Post Bop

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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 the pinnacle 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, but 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. Take recent tracks by Branford Marsalis as an example, some are clearly Hard Bop, some are Post and yet others fall somewhere in between. 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.

post bop top albums

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JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.86 | 67 ratings
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CHARLES MINGUS The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Album Cover The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
CHARLES MINGUS
4.84 | 48 ratings
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MCCOY TYNER Sahara Album Cover Sahara
MCCOY TYNER
4.95 | 12 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Miles Smiles Album Cover Miles Smiles
MILES DAVIS
4.83 | 28 ratings
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MILES DAVIS E.S.P. Album Cover E.S.P.
MILES DAVIS
4.82 | 14 ratings
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DAVE HOLLAND Extended Play: Live at Birdland Album Cover Extended Play: Live at Birdland
DAVE HOLLAND
4.92 | 7 ratings
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CHARLES MINGUS Oh Yeah Album Cover Oh Yeah
CHARLES MINGUS
4.79 | 14 ratings
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MCCOY TYNER Song for My Lady Album Cover Song for My Lady
MCCOY TYNER
4.95 | 5 ratings
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KEITH JARRETT At the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings Album Cover At the Blue Note: The Complete Recordings
KEITH JARRETT
5.00 | 4 ratings
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KEITH JARRETT Inside Out (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette) Album Cover Inside Out (with Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette)
KEITH JARRETT
4.86 | 6 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Nefertiti Album Cover Nefertiti
MILES DAVIS
4.64 | 26 ratings
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MCCOY TYNER Expansions Album Cover Expansions
MCCOY TYNER
4.82 | 6 ratings
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post bop Music Reviews

AARON GOLDBERG The Now

Album · 2015 · Post Bop
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Matt
Aaron Goldberg first came to my attention in the year 2000 when he was supporting Joshua Redman on his current tour throughout that period. At that time Aaron had released his first album “Turning Point” with his follow up “Unfolding” having already been recorded and coming out within a few months. With another two albums that have since followed we have finally arrived at his fifth release “The Now” with his old cohorts in music Ruben Rogers on Bass and Eric Harland drumming who have both been with him since the beginning of his recorded output and comprise what basically could be termed as Aaron’s Trio these days. Post Bop, Brazilian, Haitian, a Charlie Parker cover with Aaron’s original compositions bring a wonderful diversity to the albums make up and content with plenty for the Trio to work around with a mix of tempos and melodies.

Aaron choose the Chico Buarque composition, “Trocando Em Miudos” for the album’s opening comprising a beautiful relaxed take with the number and less relaxation of course if you are Aaron who brings this up within his solo with that gradual increase in notes and speed to almost the highest point but that old Jazz art of landing back on that tunes theme is right there. We are heading to Haiti with the next “Yoyo” with Ruben and Eric opening the number with the rhythm and Aaron’s piano providing some wonderful input and lead over this lively number. Kudos must go the rhythm section of Ruben and Eric with both keeping the rhythm of the composition’s Haitian feel at the beginning and end when so often in other Jazz recordings the compositions can become lost of their original sound. The ballad, “The Wind In The Night” follows with plenty of space provided between each piano key and with the exquisite backing from Ruben and Eric you might be excused if one walked in to hear, “Bill Evans”? The diversity keeps coming throughout the ten album tracks with the short modern composition of Aaron’s named “E-Land”. That Charlie Parker sprite appears instantly with “Perhaps” and the lovely Brazilian ballad , “Triste Baia da Guanabara” follows. “Background Music” by Wayne Marsh must have originated from a very fast world with its great up tempo timing. “One’s A Crowd” as the notes’ state “Even when you’re alone you’re not. What is this you anyway”? with the band all having an input for solos within this contradictory set up at time within Aaron’s composition. The dedicated “One Life” closes the album with Kurt Rosenwinkel guesting on guitar and one could be excused if mistaken for a flute with the stunning sound he produces. The composition is dedicated to a married couple that Aaron met who had lost their teenage daughter, let’s hope that a small amount of relief is brought to them.

