How To Play Bebop
There is no one right or wrong way to play bop. Although Charlie Parker heralded the movement, beboppers (in general) fell into two varieties: The imitators and innovators. This is where problems arose: in their early years especially, artists such as Cannonball, Sonny Stitt, Jackie McLean would record great albums,. then get casually dismissed by the all powerful critics as Charlie Parker copycats. Sonny's originality was debated vigorously. Jackie eventually went into more avant grade directions. Cannonball liberated himself by embracing the funky thing. Other artists had their own concept from the get go: Dizzy's approach was complimentary to Bird's, but never really mirrored it. Miles constantly evolved. Thelonius had his own bag. Bud Powell was a piano innovator, period.
This leads to Bebop and Jazz education. Approaches have included transcribing then learning Parker solos note for note. Others, including the school of Lenny Tristano were more theory and counterpoint oriented. Years later, David Baker attempted to methodologize Jazz education. He made major contributions, but (arguably) a lot of his methodology was too etude and scale based/
My own approach probably leans towards the Tristano school (lot's of contrapuntal study and harmonic contribution), but ultimately depends on the student I'm teaching. Furthermore, advanced students are going to come to me with strengths (some which exceed my own) and weaknesses which will exceed my own as well. In such cases, my approach is going to be more psychoanalytic (helping them find their own true voices.)
Primary source material for our studies will include: basic Jazz song forms, Jazz standandards (which will be used to apply concepts and write interpolations) and select viewings, listenings and readings. Furthermore, strong emphasis is placed on linear improvisation.
(audio/video coming soon)