• /

Modern Jazz Quartet - Summer Time


In order to express a certain style - apart from its use as a term for a Feeling - the term, 'cool' has been used in jazz since the recordings of Miles Davis' Capitol Orchestra in 1949/50. Analogous to the development of bebop, there had been tendencies at least a decade before which heralded the new sound quality and the new stylistic ideal, apparent for instance in the Claude Thornhill Orchestra of 1940, whose characteristic features included the predominantly vibrato-less horn arrangement and an expansion of the French horn section, with its soft, unifying sound. Bebop and cool jazz differ less in musical substance (harmony, rhythm, form) than in tone formations; in cool jazz we hear a sober indifferent intonation approaching 'understatement'; in bebop we hear more the 'hot' playing style indebted to the Afro-American ideal. Demonstrative of the stylistic similarities between bebop and cool is the fact that the recordings of Miles Davis' Nonet' in January and April 1949 and in March 1950, later re-issued under the slogan 'Birth of the Cool', were originally intended as bebop pieces and were partly issued as such.