Gets better with every time I hear this and that old phrase that I have used so often applies, “something new to hear with each play” . Highly recommended new release. If you are interested Aaron signed the cover of Joshua Redman’s “Beyond” album on the 2/28/00 which he dated luckily for me on that wonderful evening of Jazz at the now defunct “Continental Club” in Melbourne Australia. Also got Ruben Roger’s whilst he was there.

TAKEO MORIYAMA Bit (with Mal Waldron)

Live album · 1995 · Post Bop
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snobb
Drummer Takeo Moriyama came just a little bit late to be a part of Japanese free-jazz revolution in late 60s, but this fact probably influenced his all future career in music. Started as Yosuke Yamashita Trio's drummer in mid 70's, he played with some known Japanese and European avant-garde jazz artists (including German sax players Manfred Schoof and Peter Brotzmann)but never attracted much attention as leader. Even more, for bad or for good differently from all generation of Japanese advanced jazz musicians who made their names in 1969, his playing being quite free has been always bop-influenced. As a result, it looks his music just got stuck somewhere in between of mainstream jazz and avant-garde, never becoming part of one or the other.

Here on "Bit" he recorded one of his stronger session - as duo with great pianist Mal Waldron. By it's structure "Bit" recalls Waldron's very successful late 80s series released on Italian Soul Note label where each album (studio or live) as rule contains two or three longish advanced post-bop compositions only, each over 20 minutes long. Here, this time in mid 90s,it looks Maldron tries to repeat this formula, with partial success only though.

So,"Bit"(an album,recorded live in studio)contains two compositions only, with "Laud Suite" as opener,lasting longer than 48 minutes! And there is nothing about noodling,endless free improvs - no way."Suite..." is tuneful and well framed and structured composition quite similar to Waldron music from previous decade. Since this song is credited to both Moriyama and Waldron and it doesn't exist nowhere else on Waldron recordings, it looks that it have been written specially for this session. From very first sounds one has no doubt that here's Waldron playing his music - his style is easy recognizable. At the same time during all these minutes you can feel like listening to Mal playing medley of his old tunes: almost every catchy tune is already heard somewhere before.

Structurally "Suite..." is constructed as collection Waldron soulful piano parts and Moriyamac's groovy drums solo parts changing each other on very balanced manner. Takeo's drumming is a bit too heavyweight for Mal's dark and quite lyrical piano and in moments he sounds as gracious as dancing bear in the glass room. Still,deeply rooted in hard-bop, he doesn't sound out of place here.

Second and final album's composition is Waldron standard "Left Alone". Just seven minutes and less quirky structure - this composition sounds as typical Mal top song (with Takeo landed to just supporting drummer's chair). Less adventurous at the same time "Left Alone" placed everything on their right places.In reality very much an album of Mal Waldron,this release is one good album for his fans. Far not his best it still contains lot of elements Mal music is known and loved.

P.S. A year after same label, Tokuma,will release rest of the same session's material as next duo album "Dual" (seven shorter compositions this time)

CARLO MUSCAT The Sound Catalogues Vol. 1

Album · 2014 · Post Bop
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js
“The Sound Catalogues Volume 1” is the debut album from saxophonist Carlo Muscat, and it certainly sounds more mature and developed than your typical first outing. Muscat and his group play modern post bop, and take full advantage of that genre’s open nature. Sometimes they play to the changes, and sometimes out, sometimes they free up the rhythm, and sometimes they stay in the pocket, there’s lots of nice variety here. Muscat’s playing will have you thinking Wayne Shorter sometimes, he also sites Mark Turner as an influence, and the group reflects an interest in Shorter’s work with Miles in the mid-60s, but these are not mere copyists. Trumpeter Daniele Raimondi doesn’t sound much like Miles, but he instead features his own pure brassy sound with less affectation than your typical Miles influenced player.

The album opens with the moody “Fatman and Little Boy”, lots of nice spacious phrasing on this one. “Dust Bowl” follows with a hard groove and semi-free soloing with a wide open texture that recalls early Ornette. The following tunes explore a variety of styles with “Another Sun’ having a bit of modern downtown fusion drive, while “Wilbur’s Rise” features a striking melody. There is no dead weight on here, all of the tunes are excellent. Some of the playing on here is cool in that modern European way, but this is not the sterile music of a certain well known label, but is instead a music of deep soul and natural grit.

