Bebop (around 1939 ~ 1950)
Bebop has been around since the early 1940s, starting with young artists practicing together in jam-sessions, playing together and experimenting with new styles. Bebop-style artists take advantage of turn-by-turn musical instruments, while also paying more attention to solo performances. The tempo section was also increased, making the rhythm of the work very fast and somewhat chaotic, in contrast to the dance or dance style of the Big Band Era period.
Outstanding artists include Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, and Max Roach. Works to listen to are Blue Monk , Round Midnight (Thelonious Monk), Night in Tunisia, Shaw ‘Nuff (Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker).
Cool (circa 1949 ~ 1955)
Cool Jazz is in contrast to Bebop with a relaxing rhythm, not in a hurry to make the listener lose breath. Musicians reduce the rhythm of the work and focus more on the melody, and use more classical instruments. Cool jazz for a while was also known as “West Coast Jazz”, but people familiar with jazz will immediately recognize the differences between these two branches.
Artists to listen to include Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan or Chet Baker. You can also listen to Take Five (Dave Brubeck), Bernie’s Tune (Gerry Mulligan Quartet, Chet Baker) or Birth of the Cool (Miles Davis).
Hard Bop (circa 1951 ~ 1958)
During this period quite a few jazz musicians felt that Cool Jazz sounded too classical and European, and so they decided to incorporate the Hard Bop style into it. Hard Bop gives original blues jazz, plus an African touch. This branch also has a bit of a gospel and rhythm influence.
Many famous artists choose or switch to the Hard Bop style such as Miles Davis Quintet, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins or Horace Silver. Some prominent works that can be mentioned include Moanin ‘ (Art Blakey), Nica’s Dream (Horace Silver), St. Thomas (Sonny Rollins), Giant Steps (John Coltrane).