The Meaning of Bebop – Virtuosity, Creativity, Drive


BopCY played at Sarah’s Jazz Club last night and I am moved to write a quick impression about what an incredible experience it was, in a lifetime of outstanding musical experiences. The musicians in the bebop band are Charis Ioannou on saxophone, Marios Spyrou on drums, Greg Makamian on double bass and Dimitris Miaris on piano.

The musicians injected a bright, thriving life into a genre of jazz called Bebop, which was made famous in America in the 1940’s by greats like pianist Bud Powell and saxophonist Charlie Parker and trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. Many of the 1940’s bebop players were composers and saw compositions as guides and loose structures, not as hard-and-fast rules. They composed on the spot and improvised brilliantly. A drum solo became a new composition, breaking down the rhythm into 10 different component parts. The saxophone became a channel for all potential combinations of melody.

If you want to know how many ways time can be divided and flourished upon, ask drummer Marios Spyrou of BopCY. If you want to know how many melodic lines can be spontaneously created on the spot, ask saxophonist Charis Ioannou. If you want to hear jazz piano played faster and with more astonishing runs up, down and around the keys than you’ve ever heard, ask pianist Dimitris Miaris. Easily keeping up with them all and padding it out with the plump sound of a beat played at the exact right time is bassist Greg Makamian.

The band has won prizes in international jazz competitions, and deservedly so, they are absolutely brilliant, with great chemistry. They are upholding a genre that represents virtuosity, creativity and drive.

Bop forever, that’s how the audience felt, bop forever!