Post Bop

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Part I

Post Bop is a modern jazz style that continues the distinguishing characteristics that separate jazz from the world of pop and rock; swing rhythm and extended harmonies (9th chords 11ths, altered chords, etc). Post Bop grew out of the Hard Bop genre during the early to mid 60s as musicians such as Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, and Herbie Hancock began to introduce more extended harmonies, abstract structures and looser rhythms in their playing and compositions. When Hancock and Shorter joined Miles Davis’ quintet in the mid-60s, that group became the perfect vehicle for extending the boundaries of what could happen in a Post Bop format. The Miles Davis Quintet albums, "Nefertiti" and "Sorcer", continue to be pinnacles of Post Bop composition and performance. Some styles of free modal jazz, such as Coltrane's "A Love Supreme", are also part of the Post Bop sound. Although there are still some musicians, such as Kenny Garret, who play in that style, mostly that sound has been fading since the early 70s.

While still in its infancy, Post Bop was pushed off the radar during the 70s as many of its early proponents pursued the far more lucrative fields of fusion and smooth jazz. As the fusion fad began to fade, musicians began to tire of three chord vamps and the limitations of rock/pop rhythms and yearned to work with sophisticated chord changes and jazz rhythms again. The stage was set in the early 80s for the “young lion” movement and a return to both Post Bop and Hard Bop for a lot of young musicians and their fan base.

Today’s Post Bop covers a wide variety, from radio friendly to borderline avant-garde, and it’s a genre that is still ripe for more exploration. Generally speaking, the difference between Post Bop and Hard Bop is that Hard Bop carries a stronger trace of the blues and a more straight forward driving rhythm, but when you are trying to analyze certain artists or pieces of music, that difference is not always clear. Much of Branford Marsalis's music is a good example of jazz that sits right between post and hard bop. With some music, arguing whether it is Post Bop or Hard Bop becomes pointless, since depending on perspective, either genre can be seen as a subset of the other. Although we use the genre term Post Bop to tag the music described above, in a more generic sense, post bop can be the name of any swing based jazz music created after the passing of the be-bop era.

Part 2 - Post Bop in the New Century

As jazz continues to grow and develop, the worlds of modern fusion and post bop have grown closer together as many musicians; such as Dave Douglas, Craig Taborn, Greg Osby and others, freely mix elements into new hybrids.

At JMA, the distinction between Fusion and Post Bop continues to be that distinctive African syncopation known as "swing". Generally Post Bop should swing, while Fusion, quite often does not. What has changed, as we move further into the 21st century, is the way in which modern drummers are 'swinging'. Inventive drummers such as Jeff "Tain" Watts, Rudy Roystan and others are no longer putting the swing beat solely on the ride cymbal. Instead, they are liable to use any, or all pieces of the drum set at once, while they swing the beat. Also, the swing feel itself is often a bit disguised in modern jazz, it may not be so obvious, and the drummer may move in and out of swing feel, sometimes even within one phrase.

post bop top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 60 min. caching

JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.86 | 76 ratings
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CHARLES MINGUS The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Album Cover The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
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MCCOY TYNER Sahara Album Cover Sahara
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MILES DAVIS Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles Album Cover Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles
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YUSEF LATEEF Eastern Sounds Album Cover Eastern Sounds
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DAVE HOLLAND Dave Holland Quintet ‎: Extended Play - Live at Birdland Album Cover Dave Holland Quintet ‎: Extended Play - Live at Birdland
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KEITH JARRETT Whisper Not (Live in Paris 1999) (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) Album Cover Whisper Not (Live in Paris 1999) (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
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post bop Music Reviews

MARCELLO PELLITTERI Aquarius Woman

Album · 2016 · Post Bop
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js
Marcello Pellitteri may not be a household name, but he has played drums with just about every major jazz star you can think of, as well as many pop stars and studio orchestras as well. On his new album, “Aquarius Woman”, Marcello displays his versatility by presenting an album that covers more styles than most people cover in their career. “Aquarius Woman” opens with a couple of grooving hard bop numbers that seem to establish a style for the rest of the album, but instead Marcello follows these openers with a couple of pastoral post bop ballads, and then moves on to RnB ballads, funky hip-hop jazz and some spoken word pieces as well. Pellitteri has a great support group on hand led by the intense alto playing of Orazio Maugeri. Orazio has a bright sound that recalls Jackie McLean, and a dexterity that recalls McLean’s idol, Charlie Parker. Maugeri can not only bop and weave, but his ability to rock out on the funky tunes recalls modern artists like Joshua Redman, or Branford Marsalis’ early funk projects. A long with the core group, various guests show up, including tenor sax man George Garzone, who burns brightly on the opening track.

