I guess you could draw an evolutionary comparison with jazz. New species appearing with the originators dispersing their genes, both literally (:D) and musically, and a few aberrant mutations that reached dead ends (whatever happened to Art Belletto and his group?). A few geographical oddities even appeared. And I suppose you could talk of bacterial insertions when that discordant note jazz reared its ugly head. Hit me with that rhythm stick!
As I understand the history, the bebop movement in jazz was evolving in New York City (and elsewhere?) during a musicians union imposed recording ban. They thought, and probably rightfully so, that the release of recordings was hurting the live performance business.
Anyhow, jazz was evolving in the clubs (in geographic restriction?), without spreading elsewhere via recordings. Then the recording ban was lifted, bebop recordings happened, and the jazz listening world was punctuated by something "new and without roots".
* Ahmad Jamal's original recording of Poinciana. * DB Quartet: Blue Rondo a la Turk * Thelonious Monk: Brilliant Corners * The Quintet: Night in Tunisia * Lady Day: No Regrets * Getz/Gilberto: Desafinado * Joao Gilberto: Felicidade * Getz/Byrd: Bahia * Ry Cooder: Gypsy Woman * Taj: Deed I Do * Duke Ellington: Satin Doll * Kay Kayser: Slow Boat to China * Art Blakey/Theloneous Monk: Blue Monk * Ali Farka Toure: Banga * Tommy Dorsey: Song of India
I can play half of those songs on the piano, good choices.
There was a very good documentary on PBS sometime ago that aired over a few nights the history of jazz. From Charlie Parkers first rendetion of 'Cherokee' to all those great harlem clubs boasting the likes of Dizzy, Thelonius, and of course Bird. I never realized the depth of they're music theory knowlege until on a film clip was shown a very young Dizzy writing on a chalk board explaining to his band some phrases. Those guys knew they're stuff. From California cool jazz to Harlem bop I love it all. Maybe I can scrounge up the name of that series.