Jazz Diagram

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The facts included in this diagram are either facts with source listed, generally-known facts, memes, or our own ideas drawn from listening to musical recordings. 


1860s - c. 1900

Civil War, 1861-1865: Union and Confederate army bands exist throughout the South. As a result, slavery is made illegal and the Confederacy is under Union control again.

c. 1860s-c. 1900: Blues music spreads from singing in the plantations to pianists. During this era, different blues styles existed throughout the Midwest and the South.


Buddy Bolden

PEAK OF JAZZ INFLUENCE c. 1900: Bolden pioneered the idea of the jazz band and got history's great music in "full swing". For more information, visit this link:


c. 1900 - early 1930s

mid 1940s - early 1960s

Buddy Bolden (cornet)

Bunk Johnson (trumpet)

King Oliver (trumpet)

George Lewis (clarinet)

Sydney Bechet (saxophone)

Mezz Mezzrow (clarinet)


c. 1930s - mid 1940s

Big Band Leaders:

Count Basie

Benny Goodman

Glenn Miller

Duke Ellington

Jay McShann

with Charlie Parker

Notice development towards bebop

Charlie Barnet Band

Bebop was developing within the Barnet Band during the early 1940s, when pianist "Dodo" Marmarosa was part of the group.

Charlie Parker and Dodo Marmarosa

Within a few years of being in the Barnet Band, "Dodo" was a leading bebop pianist.


mid 1940s - c. 1960

Bebop developed separately with different musicians and bands, so the layout of this section is done accordingly.




The Midwest, late 1930s: alto saxophonist Charlie Parker forms his own version of bebop, using the tune "Cherokee" as his base for modern improvisation

Early 1940s: Charlie Parker performs and records with Jay McShann; by this time, his style is almost completely developed

New York area, early 1940s: Gillespie, a top-quality professional trumpeter, writes some compositions for big bands and begins to develop his own version of bebop

Early 1940s: his band begins to play bebop-influenced phrasing, especially on the "Moose"

- - - Early-to-mid 1940s: Recording ban brings halt to most bebop recordings - - -

Mid 1940s: now both in New York without a recording ban, Parker and Gillespie make significant breakthroughs for bebop with some early recordings; Gillespie composes several bebop tunes




Early 1946: Parker and Gillespie tour in California, but Parker stays behind in Southern California; Parker begins recording bebop in Southern California


Dave Schildkraut and Ernie Henry could both easily be mistaken for Charlie Parker in recordings. Notice the difference in their sounds:


HARDER SOUND                      SOFTER SOUND


                            Charlie Parker

    Ernie Henry                           Dave Schildkraut



east coast

Early 1946: Included in Parker's bebop group in California is Marmarosa, former member of the Barnet Band

1947-1948: pianist Tadd Dameron becomes an important figure in bebop. Parker returns to the East Coast after his period in a California hospital in better health; he makes numerous recordings with Miles Davis

Late 1940s: Parker returns to the East Coast

c. 1950: Parker performs with bands and orchestras before his health declines once more

c. 1950: The West Coast's own version of bebop develops

1950s: soul jazz develops on the East Coast

Jazz at Cal-Tech

Bud Shank and Bob Cooper performed live at Cal-Tech in the 1950s.


mid 1950s - 1960s

Miles Davis

Gets together his band of "stars", including musicians like Lucky Thompson, J.J. Johnson, and Horace Silver, for the Walkin' album in 1954.

Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers

Drummer Art Blakey's "Jazz Messengers" band records the now-famous "Moanin'" in 1957 with pianist Bobby Timmons.

Soul Jazz in the Early 1960s

In the early 1960s, soul jazz became popular through jazz musicians like Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, and Lee Morgan. Increasingly, it borrowed elements from other genres.

"Along Came Betty"

The Jazz Messengers, along with Benny Golson, the composer.


early 1960s - present

So What?

This tune, which has only two chords (D minor and Eb minor), was recorded around the beginning of the era of experimental jazz. The original main musicians were John Coltrane (tenor saxophone) and Miles Davis (trumpet).

Gains Popularity

As the 60's progressed, experimental jazz became increasingly popular among jazz musicians and took various forms, from free jazz to the "modal" kind of jazz that produced tunes like "So What".

To the Next Level

In the 70's and 80's, saxophone players like Michael Brecker used experimental jazz as a "springboard", if you will, for their own styles. Sticking to the chords was not a thing for these kinds of improvisers.


early 1960s - present

Around the same time as soul jazz and experimental jazz, southern influences were increasing in jazz music. Particularly strong was the influence of bossa nova from Brazil, but in general the craze for "Latin rhythms" has continued to the present.


Straight from our jazz reviews

Tito Puente and Terry Gibbs

Richie Cole, Bobby Enriquez, and Bruce Forman

Lee Morgan

Perez Prado