Bebopped and Rebopped: The Births of Bebop and Invisible Man

By Peter Helman

invisible man


In the early 1940s, during after-hours jam sessions at Harlem clubs such as Minton’s Playhouse and Clark Monroe’s Uptown House, a group of young jazz musicians hailing from across the country began to develop a new sound, a new form of jazz music (Lott 598). Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie recalls that, during jam sessions at Minton’s, “Theloni[o]us Monk and I began to work out some complex variations on chords and the like, and we used them at night to scare away the no-talent guys. After a while, we got more and more interested in what we were doing as music, and, as we began to explore more and more, our music evolved.” (Stewart 338). In this evolution, Gillespie notes, “we were…playing, seriously, creating a new dialogue among ourselves, blending our ideas into a new style of music…You only have so many notes, and what makes a style is how you get from one note to the other…We invented our own way of getting from one place to the next.” (Stewart 340).

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