Various Artists

Birth of Be-Bop [Charly]

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This two-disc, 42-track survey of the roots of bebop draws from recordings made in the 1930s and 1940s, beginning with some forward-thinking tracks still very much in the classic swing mode and moving by the second disc to landmark recordings by bebop's real first wave, including key sides from Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and others. Although it was a radical departure for many, this set shows that the seismic switch had already been set in motion, and as jazz began its long metamorphosis into a music one thought about as much as one danced to, these are some of the tracks that lit the fire and kept it burning onward. Put another way: bebop didn't kill off swing; swing begat bebop.

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