History of Jazz Timeline: 1957
Bop still rules. All future Jazz should follow from it. But...will this happen?
Thelonious Monk gets his cabaret card back. He's allowed to play clubs in New York again.
Monk plays the Five Spot with Johnny Griffin, Roy Haynes, John Coltrane, etc.
Monk appears on the CBS Television Show The Sound of Jazz in December. Monk is rapidly becoming a leading figure in the world of Jazz.
Monk records Monk's Music.
Monk is declared a genius.
Coltrane kicks his heroin habit "cold turkey" by locking himself in a room in his mother's house in Philadelphia with only cigarettes and water. At the same time he also stops drinking alcohol. During this critical period Coltrane devotes his life to God.
John Coltrane joins pianist Thelonious Monk's quartet, working with bassist Wilbur Ware and drummer Philly Joe Jones. They perform regularly at New York's Five Spot from spring through autumn. Coltrane's playing and his reputation both skyrocket.
Jazzland/Riverside records the Thelonious Monk quartet for Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane (reissued by Fantasy). Blue Note Records will subsequently release a live recording from the Five Spot Quartet that was originally taped by Coltrane's wife Naima (Thelonious Monk Quartet Live at the Five Spot).
Thelonious Monk teaches Coltrane how to play multiphonics on the saxophone. Coltrane also develops a rapid, sweeping harmonic style that critic Ira Gitler terms "sheets of sound."
Sonny Rollins leaves the Miles Davis group. Davis hires Coltrane to replace him in the fall of 1957, at the conclusion of the Five Spot Monk Quartet gigs. The new Davis group also features pianist Red Garland, bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Philly Joe Jones, and saxophonist Cannonball Adderley.
Prestige signs Coltrane to his first record contract. His first record under his own name is simply entitled Coltrane (not to be confused with the Impulse! recording of the same title which came later). Subsequent Prestige releases from 1957 include Dakar, Lush Life, and Traneing In, all reissued by OJC. Coltrane also records the critically renowned Blue Train for Blue Note.
Coltrane records A Blowin' Session with Johnny Griffin, also featuring Hank Mobley as part of the three-tenor front line.
Sonny Rollins goes out on his own.
Charlie Mingus records The Clown which includes the controversial Haitian Fight Song. Mingus also records East Coasting which includes the amazing Conversation.
Metronome Year Book declares Jimmy Smith the new star of 1956.
Pianist Tommy Flanagan cuts his first LP as a leader. It is The Tommy Flanagan Trio Overseas with Wilbur Little on bass and Elvin Jones on drums.
Alfred Lion of Blue Note is introduced to Tina Brooks' saxophone playing.
Orin Keepnews and Bill Grauer issue an album of Bill Evans work. The pianist's first album has little commercial success, but it brings him to the attention of Miles Davis.
Art Pepper records Meets the Rhythm Section with Red Garland on piano, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums (Miles Davis' rhythm section). This album is excellent even though Art didn't know about the session until the morning of the date, hadn't played in weeks and had to repair his dried out cork with tape.
Ellington does the CBS TV special A Drum is a Woman. Ellington also premieres Such Sweet Thunder, a Strayhorn suite, at Towne Hall. Ellington wins the Downbeat poll for composing.
Armstrong tours the British West Indies.
Armstrong releases Satchmo, A Musical Biography.
Sidney Bechet marries a French woman in Antibes. This is a big social event on the Riviera.
Cecil Taylor is invited to play the Newport Jazz Festival. His detractors are most Bop musicians who are afraid of being pushed aside as they pushed aside the Swingers only a decade or so before.
Cecil Taylor gets a break. The Termini brothers, owners of the Five Spot in the East Village, hire Dick Whitmore of Boston to bring in a small group. Whitmore hires Taylor and some of his associates as the rhythm section. As it happened, modern artists frequented the place and they sympathized with Taylor's free approach. Taylor became a force.
Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, opposes school integration in Little Rock. Mingus will
later immortalize the incident in The Fables of Faubus on Mingus Ah Um
Norman Mailer's book White Negro is published.
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.