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Hard BopJazz and Black Music, 1955–1965$
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David H. Rosenthal

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780195085563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195085563.001.0001

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A New Mainstream

A New Mainstream

(p.41) 3 A New Mainstream
Hard Bop

David H. Rosenthal

Oxford University Press

When jazz was divided in the 1950s between Traditional and Cool, “mainstream” became the collective term for all forms, united only by virtue of all jazz being expressive and swinging. These twin virtues were especially emphasized in hard bop. These twin virtues, however, are not enough to define hard bop, which contains many worlds and different types of muscians: experimentalist, popular, offbeat and gentler, more lyrical players. The chapter goes on to enumerate and describe the lives of the era's best jazzmen. The number and variety of ways with which these jazzmen innovated and expressed individuality actually questions the suggestion of them being made common by the term, mainstream. However, David Rosenthal points out that jazz in this period was mainstream because, “almost everyone good was playing it”.

Keywords:   jazzmen, jazz history, hard bop, good jazz players, swing music, expressive music

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