Hard Bop

Jazz music community with review and forums

Cool jazz's reign as the prevalent jazz style after bop's demise was short lived as many jazz players, especially on the east coast, wanted to return to a style of jazz that had a little more grit and aggression. Hard bop was a return to some of the ascetics of bop, but also offered some new differences. Hard bop brought back the faster tempos of the bop era, but in hard bop the harmonic changes did not come in such rapid fire succession and musicians found themselves stretching out on longer modal style solos. The new emphasis on albums rather than singles also led to longer songs. Hard bop players also began to bring more influences from the church, blues and RnB into jazz which foreshadowed the coming of soul jazz. Despite an influx of avant-garde jazz in the 60s, hard bop remained the prevalent jazz style until the emergence of fusion in the late 60s. Hard bop has enjoyed many revivals over the years and remains one of the most enduring and popular styles in jazz. Miles Davis is considered an early innovator in the field of hard bop, but Art Blakey and the many musicians who played in his Jazz Messengers are considered to be the epitome of the style.

hard bop top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

JOHN COLTRANE Blue Train Album Cover Blue Train
JOHN COLTRANE
4.74 | 67 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JOHN COLTRANE My Favorite Things Album Cover My Favorite Things
JOHN COLTRANE
4.73 | 57 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
WES MONTGOMERY The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery Album Cover The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery
WES MONTGOMERY
4.87 | 12 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JOHN COLTRANE Live at Birdland Album Cover Live at Birdland
JOHN COLTRANE
4.81 | 16 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
MILES DAVIS 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis) Album Cover 'Round About Midnight (aka Miles Davis)
MILES DAVIS
4.72 | 45 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
LEE MORGAN City Lights Album Cover City Lights
LEE MORGAN
4.88 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
HORACE SILVER Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers Album Cover Horace Silver And The Jazz Messengers
HORACE SILVER
4.87 | 8 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
DEXTER GORDON A Swingin' Affair Album Cover A Swingin' Affair
DEXTER GORDON
4.94 | 6 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JACKIE MCLEAN Right Now! Album Cover Right Now!
JACKIE MCLEAN
4.79 | 10 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
JOHN COLTRANE Giant Steps Album Cover Giant Steps
JOHN COLTRANE
4.60 | 71 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
ART BLAKEY Free For All Album Cover Free For All
ART BLAKEY
4.69 | 16 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
CHARLES MINGUS Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Album Cover Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
CHARLES MINGUS
4.63 | 21 ratings
Buy this album from MMA partners
This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

hard bop online videos

Brooklyn Frevo
Brooklyn Frevo
YOTAM SILBERSTEIN
js
For Prez
For Prez
MICHEL DONATO
js
Kisa Larivé
Kisa Larivé
GAËL HORELLOU
js

