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After the Swing

What do other orchestras do?

However, not all of them drift towards that path. Other orchestras laid the foundations for the great conceptual changes that jazz would have in the 1940s. This is the case of Woody Herman or Lionel Hampton.

In some cases, regional scenes were developed with great projection and differentiated personality. Some examples were Bobo Wills' western swing, in the United States, and Django Reinhardt's jazz manouche, in Europe.

Django Reinhardt - Sweet Georgia Brown (1938)

Version of a theme composed by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard, in which Stéphane Grappelli collaborates on the violin.

Jean Baptiste Django Reinhardt was a jazz guitarist of Sinti gypsy origin. He was born in Liberchies (Belgium) and grew up in a camp on the outskirts of Paris. He was the first jazz musician from Europe to exert an influence similar to that of the great American artists. Reinhardt revolutionized guitar playing in jazz and fused swing with the gypsy musical tradition of Eastern Europe, known as gypsy jazz or jazz manouche. Western swing, on the other hand, included folk music such as country.

How did the age of swing end?

In the 1940s, the progressive move away from swinging jazz musicians gave rise to a new and radically different kind of music. Although it retained a similar instrumentation, interest in improvisation prevailed.

Thus appeared the bebop style that emphasized the role of the soloist, whose role was no longer that of an entertainer of past times, but a creative artist at the service only of his own music. The big band format was abandoned for the combo format.

Dizzy Gillespie Quintet - Dizzy Atmosphere (1947)

Song written by Dizzy Gillespie and performed with Charlie Parker. It is a good example of the first bebop compositions.


Dizzy Gillespie was an American jazz trumpet player, singer and composer. Together with saxophonist Charlie Parker, he was one of the most important figures in the development of bebop and modern jazz. A tireless experimenter, he made forays into Afro-Cuban jazz and other genres such as calypso and bossa nova. Other great names of the bebop scene are Max Roach, Bud Powell or Thelonious Monk, who adopted a characteristic look in which a hat, sunglasses and goatee could not be missing.

How do crooners come about?

In the mid-1940s, after the Second World War, only the great orchestras dedicated to dance music remained. Their singers give the happy image of the victorious America.

Many of these singers, neat, smooth and photogenic, are successful and embark on careers as crooners, i.e. male soloists who perform classic popular songs, known as traditional pop or standard pop.

Frank Sinatra - My Way (1969)

French folk song written by Claude François and Jacques Revaux It was rewritten in English by Paul Anka.


My Way is synonymous with Frank Sinatra, who recorded it in 1969. Although Sinatra went so far as to declare that he did not believe that he was a crooner, since he originally had a pejorative sense, it ended up becoming his paradigm. Nicknamed "The Voice," he was one of the most important figures in 20th century popular music, especially in the 1950s. Through his records and live performances, he left a canonical legacy in terms of male vocal performance of that music.