Four is a piece from the genre of be-bop. This is a reaction to big band swing style, as Miles Davis thought it was getting too predictable. The trumpet player on the recording is actually Miles Davis himself, and it is the first 2 minutes of a 6 minute recording. Features of be-bop include fragmentary melodies, complex and dissonant harmonies, driving rhythms and lots of improvisation.
This is a jazz quintet- though originally written for four performers (hence the name ‘four’), but this is performed by a trumpet, a tenor sax, drums, bass and piano. The tenor sax, however, has no independent material; it just doubles the trumpet in the head. The trumpet has the melody throughout the entire piece, and all the other instruments provide accompaniment- but this is quite sparse in places. It also uses a lot of instrument specific techniques for the trumpet, such as ghost notes and half valving.
The main feature of Four is the large amount of…