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 | 5 min. caching

JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme Album Cover A Love Supreme
JOHN COLTRANE
4.86 | 74 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
4.85 | 54 ratings
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MCCOY TYNER Sahara Album Cover Sahara
MCCOY TYNER
4.97 | 13 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Miles Smiles Album Cover Miles Smiles
MILES DAVIS
4.78 | 32 ratings
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YUSEF LATEEF Eastern Sounds Album Cover Eastern Sounds
YUSEF LATEEF
4.86 | 11 ratings
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HERBIE HANCOCK Speak Like a Child Album Cover Speak Like a Child
HERBIE HANCOCK
4.77 | 15 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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MILES DAVIS E.S.P. Album Cover E.S.P.
MILES DAVIS
4.73 | 16 ratings
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DAVE HOLLAND Dave Holland Quintet ‎: Extended Play - Live at Birdland Album Cover Dave Holland Quintet ‎: Extended Play - Live at Birdland
DAVE HOLLAND
4.80 | 9 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
4.80 | 8 ratings
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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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4.86 | 6 ratings
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MILES DAVIS Nefertiti Album Cover Nefertiti
MILES DAVIS
4.64 | 29 ratings
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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!

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post bop Music Reviews

CHIHIRO YAMANAKA The Spheres: Live In Osaka!!

Live album · 2015 · Post Bop
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snobb
Everyone in the world knows who Hiromi is - Japanese pianist Hiromi Uehara was played with Chick Corea in Tokyo when she was 17 and after graduation in Berklee College in Boston (under Ahmad Jamal) she took the world by storm playing high energy technical fusion influenced by Return To Forever legacy. Hiromi is most probably most popular internationally Japanese jazz artist of today.

Much less people outside of her homeland Japan know who is Chihiro Yamanaka, and it's a shame. She is Beklee graduated pianist who leads her own bands (usually trios as Hiromi does) from early 00's. Chihiro released her first album in 2001, two years prior to Hiromi, and in 2015 came with her first ever live release (and her 18th album at all). Being celebrity of sort in home country, she is relatively unknown in Western world. During last decade some her albums have been reissued in US and Europe though.

The main difference between two is Hiromi is a piano power trio leader,playing technical high energy fusion, oriented first of all on neo jazz-rock fans. She started with playing tuneful contemporary chamber jazz, but it was fusion that made her a true star. Each success has its price - trying to continue once reached success Hiromi for some years changes nothing in her music,which with every her new album becomes moreand more repetitive and predictable.

Chihiro Yamanaka played contemporary jazz for years - not polished anemic European chamber jazz,but groovy American one, closer to good pop-jazz.Her roots are all in bop, and there are no album where this influence isn't obvious. During last some years Chihiro turns more and more towards modern post bop, adding all her pop and rock legacy to it as well.

The Sphere is are electro-acoustic trio with electric bassist Dana Roth and drummer Karen Teperberg. Chihiro herself plays piano and some analog keyboards, their music varies from pop-ballads to chamber tuneful songs to groovy post bop and fusion with analog keyboards passages.

Played live in club in Osaka, all music is playful, shining, tuneful and full of joy.There are no really new things here, but the way how it is played will make you smiling. Nothing is repetitive or boring and that feeling recalls times when jazz was not a demonstration of techniques or ambitions,but the source of fan.

TERUMASA HINO Hino=Kikuchi Quintet

Album · 1969 · Post Bop
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snobb
Hino-Kikuchi Quintet was a short-lived project founded by two future leading artists of Japanese jazz pianist Masabumi Kikuchi and trumpeter Terumasa Hino. Current all-Japanese line up recorded and released only one album ("Hino=Kikuchi Quintet" is stated on cover as a confirmation of co-leading). In mid 90's the band will be reunited for live gig with Greg Osby on sax and different rhythm section, in 2007 Hino and Kikuchi will release two more collaborative albums as co-leaders, but generally speaking "Hino=Kikuchi Quintet" will always mean this only released recording in such important for development of jazz year of 1968.

Both Terumasa Hino and Masabumi Kikuchi were Miles-influenced musicians introducing his kind of jazz to Japanese listeners. Trumpeter Hino already released some hard bop albums,but this work became to him the transition to more complex modal jazz.

Four Kikuchi originals sound exactly as if they are recorded under fresh impression of Miles band with Hancock,or better to say - close to Hancock's own albums, recorded in late 60s (before Mwandishi). Rhythm section is still conservative and anchors advanced Hino & Kikuchi's mainstream jazz building strict repetitive hard bop rhythm basis. Quite well played, tunes aren't memorable at all and main interest is exactly how both Kikuchi and Hino are leaving hard bop searching their new identities in more modern sound of upcoming era.

It's interesting that right after this release Kikuchi will switch to even more new Miles Davis influence - much more revolutionary fusion (and will become this genre leading pianist in Japan), Terumasa Hino future music will split between fusion and mainstream jazz. He will become leading Japanese jazz trumpeter very soon as well.

