BeBop Baghdad

Paul Dolden

BeBop Baghdad

  • Paul Dolden
  • Year of composition: 2013
  • Duration: 18:03
  • Instrumentation: electric guitar and stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Maurizio Grandinetti, with support from the CCA
  • ISWC: T9206371100

Many guitarists cut their musical teeth via jamming. With players taking turns soloing and sensitively backing up the other soloists, it remains the ideal forum to display your chops and pick up new tricks through careful listening. BeBop Baghdad is a fantasy based on the jam session. A live guitarist solos through most of the work, while a room full of musical playmates is simulated by a pre-recorded tape part.

Like in a live jam session, musical styles can quickly change on a player’s whim, and the musicians must remain alert to follow the flow. In the first half of BeBop Baghdad, the soloist is surrounded by free-jazz style reeds, winds and brass. In the second half the soloist is supported and challenged by a rhythm section that hops from a Latin music club to a Nashville Country music stage, and from a New York City jazz club to a suburban basement seething with speed metal. Surprisingly, every locale is visited by an ensemble of Arabian musicians, lending an exotic flavor and further testing the soloist’s abilities. Fortunately, our guitar hero has just returned from a tour of Iraq, where he was swinging, rocking and trilling with the locals. The recurring themes based on Arabic scales lend continuity to BeBop Baghdad through the wildly shifting scenes.


BeBop Baghdad was realized in 2013 at the composer’s studio in Val-Morin (Québec) and premiered by Maurizio Grandinetti on March 2, 2014 at Teatro delle Passioni in Modena (Italy). The piece was commissioned by Maurizio Grandinetti, with support from the CCA.


  • March 2, 2014, Maurizio Grandinetti, electric guitar • Maurizio Grandinetti — Dettagli, Teatro delle Passioni, Modena (Italy)