All of the tracks on here are good, with highlights being the aforementioned swinging opening tracks, and the funky hip-hop/indie rock grooves of “Twenty Three” and “Colors on Your Face”. Some well known cover tunes are given interesting face lifts such as Alicia Keys’ “If I aint got You” which is given some flatted notes in the melody by guest vocalist Nedelka Prescod, and a reversal of the vocal phrasing in a call and response with the saxophone. Much of this album is dedicated to Pellitteri’s daughter, Veronica, who died at a very young 23 years of age. All profits from the sell of this CD will go to the Veronica Pellitteri Memorial Fund, administered by Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.

MILES DAVIS Miles Davis Quintet : Miles Smiles

Album · 1966 · Post Bop
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frankbernardi22
Miles smiles and he's not pretending a part. He's really happy for his new family of musicians, so happy that he himself really can't believe this miracle of combo exists on earth and he's the creator of such a beauty. He needed his Golden Quintet, the highest expression of all times (neo) classic jazz, something living its (smiling) summer but with all the dangerous nostalgia of a perfectly mature fruit. So much that perfection that it was like a bridge to the unknown. Pure angst, at the end. Two were the alternatives to follow: the taste of decadence or a cut with the past. This gifted combo, touched by the hand of history, is sqeezed by Miles like a lemon; after, throught the naked "In a silent way", Miles and friends (those with him in that moment, because that was his - and their - own cruel and marvellous fate) will find themselves on the rich but deserted shores of "Bitches Brew", the occasion for many in the world to listen to Davis for the first time. But connoisseurs all around knew very well this perfect microgroove where everybody was smiling, according to Anthony Tuttle liner notes: "The entire quintet plays as if there were a shared smile between them, each man lending his efforts to the whole while the whole reflects the solid contribution of each man". A perfect definition good for every album of Miles magic quintet, starting from "ESP", first studio brick in a solid house. A castle. The building of dreams. "Seven steps..." is still tradition with some changes added but not a convinced piece of the new direction. Miles was waiting for Wayne, the Coltrane he always wanted. And from that lp to "ESP" we have only live albums. We have to wait until 1965, year of "ESP", to taste new flavours: but soon, 1966, everybody smiles with the leader. "Miles smiles" and we believe his smiling to be true. He's even surprised that his meditations or even impulses can find easy incarnation in music. He's really the genius he thinks to be. Everything's so smooth, in those years, that seems incredible, to him, to us, the amount of work, sometimes obscure, difficult work, waiting for Miles just around the corner. Smiling Miles soon will be a very far souvenir if compared to the ground zero of "In a silent way" or the path to hell of "Bitches brew": both streets with no return.

COREY KENDRICK Rootless

Album · 2016 · Post Bop
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Carmel
The Corey Kendrick Trio combines the infectious swing of yesteryear with the precision of today’s modern jazz harmonic sensibilities. The trio came together while studying under Rodney Whitaker at Michigan State University, it is here the Corey Kendrick Trio developed their unique, straight ahead sound, cultivated by two and a half years of extensive performing.

Their debut recording, Rootless highlights a theme of life and its many emotions, tracks like “The Unknown/The Unexpected” speak to the emotion of starting anew, a sleek and grooved based feel, coupled with the well-chosen colorizations of Kendrick on piano add credence to drummer Nick Bracewell’s texturized accents, and bassist Joe Vasquez, rooted groove lines. While cuts like “Alone in Michigan” speak to the loneliness of being away from home and the emptiness of missing loved ones. The trio creates an introspective take on this Kendrick original that is pensive and emotive. A celebratory fast paced tune is found in “Blues al Pastor” giving way to a burner for the trio, with quick crashes and nimble paced notes a flurry, the trio shines on this cut, showing the prowess of all involved in this tightly knit trio. Closing out the disc is a lilting tune capturing the indescribable emotions of new parenthood “Lullaby For A New Mother” offers the listener a beautiful journey with a fluidity of soundscape and the delicacy of joy, with passionate moments of fervor.

