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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Folks,

I used to just read read and learn from this website (like the topics in which you discussed the differences of bebop and swing)

And decided to sign up and ask a question i`m having trouble with nowadays.

Would you mind telling me briefly the differences in the career paths of Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, and Bud Powell ? All i know is that they were creative persons made jazz move from slave songs to something way more complex but have no idea about their differences in career paths.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Differences ? Bird played alto (and some tenor) saxophone, not the 3 others (at least not as their main horn).
What else ? Did you try Wikipedia ? Googling a bit should give you plenty of food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah i know the differences in instrumental wise. I`m trying to gather information from wikipedia and google but , i wanted to learn the differences in career path-wise. Thought i could get some quicker and brief information about that from here while i was researching on the other hand.

Thanks for the info though.
 

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What a totally strange question.

The move from slave songs to jazz happened long before any of the people you mentioned came onto the scene...(those guys were still wearing diapers). As far as career paths, I don't think any of them chose the paths their careers would take. They chose the kind of music they wanted to play and how they wanted to play it...and those choices (along with various lifestyle choices) dictated the paths their careers would take. Musically, I don't think those paths were all that dissimilar. The biggest differences were probably in the lifestyle choices they made...but in those days, all jazz musicians were labeled (and ostracized) to a degree by the poor lifestyle choices made by a minority of the more notorious drug and alcohol abusers.

Perhaps a better explanation of the kinds of differences you're looking for would help. The question as stated seems rather obtuse.
 

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Regarding Diz and Bird, check Clint Eastwood's movie "Bird". The movie IS biased by Hollywood's storytelling, shouldn't be viewed as an accurate historical document, but it gives you a good impression of how our heroes where considered by then. And Eastwood's love for jazz is sincere: most key events in the movie ARE based on historical facts.
 

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It might help you judge what innovations these musicians added if you listen to music by others who preceded them in jazz music, such as Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins and Louis Armstrong. Jazz had already progressed to a pretty interesting point before the guys you mentioned came along.
 

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If you actually want to learn something, you're going to have to crack some books. Alyn Shipton's Groovin' High is an excellent account of the development of Dizzy Gillespie's musical career. He does a great job of debunking some of the lore and legends around Gillespie's early career and influences, and he draws some very important stylistic distinctions between Gillespie and Parker.

One of the more interesting of these, as I recall, is that Gillespie was not influenced by the blues anywhere nearly as much as Parker was.

Shipton has also published an excllent biography of Bud Powell, The Glass Enclosure.

The only full length study of Monk that I've read is Robin Kelley's Thelonious Monk: the life and times of an American original. It's a fantastic book.

I'd be very interested to hear what other Sotwers recommend as good books on Bird!
 

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Sounds like a question from a final exam in a jazz history course. Perhaps a take-home essay question that we're helping to answer for holynova?
Oh, man...I think you nailed it. I took a jazz history course at a university in NC. Out of 40-some people in the class, only two were musicians (both sax players). Only two people passed the course. (Gee, I wonder who?)
The only reason everyone else took the class was because they thought it would be an "easy" course to take as an elective. Knowing this, the professor (also a sax instructor) made the class as hard as he possibly could. I can't tell you how many people at that university had their GPA's ruined because they thought jazz history would be an easy "A".
 

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H'nova - the greatest differences were in their choice of alcohol, drugs, and shoes. Serious jazz musicians back in the day were really into the way they dressed for performances - especially shiny shoes.
 

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I like how Ken Burns' Jazz described Charlie Parker -- he came to NYC from the midwest and was at the forefront of a new movement (be-bop), he led it for a time, then destroyed himself. Really interesting -- makes you wonder how much their underlying troubles were driving their creativity.

Please note -- not endorsing drug use, just recognizing that in most cases, it's a symptom of deep inner turmoil. That turmoil is what I'm thinking drove the creative genius.
 

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Ha, prolly right!

Then I can hijack this thread... I get a phone call out of the blue from my Ex. I go hey baby where are you? She says, I'm driving out in the Oregon back country with my daughter and her friend. Her friend says her grandfather played with Miles and Trane... you are the only person I know that could tell me his name... she doesn't know. A white guy that played with both Miles and Trane?

All I could think to say was Charlie Haden. Not that I knew that, but because I guessed that it could be true. It seems to me CH played with so many people. I can't think of any other players. Any ideas?
 

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A white guy that played with both Miles and Trane?

All I could think to say was Charlie Haden. Not that I knew that, but because I guessed that it could be true. It seems to me CH played with so many people. I can't think of any other players. Any ideas?
Well, certainly pianist Bill Evans. I'm sure there are more.
 

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Ha, prolly right!

Then I can hijack this thread... I get a phone call out of the blue from my Ex. I go hey baby where are you? She says, I'm driving out in the Oregon back country with my daughter and her friend. Her friend says her grandfather played with Miles and Trane... you are the only person I know that could tell me his name... she doesn't know. A white guy that played with both Miles and Trane?

...
She's old enough to appreciate the significance of "Miles and Trane" and know that her grandfather played with them, but doesn't know her grandfather's name??
 

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What are you ahving trouble with? Many biographies out on all those cats. Try not to think of music and arts as "careers", especially in todays paradigm. Careers suggest explicit and obvious "paths" to success.
 

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What are you ahving trouble with? Many biographies out on all those cats. Try not to think of music and arts as "careers", especially in todays paradigm. Careers suggest explicit and obvious "paths" to success.
I wonder if some of these kids know what a book is? :)
 
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