Date: 15th century
1 : the introduction of something new
2 : a new idea, method, or device : novelty
— in·no·va·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective
In 1936 in Kansas City , Missouri legendary jazz drummer Joe Jones participated in a local jam session during which, at the heat of the battle he threw a drum cymbal at a young saxophone player who created at jones' words "musical mayhem".
That was the introduction of Charlie Parker.
Parker is known today as the leading light of the bebop movement - the cutting-edge jazz style of the 1940's which established jazz as new and artistic vocal-less musical style from the swing bands of the 20's and 30's.
We can only imagine the initiate reaction of Joe Jones - a pivotal figure of swing drumming to the new groundbreaking sound of bebop, but we know he was shocked to the extent of interrupting Parker's playing in a less-than-subtle manner.
Parker was 16 years old at the time.
Parker spent a few more years of practice and touring and after moving to New-York in 1939 he finally released his now-legedary 1st album in 1945 which introduced his by-now fully mature musical breakthrough to the world, and thus changing the world of jazz forever.
In the following 15 years musicians all across the globe - saxophonists and instrumentals alike spent days and nights deciphering Parker's musical language.
In 1959 a 33-year old saxophone player was getting ready to leave his full-time job as a member of the Miles Davis Sextet and landed his 1st multi-record deal.
His first album of that year named "Giant Steps" changed jazz history and the artist and composer is named John Coltrane.
Critical reaction to Coltrare's musical achievements was ominous - he was heralded on global press as a "musical nihilist" and was booed in his european concert tours, audiences and critics describing his music as harsh, angry and un-musical.
With this one album Coltrane became earned god-like stature in the musical world inspiring musicians until today to follow his musical footsteps
In the years that followed Coltrane and his band kept changing and growing musically creating a body of work some say remain the pinacle of musical achievement in jazz.
By the time of his death in 1967 Coltrane became a mythical figure within the american afro-american community inpiring countless people from every generation and every field.
Only one year after Coltrane's groundbreaking Giant Step a virtually-unknown L.A. based saxophonist by the name of Ornette Coleman moved his quartet to legendary, lengthy and controversial engagement at the famed New-York club "The Five Spot" creating a stir of criticism within the jazz world.
Coleman signed a multi-record deal with Atlantic Records home for such varied artist roster as Ray Charles, Charles Mingus and Led Zepellin.
Ornette and his group presented a new and completely unique musical universe which omitted traditional harmonic movement completely.
Reaction to the band's sound was imidiete - world-reknowned drummer Max Roach punched Ornette in the mouth following his performance and Miles Davis was qouted as :"Hell, just listen to what he writes and how he plays. If you're talking psychologically, the man's all screwed up inside."
With 6 albums released on atlantic Ornette Coleman single-handedly changed the jazz world influencing his peers to change thier existing musical style alltogether - Charles Mingus fired his band and re-grouped not using piano, John Coltrane recorded an album of Ornette's music with Ornette's own band and where in the late 50's Coltrane set new heights to the complexity of harmonic movement in jazz his post 1960' output found him abandoning harmonic movement altogther.
Even Miles Davis employd many of Ornette's musical breakthroughs in a new quintet he formed in 1964 and changed his style accordingly.
The introduction of electric instruments brought on a massive new sound starting in 1969 with Tony Williams' new trio which featured british guitar sensation John McLaughlin.
Miles Davis started a new band which featured Chick Corea on electric keyboards and Dave Holland on electric bass.
Adding various guests in studio sessions Davis released two albums which started a domino effect in every corner of the music world-these two albums are "In A Silent Way" and "Bitches Brew".
These two albums prominently featured John McLaughlin who formed his own band - "The Mahavishnu Orchestra" who released a series of highly popular albums and following the band's demise McLaughlin changed gears from the band's loud electric music and formed an acoustic band with classical indian musicians.
The band was named "Shakti" and is regarded as the 1st musical collaboration between western and eastern musicians and the original group of world music.
Chick Corea - another Davis alumni started his own electric and highly influential group called "Return To Forever" - the band (along with the Mahavishnu Orchestra) created a new and unique balance between improvisation and through-composed music, borrowing extended musical forms from european classical music to create a new landscape in jazz-one that did not rely on the improvised solos for it's appeal.
Perhaps the most influential of jazz electric bands was "Weather Report" - a group formed by Davis cognoscenti Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter, and included other Davis associates as Miroslav Vitous and Airto Moreira as well as introduced electric bassist Jaco Pastorius who created a new universe and stylistic and technical breakthroughs for every future electric bass player.
Every new jazz movement resonated with the social climate of it's time, creating a new musical syntax which extended it's former generation's technical musical vocabulary.
TO BE CONTINUED....