“Cool” Jazz refers to modern jazz that tends to be softer and easier to follow--Mark
“Cool” also has affiliation with “West Coast” Jazz in California.
This period was also highly influenced by the “Birth of the Cool” recording of Miles
Davis, arr. by Gill Evans. These attributes can be found on this recording:
1) An emphasis on the “arrangement” is found on this recording.
2) Exploration of different orchestrations were used.
3) Much more effort was made on Western European borrowings.
4) Evans toys with forms and uses more nontraditional jazz harmonies.
5) Miles coins another unique approach to improvising, emphasizing sound, melody and
the melodic phrase.
6) The contrafact lines in this style are linear in nature, not vertical.
7) This recording prompted new ideas and many sub-styles begin to appear. As diverse as
Art Pepper to Lennie Tristano.
Journalists and record companies used the term “Cool” extensively in the 50’s.
They also gave a disproportionate amount of attention to “white’ musicians based in
California at the time. In reality, however, the label “cool” has not been limited to the
work of any particular race or geographic origin. It’s important to note that California had
many sub-styles in addition to “cool” style.
“Cool” music is a fusion of European Classical influences, “Swing” music, Bebop
and musicians who wanted to make their own distinct voice in improvisational music.
By this time, white musicians every where wanted to play Jazz music. It’s safe to say,
Miles, Basie and Lester Young were early models to improvisational thought in the
“cool” school. You combine this with European borrowings in the area of composition
and a new sub-style has been born.
Cool Style Characteristics
1) Non-conventional ensembles were more accepted.
2) Sound was more emphasized.
3) More sophisticated arrangements were introduced.
4) Improvisation and composition were more linear in nature.
5) There was less emphasis in rhythmic interplay between musicians.
6) Less Black-vocality (intonation) can be heard in this music.
7) You hear more counterpoint and other European techniques being introduced.
8) More irregular phrasing can be found. More breaking the mold of 4,8, and 16 bar
9) Saxophonists like Gerry Mulligan and Lee Konitz develop “lighter” sounds. (Played
together in the Claude Thornhill Band)
10) Trumpet players like Chet Baker and Conte Condoli also are more sound based when
11) Lester Young and Miles were key Black figures who ironically shape the way the
“whites” choose to play.
12) It was also a recording by Miles Davis a black musician, who ultimately help coin the
the term “cool jazz” in his “Birth of the Cool” album.
Some Important Contributors of the Cool School
I. Small Groups and Improvisers.
a) Led one of the most popular Jazz groups in the 50’s. It was a piano-less quartet which
featured Chet Baker and later Art Farmer, Bob Brookmeyer and Paul Desmond.
b) The quartet incorporated many European aspects of music, including the use of
counterpoint, sound, less agitated rhythm in order to focus on lines and melody and linear
c) Along with European influences, they were still highly improvisitory and
improvisation was the main focus.
d) Mulligan popularized the Baritone saxophone, an instrument not used much in Jazz
circles as a prominent improvisational voice.
e) Along with Chet Baker, Mulligan developed a unique counterpoint improvisational
sound that many would call a collective style.
f) Mulligan was also a fine composer and arranger. He could be found on many important
Big Band recordings as a composer and arranger. (He was staff arranger for the Gene
g) Led successful 10 , 14 and 20 piece ensembles.
a) One of the most recorded trumpeters in Jazz history. (Hundreds of Recordings as a
leader and sideman)
b) Was a very successful despite not always leaving a mezzo-forte dynamic level.
c) One of the most lyrical improvisers in the history of Jazz.
d) Played with illumanaries Charlie Parker and Gerry Mulligan two of the greatest
leaders in their perspective idioms.
e) His career was marred by drug addictions and jail sentences.
f) Great Jazz singer and produced widely imitated scat solos.
g) His recording with Mulligan “My funny Valentine” pushed him into instant fame.