See all hard bop videos

hard bop New Releases

.. Album Cover
The Jazz Legacy
Album
STÉPHANE BELMONDO
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Oasis : Music Of Gregg Hill
Album
RODNEY WHITAKER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Wondering
Album
HARVIE S (HARVIE SWARTZ)
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
New York Osaka Junction
Album
JOE MAGNARELLI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
New Beginnings
Album
JASON MARSHALL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live At Smalls Jazz Club
Live album
KIRK LIGHTSEY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Nightquest
Album
RON MCCLURE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Back Home in Kansas City
Album
BOBBY WATSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
One Of The Others
Album
TAUREY BUTLER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Feelin' It
Album
JIM WITZEL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Refuge
Album
GEORGE COTSIRILOS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Sufficient Grace
Album
GREGORY TARDY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Play Monk & Ellington
Album
SPIKE WILNER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Keyed Up
Album
BOBBY BROOM
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
My Romance
Album
STEPHEN RILEY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Blues And Cubes
Album
THE JAZZ PROFESSORS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Tiyo's Songs Of Life
Album
FELIPE SALLES
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Fire In The West
Album
NEIL SWAINSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live : Two Continents One Groove
Live album
T. S. MONK
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Persistence
Album
STEVE KNIGHT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Best Next Thing
Album
MICHAEL DEASE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Reflections
Album
AL FOSTER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Glass Spheres
Album
CHRIS MONDAK
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
I Hope To My Never
Album
MATT HALL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Jackpot
Album
BRIAN CHARETTE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Rhythm and Blues of The 20s
Album
CHRIS BYARS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Live At The Fabrik, Hamburg, 1986
Live album
MCCOY TYNER
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Persistence
Album
MICHAEL WEISS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Trinity
Album
MABUMI YAMAGUCHI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Henri and Rachel
Album
ELI DEGIBRI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
My Father’s Hands
Album
CYRUS CHESTNUT
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Soul Sister
Album
DEXTER GORDON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Staycation - A Family Affair
Album
RALPH LALAMA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Bluesthetic
Album
STEVE DAVIS (TROMBONE)
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Lighting Of The Lamps
Album
GRANT STEWART
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Honoring Pat Martino, Volume 1
Album
10000 VARIOUS ARTISTS
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Message
Album
DOUG WEBB
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Swing On This
Album
OPUS 5
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
A Stone's Throw Away
Album
RON LEDOUX
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
This One's For Joey
Album
KEITH OXMAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Classics
Boxset / Compilation
SCOTT HAMILTON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Montmartre ‘73
Live album
DUKE JORDAN
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Open Spaces
Album
MATT OLSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
In a little provincial town
Album
MARC FRANKINET
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Each Step
Album
NATHAN BORTON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
The Role of the Rhythm Section
Album
STEVEN FEIFKE
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Nuvole
Album
SERGIO ORLANDI
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Good Spirits
Album
ALEXANDER CLAFFY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
With Love, From Chicago
Album
ADAM LARSON
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Riverside
Album
OZ NOY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
On The Move
Album
GÁBOR BOLLA
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Don't Look Back
Album
BERNIE SENENSKY
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
Misha's Wishes
Album
MISHA TSIGANOV
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
A Change Is Gonna Come
Album
BILL O'CONNELL
Buy this album from MMA partners
.. Album Cover
In the Wee Small Hours
Album
CARLOS FRANZETTI
Buy this album from MMA partners

hard bop Music Reviews

JOHNNY GRIFFIN The Little Giant

Album · 1959 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Johnny Griffin is a power house tenor player that deserves more recognition, but really, almost any great sax player who is not Coltrane or Charlie Parker could use a little more props. Johnny’s album, “The Little Giant”, came out in 1959, right in the middle of that mid 50s to mid 60s period in jazz when all the recordings sounded great and so many musicians were at a creative peak. Joining Griffin on here is an all-star cast, including a very young trombonist, Julian Priester. Julian will go on to perform avant-garde jazz with Sun Ra, Herbie Hancock’s electronic sextet and also some very out there combos of his own, so its interesting to hear him playing swinging solos in a hard bop context. The three man horn line is completed with Blue Mitchell on trumpet, giving the group an almost big band sound at times.

The three songs written by Norman Simmons make the most of this horn ensemble with complicated arrangements that often imitate big bands in their call and response between horn sections, and between soloist and ensemble. His, “Olive Refractions”, opens the album with high speed bop and the best arrangement on the album. Other tracks include Babs Gonzazlez’s, “Lonely One”, an exotic number that has Griffin playing a melody over tympani like tom toms before moving into a high speed free modal jam. “Playmates”, by Saxie Dowell is an odd choice with its bright major key contrasting with all the minor blues on this album. The song sounds like a cross between early New Orleans jazz and a TV beer commercial, but its sunny flavor does make for an interesting contrast. Griffin penned “63rd Street Theme”, a noire blues that would work great as a ‘crime jazz’ soundtrack.

