Style Sheets

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Clifford Brown

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Horace Silver

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Horace Silver

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Miles Davis

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Wes Montgomery

The Return to the Hot: Hard Bop and Funky Jazz

Time period: 1951-1958

Location: centered mainly in northern cities with a large black population, i.e., New York, Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Indianapolis

The return of the hot was heavily dominated by young blacks; some authors theorize that this music was a reaction to the Cool School (white domination, de-emphasis of blues, and sublimation of the emotional and rhythmic components of the music).

There are two distinct directions taken by the music within this style:
  1. Hard Bop
  2. Funky
Shared characteristics of the two sub-styles:
  1. Both come out of bebop
  2. Many of the same artists are/were active and important in both
  3. Both show the successful integration of improvisation and composition/arrangement
  4. The medium is usually two or three horns plus a rhythm section, or trios or quartets
  5. Groups came to prominence on the labels of small independent record companies that surfaced in the late 1940s and 1950s, i.e., Prestige, Blue Note, and Savoy
Differences between the two sub-styles:
Hard Bop Funky
Tune sources: contrafacts, blues, I Got Rhythm, standards, bebop tunes, and originals Tune sources are more limited than in hard bop; limited use of contrafacts; the blues was a very important source of tunes (many of the original compositions were blues or blues influenced)
Forms were unorthodox, varied, and increasingly complex Forms were simple
Harmonically more complex and sometimes unorthodox Simple harmonies; often just 2 or 3 chords
Use of meters other than 4/4 (as well as 4/4) Usually 4/4 or gospel based meters
Scale vocabulary expands with new tunes and altered chords Scale vocabulary narrows to blues and pentatonics (and major/minor derivatives)
Rhythm is more sophisticated and subtle Rhythm is more simple and is explicitly stated (strong influence of gospel and R&B)

Important players and groups in the "return to the hot" include Horace Silver, Art Blakey, JJ Johnson, Clifford Brown, Max Roach, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Wes Montgomery, Charles Mingus, the Jazztet, and the Jazz Messengers.
speakerspacer St. Thomas - Sonny Rollins
speakerspacer Walkin' - Miles Davis

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