Won Downbeat polls as best Jazz trumpeter and did much modeling making him a type
of iconian figure in the 50’s.
a) One of the great soloists with the Dave Brubeck quartet.
b) Had instant fame with the release of Brubeck’s Quartet of “Take Five”, which he
c) Was known for his warm sound and lyrical approach to Jazz improvisation.
d) Help to repopularized the soprano saxophone.
e) Distinctive career by playing with primarily one group, the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
f) Known for his Alto stylings, he reminds many people of Benny Carter’s soft approach
g) One of the most identifiable players along with Miles Davis in the 1950’s.
a) Sound reminiscent of Lester Young.
b) Had perfect pitch and a photographic memory.
c) Along with Serge Chaloff, Zoot Sims and Herbie Steward made Woody Herman’s
Band popular with the release of “The Four Brothers”. One of the most popular big band
charts in the history of Jazz.
d) His improvised solo on Ralph Burn’s “Early Autumn” established him as one of the
major improvisers of his era.
e) Career interrupted by drug addictions.
f) Known for a light tone which was vibrato-less. Very reminiscent of Lester Young. He
could remain lyrical even on very fast tempos.
g) Became a champion of many white musicians as he helped to precipitate a reaction to
the “Bop” movement in the 50’s.
h) His recording of “Crazy Chords”, a breakneck recording of Blues in all twelve keys,
set new standards of virtuosity for Jazz improvisation in his era.
i) He was the selected tenor soloist for Jobim when the Bossa and Samba recordings were
introduced here in the United States. These recordings were some of the most widely
listened Jazz recordings of the modern era.
a) Pianist and acclaimed teacher.
b) Possibly the most prolific of all the “Cool” improvisers.
c) Is credited for developing a “linear” approach to improvisation which is widely held as
one of the more sophisticated approaches to improvisation in Jazz history.
d) Taught and developed many of the great improvisers in this era. Including Lee Konitz,
Warne Marsh, Billy Bauer, Bill Russo and Sal Mosca.
e) In 1945. he made some of his most critical solo releases. Ironically, they were not
released until 1977.
f) In 1946-49 he moved to NY and played with Jazz most famous musicians Dizzy
Gillespie and Charlie Parker. He issued his first album and was named “Metronome”
magazines “musician of the year. He later added pupil Warne Marsh to a sextet including
Lee Konitz and Billy Bauer which raised much controversy among musicians. The album
g) founded the first school of Jazz in NYC in 1951 attracting a large number of students.
Characteristics of the Tristano School of Jazz:
1) Extraordinary long improvisations which consisted of angular, linear 1/8th note lines.
2) Linear approach consisted of little rhythmic variation.
3) Ensembles needed much instrumental virtuosity to execute lines at uptempos.
4) Use of complex harmonies and incorporated multiple use of meter and hemiola.
5) Used different levels of double-time at various tempos.
6) A master of block-chording. Had a unique approach using a diverse use of dissonance.
7) An early exponent of “free” music (Bauer’s private tapes) that influences the thinking
of Ornette Coleman.
a) One of the key pupils of Tristano.
b) Made his mark as an unique alto-saxophone stylist and considered the foremost Alto
soloist of the “Cool” style.
c) Like Tristano, he was known for his long improvisations that were linear in nature.
d) Sound influenced by the French Classical tradition.
e) Influenced many saxophonists after him, including, Paul Desmond, Bud Shank and Art
f) Rejected Parker’s rhythmic approach, creating an even 1/8th note more reminiscent of
g) One of the key figures in Mile Davis “Birth of the Cool” which spurred on the “Cool”
h) His emphasis in improvising focused on long linear lines, rich in harmonic
consideration played evenly and smoothly through the entire range of the instrument.
i) His best noted recordings are with those of the Tristano school including, Marsh, Bauer
The Modern Jazz Quartet
a) Consisted of members John Lewis on piano, Ray Brown on Bass, Kenny Clarke on
Drums and Milt Jackson on vibes. Connie Kay replaces Clarke and Percy Heath replaces
Ray Brown. (Originally Milt Jackson Quartet)
b) Known for their eclectic taste in music combining Bach to Bop.
c) John Lewis was a composer of amazing scope and influence.
d) MJQ was known for their restrained, conservative bop style which some like to label
as “cool” jazz.
e) Very popular group with American public and college campuses.
f) Also known for their association with the third stream movement. This was music
written and performed by Gunther Schuller, Andre Hodier and John Lewis.
Dave Brubeck Quartet
a) One of the most popular modern Jazz groups in history.
b) Was able to crack the top of popular music charts with compositions like “Take Five”.
