About Cool Jazz!



Cool jazz! Cool jazz is basically a subgenre of jazz that emerged around the end of the 1940s. Key features of cool jazz include its calm and unhurried approach to improvisation. This can be best seen in the tracks from Miles's renowned album, Kind of Blue. Again, thinner textures and softer dynamics, as well as Kind of Blue, elements that all cool jazz artists used successfully. Dave Brubeck's melodic phrasing with a smoother approach was also one of the key features that pioneered other artists. Some predominant alterations happened in specific styles of instrumentation. In horns, along with the influence of Lester Young, players tended to play with a lighter, less harsh tone quality with no to little vibrato used. Drums were now much less intense, drummers weren't inclined to 'dropping bombs' and harsh solos. The use of brushes increased with these changes. Also composing was an aspect that was hugely affected by the cool wave. More intricate arrangements are being written compared to the other eras of jazz.


This was definitely a result of the decreased interest in long and bop-like improvisations. Emphasis was on composition in these arrangements, and new instrumental combinations like the flute, cello, french, and many more had experimented. The interest in collective improvisation, which was popular in the swing/big band era but heavily unpopular in the famous bebop style, was renewed. These improvisations were also constituting the intricateness of the arrangements made by the composers. In the end, with Miles, Dave, Paul Desmond & Lee Konitz, Stan Getz, and Gil Evans, cool jazz was rising in the 1950s, leaving behind the heavy blues influence -cool jazz evolved and come to an end after the late 1950s, putting a spotlight on legendary jazz artists like Miles Davis and Dave Brubeck.