All About Jazz

Home » History of Jazz Timeline: 1944

History of Jazz Timeline: 1944

Columbia and Victor finally sign with the musician's union and the strike ends at the end of 1944.
Bop is a recognized, controversial movement.
In spring, vocalist Billy Eckstine leaves Earl Hines to form a Bop oriented big band. Dizzy Gillespie is chosen to be in charge of music. Gillespie brings in Charlie Parker.
Charlie Parker is with Billy Eckstine's band. Eckstine had the first big band to feature the Bop artists. Parker is now in full command of his music. He does his first small combo recording with Tiny Grimes.
Parker leaves Eckstine late in the year to front a rhythm section at the Three Deuces.
Dizzy Gillespie is chosen "best new star on trumpet" in Esquire Poll.
The First Bop record is cut by a band fronted by Coleman Hawkins. The band includes Hawkins on tenor sax, Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Max Roach on drums and Leo Parker on alto sax. Sides are Woody 'n' You and Disorder at the Border.
Piano innovator Thelonious Monk cuts his first records. Coleman Hawkins had been using Monk in a small combo on 52nd Street. In October, Hawkins gives Monk a solo on a recording of Flying Hawk. Monk is forever grateful.
Old Swing drummer Dave Tough and buddies from Woody Herman's band drop in on 52nd Street to hear an early Bop-style band featuring Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet and Oscar Pettiford on bass. Dave says that it is scary. Dave will become one of the few to successfully make the transformation from Swing to Bop.
Trumpeter Little Ben Harris from the Earl Hines Band cuts four sides which are definitely Bop with Oscar Pettiford on bass, Denzil Best on drums and Clyde Hart on piano.
Boyd Raeburn forms a big band dedicated to the Bop musical approach.
Innovative Pittsburgh drummer Art Blakey joins the Eckstine band. Eckstine wanted to hire Shadow Wilson but he was drafted. Blakey was exempt from the draft because of a silver plate in his head (put there after a severe beating by police).
Saxophonist Lester Young is inducted into the army in September. A redneck officer sees a picture of Lester's very light skinned wife in his locker and believes that this is a picture of a white woman. As a result, the officer has Lester court-martialed for possession of marijuana. The officer knew about Lester's pot smoking because of a questionnaire that Lester filled out. Lester is sentenced to a year's detention, but gets off because of his health.
The Eckstine band comes to St. Louis. A young trumpeter named Miles Davis makes a pest of himself, pressing Eckstine to let him sit in. Davis later says that Gillespie asked him to sit in. Eckstine says Miles pressed him. At any rate, Eckstine thinks that Miles is terrible and at this point, he probably is.
The winners of Esquire magazine's first Jazz poll perform in the first Jazz concert ever to be given at the Metropolitan Opera House. The concert date is January 18. The concert is recorded but never released in America. A Japanese release becomes available years later.
Armstrong wins Esquire magazine's Gold Award for trumpet and vocal.
Duke Ellington wins the Downbeat poll.
Trumpeter Cat Anderson joins Ellington's band.
Lester Young joins the army. Since 1936, Lester has created one of the most influential bodies of records.
Ben Webster is hired by CBS Radio.
Ornette Coleman's mother gives him an alto sax. He wanted to join the church band.
Detroit pianist Hank Jones makes his recording debut with trumpeter and Blues singer Hot Lips Page.
George Web's Dixielanders (a Trad band) form in England.
Carlo Loffredo forms the Roman New Orleans Jazz Band in Italy.

Keyword Search


Disclaimer: Though we have checked our facts, this timeline may contain erroneous information. If you discover errors or omissions, please bring them to our attention.