It sold over a million copies.
c) The Classic quartet members consisted of Paul Desmond on Alto, Joe Morello on
Drums and Gene Wright on Bass.
d) Brubeck was very popular on college campuses. Creating almost a cult following.
e) Released “Jazz at Oberlin” in 1953, containing some of Desmond and Brubeck best
improvisations, in 1954 appeared on the cover of “Time” magazine and signed with
Columbia Records. A sign of his immense popularity.
f) His compositions were known for the use of changing meters, “Take 5” and “Blue
Rondo a la Turk” were written in 5/4 and 9/8 meter respectively.
g) Brubeck also wrote large scale compositions such as Oratorios, 2 ballets, 4 cantatas, a
mass and works for Jazz group and orchestra.
Big Bands in the Cool Era
a) Bandleader, pianist and composer-arranger.
b) Had one of the loudest big bands in this history.
c) Has a rather ambiguous position in history as many of his sidemen overshadowed his
abilities as an arranger and improviser. Some of his sidemen included: Shorty rogers,
Pete Rugolo, Gerry Mulligan, Neil Hefti, Bill Russo, Lee Konitz, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims,
Pepper Adams, Maynard Ferguson, Kai Winding and Shelly Manne.
d) His scores from his library permeate High School and College libraries.
e) The host for his entire library is North Texas State university.
f) Kenton’s greatest accomplishment might be in the “University clinics” he set up at
university campuses MSU and U of Indiana. He trained and recruited many young
players from campuses nationally.
g) His band was top of popularity polls in 1945 when Pete Rugolo became staff arranger.
He constantly challenged the parameters of the big-band idiom by expanding the
instrumentation (20 to 43 piece ensembles) and combining the works of classical notables
such as Richard Wagner.
h) Heavy on the brass sound, Kenton also explored Latin works and the works of
Broadway (West Side Story)
i) West Side Story and Adventures in Jazz won grammy awards.
j) In 1970, he formed Creative World records and Creative World music which served as
a training ground for young composers, arrangers and players.
a) Herman’s band was actually a product of the Bebop era in the late 1940’s.
b) Bandleader, clarinetist, alto saxophonist and singer.
c) His amazing success of the big-band was achieved without being a prolific arranger or
d) Was internationally famous for having a band of originality and ingenuity.
e) “Four Brothers”, one of the famous compositions of his band, featured sax sections of
Getz, Sims, Cohn, Ammons and and Chaloff. These were some of most preeminent sax
improvisers of the “Cool” era.
f) His legacy is having some of the most exciting big-bands in the history of Jazz. He was
an organizer and was able to sustain bands for many decades.
g) as a side note, Igor Stravinsky was so impressed with the band, he composed Ebony
Concerto, for the band.
Hard Bop and Mainstream Jazz in the 1950’s
** Other names used in this era were “Funky Jazz”, “Post-Bop” and “Soul Jazz”.
**Hard Bop is a term that appeared in the 1950’s to designate a style which had roots in
BeBop and was somewhat different from Bop and Cool Jazz.
Hard Bop Differences from Be Bop:
1) Improvised lines were many times simpler than Bop lines.
2) Drummers tend to play with more activity.
3) Composers experiment more with the forms, breaking away from the 32 bar formula.
4) Pianists used more variety of chord voicings and comped even more rhythmically.
5) More complex harmony can be seen more frequently. by those who entertained
themselves as “Post-Bop” performers. (Monk, Golson, Mingus, etc.)
6) Major scale modes were not the only modes used. More experimentation with both
melodic and harmonic minor modes.
7) Many authors point to the fact that this era is dominated by Black Americans. (Which
era hasn’t?) The music does reflect a mainstream approach to improvisation and
composition. A lot of blues, gospel and rhythmic influences prevail.
8) Era dominated by improvisational practices and small groups.
9) Tunes characterized by “Soul Jazz” emphasize simple, tuneful themes and
improvisations. They’re bluesy in nature and modeled black preachers in the sanctified
churches. This music also emphasizes 6/8 or 3 meter, and more 16 bar phrases appear
rather than standard 12 or 32 bar forms. Cadence points are often plagal (IV-I) rather than
the standard V-I endings.
10) Players often associated with “Soul Jazz” include Cannonball Adderley, Gene
Ammons, Shirley Scott and Bobby Timmons.
11) Hard-Bop groups included Horace Silver’s Quintet, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers
and Clifford Brown Brown and Max Roach’s Quintet.
Important Stylists of the Hard-bop Period
Miles Davis and John Coltrane have there own bio’s in this sequence.
Began his career in Philadelphia, Pa..
1) Possibly the most influential improviser on the trumpet in the late 1950’s.
