  • Miles Davis & Band

    Boplicity

    • The Complete Birth of the Cool.
    • Capitol Records.
    • 7243 4-94550 2 3.
  • Miles Davis

    So What

    • Highlights from the Plugged Nickel.
    • Columbia/Legacy.
    • 4814-342.
  • Miles Davis

    FLAMENCO SKETCHES

    • Kind of Blue.
    • CBS.
    • CDCBS-62066.
  • Miles Davis

    All Blues

    • Kind of Blue.
    • CBS.
    • CDCBS-62066.
  • Miles Davis

    SUMMERTIME

    • THE BEST OF GERSHWIN.
    • SONY CLASSICAL.
    • SM2K-60661.
  • Stan Getz

    DESAFINADO

    • 'ROUND MIDNIGHT (VARIOUS ARTISTS).
    • POLYGRAM.
    • 516-471 2.
  • Dave Brubeck

    Bluette

    • CBS : 32DP787.
    • CBS.
    • 32DP787.
  • Chet Baker

    TIME AFTER TIME

    • CHET BAKER SINGS.
    • BLUE NOTE.
    • CDP-7929322.
  • Gerry Mulligan Quartet

    Nights at the Turntable

    • Gerry Mulligan - Jeru.
    • Proper.
    • P-1481.
  • Arnold Fishkind, Denzil Best, Lee Konitz, Sal Mosca & Warne Marsh

    Fishin' Around

    • Subconscious-Lee.
    • Prestige.
    • CDP-840012(1).
  • Woody Herman and His Orchestra

    EARLY AUTUMN

    • KEEPER OF THE FLAME.
    • CAPITOL.
    • CDP-798453 2.
  • Miles Davis

    MOON DREAMS

    • THE BIRTH OF THE COOL: THE COMPLETE BIRTH OF THE COOL.
    • CAPITOL JAZZ.
    • B0000-5614M.
  • Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra

    Where or When

    • BEST OF BIG BANDS - CLAUDE THORNHILL.
    • COLUMBIA.
    • CK-46152.
  • Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra

    SNOWFALL

    • BIG BAND THEMES REMEMBER THEM?.
    • JASMINE.
    • JASCD-423.
  • Claude Thornhill

    Yardbird Suite

    • Claude Thornhill & His Orchestra.
    • Fresh Sound Records.
    • FSR CD-365.
  • Miles Davis

    Rocker

    • Birth of the Cool.
    • Capitol.
    • 7243 5-3011727.
  • Bobby Militello, Dave Brubeck, Guy Barker, Michael Moore & The BBC Big Band

    Take Five

  • Symarip

    Skinhead Moonstomp

    • Select.

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