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CDs
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solo jazz guitar from oFF tHE tOP of the headoFF tHE tOP:
standards 1

Frank Singer

Frank Singer / Jam Along Blues CDJam Along Blues CD
Frank Singer

Frank Singer / Jam Along Modal 1 CDJam Along Modal 1 CD
Frank Singer

Frank Singer / Generations String QuartetGenerations String Quartet
Frank Singer

Cat's A Bear / Tito in Wonderland
Tito In Wonderland
Cat's A Bear
Cat's A Bear / Tito: In Search of a RevolutionTito: In Search of a Revolution
Cat's A Bear
Cat's A Bear / Eye of the PyramidEye of the Pyramid
Cat's A Bear

One World Tribe / Armed and DangerousArmed and Dangerous
OneWorldTribe

One World Tribe / Unity and DiversityUnity and Diversity
OneWorldTribe

One World Tribe / The World TodayThe World Today
OneWorldTribe

Too Big Power / Ride A WaveRide A Wave
Too Big Power

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Colors of TymeColors of Tyme
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Near Journey's EndNear Journey's End
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Astral WorldsAstral Worlds
J.D. & the Sons of Rhythm

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Moving Through The ElementsMoving Thru Elements
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Beyond AttentionBeyond Attention
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Crossing Oceans of TimeXing Oceans of Time
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Live at Forward HallLive at Forward Hall
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Imagination DoctorsImagination Doctors
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Smoke ShadowsSmoke Shadows
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Quantum EventsQuantum Events
J.D. & the Sons

J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Music From Another PlanetMusic From Another Planet
J.D. & the Sons
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Primate GesturesPrimate Gestures
J.D. & the Sons
J.D. and the Sons of Rhythm / Family ValuesFamily Values
J.D. & the Sons of Rhythm

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Trebor - the Original Naked Kitty / Trebor occasionally exhibited ancient Roman tendencies. I once saw him eat until he had to make room for more, which he did (right next to the food dish). We kept him on a diet after that.

 

 


JAZZ PERSPECTIVES   
The Swing Era III - The BeBop Strain
 

During the latter half of the period known as the Swing Decade [1935-45], a new development called BeBop began to emerge on the jazz scene. This new style of playing differed from the old in many ways. Swing was harmonically and rhythmically steady and predictable, where BeBop twisted and turned through dissonance and modulation, with spontaneous slams and crashes from the drums. In BeBop, complex, angular melodies were played in unison, and everything else melodic was improvised by one soloist at a time. Swing focused on the arrangement and left little or no space for solos. Critics felt BeBop was antithetical to Swing, but in many ways Bop evolved directly from Swing music and musicians.

One such musician was Count Basie. Many of his charts allowed for longer solos, a development which Lionel Hampton continued in his band with truly open solos ended by the soloist, not the arrangement. Saxophonist Lester Young was one of Basie's featured soloists, whose melodic style was a main influence on Charlie Parker. Young's cool tenor sound and sparse rhythmic approach even sowed the seeds of the Cool style of jazz pioneered by Miles Davis in the '50's, and influenced the sound of players like Stan Getz.

The Basie approach to the rhythm section was also unique. Most swing bands drove the sound from the horns, whereas Basie's band moved the music from the rhythm section, laying out the horns and leaving more room for the solo to be heard. The drumming style of Jo Jones included keeping time on the hi-hat cymbals instead of the kick drum, a much lighter sound. Basie as pianist also did away with the usual stride style and de-emphasized the left hand, lightly playing chords and fills where he deemed appropriate. All of these developments became essential to BeBop.

Other musicians developed ideas crucial to the BeBop sound as early as 1939. Tenor saxophonist Coleman Hawkins recorded a now famous solo that year on Body and Soul*, which opened a new door to improvising. The solo was in a small band context, and instead of the usual melodic development, Hawkins explored the harmony and included melodic reference to chords not in the original composition. The impact of this concept helped lead to the harmonic complexity of the BeBop sound. Charlie Christian, Benny Goodman's guitarist from 1939 to his death in 1942, was the first to play single note solos instead of the modified chordal banjo style of the day, changing the way guitar was played in Bop, and in every jazz style since then.

Although the mid 40's also saw attempts at BeBop big bands, including the bands of Earl 'Fatha' Hines,  Billy Eckstein, of which Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespe were both alumni, and Dizzy, who flirted with his own big band for several years, the smaller combo became the norm for Bop. Big band Swing continued to be a popular jazz style, but BeBop replaced Swing as the primary influence on jazz musicians soon after its rise to popularity, and continues to be a field of study for any serious jazz musician today.    [top]
- article by Frank Singer 2002

* A recording of Body and Soul can be found on the CD oFF tHE tOP: standards 1 Frank Singer plays Body And Soul on oFF tHE tOP: standards 1 / click here for more info

 

 

BACK TO 
JAZZ PERSPECTIVES

CONTENTS
Jazz Origins
I - Beginnings 
II - Jazz and Technology
   
III - Radio and the Industrial Beat    
The Swing Era
I - Precursors
II - The Decade of Swing
III - The BeBop Strain
A First Look Back
New Orleans Revival

Jazz Forms

The Blues
The 32 bar Song Form
The Latin Influence
Cool
Hard Bop
Evolution 1 - A New Dialogue
Evolution 2 - Into The Seventies
Evolution Of The Jam Session
Post Modernism

 


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