LarrysImprovPage.com Blog

I'm Tony Miceli, and I'm a vibe player in Philadelphia, Pa. I play, teach and I run LarrysImprovPage.com.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Dont Teach Bebop! It's Dead!

What am I missing here? I was told to consider not teaching improv going back as far as Charlie Parker and even Hank Mobley and Sonny. Does that mean Coltrane?

I mean I don't go back to Louie Armstrong when I teach. I also don't listen to a ton of him. However, I have and I do listen to him just not as much as I listen to guys from Parker forward. I play vibes and I also don't listen to alot of Hampton. I probably should check him out more but it's managing time with me.

So was this guy implying that Parker and his vocabulary has gone the way of Louie Armstrong? I don't get that at all. There's swing and then there's Bebop. I think Bebop took swing to a whole new level, developing the language to it's fullest (without going 'out').

And beside bebop is Bach. There's no difference to me. It's as heavy as Bach and even Mozart. In fact I really believe that Bach would totally get Bebop Immediately. Hands down. In my mind I have this crazy notion that Charlie Parker is actually Bach reincarnated.

There are certain styles and periods of classical music that get looked over and then some that get considerable attention when teaching. In jazz I would just assume that teaching Bebop is like teaching Bach in classical music. AND Bach is over 300 years old!

If you don't understand Bebop at some level then how can you understand jazz. If I don't teach students Bebop then where do I start, and how do I teach them?

Is it an age thing with me?

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