Hard Bop

Hard bop is a style of jazz that is an extension of bebop (or "bop") music. Journalists and record companies began using the term in the mid-1950s to describe a new current within jazz which incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in saxophone and piano playing.

David H. Rosenthal contends in his book Hard Bop that the genre is, to a large degree, the natural creation of a generation of African-American musicians who grew up at a time when bop and rhythm and blues were the dominant forms of black American music. Prominent jazz musicians included Horace Silver, Art Blakey, Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis and Tadd Dameron.

Hard bop is sometimes referred to as "funky hard bop." The "funky" label refers to the rollicking, rhythmic feeling associated with the style. The descriptor is also used to describe soul jazz, which is commonly associated with hard bop. According to Mark C. Gridley, soul jazz more specifically refers to music with "an earthy, bluesy melodic concept and... repetitive, dance-like rhythms.... Note that some listeners make no distinction between 'soul-jazz' and 'funky hard bop,' and many musicians don't consider 'soul-jazz' to be continuous with 'hard bop.'" The term "soul" suggests the church, and traditional gospel music elements such as "amen chords" (the plagal cadence) and triadic harmonies seemed to suddenly appear in jazz during the era.

Read more about Hard Bop:  History, Noteworthy Performances

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