A flagrant marijuana smoker and bridegroom to 27 women in one day, the gloriously rebellious African musician Fela Kuti led a life as tumultuous as the history of his native Nigeria. Jailed several times, Kuti became a voice of dissent against the successive military dictatorships that ruled the land
He earned his name from the frenzied, high-pitched solos that make so many heads spin. By climbing into the trumpet's two highest registers and belting out syncopated feats of harmonic daring, Dizzy Gillespie developed an indubitably revolutionary sound. Bebop, that high-speed, rhythmically and tonal
Herbie Hancock isn't easy to pin down. From bebop to free jazz, fusion to jazz-rock, instrumental pop to hip-hop, funk to world fusion, an entire spectrum of musical forms has felt the Hancock hand. With an agile sense for diverse styles, he has continuously modulated his mood and his sonorous archit
Charlie "Bird" Parker blew the sound of his soul through his alto and tenor sax, and for many musicians, hearing his music was like a religious conversion. He is immortalized as jazz music's "first existential hero," a blazing talent that burned out at age 35 from heroin, alcohol, and racism.