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MUS 98 — The Golden Age of Jazz

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 5 weeks
Date(s): Apr 23—May 21
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: May 6
Unit: 1
Tuition: $305
Instructor(s): Jim Nadel
Limit: 40
Status: Open
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 23—May 21
5 weeks
Drop By
May 6
1 Unit
Jim Nadel
What is arguably the most fertile period of invention and expansion in contemporary jazz began in the mid-1950s as emerging and established artists across the jazz landscape interacted with and influenced each other.

Newly arrived independent record labels like Orrin Keepnews’s Riverside Records provided opportunity and career support for then-underappreciated musicians including Sonny Rollins, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Jimmy Heath, and Cannonball Adderley. These artists, along with other established innovators like Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, and Dave Brubeck, would forever alter the jazz landscape.

Meanwhile, prominent older jazz artists like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lester Young, and Louis Armstrong were creating some of their most compelling music. The final ingredient in this mix was the emergence of a younger generation of brilliant artists inspired by the spirit of Charlie Parker, the recently deceased jazz giant and leader of the bebop revolution. Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, and Wayne Shorter were rapidly evolving and finding their own unique and ultimately influential voices.

This course for the general listener focuses on the music and musicians of a vital period moving roughly from 1953 to 1968. You will have the opportunity to understand and more deeply enjoy the contributions of many of the great artists from this magical period and to examine some of the defining musical ingredients of their compositions and approaches to improvisation.

Jim Nadel, Founding Director, Stanford Jazz Workshop

Jim Nadel has been at Stanford for more than forty years. He has been a lecturer in jazz studies for the Stanford Department of Music for more than thirty years. Nadel plays the saxophone professionally and is also a composer and an arranger.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.