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By 1940 the big band sound had grown stale, and jazz musicians began to search out new sounds and styles. At the Harlem nightclub Minton's Playhouse, a small group of musicians -- John Birks Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Beau Hawkins and Thelonious Monk, among sounding blend of flatted fifths, unfamiliar chord lines, and accelerated offbeat rhythms. They were joined on 52nd Street by alto saxist Charles Bird Parker, and bop -- or bebop, as it was first called, from the triplet figure buh-BE-bop -- was born.Bop was aggressive, provocative, and belligerent, Its proponents wore gears and berets and refereed to the Dixieland and New Orleans diehards as moldy figs who in tureen labelled the new jazz the modern complex chord, and a new reparatory into jazz, and by the end of the forties the moldy figs were forced to concede that bop was indeed the harbinger of a new direction in American jazz.Critic Leonard Feather was one of the earliest and most persistent champions of bob. It was he who persuaded RCA Victor that the new music was worth recording. His Inside Jazz is a full length account of bob: its origins and development and the personalities of the musicians who created it. Numerous photographs and anecdotes bring this innovative era in jazz history to life once more.
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Leonard Feather is one of the handful of indispensable jazz critics. His many books include "From Satchmo to Miles, Inside Jazz, Laughter from the Hip" (with Jack Tracy), all published by Da Capo Press/Perseus Book Group, and the "Pleasures of Jazz, " along with other works. Composer, pianist, record producer, critic, he remains a vital presence on the jazz scene.
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