While there are dozens of significant and virtuoso jazz musicians that emerge in the 1950’s-60’s, the three most celebrated are Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and John Coltrane. Miles Davis influenced and inspired new directions in modern jazz from the 1940’s-1970’s. He was at the forefront of numerous new directions in jazz, constantly innovating but also trying to keep jazz commercially accessible for the public. Thelonius Monk was modern jazz’s composer of very odd but unique and innovative music. His music was not well received by the public but musicians knew of his eccentric genius. His unique sound and contribution to American music was finally awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2006, 24 years after his death in 1982. John Coltrane, who learned jazz playing with Miles Davis and Monk among many others in the 1950’s, imbued his tenor sax with what has been described as an ‘existential’ sound. He pushed the boundaries of improvisation from ‘paragraphs’ of sound to ‘novels’ of sound. Having kicked a heroin habit (as did Miles Davis), Coltrane was born again and explored jazz improvisation from a spiritual perspective. He transcended the concept of playing notes and demonstrated that jazz improvisation could be an extension of one’s soul and spirituality. Assignment Choose one of the musicians and create a powerpoint presentation that includes: 1st SLIDE: Biographical information 2nd SLIDE: Musical career 3rd SLIDE Description of their sound and style 4th SLIDE Significance in jazz history 5th SLIDE NEW: An analysis of a tune of your choosing that you found and why that track is a good representation of the musicians significance and style.
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