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
4.87 | 65 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
4.94 | 11 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

CHARLIE HADEN Silence

Album · 1989 · Post Bop
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snobb
In September 1987 Charlie Haden recorded an excellent piano trio album with pianist Geri Allen and drummer Paul Motian called "Etudes". Released the following year on the Italian Soul Note label, it opened with Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" and continued with mostly originals by the band members, all boppish and swinging.

Three months after the "Etudes" sessions, Haden recorded more material in a Roman studio, but with a very different team this time. Billy Higgins replaces Paul Motian, lyrical Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi replaces Geri Allen, and even more, now there is a trumpeter on board, none other than Chet Baker. The end results became the album "Silence".

As one can expect, the music on "Silence" is different from "Etudes". With full respect to Baker's early albums, his participation on jazz albums in the 80s hardly adds a lot of pluses. His name and his voice can still attract nostalgic listeners, but his trumpet playing is hardly competitive compared with the artists he is working with. Even worse, there seems to be a rather pointless and commercial attempt to exploit Baker's past, you can't return the atmosphere back to the cool jazz era in the late 80s, added with Pieranunzi's melancholic mainstream slick piano sounds, its all quite artificial, out of time and place, a not too successful imitation.

This is still a product of classy musicians, so maybe it could attract fans of sentimental Italian jazz from the 70s, which, with varying success tried to combine American jazz traditions with Italian melodic lyricism and sentimentality.

JOSHUA REDMAN Trios Live

Live album · 2014 · Post Bop
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js
When it comes to inspired performances captured with a natural unfiltered sound, Joshua Redman’s “Trios Live” is one of the better CDs to come out so far in 2014. This is about as non-pretentious as music can get, three guys improvising on tunes live with no phony compression or added reverb to kill the energy. Although this CD sounds like one gig, its actually two combined together, with tracks 1 and 5-7 recorded in 2009 at NY’s Jazz Standard and tracks 2-4 recorded in 2013 at DC’s Blues Alley. Matt Penman man’s the bass on the Jazz Standard cuts and Reuben Rogers on the others. The high energy Gregory Hutchinson handles the drums at both shows. As is usual with Redman, there is a nice diversity to this set which ranges from Louie Armstrong to Led Zeppelin, plus a couple of standards and three originals, but everything is played as if they were all Redman originals. Joshua’s approach to improvising does not treat his rhythm section as mere backdrops, but instead most of these jams work more as three way conversations with Redman always open to letting his sidemen lead the way. This conversational approach also affects the nature of the improvisations in that things don’t always follow a typical arch design of building, then waning intensity, instead Redman and his group feel free to wander in more unpredictable patterns.

Most of the tunes feature Redman on tenor, although there are two that feature soprano, but generally Redman sounds a bit stronger on the tenor. Joshua’s style on here is rooted in post bop that veers in and out of freer moments, somewhat along the lines of early 60's Coltrane or Ornette. Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins are also good references, but Redman’s eclecticism puts him right in the sound of today. Both bassists are great, but Gregory Hutchinson’s ambitious drumming almost makes him a co-star alongside Redman. Gregory’s sound is rooted in aggressive semi-free drummers like DeJohnette and Tony Williams, but with a bit of modern rock/fusion slam bang thrown in. He really seems to take to the cover of Led Zep’s “The Ocean”.

Every song on here is excellent, with the cover of “Mack the Knife” taking top honors. Who knew you get so much out of that well worn old tune. If there is one problem with this CD, it’s the volume of the drums. This is a live CD and the raw unfiltered sound is a real treat in this age of overly compressed digital dreariness, and the drums sound very real which is great, but it sounds like they are mixed a bit higher than the sax, but given Joshua and Gregory’s constant interplay, its not a big problem

TOM WOLFE Solerovescent

Album · 2014 · Post Bop
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KWGMusic
On Tom Wolfe's latest studio effort, "Solerovescent," Tom Wolfe has assembled (IMHO) the perfect rhythm section for this particular project: Wolfe (guitars), Tim Goodwin (acoustic bass on all tracks that include horn), Chris Kozak (acoustic bass on all guitar trio songs) & Danny Gottlieb (drums on all tracks). On "Solerovescent," Wolfe's composing & playing both reach a new high & there is not one "filler track," which many CDs (including jazz) do contain. Every song takes the listener to a unique place. Plus, the 10 tracks on this CD are in what seems to be the perfect song order - reminiscent of more of a SUITE than simply a collection of songs. All is very well thought through, mood wise, energy wise & even KEY wise. "Solerovescent" hasn't left my car CD player since I got it a few weeks ago & I cannot see replacing it with any other CDs anytime soon... VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - 5 SOLID STARS!

CRAIG TABORN Chants

Album · 2013 · Post Bop
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js
I saw a recent critic’s poll in a major jazz magazine that had listed Craig Taborn as today’s top pianist. That is really saying a lot considering how many incredibly gifted pianists there are these days. I’m not sure if Taborn is the best, he certainly ranks near the top, but he may very well be the most original. Its hard to come up with a truly new approach to jazz piano, so much has already been covered by others, but on “Chants”, Taborn shows he is definitely taking some paths less chosen.

Like so many other modern pianists, there is a background in Bill Evans’ extended harmonies and Keith Jarret’s strong right hand melodic-ism in Taborn’s playing, but then there is so much that belongs only to him. On the first two tracks, Craig reveals one of his major techniques which involves repeating ostinato figures that twist and intertwine somewhat like a minimalist composer’s piece, but Taborn makes it just rhythmic enough that somehow it fit’s a post bop jazz rhythm section. At this point it should be pointed out that drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist Thomas Morgan do a great job of interacting with Taborn’s unique vision and act as mediums to bridge Taborn’s ideas to the rest of today’s post bop musical language. Both of these tracks also feature freer sections where Taborn drops the obstinate patterns and plays in an intense style somewhat similar to some of Herbie Hancock’s more aggressive outside playing.

On the third track, “In Chant” , we find another Tabornism, quiet tense space that lets time float with a sense of impending consequence. Track four opens with more interlocking rhythms, this time with a distinctly African complexity. Later tracks like “All True Night/Future Perfect” and “Silver Ghosts” reveal one more Taborn technique, the building of massive note clusters that slowly descend like a glacier. These sections can recall sound oriented composers such as Ligeti or Penderecki.

Well I’ve done my best to describe what is almost impossible to describe. Like a lot of modern jazz musicians, there is at first what seems to be an almost formal approach to this music, but as you listen further, jazz’s African roots are definitely intact and Taborn can be quite funky in his own abstract sophisticated way.

CHARLES MINGUS The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

Album · 1963 · Post Bop
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siLLy puPPy
Simply one of the greatest recordings ever released. CHARLES MINGUS took on the unsurmountable task of putting out an album that was structured like one long track that contained four suites. On these suites he utilizes an 11-piece big band and creates the perfect fusion of classical music mixed with jazz and ethnic traditional music. Throughout this epic journey we encounter the strange intersections of big band jazz and Spanish guitar, gypsy dance themes and brilliant piano runs. This album doesn't give you one chance to be bored in it 39:26 running time.

With this much going on you can only imagine the difficulties of putting something like this together in the early 60s but MINGUS was a perfectionist and engaged in painstaking overdubbing techniques to ensure everything came out just as he wanted it. The result is one of the most celebrated recordings in human history which not only pulls every musical heart-string in its breadth of emotional content but fulfills the highest potential of the possibilities of what a big band can accomplish. MINGUS would go on to create even more progressive big band albums but none of them would quite outdo what he so magically wove together so perfectly as on this one. The absolute best of the best here.

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JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

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Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
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