Thanks to all of the musicians who agreed
to interviews. You can
find them all in the
magazine issues section.

Daniel Niles
Daniel Niles

Keith Mansfield and KPM inspired beats coming soon…


Welcome to the Beat Excavation – a project about Slough (UK) and its unique musical heritage…

Issue 1 - Bebop Jazz

Bebop: A Brief History

Words: Dayna White

1944 was the breakthrough time in which musical legend, Coleman Hawkins teamed up with a soon-to-be phenomenon “Dizzy” Gillespie to record “Woody ‘n’ You”. This set the foundation of a new era of music. Hawkins and Gillespie made room in the jazz world for a fresh tangent soon to be known as bebop; this was a developed version of traditional jazz.

“Bebop uses an odd number of bars, strong syncopations and harmonic cadences, as opposed to swing which uses 2 or 4 bar phrases and flows easily alongside each harmonic cadence. The instruments are also used in different ways to create a new, original sound. The drums use a ‘call and response’ technique, quite like a conversation through music, with soloists, giving the string bass more relevance in the song. The string bass maintains the melodic foundation throughout the song by keeping a ‘walking’ bass line, giving the song a solid, repetitive rhythm. The trumpet and saxophone usually open the number in unison, using a fast tempo to introduce the song.”

‘Old-school’ inspiration came from jazz legends like Art Tatum, Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins; together they promoted this fresh interpretation of Jazz and inspired a new generation of ‘boppers’ such as, Charlie “Bird” Parker and “Dizzy” Gillespie.

In January 1945, Parker and Gillespie debuted in the recording studio together with singer and trombonist Trummy Young, to produce a song called “Sorta Kinda”. In May the same year, Parker and Gillespie lead an all star band in the studio to record what would be the first of many classics – ‘Shaw Nuff’. It wasn’t long before Charlie Parker was offered a contract with Savoy Records. Parker agreed, and a pianist was booked for his first record with Savoy. Fortunately the pianist was unable to accompany him in the studio, meaning Parker had to call on his old friend Dizzy to act as a replacement; they recorded a track called “Ko-Ko” which is generally regarded as one of the very first bebop recordings. Both musicians went on to make history with numerous classics including, “Salt Peanuts” and “Hot House”.

Fast tempo, edgy, offbeat, harmonic structures and melodies. This was the new fascination; this was bebop.

Download Issue 1 - Bebop Jazz here...