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History of Jazz Timeline: 1964

In October, trumpeter Bill Dixon organizes a series of Free Jazz concerts called the October Revolution at the Cellar Cafe in New York, featuring John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and others. Out of this festival grows the Jazz Composer's Guild, which includes Dixon, Archie Shepp, Roswell Rudd, Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley and Carla Bley, among others.
The young pianist Herbie Hancock and drummer Tony Williams begin work with Miles Davis.
AAJ Building a Jazz Library: Masterpieces Eric Dolphy - Out to Lunch (Blue Note) Eric Dolphy was always a big fan of bird calls, and much of his playing here reflects that natural sonority. This disc transports a relatively straightahead group into adventurous, inventive territory--with dramatically successful results.
Eric Dolphy goes to Europe in April to tour with Charles Mingus. At the end of the tour, he elects to stay in Paris, dying shortly thereafter on June 29.
Pianist Andrew Hill records Point of Departure (Blue Note) in March with reed player Eric Dolphy, saxophonist Joe Henderson, trumpeter Kenny Dorham, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Tony Williams.
Coltrane AAJ Building a Jazz Library: Masterpieces John Coltrane - Love Supreme One of Coltrane's most spiritually moving recordings, this disc has been popular among devotees and neophytes alike. It's a heart-felt celebration of divine love, with equal measures of devotion and exploration. Recorded in December with his classic quartet: pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones.
Saxophonist Ben Webster moves to Europe, eventually settling in Denmark until his death in 1973.
Bop piano great Bud Powell returns to the United States. He is playing well at times. He has an extended stay at Birdland.
At the Antibes Festival, Ella Fitzgerald (accompanied by pianist Tommy Flanagan, trumpeter Roy Eldridge, bassist Bill Yancey, and drummer Gus Johnson) is interrupted by crickets in the pine forest while she sings "Mack the Knife." She quickly improvises a blues to the rhythm of their chirping and calls it "The Cricket Song." The performance is documented on Ella At Juan-Les-Pins (Verve).
Thelonious Monk makes the cover of Time magazine, which calls him the "high priest of bebop." (Originally slated for November, 1963, the cover story was delayed due to the Kennedy assassination.) Click here to read the article in its entirety.
Pharoah Sanders makes his recording debut with Pharoah's First (ESP).
Albert Ayler records Spiritual Unity with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Sunny Murray, the first release on Bernard Stollman's ESP label.
Japanese impresario Tokutara Honda stages the World Jazz Festival in Japan. Miles Davis is the biggest draw.
Boogie woogie pianist Meade "Lux" Lewis dies on June 7.
Robert Moog develops the Voltage Controlled Amplifier and Voltage Controlled Oscillator of the modular Moog synthesizer. Moog was previously best known for the theremin kits he sold out of his apartment starting in 1961.

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