The role of the drummer has changed as jazz music evolved. By the 1950's and '60's, the role of the jazz drummer began to shape the music that they were playing in a more melodic and interactive manner. Drummers such as Paul Motian of The Bill Evans Trio, Connie Kay of The Modern Jazz Quartet and Sam Woodyard of The Duke Ellington Band were still involved in their time keeping roles, but in a way that allowed them to play more interactively and expressively. Also during this time the music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor and Albert Ayler, along with others, began to demand that the drummer play a very interactive role.
Milt Hinton once said the bassist is 'the Atlas of the jazz band' because he (or she) carries the rest of the band on their shoulders'. Some of the greats include musicians like Jimmy Blanton a member of the Duke Ellington band); Oscar Pettiford who is considered by bassists and musicologists to be the first bebop bassist and the transitional link from the swing era to bebop. Ray Brown known for backing a number of beboppers, including alto virtuoso Charlie Parker; Milt Hinton and George Duvivier who are the two most recorded bassists in jazz history, their respective careers spanning many eras and genres; a singular creative force was Wilbur Ware legendary bassist with Monk and others, hard bop bassist Ron Carter and my favourite Paul Chambers, a member of the Miles Davis Quintet.
From Satchmo himself the first great soloist and the most influential American musician who ever lived through the intrepid young lions realizing the unlimited potential of jazz in the 21st century, trumpeters have been leading from the front for decades. The likes of Freddie Hubbard's higher, faster, louder approach, or the casual nonchalance of Miles and Chet they will all certainly command your attention with their characteristic swagger and confidence.
Many argue that the tenor saxophone is the ultimate jazz instrument that is versatile and able to create a variety of moods. Surprising then, that it came from humble beginnings in Belgium in the 1840's when Adolphe Sax put a clarinet-like mouthpiece onto a metal body with a conical shape similar to an oboe and came up with an instrument louder than traditional woodwinds and suitable for military music. Even by the turn of the century its main use was in American vaudeville as a novelty instrument - emulating chicken calls and played with a slap-tongued technique. Its appearance in Jazz music changed all that, and by the 1940's it was central to the overall sound.