Jazz in the 30's and 40's
By Naomi Moss
Swing jazz emerged as a dominant form in American music, in which some virtuoso soloists became as famous as the band leaders. Key figures in developing the “big” jazz band included bandleaders and arrangers Count Basie, Cab Calloway, and Duke Ellington. Although it was a collective sound, swing also offered individual musicians a chance to ‘solo’ and improvise melodic, thematic solos which could at times be very complex and ‘important’ music.
Who's Who in Jazz?
In the early 1940s in jazz, bebop emerged, led by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and many others. It helped to shift jazz from danceable popular music towards a more challenging “musician’s music.” Differing greatly from swing, early bebop divorced itself from dance music, establishing itself more as an art form but lessening its potential popular and commercial value. Since bebop was meant to be listened to, not danced to, it used faster tempos.