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Tadd Dameron: Bebop Romanticist

Jazz pianist, arranger and composer Tadd Dameron was born 94 years ago on Feb. 21, 1917, in Cleveland, Ohio. During the 1940s and '50s, after working for several years as an arranger for big bands (including those of Jimmie Lunceford and Count Basie), Dameron focused his considerable compositional talents on the emerging jazz style called bebop. During a relatively brief period, Dameron wrote music that helped define and expand the parameters of this music.

Tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon called him the "romanticist" of bebop, and many of his compositions live on as jazz standards. In honor of his birthday, here are five Tadd Dameron compositions — some performed by groups led by Dameron, others by artists who've continued to embrace and explore his music long after his death in 1965.

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Nick Morrison