Rootless traverses a large terrain of emotions, but keeps firmly rooted in the jazz straight ahead idiom. A highly recommended listen, especially for the piano trio aficionado.

CHARLES MINGUS The Great Concert of Charles Mingus

Live album · 1971 · Post Bop
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js
This review is written using the original 3 LP set in a huge foldout gate sleeve cover. If you had to pick the number one top recorded jazz performance known to mankind, you would have a hard time finding one that topped “The Great Concert of Charles Mingus”, a live set that was recorded in Paris in 1964, but not released until the early 70s. It doesn’t hurt that two of the greatest performers of all-time, Mingus and Eric Dolphy, have possibly the best performances of their careers on here, but also the brilliant supporting cast of Jaki Byard, Dannie Richmond and Clifford Jordan are likewise inspired for possible career topping performances as well. Johnny Coles was supposed to be on trumpet, but sickness knocked him off of every performance except the very first cut. This opening cut, by the way, is mis-labeled as “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat”, when it actually is “So Long Eric”, a better choice for an opening tune anyway.

The concert opens with a nice bluesy groove for the first couple solos, but when Dolphy steps up for his solo, all hell breaks loose and things continue to unravel from there in a rainbow kalediscope of colliding musical ideas. Remaining tracks like “Parkeriana” , “Meditations on Integration” and “Fables of Faubus” feature bizarre complex arrangements that show that both Mingus and Dolphy were very capable modern concert hall composers. When the band is cut loose from the arrangements, they burn with an unprecedented intensity. So much of the music on here pre-dates what is happening in jazz in the early 21st century, such as tonality blended with atonality and compositional structure blended with free blowing. Add to that, something unique to this session, intellectualism blended with emotional fire.

Eric Dolphy is often incorrectly grouped with early 60s “free” players such as Albert Alyer and Archie Shepp. While Dolphy did play free jazz on occasion, and was quite adept at it, this recording is a good example of how Dolphy’s true calling was working with melody and chord changes. Eric’s attempts to take these things to extremes made him more an extension of the Charlie Parker school of music, which is reflected in the mash-up of Parker melodies presented during “Parkeriana”.

If there is one problem with this recording, it would be in Jaki Byard’s volume level, he just sounds a little distant compared to the others, which is a shame because he is a brilliant and under-rated pianist. Byard never really got with the modern minimal sound of Bud Powell and Monk, instead he played more in the old school huge stride based sound of Earl Hines and Art Tatum, which Byard would modernize with atonal clusters of notes and noisy clatter which blended great with the Mingus-Dolphy approach. There is always a lot of mischievous humor to what Jaki serves up as well.

If you ever wonder why jazz fans make a big deal out of Charles Mingus, this record should help you understand why

MILES DAVIS Circle in the Round

Album · 1979 · Post Bop
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frankbernardi22
1979... and still no trace of Miles. At Columbia they were more than nervous. To remind the world that Miles was still alive, they packed this superb "Circle in the round", full of never heard tunes (not really all the numbers, but it was quite enough to stimulate the curious, the fan, the simpler buyer and so on): it was the unquestionabale proof that Davis had been here on this earth. James Isaac, compiler of the liner notes, showed his own philosophy: (Miles) "perhaps is readying a music that will again reaorder the notions of harmony and color and rythm and space. Or perhaps no more music will be forthcoming fron Miles Davis, who has given so much and ispired so many. For now we have this multi - hued program, which can only add luster to a most remarkable, prismatic body of work". That is a little bit to say: go and buy, it could be the last time. For the "last time", at Columbia they worked wery well: material from 1955 to 70. But, with the risk that really it could be the very last, compilers could suggest highlights from the really very last Miles. They did not. The closing "Guinnevere", recorded in January 1970, nothing say to us of the deep wound represented by "Bitches Brew". A bestseller, true, but also the beginning of a road full of danger and uncertain developements, full of risks of every colour. And what about "Sanctuary", here sounding, writes Isaacs, "more controlled" and "better focused"? (very different from the "Bitches" cut). Probably people, in producers plans, were asked to forget chaos and experiments: everybody, at Columbia, was hoping, was dreaming of a brand new Miles. A brand new one, better a brand old one, but not a jazz terrorist.

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Encounter Vocal Jazz
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