|Stylistic origins||Jazz, blues, Bebop, Rhythm and blues, gospel music|
|Typical instruments||piano, saxophone, trumpet, trombone, double bass, drums|
|Mainstream popularity||1950s and 1960s|
|List of hard bop musicians|
Hard bop is a style of jazz that is an extension of bebop (or "bop") music. Hard bop incorporates influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in the saxophone and piano playing.
David H. Rosenthal also contends in his book Hard Bop that it is to a large degree the natural creation of a generation of black American musicians who grew up at a time when bop and rhythm and blues were the dominant forms of black American music and prominent jazz musicians like Tadd Dameron worked in both genres. Another one of the major influences in this genre was Miles Davis.
Hard bop was developed in the mid-1950s, partly in response to the vogue for cool jazz that became popular in the early 1950s. A simplistic definition states that "cool jazz", or "west coast jazz", emphasized the more European elements of the music, deriving to a great extent from the "chamber jazz" experiments of the Miles Davis nonet, while hard bop brought the church and gospel music back into jazz, emphasizing the African elements. In fact, both cool and hard bop contain European and African elements, but the simplistic definition offers a short-hand way of addressing the difference. The hard bop style coalesced in 1953 and 1954, paralleling the rise of rhythm and blues, the latter developed by African-American musicians in part as a means of giving their audiences dance music in the wake of the decline of the swing bands, and the abandonment of jazz as a music to dance by as bebop emerged, with its intricacies and emphasis on a serious listening experience.
In 1954, Davis' performance of the title track of his album Walkin' at the inaugural Newport Jazz Festival, held that same year, announced the style to the jazz world. Davis would form his first great quintet with John Coltrane in 1955 to play hard bop, before moving on to other things. Other key documents were the two volumes of the Blue Note albums A Night at Birdland, also from 1954, recorded at the legendary jazz club months before the Davis set at Newport. The quintet by Art Blakey featured pianist Horace Silver and trumpeter Clifford Brown, all of whom would be leaders in the hard bop movement along with Davis. Blakey and Silver would start the seminal band The Jazz Messengers, although Silver would leave to front his own hard-bop groups in 1956, and Brown formed the other trend-setting hard bop band with drummer Max Roach, the Brown-Roach Quintet.
The hard bop style enjoyed its greatest popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, but hard bop performers, and elements of the music, remain popular in jazz. According to Nat Hentoff in his 1957 liner notes for the Blakey Columbia LP of the same name, the phrase "hard bop" was originated by author-critic-pianist John Mehegan, jazz reviewer of the New York Herald Tribune at that time. Soul jazz developed from hard bop.
Other musicians who contributed prominently to the hard bop style include Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Stitt, Donald Byrd, Sonny Clark, Lou Donaldson, Kenny Drew, Benny Golson, Dexter Gordon, Joe Henderson, Andrew Hill, Freddie Hubbard, Jackie McLean, Charles Mingus, Blue Mitchell, Hank Mobley, Johnny Griffin,Thelonious Monk, Lee Morgan, and Sonny Rollins.
For more information, see List of Hard bop musicians.