One of the nicest things about “Sound Catalogues” is the excellent natural sound, no phony reverb or excessive compression to kill the spirit of the music. There are some other well known saxophonists who would be wise to copy this approach and ditch the cheezy digital effects. Like the rest of you, I have a lot of music to choose from these days, but this one has been getting a lot of repeat spins, and there’s always something new to hear, highly recommended for fans of modern jazz.

TOMASZ STAŃKO Polin

Album · 2014 · Post Bop
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snobb
I spent bigger part of my life in regions influenced by Slavic culture(all - Eastern,Western and Southern Slavs)and as result together with deep understanding what it is learned one thing - how much I hate that over-exalting "Slavic spirituality". That sweet-and-sour dreamy sadness with no reason,painful melancholy,anxiety,continuing awaiting of something what probably happens (combined with intuitive knowledge that nothing really happens ever)... Some strangers even see it attractive but it only means they never lived aside of that twilight zone of irrationality, fatalism and sensual mysticism.Just get me right - I mean exactly overdosed spiritual sensuality which is far different from Slavic culture in whole.

Trumpeter Tomasz Stanko is with no doubt leading Polish jazz musician and probably one of the best European jazz trumpeter. His international fame came mostly after ECM contracted him, soon he became label's trade mark and leading voice (personally I really like his early adventurous albums coming from early 70s; they are mostly released domestically in Poland and are almost unknown abroad). Success of his music comes from his great, quite free Miles Davis post-bop period influenced techniques combined with strong European chamber tradition and above mentioned "Slavic soul". On his best albums Tomasz finds only his own unique proportions between all three components making music close to masterpiece. On not so successful recordings he loses that balance and magic almost disappears.

Being a real fan of Stanko's early albums,I'm quite critical towards many his ECM releases - all of them are technically perfect, but far not every is real musical joy.Some Stanko most current releases were all quite disappointment (knowing how great music he can play), probably with "Wislawa" being a real disaster. Stanko reclocated to New York from native Poland and formed his New York quartet with really great local artists (incl, pianist David Virelles and drummer Gerald Cleaver, plus ECM bassist Thomas Morgan). New collective debut work (released on ECM in 2013) is dedicated to late Polish poet and Nobel Laureate Wisława Szymborska. Working with lyrical,soulful and very Slavic material Tomasz recorded studio double-CD album with American band who simply didn't find right place in all that sensitive balladry.

Next on line Stanko album came on the last days of 2014 and was full of surprises. First of all, it was released by Museum Of The History Of Polish Jews (being their first ever musical release). It's not a first Stanko work of such kind - one of his albums ("Wolność w sierpniu")has been already released in co-operation with Warsaw Uprising Museum some years ago. Than,being recorded in New York,in Sear Sound Studio, it is free from ECM high but very predictable sound standard.And at the end - Stanko seriously reformed his American quartet for this recording: only Cuban pianist David Virelles stays from his classic New York Quartet, new rhythm section contains Dezron Douglas on bass and drummer Kush Abadey, plus all team is improved with sax man Ravi Coltrane (alternatively,all quintet could be seen as Tomasz Stanko plus new Ravi Coltrane quartet with different drummer - quartet's original drummer is Johnathan Blake)

So, I listen this new album again and again and the main bad thing here is how short it is!Less than 38-minutes long - that's quite a common size for old vinyl but in digital age we are often expecting at not less than twice more. And the music - it's excellent! For the first time ever Stanko plays real groovy jazz with all-American band! Sound is full,warm and tasteful(and here one can ensure how different some ECM artists sound when their music is recorded without that drug-store sterility in sound). Stanko demonstrates excellent collection of catchy tunes - rare event in modern jazz, and surprisingly enough he plays here one of his most straight music for years. If on European releases his freer digressions were all blood of his music, here he somehow founded a right decision - he plays tuneful,groovy post-bop without useless embellishment and it works perfectly.

