Modal jazz is jazz that makes use of musical modes often modulating among them to accompany the chords instead of relying on one tonal center used across the piece. Although precedents exist, modal jazz was crystallized as a theory by composer George Russell in his 1953 book Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization.
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|Cultural origins||Mid-1950s, United States|
Though exerting influence to the present, modal jazz was most popular in the 1950s and 1960s, as evidenced by the success of Miles Davis's 1958 composition "Milestones", 1959 album Kind of Blue, and John Coltrane's quartet from 1960 to 1965; both artists were directly inspired by Russell. Other performers of modal jazz include Chick Corea, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, Pharoah Sanders, Woody Shaw, Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner, and Larry Young.