As jazz becomes an alternative art music, musicians and fans
react in different ways: through modernist interpretation (increasing
its progressive experimentation), through fusion (trying
to reclaim a lost mass audience), and through ethnicity
(as jazz becomes more "white," it is emphatically redefined
as "black"). Cool jazz is one label that groups a variety of
musicians from the late 1940s through the 1950s who share
a reaction against the "hot" qualities of bebop, preferring relaxation
and understatement and a general commitment to experimentalism.
While covering cool jazz, this chapter discusses
Lennie Tristano, the Miles Davis Nonet ("Birth of the Cool"),
Gil Evans, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Dave Brubeck, and
the Modern Jazz Quartet, as well as the convergence with
classical music under the rubric Third Stream. "Hard bop,"
one of the most unsatisfying journalistic labels to remain in
common usage, encompasses straight-ahead bebop on labels
such as Blue Note and Prestige, the organ trios common in
black neighborhoods in the 1950s and 1960s, and the jazz-R&B
fusion commonly known as "soul jazz," all of which situate
jazz as a new form of blackness. Here the major musicians
Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Wes Montgomery, and Sonny
Rollins are examined.