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Book: Kansas City Jazz

Chapter: A Little Evil Will Do You Good

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42631


The decline and fall of the Pendergast political empire is described, along with the concomitant end of Kansas City’s distinct jazz style as nightclubs and bars are closed by reformers following Pendergast’s conviction for tax evasion. Musicians who had made the city their home scattered as jobs disappeared, and without the critical mass necessary for the development of an indigenous regional variation, jazz itself moved on to the next big thing, bebop, which had been birthed in the city by a native, Charlie Parker.

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