The places players play in shape the content of what is played, but they do not determine the contents of anyone's individual repertoire. Two bodies of material make up the major components of what the jazz repertoire has become. The older repertoire persists. Many situations require playing those tunes: the pop tunes that became standards when players selected them, on the basis of tradition and recordings by well-known jazz players, and are permanently embedded in American musical culture; ethnic music; show tunes and other popular genres; and some popular jazz compositions, which had much the same form as the standards. The second body of material consists of contemporary jazz compositions, the character of which varies so much that no musical label can cover all of them. Some musicians and writers refer to this music as “post-bop,” that is, post-Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker and their contemporaries. A major theme is how musicians occasionally turn questions of repertoire and its performance into issues of morality.
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