Some say Dizzy Gillespie on stage and off was the same person-a clown. I don’t know. Actually, he got the nickname dizzy when he was living in Philadelphia. On the other hand, who cares? If you like Dizzy’s music, you care. If I cared, Wikipedia would give me the lowdown. Nonetheless, I don’t need to know how often he brushed his teeth! This is neither an article about dental health, nor famous jazz performers. Just a blog about dissonant roots creating bebop music. I hope you’ll find it entertaining and read through to the end. Black musicians dabbling in dissonance created bebop. In addition to dissonant roots create bebop, if you’re interested, my ancestors didn’t arrive here on slave ships. Many Italians slaved for their livings in NYC garment factories. Furthermore, their dissonance roots didn’t create bebop, as they were searching for something else.
Dissonant search for roots
I’m curious why musicians felt at need to reach for more sound combinations. Was it because they were hearing those sounds in their heads? It’s obvious that the best of them loved to play tender ballads. Roy Eldridge said, “I’d play ballads all night if I could get away with it”. However, bebop was a new sound. Bebop didn’t invent dissonance but exploited it to a new level, finding all sorts of creative applications for it. Besides, I suspect bebop’s dissonance gave the performers shock value. A new time was upon us, the whole world was changing and bebop music was redefining “hip”. Conventional thinking about morals and conduct no longer applied. Moreover, a license to over-indulge apparent in long solos, dominated by scales played in double-time, signaled the end for popular dance music.
“I’d play ballads all night if I could get away with it”Roy Eldridge comment made on public broadcasting radio