The invention of Bebop has changed jazz music in more ways than one. From the V-shaped horn of Dizzy Gillespie to the almost robotic style of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk.
The best way to understand all styles of jazz music is to listen. Starting with dixieland, moving to swing and ending on contemporary free jazz, bebop is the one true form that stood the test of time. The birth of bebop can be accredited to jazz saxophone player, Charlie Parker. Born August 29th, 1920 in Kansas City, his most famous tunes consist of ‘Ornithology’ and ‘Yardbird Suite’. He influenced some of the biggest names in jazz music today but most importantly, he influenced the fast and fluid language of one of my favorite trumpet players, Freddie Hubbard.
Reviewing your favorite bebop songs can be a helpful tool to speaking the language of jazz. It helps to truly establish different interpretations of a style in jazz music. One that can be carried throughout your listening career of jazz. Everyone’s interpretation will be different but here’s a little taster of our take on Hubbard’s ‘The Night Has a Thousand Eyes’.
Watching Freddie perform this song makes playing Jazz look so easy. Within the first 8 bars he demonstrated the perfect way for a solo to transition to the next. He starts his solo off simple by using a limited amount of notes within the first eight bars, and then begins to play what I like to call “Freddie Flutters”. This is where Freddie begins to show off his true talent in playing bebop. When he finishes his bebop styled line, Freddie brings the solo back to a simple idea of using one note with different rhythmic ideas. This is my favorite part of his solo. He makes one giant bebop line, covering almost 2 octaves stretched over 4 bars. His tone is perfect. It seems like he is a flawless player. No mistakes! Once he begins this part of his solo the rhythm section seems to wake up and begin to accompany Freddie. This is the true definition of “swingin”. He begins to play double time over the next four bars using sixteenth notes only. His musical concepts are so melodically beautiful. How can he sound so perfect improvising? It is fun watching him play as opposed to just listening. He gets so into the music, truly inspiring. At the peak of his solo he is screaming way above the staff and it works! Just holding one note can be so affective if you place it correctly in your solo. At the end of the peak and coming down into the conclusion of the solo, Freddie brings down the rhythm section just by playing at a much lower volume proving his versatility as a player.
We found this on youtube. Enjoy.