History of Jazz Timeline: 1953
Horace Silver records Opus de Funk. His left hand is playing like Bud Powell, but his right hand is playing Boogie Woogie. Hard Bop, here we come. Hard Bop will be big.
George Russell has worked out his Lydian Concept of Tonal Organization, a landmark treatise on modal theory. Modal jazz will become a major movement over the course of the next decade.
Mingus puts together a classic concert at Massey Hall with Charlie Parker on alto sax, Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Max Roach on drums, Bud Powell on piano and himself on bass. Maybe the first superstar group.
Parker, Gillespie, Max Roach, Charlie Mingus and Bud Powell are recorded in concert at Massey Hall in Toronto. A good LP results. Listen to The Quintet: Jazz at Massey Hall on Original Jazz Classics(OJC). Also check out Charlie Parker at Storyville on Blue Note.
Mingus begins working with the Composer's Workshop (vibraphonist Teddy Charles, Teo Macero and John LaPorta). At this time, Mingus begins bringing sketches of his pieces which players must fill in with their own notes.
Coltrane joins the Johnny Hodges band. Hodges was Coltrane's original inspiration for switching to the saxophone.
Bud Powell's emotional problems are now eating away his skills.
Clifford Brown tours Europe (particularly France) in the fall with Lionel Hampton. He produces some excellent music with the locals as well as the American musicians. See Big Band in Paris, Sextet in Paris and Quartet in Paris on OJC.
Wild Bill Davis switches from the piano to the organ. This will later inspire Jimmy Smith to do likewise.
Tadd Dameron tells his band that his primary objective when he writes is to produce beautiful music.
Armstrong wins Downbeat International Critic's poll, Downbeat Hall of Fame award, Melody Maker's Reader's poll, Melody Maker's Critic's poll, Jazz Hot poll in France and Jazz Echo poll in Germany.
Soprano sax virtuoso Sydney Bechet (Kenny G. ought to give him a listen) is still rollin' along. Check out Sydney Bechet at Storyville on Black Lion.
Art Tatum begins to record piano solos for Norman Granz on the Verve label. He will record over 100 on 11 LP's in all between now and 1955.
Baritone sax great, Gerry Mulligan expands his band to ten people. The band is similar to the "Birth of the Cool" group.
Ellington wins Downbeat Critics poll.
Django Reinhardt dies of a stroke while fishing at his house on the Seine in Samois (40 miles from Paris) on May 15.
Ben Webster moves to L.A. to care for his aging grandmother.
Billy Ward, leader of the Dominoes (Sixty Minute Man), fires Clyde McPhatter for violating one of the Band's petty rules. Bad move, Billy. Clyde will go on to form the first version of the Drifters.
The first biographical dictionary or encyclopedia of Jazz musicians is published in Copenhagen.
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