The Subversive Bridge From Bop To Free Jazz

Source: uDiscover Music.

You don’t have to look any further than the album titles. Jackie McLean’s One Step Beyond, Grachan Moncur III’s Evolution, and Andrew Hill’s Point of Departure – the mid-60s movement in jazz known as “the New Thing” was all about taking the music to the next level.

In between bebop’s waning days and the full flowering of free jazz, a crafty cadre of forward-thinking artists gave jazz new wings. The method of flight was different than what the faithful were used to, but in the mid-60s the New Thing did for jazz what Cubism had done for art about half a century earlier, offering a whole new mode of experience. In 1964, saxophonist Archie Shepp, a linchpin of the movement, told Downbeat magazine, “The new music reaches back to the roots of what jazz was originally. In a way, it’s a rebellion against the ultra sophistication of jazz.”