Jazz 100
More Hard Bop
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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The Blues & the Abstract Truth
Oliver Nelson
1961 [Impulse!]


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With the 60s going completely wild, hard boppin' was still alive and well on records like this one. Alto duties are shared between Nelson and Eric Dolphy, with 'Teenie's Blues' being one of the all-time great showdowns on the instrument. The highlight, however, is the entrancingly sombre Freddie Hubbard 'Stolen Moments' trumpet solo.





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Eastern Sounds
Yusef Lateef
1961 [Moodsville]


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Lateef continued his fascination with Asian music on this fine record. An accomplished tenor - here he also plays oboe and flute. Often unjustly regarded as a novelty act, this record shows Lateef was ahead of his time. Consisting primarily of originals, there are also stunning treatments of themes from the films Spartacus and The Robe.





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The Sidewinder
Lee Morgan
1963 [Blue Note]


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The title cut of this record was such a big hit for Morgan that future recordings fell into a somewhat formulaic holding pattern. Still only 25 years old, Morgan shares the stage with another great star (albeit a rising one) in tenor Joe Henderson. Tragically, Morgan was shot to death during a 1972 gig in New York City. A great hard bop album.





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Midnight Blue
Kenny Burrell
1963 [Blue Note]


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A superb mix of soul and hard bop stylings - with a healthy dose of blues on top. The soulfully sleazy 'Chitlins Con Carne' kicks things off, immediately followed by the bluesy 'Mule'. Things don't stray too far from the path from there on in, with Stanley Turrentine's tenor consistently proving the perfect foil for Burrell's intimate solo runs.





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Page One
Joe Henderson
1963 [Blue Note]


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A popular hard bop set, the album's six tracks were all penned by either Henderson or trumpeter Kenny Dorham. This was Henderson's first hit-out as a leader, made soon after he was discharged from military service. Latin rhythms hum on standout track 'Recorda-Me', with Dorham compositions 'Blue Bossa' and 'La Mesha' also strong.





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A New Perspective
Donald Byrd
1963 [Blue Note]


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Trumpeter Byrd used a gospel choir to top off this all-star date featuring Hank Mobley, Kenny Burrell and Herbie Hancock in support. 'Cristo Redentor' went on to become a minor classic, often showing up on Blue Note compilation discs. Byrd later triggered a furore in the jazz world with the release of the ultra-funky Black Byrd (1972).





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No Room for Squares
Hank Mobley
1963 [Blue Note]


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With the Hank Mobley/Lee Morgan show in town, why go anywhere else? This dynamic duo pen all the tracks and set about blowing us all away (which is really a tenor sax and trumpet kind of job). Despite having pianist Andrew Hill in support, the music is strictly hard bop. In an act of jazz blasphemy, this is getting hard to find.





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The Thing to Do
Blue Mitchell
1964 [Blue Note]


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Coming at what would prove to be the end of the classic era of hard bop, this album often gets overlooked by critics. It is a pity, as Mitchell could blow a trumpet with the best of them. Aside from that, how good is it to hear a young Chick Corea playing hard bop piano like he was born for it. This is simply great hard bop, period!


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