Jazz 100
Post-Bop
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Further Definitions
Benny Carter & His Orchestra
1961 [Impulse!]


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Altoist/arranger Benny Carter made both of his two Further Definitions albums with mid-size bands featuring sax to spare. Old friend Coleman Hawkins provides the strongest tenor accompaniment on the first set generally regarded as the better of the two albums. A highlight of the follow-up is some superb playing by guitarist Barney Kessel.





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Explorations
Bill Evans Trio
1961 [Riverside]


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The title is exactly what you get from pianist Bill Evans on this album. By this stage the Paul Motian/Scott LaFaro rhythm section was the perfect foil for Evans' adventures into a musical wonderland. Very few, if any, pianists of the day could top his sense of melodic structure and how to make sound vibrant and new. Genius at work.





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Let Freedom Ring
Jackie McLean
1962 [Blue Note]


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A seminal post-bop record widely acclaimed for its influence on the free jazz movement. McLean manages to break free of chordal restraints while maintaining his harmonic sensibilities. Made with a quartet, drummer Billy Higgins is the other standout performer. One of 21 albums McLean made for Blue Note between 1959-67.





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The Freedom Book
Booker Ervin
1963 [Prestige]


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Texas tenor Booker Ervin managed to front 20 albums before cancer claimed him at age 39. Here he takes blues and gospel phrasing and turns it into a gritty post-bop stew. Booker composes all tracks except for Randy Weston's 'Cry Me Not'. 'A Day to Mourn' is a pensive ode to the memory of John F. Kennedy that drips with pure emotion.





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JuJu
Wayne Shorter
1964 [Blue Note]


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Often overlooked in favour of the superb Speak No Evil follow-up, this record finds saxophonist Wayne Shorter utilising half of the classic Coltrane quartet (McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones) in breathtaking fashion. Overtly more conventional than its lauded successor, the standouts here are the title track and the beautiful 'House of Jade'.





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Black Fire
Andrew Hill
1964 [Blue Note]


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Pianist Andrew Hill's warm-up to his classic Point of Departure (1965) is an impressive post-bop effort that stands on its own as a modern jazz classic. Backed by tenor saxophonist Joe Henderson, bassist Richard Davis, and drummer Roy Haynes - Hill delivers a challenging set of complex rhythms and modal harmonics that don't let up.





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Inner Urge
Joe Henderson
1964 [Blue Note]


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The somewhat pessimistic tones are in stark contrast to the wonderful Page One, but just as delectably mesmerising. Ostensibly all about being a struggling jazz musician, the other performer looking for a voice of his own here is pianist McCoy Tyner. The title track and 'Isotope' - both Henderson originals - are absolutely riveting.





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The Real McCoy
McCoy Tyner
1967 [Blue Note]


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Tyner's time with John Coltrane's quartet established him as one of the most influential pianists of the post-bop era. Despite struggling for commercial success throughout much of his solo career, he managed to produce a clutch of topnotch Blue Note recordings that helped cement his reputation as one of the greats. Recommended.





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The Inflated Tear
Roland Kirk
1968 [Atlantic]


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Roland Kirk's (before he became 'Rahsaan') debut for Atlantic put him on the map as more than just a novelty sideshow. Known for his on-stage humour, political tirades, and the unique ability to play several instruments at once - the original compositions on this record showcased the sheer harmony and beauty of his music.


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