2) Influenced players like Donald Byrd, Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard.
3) His protégé was Fats Navarro, whom he built a strong relationship.
4) Out of the bebop tradition, Brown was an extraordinary technician with exceptional
5) He was also a master of Ballad playing, as heard on “Clifford W/Strings” and one of
the few musicians who seemed as comfortable with fast or slow.
6) Early in his career he toured with Tad Dameron (1952) and made his first recordings
with Chris Powell and the Blue Flames. Later toured with Lionel Hampton (1953) and
played in a trumpet section consisting of quincy Jones, Art Farmer and Walter Williams.
7) In 1953 toured with the Art Blakey Quintet. The “Live at Birdland” recordings are
some of the most exciting trumpet solo’s on record.
8) Of his many recordings , one of the most mature could be found in his partnership with
Max Roach titled “Study in Brown”.
9) Currently there’s a book of his solo transcriptions of every improvisation he ever
1) Known for his individual style to trumpet playing. Also played Saxes.
2) Started playing in the bands of Gillespie and Eckstine in 1945.
3) In 1948-49, played and toured with Charlie Parker’s Quintet.
4) He was a founding member of the Jazz Messengers with drummer Art Blakey in 1954.
Led his own group called The Jazz Prophets, (“Dorham and the Jazz Prophets, 1956)
5) From 1956-58 played in the Max Roach Quintet, taking Clifford Brown’s spot.
6) Known for his work with Tenor-saxophonist Joe Henderson in the 1960’s.
7) Known for his fluidity, interesting use of intervallic play and virtuosity when
improvising, also a fine composer.
** Alto Saxophonist, Bandleader, Composer.
1) One of the key musicians in this era that defined the term “Soul Jazz”.
2) Led one of the great Hard-Bop quintets with his brother Nat Adderley.
3) “Cannonball” was an evolved name which stemmed from childhood name “cannibal”,
which was given to him based on his huge appetite.
4) Moved to NYC with hopes of working with his brother Nat and doing graduate studies
in Education at NY University. (He was a public school teacher) Instead, he played in a
Jam session with Oscar Pettiford’s Big Band and this led to an immediate recording
5) After trying to get the Adderly Brothers Quintet off the ground unsuccessfully,
Cannonball joined the Miles Davis Quintet in October 1957.
6) With Miles, Adderley records one of the most recognized Albums in Jazz History,
(Kind of Blue)
7) Stayed with Miles until 1959, and reforms the Adderley Brothers Quintet. This is
successful this time and lasts until 1975. This group became known for playing Jazz that
was “funky” and “soulful” in nature.
8) Many great stars came from his Quintet, Joe Zawinul, Louis Hayes, George Duke,
Victor Feldman, Roy McCurdy, Nat Adderley, Yusef Lateef and Charles Lloyd.
9) A master improviser, he was labeled unfairly as the “New Bird”. In fact much of his
musical direction was much different than that of Parkers. Here are a few key differences:
a) His lines were more chromatic and linear than Parkers.
b) His sound was bigger and more biting than Birds.
c) Played more ‘gospel’ and ‘soulful’ styles. His music was somewhat simpler and
reached a large R&B audience.
d) After his association with Miles, his spacing in solos was more prevalent and
incorporated more aspects of “free” music in the 60’s.
10) Cannonball being an educator, did a lot lecturing on the college circuit speaking on
the sociological and musical aspects of Jazz music in his career.
1) He has his own bio under the biographies.
**Tenor Saxophonist, Bandleader, Composer
1) First big break was when he began playing with Max Roach in 1951-53 off and on.
2) In 1954 began working with Dizzy Gillepsie.
3) Helped to form the Jazz Messengers with Horace Silver and Art Blakey in 1954.
Stayed with this group until 1956.
4) !956-57 led his own group.
5) From 1959 to 1961 he worked with Blakey (1959),Dizzy Reece (1960) and Miles
6) Freelanced and recorded a significant amount of work after this as a leader and
7) Many notables who worked with Mobley included: Lee Morgan, Philly Joe Jones,
Wynton Kelly among others.
8) Trademark in his improvisations was his unique use of rhythm, relaxed tone and a
sense of easy delivery.
Small Group Leaders
** Bandleader, pianist and composer
1) Led one of the great, classic Jazz quintets in the Hardbop era.
2) Many of the great improvisers played in his groups.
