A partnership between JAZZIZ Magazine and Qobuz.com, Dig In with Qobuz playlists bring you expertly curated music from the editors of JAZZIZ, programmed using the world’s largest catalog of streaming hi-res audio. Experience the music of your favorite artists as it was meant to be heard.
Hard-bop is one of jazz’s most enduring subgenres, merging the intellectual, high-speed melodicism of bebop with the soul and swagger of the blues. It took shape in the mid-1950s among artists on the East Coast, who in many ways wanted to provide a contrast to the smooth, unruffled brand of jazz being served up on the West Coast by artists like Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan. What distinguished hard-bop at the time was its use of midtempo meters, driving rhythmic power and simple call-and-response melodic lines, which oftentimes mimicked the musical language of the church, and even borrowed from popular genres like R&B, soul and early rock ‘n’ roll.
Many jazz legends — from Miles Davis and John Coltrane to Herbie Hancock and Sonny Rollins — have had made albums that can rightly be called hard-bop classics. You’ll find a good handful of those albums in this playlist, as well as some underrated gems that nonetheless pack a serious groove. Ultimately, hard-bop is all about lifting spirits and changing attitudes. “Music is supposed to wash away the dust of everyday life,” said pioneering hard-bop drummer Art Blakey. We hope our Essential Hard-Bop playlist does him right. Programmed exclusively for Qobuz.com, this playlist proves it’s easy to love hard-bop.
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