In these two examples by coltrane and his quartet we

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section. In these two examples by Coltrane and his quartet we hear a style that is broad, open, and sweeping. There are few strong emphases on form, and the downbeat is not emphasized as much as it is in other examples. The walking base and symbol beat that characterized bebop are gone, replaced by drum pulses and more sustained tones. Since these pieces are modal, they are not interrupted by frequent chord changes. Together, these factors create a more continuous style, allowing the soloists more time to explore and interact. Not one to shy away from challenges, Coltrane experimented with Free Jazz and collective improvisation in the last phase of his career starting in 1965. He built a larger ensemble in the process. His interest in spirituality and transcendence in jazz continued to have influence on the musicians that followed him. Miles Davis influenced jazz (since 1950) more than Coltrane. We first encountered Davis in the 1940s playing Bebop with Charlie Parker. We heard him develop cool jazz in 1949 and modal jazz in 1959. Both of these styles had a slower pace, but modal jazz opened up more freedom for the players by eliminating the dependence
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on chord changes. In the mid 1960s Davis assembled an amazingly talented quintet that included Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on base, drummer Tony Williams, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter. All of these musicians were consummate improvisers. They played so well together that often they seemed to read each others minds. This group departed further from the Bebop tradition by avoiding traditional song forms, chord changes, and syncopation while using lots of musical space. Davis’ style responded to avant-garde jazz without abandoning traditional jazz rules. Example by the Davis quintet called Masquelero. The head melody and the form of this song are preplanned. But the piano, base, and drum parts, the tempo, and even the mode of this song are improvised. The performers of this song agree on them while playing the piece. Lets listen to the piece. This is the end of the head and the beginning of the trumpet and piano solo. What makes this recording different from Free Jazz is that even though the tempo, mode, and instrumental parts of the song are improvised, they still exist and the musicians still agree on them. You can hear this in the recording. There is a definite pulse, a mode, and a role for each instrument. By contrast, Free Jazz musicians like Ayler did away with factors like tempo mode altogether. Ayler’s piece had no clear mode or tempo, while Davis’ quintet still uses both the tempo and mode, they just leave it until the moment to decide exactly what they will be. In songs like Masquelero, we hear Davis responding to Free Jazz by engaging the structures of music in new ways to make room for the players to express themselves both individually and as a group. Rather than turning the rules on or off as Free Jazz artists did, Davis and his quintet worked together to create structures on the fly through improvisation. This generates a sound that is closer to Modal jazz than it is to avant-garde. Dissonances are less strong, timbres
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