Since all album is dedicated to holocaust theme ("Polin" means "Poland" in Hebrew) it contains some ballad-like elements and chamber moments,but in all it's a small magic how Tomasz(generally known by his sensitive tunes and melancholic compositions)avoids sentimental melancholy or even dramatic notes here. Muscular and lively,this music sounds more like a hymn to life.

The only sad news is it's announced that album will be distributed by Museum direct sales only so I afraid such a great work will stay unnoticed by many listeners. If by any chance you'll find "Polin" - don't have any doubts,it's Stanko at his very best.

TOM HARRELL TRIP

Album · 2014 · Post Bop
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Matt
It has been a “Trip’ for Tom Harrell after commencing his professional career playing trumpet in Stan Kenton’s band in 1969. He recorded his first album as a leader in 1976 and currently has 27 albums under his belt including “Trip” His site claims that he has participated in 260 recordings but perhaps they may include arranging as well which is just another bow from Tom’s talent. Since 2007 Tom has been working primarily with a Quintet excepting the previous release to “Trip” which was “Colors Of A Dream” where a 2 Bass Sextet were the band’s make up with the regular, saxophone, piano and drums included. With “Trip” he has chosen a Quartet comprising saxophone, bass, drums and Tom’s trumpet comprising the band’s line up with the piano being dropped..

The quartet comprises Mark Turner on saxophone who himself has released his own album currently on ECM, “Lathe Of Heaven” within the same year of this release and he is considered one of today’s top saxophonists in Jazz with a list of musical associations that could fill this page. Ugonna Okegwo is on bass and the only surviving member from Tom’s previous Quintet albums and prior to Tom Harrell primarily worked with Jackie Terrasson . Adam Cruz is on drums and another highly experienced musician having played with Chick Corea, Chris Potter, Steve Wilson, David Sanchez and been a member of The Danilo Perez Trio.

The album opens with “Sunday” being mid tempo with Ugonna’s bass right up front providing a wonderful time and structure with Adam’s drums supporting things beautifully and filling the composition which gives Mark Turner and Tom Harrell a wonderful layer to play over with their solo’s. Every composition included in the album is written by Tom Harrell and “Cycle” which follows is precisely that with the musicians seeming to circle within the tunes structure and reminiscent of ‘Orbits’ a Wayne Shorter composition but still it is Tom’s beast excepting for the circular pattern comprising the compositions make up. The album’s main focus is the suite that Tom Harrell has included, “The Adventures Of A Quixotic Character” which includes six different compositions of Tom’s interruption of the Cervantes novel. “The Ingenious Gentleman” is first and the suite’s longest piece running at just over 7 minutes with Adam Cruz up first on drums providing quite an interesting solo and opening to the number with Mark’s saxophone, Tom’s trumpet and a bass solo from Ungonna following. The arrangement is superb as the rhythm section drops volume with the horns and each solo is clear and distinct or stands alone from the drums and bass but all come back in a seamless manner for the following short pieces, “The Duke and the Duchess”, “Enchanted” comprising a beautiful solo bass from Ungonna, “Sancho and Rocinante” with the entire band as Mark Turner leads on saxophone with him still remaining for the fifth slowed down piece “The Princess” keeping the entire suite seamless with a marvellous up and down solo followed by Tom’s usual trumpet perfection. “Windmills” is the Suite’s last composition with a slight increased timing with the drums and a clarity of sound from Adam’s kit. Tom and Mark take a call and response with their input with the notes becoming higher and more frantic but they still hold quite a bit back for the last piece of the stunning suite. Things though do not drop all the same with the following, the beautiful “Coming Home” the album’s superb ballad. “Coastline”, After The Game Is Over” and “There” are the three remaining tracks from the album with all being enjoyable and exquisitely played compositions and all different.

I have heard quite a few new ones from 2014 with “Trip” being my personal favourite. Tom Harrell has created an absolute Jazz jewel with this one by dropping the piano which provides less clutter enabling the respective musicians to come through as clear as a bell with their various inputs. Not to mention the beautiful compositions, arrangements and superb trumpet playing from him. Great Jazz and highly recommended. Tom also appeared on Niels Vincentz’s, “Is That So” another of these piano less Quartets this year, if you are looking for something else from him in 2014.

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