The band's repertoire is drawn from bop compositions and other jazz standards associated in some way with the careers of Kenny Clarke and Oscar Pettiford (as band leaders, sidemen or composers themselves). For our Vocal Edition we also "reunite" various "contrafacts" in arrangements with the original songs on which they are based.
The eldest of the architects of bebop, Clarke was engaged in 1941 to form the house band at Minton's Playhouse in New York, after several years working with Dizzy Gillespie in the orchestras of Edgar Hayes and Teddy Hill. He was given free rein over the choice of musicians and style of music to be played. His first hire was a 20-year-old Thelonious Monk. The rest, as they say, is history.
Pettiford arrived on the scene in 1943, the year Clarke was drafted into the army. He would work with Dizzy Gillespie on the first historic bebop recordings in 1944 and early 1945 and was, to quote Dizzy, "a driving force in that music".
They and the other leading figures of the era (the "Giants of Bop") are captioned here in historical context, focusing on their relationship to Clarke and Pettiford and highlighting (in bullets) the compositions of each that feature in the project.