JIM WITZEL Feelin' It

Album · 2022 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Jim Witzel is a veteran jazz guitarist who has worked with artists such as John Patitucci, Ernie Watts, John Abercrombie and many others in LA, San Francisco and elsewhere, but “Feelin It” is only his second album as a leader, and it comes a full twenty years after his first album. Witzel’s style is blues based hard bop, but he plays with a soft tone similar to Jim Hall or Pat Metheny. He counts those two, as well as Kenny Burrell, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, George Benson, Pat Martino and John Abercrombie as influences. Jim is joined on here by some old friends and jam session cohorts, Jason Lewis on drums and Brian Ho on B-3, making them a classic soul jazz organ trio. On three tracks they are joined by tenor saxophonist Dann Zinn. Dann is probably the most fiery soloist here as he veers from blues based licks to fast flying sheets of sound that recall Coltrane or Johnny Griffin. Brian has an interesting style on the B-3 in that he avoids a lot of the standard B-3 soul jazz figures and instead plays with a more flowing melodic style that can build in intensity.

The two opening tracks and “Beyond Bejing” are fast moving swingin hard bop, while the two closing tracks take on a more medium groove 60s Blue Note feel. In between we have a relaxed, almost spacey take on “Norwegian Wood” and a ballad rendition of “I Loves You, Porgy” that has Jim double tracking his guitars. “If Ever I Would Leave You” starts with a Latin feel, but then goes into an aggressive swing feel for one of Brian’s best B-3 buildups. Three of the tracks are Witzel originals.

KERRY MOFFIT What Goes Around Comes Around

Album · 2021 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
Today’s entry in the ongoing series on musicians who deserve wider recognition goes to Kerry Moffit and his debut album as a leader, “What Goes Around Comes Around”. Kerry has been performing, arranging and composing for over 40 years, yet chances are you are not familiar with him. One reason for this is that much of Moffit’s career has been in working with US Air Force bands, both in the states and in Europe. The Air Force band program provides a great resource for musicians who need to be working steadily because they have a family to raise. Its just not practical for a struggling musician to take his family to a small cold water apartment in NYC while he searches for work, so the Air Force provides top notch professional gigs for those who choose that route. Since leaving the Air Force in 2015, Kerry has been working with top talent such as Chuck Mangione, Louis Bellson, Arturo Sandoval and more.

The music on “What Goes Around…” centers around contemporary hard bop plus some Latin grooves and a few impressionistic ballads. Moffit is a virtuoso on trumpet who mostly avoids gimmicks and ’sounds’ and instead plays clean and fast streams of notes. I suppose this would be a continuation of the Clifford Brown school of boppin trumpet. The rest of the band is equally adept at their instrument with special mention going to Seth Ebersole’s sweet and fluid alto sax that recalls Phil Woods and Cannonball Adderly. A big plus on this record are Kerry’s creative arrangements. Moffit treats his three horn front line like a mini big band with sectional trade off’s that recall Duke Ellington and other Moffit influences such as Sammy Nestico and Neal Hefti. My ears also hear a lot of 60s Quincy Jones, especially in the TV theme flavored “This I Dig of You” and “Katrina Ballerina”.Half the tunes on here are standards and the other half are Moffit originals. Some top originals include “Free for All”, which is high speed hard bop with an interesting Ornette styled stop-start opening theme, and “20-4” Jam”, which has a Latin fusion flavor and features simultaneous soloing from all the horns towards the end of the track.

MILT JACKSON Reverence And Compassion

Album · 1993 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Steve Wyzard
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT

You've heard the putdowns: "Uncle Milty-baby", "Tuxes and Cocktail Lounges", and "Everybody's Darling Dozing Deacon of Good Vibezzzz". Then there's the Damned with Faint Praise category: "consistent", "dexterous", "solidly entertaining", and, of course, "nice". Very occasionally, a voice in the wilderness will speak up. Bobby Hutcherson and Gary Burton have never been shy about the influence of Milt Jackson upon their music. The Rev has even been called "one of the great soloists in jazz". So just who is he, really?

If ever an album qualified as a "career achievement" album, Reverence and Compassion is it. No, it can't rightly be called the greatest moment in the history of recorded sound, but simply the album that sums up and epitomizes his very full life in music. Who is Milt Jackson? Listen to this album! 50% classics and 50% originals, Milt calls it "the best CD I have ever made" in the liner notes.

