Jazz on Central Avenue - Bebop in Los Angeles (1945 - 1948)

Russell Perry By

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Most of the pioneering bebop musicians we have featured in the past several programs were based in New York—Bird, Dizzy, Monk, Bud Powell, Coleman Hawkins, Fats Navarro, J.J. Johnson, Max Roach. While New York may have dominated the modern music scene, it wasn't the only scene. The wartime economy in southern California brought an influx of African-American workers, not dissimilar to Chicago in the 1920s, and with them musicians, nightclubs and dance halls.

"Bebop was born in Harlem and nurtured on New York's 52nd Street, but despite a confused initial reception, it resonated three thousand miles away on the West Coast. Though geographically remote, southern California has rivaled New York as the center of the national entertainment industry since the birth of film. And jazz had been part of California life ever since vaudeville brought the music west early in the century."—Gary Giddins & Scott Deveaux


  • Host Intro 0:00
  • Coleman Hawkins and his Orchestra. "Rifftide" from Swing Time: Vol. 035, Coleman Hawkins (1944-45) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 3:08
  • Coleman Hawkins and his Orchestra. "Hollywood Stampede" from Swing Time: Vol. 035, Coleman Hawkins (1944-45) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 6:03
  • Host speaks 9:11
  • Howard McGhee And His Band. "Mop-Mop" from Bebop Story: Vol. 054, Howard McGhee Vol. 1 (1945) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 9:58
  • Howard McGhee Quartet. "Trumpet At Tempo (Indiana)" from Bebop Story: Vol. 024, Charlie Parker Vol. 2 (1946-47) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 12:49
  • Host speaks 15:34
  • Dexter Gordon Quintet. "Long Tall Dexter" from The Norton Jazz Collection (Norton) 18:07
  • Dexter Gordon Quintet. "Dexter Digs In" from Bebop Story: Vol. 040, Dexter Gordon Vol. 1 (1944-47) (Encyclopedia of Jazz) 21:07
  • Host speaks 24:02
  • Dexter Gordon -Wardell Gray Quintet. "The Chase" from On Dial -The Complete Sessions (Spotlite) 25:51
  • Dexter Gordon Quartet. "Blues Bikini" from Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz (Smithsonian) 32:37
  • Host speaks 36:14
  • Wardell Gray Quartet. "One For Prez" from The Master Swingers (Fontana) 37:47
  • Wardell Gray Quartet. "Twisted" from Memorial Vol. 1 (Prestige) 40:57
  • Host speaks 43:59
  • Dodo Marmarosa Trio. "Mellow Mood" from Smithsonian Collection of Jazz Piano (Smithsonian) 46:15
  • Host speaks 49:25
  • Charles Mingus and his Orchestra. "Weird Nightmare" from Young Rebel (Proper) 50:39
  • Charles Mingus Quartet. "Mingus Fingers" from Young Rebel (Proper) 53:41Host Outro 56:39

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