History of Jazz Timeline: 1946
Charlie Parker breaks down completely on July 29 after a recording session. He is admitted to Camarillo State Hospital. He will later write Relaxin' at Camarillo.
Parker does his first Dial recordings. These are some of the landmark recordings of Jazz. They are available on the Stash CD series The Legendary Dial Masters - Vol 1 and Vol 2.
During 1946 Parker will also start with Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic. His sidemen include Miles Davis on trumpet, Red Rodney on trumpet, Kenny Dorham on trumpet, Duke Jordan on piano, Al Haig on piano, Tommy Potter on bass, Max Roach on drums, Roy Haynes on drums, Lester Young on tenor sax and Coleman Hawkins on tenor sax.
Dizzy Gillespie forms a big band, against all odds, at a time when most big bands are going broke.
Bud Powell is recognized as Bop's premiere pianist.
Thelonious Monk is now playing in Dizzy Gillespie's big band. Later this year, Monk signs a contract as a leader with Blue Note. Monk will work as a small band leader from now until 1959.
Saxophonist Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis forms the group Eddie Davis and His Beboppers.
Armstrong wins the Esquire Gold award for Vocalist.
Armstrong stops recording for Decca and begins his second go-around with Victor.
The first vinyl record is produced.
After his discharge from the Navy, Coltrane returns to Philadelphia and works in rhythm and blues bands led by King Kolax, Big Maybelle, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. Vinson insists that Coltrane switch to tenor sax to give him more room on the alto. At first Coltrane is reluctant, but the new instrument grows on him. His early models on the tenor saxophone include Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. Coltrane will continue to work with Vinson on and off for the next two years.
Charles Mingus is now with Lionel Hampton's band.
The Ellington biography Duke Ellington is written by Barry Ulanov. Ellington wins Esquire Gold award and the Downbeat poll. Russell Procope joins Duke on clarinet and alto sax.
In December, eight of the biggest Swing bands break up. The list includes Benny Goodman, Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, Jack Teagarden, Benny Carter and 3 more. The Swing era is truly over. Big band Jazz will not die out entirely though.
Django Reinhardt sleeps through a Carnegie Hall concert with Duke Ellington.
Lenny Tristano (Mr. Cool on the piano) arrives in NYC and takes Jazz into more coolness and complexity. His primary source of income is teaching. He quickly develops a reputation as a crazy genius among musicians. He has a lot of new musical ideas. He is consciously trying to weld Jazz and Classical.
The seeds of Cool are being planted by Kenton and Herman.
Stan Kenton has the leading Swing band. Woody Herman's is a close second. These bands are both embracing the Cool.
Woody Herman presents Igor Stravinsky's Ebony Concerto at Carnegie Hall.
A very cool and Canadian Gil Evans arrives on 52nd street.
Claude Thornhill reforms his band. His principal arranger is the "soon to be Cool" Gil Evans.
Nat "King" Cole records the classic Christmas song The Christmas Song. This will later be covered by Johnny Mathis. A lot of people don't even know that Nat recorded this first.
Ray Charles begins his professional carreer.
English piano player George Shearing visits the U.S.
Future Fusion drummer Tony Williams is born in Chicago. Tony will be raised in Boston.
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.