Tag Archives: dizzy gillespie



Bebop is a jazz style characterized by harmonic complexity, overlapping melodic lines, and frequent shifting of rhythm—which its name mimics. It emerged in the 1940s as a group of musicians—including Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker—rejected conventional swing to pioneer an extension of improvised jazz. In the 1950s, two genres grew out of bebop: the aggressive style of hard bop and the understated approach of cool jazz. What does “dropping bombs” mean in a bebop arrangement? More… Discuss

today’s birthday: Charlie Parker (1920) (listen to “Summertime”)

Charlie Parker (1920)

Charlie “Bird” Parker was an American saxophonist and composer. Along with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, Parker was a leader of the bop movement in jazz. His brilliant improvisations were noted for their power and beauty. Sadly, his heroin addiction was legendary as well. He had a drug-induced nervous breakdown in 1946 and saw his cabaret card—which allowed him to play in New York clubs—revoked by the police in 1951. When he died four years later, at age 34, how old did the coroner think he was? More… Discuss

Charlie Parker – Summertime (Jazz Instrumental)

John Birks “Dizzy” Gillespie (1917)

Considered one of the main innovators of bebop along with Charlie Parker, Gillespie was an American jazz trumpeter, composer, arranger, and bandleader. His virtuosity and comic wit—in addition to his trademark puffed cheeks and 45-degree upturned trumpet bell—made him one of the most charismatic and influential musicians in jazz. Gillespie was once struck by a car while riding his bicycle. Though he was injured only slightly, a jury awarded him $1,000 because he could no longer do what? More… Discuss