So who's accompanying Milt on this album? On piano, Cedar Walton almost steals the show on "Reverence", "Young and Foolish", and "Newest Blues". On bass and arrangements, the underrated John Clayton sets down a funky groove on "This Masquerade", receives a solo spotlight on Milt's composition "J.C.", and duets with him on "Compassion". Drummer Billy Higgins is admittedly under-utilized, but he provides a great solo on the galloping "Bullet Bag". Everyone plays like the momentous occasion it is, but it's Milt's awe-inspiring playing that dominates the album. At 61:30, Reverence and Compassion is not in an agitated hurry to go anywhere, yet it never drags or meanders.

It should be mentioned (because everyone else does) that there is also a huge string orchestra and a six-piece brass section on this album. The textures can be slightly heavy, and from time to time, there are reminders of the infamous CTI sound. Listen to the haunting, otherworldly performances of "Little Girl Blue" and "It Never Entered My Mind". This is achingly beautiful (without being soporific), endless blue sky music, even if they do close with "Here's That Rainy Day". I've heard many a "sleepy w/strings" albums in my day, and let it be said here that this is not one of them. And while Milt still had a few more albums up his sleeve before the end of his life, the truly poignant Reverence and Compassion is the one to remember him by.

JEREMY MONTEIRO Jeremy Monteiro, Jay Anderson, Lewis Nash : Live at No Black Tie Kuala Lumpur

Live album · 2021 · Hard Bop
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
The newest installment in my ongoing attempt to feature incredibly talented musicians you may have never heard of goes to veteran pianist Jeremy Monteiro. In the West his talent may be somewhat of a secret to many, but in his homeland of Singapore he is well known, having garnered their top artistic recognition when he received the Cultural Medallion. Getting back to the US scene, back in the 80s Jeremy replaced Ramsey Lewis in his trio with Eldee Young and Redd Holt to become Monteiro, Young and Holt. Back in the day, Young and Holt took Jeremy to the African American congregational church and the powerful emotions of that music have stayed with Jeremy for his entire career. Jeremy’s latest album, “Live at No Black Tie”, is of course a live album recorded at the Malaysian club mentioned in the title and features Jay Anderson on bass and Lewis Nash on drums.

Monteiro’s playing is a force of nature, his ability to take the piano from a soft whisper to a thunderous roar in a split second is admirable, so also is his ability to turn individual songs into suite like extravaganzas full of interesting twists and turns. Jeremy’s playing is rooted in older pianists who used the keyboard in a more orchestral approach. He cites Erroll Garner and Oscar Peterson as influences, and it shows, I also hear a lot of Art Tatum and McCoy Tyner as well. Although Jeremy displays his interest in the bop virtuosos, his playing is hardly old fashioned as he is hip to any of today’s tonalities or modern jagged rhythms which he uses liberally in his solo workouts. As mentioned earlier, all of these songs are lengthy and feature unpredictable arrangements in which any of the three musicians might solo or duet at any time. We have all seen the boring club band that features the exact same rotation of solos on every song, there is none of that on “No Black Tie”. Some songs might open with a bass solo, while others might feature a rhythm solo after a piano solo, only to have the piano return and play another solo with a very different feeling.

There is a nice variety of music on “No Black Tie”, a couple modal jams, several ballads, two gospel flavored soul jazz numbers and plenty of swinging hard bop. Jeremy includes a couple of well known standards and balances that with his originals which all sound somewhat familiar.

hard bop movie reviews

No hard bop movie reviews posted yet.

Artists with Hard Bop release(s)

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Le Monde A L'Enbers Fusion
CHARLIER/SOURISSE
Buy this album from MMA partners
The Jazz Legacy Hard Bop
STÉPHANE BELMONDO
Buy this album from MMA partners
Black Avant-Garde Jazz
PULVERIZE THE SOUND
Buy this album from MMA partners
Aliwen Post Bop
FELIPE DUHART
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

M'dout masaï (feat. Louis Winsberg)
CHARLIER/SOURISSE
js· 67 minutes ago
Blues on the Corner (feat. Kirk Lightsey)
STÉPHANE BELMONDO
js· 5 hours ago
Breakover Point
PULVERIZE THE SOUND
js· 5 hours ago
Océano
FELIPE DUHART
js· 7 hours ago
Bread Sandwiches
BERNARD WRIGHT
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us