Jazz, from its origins until World War II, was America s hot new music of the 20th century, and this music spread like wildfire to Europe and beyond. Shortly after the war ended a calming influence manifested itself in jazz and a new genre emerged with its own soundscape and quickly rose to worldwide popularity and influence Cool Jazz. This book traces the history of this music to its roots in French Impressionism and European Neo-Classicism, describes the key roles played by Bix Beiderbecke, Lester Young, Lennie Tristano, Claude Thornhill, and Dave Brubeck in the development of this genre, and focuses on the major figures associated with a group of landmark recordings and on an ensemble that felicitously came to be known as The Birth of the Cool. The contributions of Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, John Lewis, and John Carisi are considered in detail, and the scores of this music, arranged for Davis s nine-piece band, are analyzed and compared.
The influence of this music persists to the present day, and the final chapter of The Birth of the Cool of Miles Davis and His Associates suggests continuities and developments that might still be explored by interested readers. The book is illustrated with photos of musicians and manuscripts, contains many musical examples and a detailed index, has both a bibliography and a short discography, and it includes a compact disc that contains many of the key recordings discussed in the text.