3) In 1950, Stan Getz made a guest appearance in Hartford,Ct. backed by Silver’s trio.
Getz enjoyed the experience he employed Silver’s group for the next year touring.
4) In 1951, moved to NY where he played regularly with many of the greats in jazz,
including, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, Oscar Pettiford and Art Blakey.
5) Forms a group with Blakey and co-leads from 1953-56.
6) By 1956, he was leading his own groups and employing some of the great improvisers
in his time.
7) Silver’s quintet was influential on these counts:
a) Along with miles Davis, helped to codify the Jazz quintet sound. (Tpt., Sax, R-section)
b) His group was a vehicle in bringing many his compositions to the forefront of Jazz.
He, along with Monk, may have been the important composers of this era. (Monk made
his comeback in 1957, and a rebirth of his compositions was a factor at this same time)
c) His groups along with Blakey and Miles, served as important training grounds for
d) Considered by many as one of the chief figures in creating the genre “Hard bop” for
his use of Bluesy intonation, R&B, gospel and funky elements to his compositions. “Song
for My Father”, was a tune of Silver’s that reached the national pop charts in popularity.
e) Many of his compositions have become “standards” in Jazz circles.
** Drummer, Bandleader
1) A major figure in modern Jazz and a pioneer in modern drumming.
2) Some of his important characteristics:
a) Powerful Style
b) Element of surprise in his hits and kicks
c) Highly energetic throughout his career
d) Very responsive r-section contributor to the improvised solo
e) Strong hi-hat feel *(2 & 4) a trademark of Blakey’s.
f) Known for exuberant cross rhythms in ensembles and improvisations.
g) Played a trademark roll many time bringing solo’s = energy to a new dynamic level!
3) His groups served as training grounds for some of Jazz finest soloists. some of these
include, Sonny Rollins, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, Silver (co-led), Cedar Walton,
Curtis Fuller and many others!!
4) Groups also sparked some great original compositions by his talented sidemen.
5) His early career included stints with Fletcher Henderson (1943-4), Billy Eckstine
(1944-47) and then became associated with Jazz modern movement. People would
compare his energetic style to former greats such as Chick Webb and Sid Callet. Blakey,
however evolved to a more modern contrast to these earlier players and made his own
mark in Jazz.
6) In 1955 he and Horace Silver formed a quintet with Kenny Dorham and Hank Mobley
called the Messengers. Silver leave to direct his own groups in 1956 leaving Blakey with
the Messengers one of the most influential quintets/sextets in Jazz history.
HARD BOP PLAYERS OF THE 1960’S:
1) Like Brown, was also from Philadelphia.
2) At the age of 15 was touring with the Dizzy Gillespie band. (2 years-1956-58)
3) Joins Art Blakey in 1958 and stays with Blakey until 1961. Quits to freelance and
rejoins Blakey in 1964-65, where he then quits to pursue his own band.
4) Plays in his own band until 1971, when he was shot to death by his mistress at Slugs, a
nightclub in NYC.
5) Known for his expressive, bluesy approach to improvisation. Epitomizes “Soul Jazz”
in late 50’s and the early 60’s. Developed a unique 1/2 valve expression and interesting
approaches to phrasing in his improvisations.
6) Although many look to the influence of Clifford Brown (“The Freedom Rider”), by the
time he releases “Totem Pole” in 1963, Morgan began to establish himself as one of the
unique stylists of he era.
7) Possibly some of his best work may be found with Tenor Saxman Hank Mobley.
(What Now My Love, 1964 and “Dippin’” in 1965)
1) One of the master improvisers from the late 1950’s and on. Known for his great
control of the instrument, thematic development and virtuosic improvisations.
2) Grew up and thrived on a thriving local jazz scene in Detroit, Mi, where he heard the
likes of Sonny Stitt, the Jones brothers and more. Studied at Wayne State University,
where Curtis Fuller, Yusef Lateef and other prominent local Jazz men were his
3) Played as a sideman for many great leaders in Jazz, including, Sonny Stitt (1959),
Brother Jack McDuff (1961-2), Horace Silver (1964-66) and later Herbie Hancock (1969-
4) Later moved to San Francisco area, where he continued lead many of his own groups.
Made important collaborations there with Freddie Hubbard, Hancock and others.
5) Was known as a master teacher and taught throughout his career.
6) An eclectic musician in his tastes, he has been quoted as being influenced my modern
20th century composers as well as the great bebop artists.