"Hino=Kikuchi Quintet" stays an important evidence where both them are started, and quite nice listening itself till nowadays.

HERBIE HANCOCK V.S.O.P.:Tempest in the Colosseum

Live album · 1977 · Post Bop
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dreadpirateroberts
A furious live set of some stand out songs from a fire-cracker line-up, really, what's not to like here?

Hancock's V.S.O.P Quintet (same as the classic Miles Quintet of the 1960s - Hancock, Carter, Shorter & Williams but with Hubbard on trumpet) really cooks on this 1977 concert recorded in Tokyo. It's a monster of an album to my ear - everyone seems to be having a blast and the songs are snappier, faster - yet there's always room to adjust the arrangements.

Carter in particular sounds funkier than I've heard him - especially on Hubbard's 'Red Clay' and the reworking in parts of Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage' is just superb.

It's hard for me to say a bad thing about this album - so I won't! It's generally a much more fiery set of songs than the other V.S.O.P releases and if you like any of the legends mentioned in the line up, grab this album.

JOHN COLTRANE A Love Supreme

Album · 1965 · Post Bop
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liontime
In my own experience, I have never known an album to have as much replay value as this one. I know that this experience isn't exclusive to myself and I believe that that can be attributed to the true genius of this album.

Not only is Trane at his best during this session, but this album is a high point for McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Jimmy Garrison. The classic quartet never sounds better than on these four tracks.

Jimmy Cobb said that Kind of Blue must have been made in heaven. If that's true, then A Love Supreme must have been made somewhere beyond that.

MICK GOODRICK In Pas(s)ing

Album · 1979 · Post Bop
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Steve Wyzard
ATMOSPHERIC MAGIC

Guitarist Mick Goodrick first appeared as a sideman in Gary Burton's band playing on such classic albums as The New Quartet (1973) and Ring (1974). After recording In Pas(s)ing (1979), his first as a leader, he never again recorded for the ECM label. While he has recorded occasionally for other labels since then, he has mostly devoted his time to teaching at the Berklee College of Music. His influences include everybody from Jim Hall to Jimmy Page and can be heard to their best advantage on this fabulous album that ranks among the best ECM releases of the decade in a very crowded field.

In Pas(s)ing is an album that takes you by surprise. It's not an intense, in-your-face recording, but rather something much more subtle, understated, and introspective. Every time it goes into the player, I think it can't be as good as I've remembered it, only to find myself amazed again. The general criticisms leveled against the album are the usual "ECM pastoralism" and "it's too slow and/or quiet". This is definitely not a loud album, and while the first two tracks can be described as bluesy, the album's tempo and pace pick up from there before closing with the frantic title track. In spite of the album appearing under his name, Goodrick never dominates the self-composed material. Listen to his mellow opening phrases on "Feebles, Fables, and Ferns", or his moody opening solo on "Pedalpusher". Often compared to fellow Burton alumnus Pat Metheny, Goodrick's playing is more abstract and disjointed, his tones less lyrical and more atmospheric.

The real story of this album, however, is the saxophone playing of John Surman. This is his second ECM recording (after 1976's Mountainscapes by Barre Phillips), and shortly after this session he would join the Miroslav Vitous Group. His baritone performances ("Feebles, Fables, and Ferns" and "Pedalpusher") range from wistful and haunting to groaning and rumbling. The other three tracks feature his wild soprano work. "In the Tavern of Ruin" showcases searching, high-pitched squeals and howls, and climaxes with a stuttering trade-off solo with Goodrick. "In Passing" (improvised, perhaps?) includes Surman's best fluttering avian tones, impressionistically depicting a high-speed chase scene over miles of open highway.

Drummer Jack DeJohnette and basist Eddie Gomez (both at that time in the group New Directions with Lester Bowie and John Abercrombie) also make strong contributions to the music. Gomez's sharp soloing tone is on display throughout the album, and he vocalizes almost as much as Keith Jarrett does, but it never becomes a major distraction. No one will ever consider this to be one of DeJohnette's strongest sets, but his fiery flourishes on "In the Tavern of Ruin" and his motoring, lumbering double bass-drum work on "In Passing" are true highlights. He smacks his drums with fierce resolve on "Summer Band Camp", the shortest yet liveliest track. His cymbals are recorded especially well, and the album signs off with one final DeJohnette splash.

And now for the bad news: this "far away places" masterpiece is now no longer in print and very hard to find. Much bigger names than Goodrick's have been passed over for re-release, so this is no surprise but truly regrettable. If you can find this album before it completely disappears into the mists of time and are familiar with the players involved, do not hesitate to buy it. Brilliant, thought-provoking jazz as good as this is always hard to find. And remember, the second "s" is parenthetical.



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JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
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