hard jazz

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by ryan morris, Oct 11, 2000.

  1. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    i buy too much music. wait..you can never have too much music. anyways, i am now lookin for some ?hard jazz?. some jazz with teeth. where i live there is this new radio statoin and it is smoothe jazz. it is prob. the best station on the dail, but i want something with a bit more kick to it. main focus in the music are bass(obviously), some high, cool as all hell geetar, and drums. any cd's i can look into?
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    What do you mean by "hard jazz," or "jazz with teeth." I honestly don't understand. Can you give some examples?
  3. bassmonkeee

    bassmonkeee Supporting Member

    Sep 13, 2000
    Decatur, GA
    One disc I can suggest is Sonny Sharrock "Ask the Ages." It has Pharoah Sanders on Sax, Elvin Jones on drums and Charnett Moffett on Acoustic bass. Amazing Disc. Gets pretty out there, but still has a nice melody.

    Go to http://www.cdnow.com and check out the audio clips. You might dig it.

    If you want REALLY out there, try John Zorn's Spy vs Spy. It's a set of covers of Ornette Coleman tunes. The Allmusic review describes it as "The performances are concise with all but four songs being under three minutes and seven under two, but the interpretations are unremittingly violent." No guitars, but you have two altoists, two drummers, and ONE bass player. Very thick. I challenge anyone to finish the disc with headphones on without twitching.....

    [Edited by bassmonkeee on 10-11-2000 at 03:59 PM]
  4. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    I think he means Weather Report. Hehehe. =)

    Although... compared to "smooth jazz", even swing can be considered "hard".
  5. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    hard jazz is just something i thought of today. i have been listening to this new radio station that advertises themselves as "smoothe jazz" and asked myself,"hey mo, is there any kind of cool melodic stuff with a twinge of craziness or discordance?" I then thought of "hard jazz". Maybe jazz with some rippin guitar doing some sax. impressions, or some really crazy stuff. i don't know. just something that crossed my mind. See, i love it when people put music together and it all fits, but doesn't fit, if you know what i mean. i wanted to know if there was some cool jazz like that, maybe on the agressive side of it all. who knows? now i need to check out some of those sound clips that were suggested.
  6. You may be interested in the style called "Acid Jazz" I hate to put labels on things, but this music seems to fit your description of what you're looking for. Check out this site- http://www.musicfolio.com/jazz/acid.html
  7. Skip


    Mar 22, 2000
    Bronxville, NY

    I'm assuming by "hard" you mean jazz that really swings. I also assume you have not heard a lot of jazz. I say this because some of the Hard Bop and Fusion can be a little tough to follow (ie. it can sound like noise - and some of it is.) Also, some of the more modern stuff is like some modern classical music, disonant and atonal, and is not easy to get into. That said I offer the harder side of jazz (and stuff I like):

    I'm listening to Charles Mingus "Blues & Roots" right now. Which is Mingus doing blues as only Mingus can. I'd also suggest early Coltrane, Dizzy Gilespie, Elington (listen before you buy, he wrote over 300 songs and they vary in tempo and mood), Count Basie & even Stan Kenton. People don't think of Big Band as being a hard sound, because they think of Lawrence Welk. Basie and Kenton were loud, hard and fun to listen to.

    Try Pops too! (Thats Louis Armstrong people :))

    Hey! Where's Ed when you need him? I know I'm missing some obvious ones here
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...just my .02-
    Hard Bop is pretty accessible to the average listener; Hard Bop, Soul/Funky Jazz are within the same time frame & genre of "Jazz". Horace Silver, Lee Morgan, & Cannonball are "difficult"?!
    Bebop, which preceded Hard Bop, IMO, would be more difficult to follow for the newbie. Too, Bop has a lotta swing involved(recall that Bop was a reaction to the Swing Era).
    Hard Bop, IMO, has more of the backbeat R&B feel that most listeners find relatable. Check out Lee Morgan's THE SIDEWINDER cd...that's what I call Hard Bop.
    ...there's also Post-Bop which is a little more "modern" than Hard Bop(some Coltrane, Mike Brecker's recent releases, Bill Stewart's solo cds, some acoustic Patitucci, etc).

    Free/Avant Garde is the "modern" stuff you're talking about that's "atonal & dissonant"(been around since the early '60s, BTW). Coltrane's ASCENSION is a "must have"(IMO)IF you're into this "New Thing".

    Acid Jazz? What is it?! I've heard The Brand New Heavies, Grant Green, some Herbie Hancock, Screaming Headless Torsos, my old band!...all called "Acid Jazz".

    Sharrock's ASK THE AGES is a cool cd! Sharrock rocks & you get Elvin on kit w/ Pharoah Sanders & a young Moffett on acoustic bass. If you're into that kinda vibe, please check out the Music Revelation Ensemble. I brought on of their cds into work today...the personnel include Blood Ulmer(guitar), Calvin Jones(acoustic bass), Cornell Rochester(drums...a bad, bad muther!), Pharoah Sanders(tenor), & John Zorn(alto). This release is called CROSS FIRE. I've recently picked up about 5 of this collective's cds; they're out there in an "Acid Jazz" sotra way! :D

    [Edited by JimK on 10-12-2000 at 06:18 AM]
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yes, "Hard Bop" is pretty commercial and has been sampled a lot. The Sidewinder and say "Song for my Father" must be among the most popular Jazz albums ever.

    JimK - the stuff you mention in your last paragraph sounds interesting - I have heard James Blood Ulmer on some great CDs in the past but couldn't remember the names.

    As to the original topic - the dichotomy between smooth and hard is something that "Vertu" - the Stanley Clarke/Lenny White fusion band, have made a lot of in their publicity. They tried to sell the band as an "antidote" to smooth jazz - and there is certainly some very good bass playing in there and some complex rhythmic stuff,which might appeal more to those used to electric instruments.

    But if you're looking for this sort of thing, it might be better to go back to the original Jazz/Rock Fusion of the 70s. Like Mahavishnu Orchestra or Return to Forever, where there are definitely some really energetic and aggressive rhythm sections. Some of Billy Cobham's drumming from this period is awesome and there's nobody to beat Stanley Clarke for "hard" Jazz bass lines. ;)
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...come to think of it-
    IF you're looking for something "hard" & with a Rock edge, check out Tribal Tech cds(NEW one due out next month).
    Gary Willis(bassist for Tribal Tech)also has two happenin' electric "Jazz" releases...check out BENT!

    Do a search at, say, http://www.towerrecords.com & enter Music Revelation Ensemble. It's some baaddd, Avant/Funk/Rock/Jazz, man.
  11. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Wayne Shorter's stuff after and including Weather Report.
    Yanni might also be a good choice if you....never mind.
  12. furtim


    Dec 12, 1999
    Boston, MA, USA
    Yanni might be a good choice if you have no self-respect or even just a run-of-the-mill deathwish. =)
  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I got three discd in the mail yeasterday & all of 'em(IMO)fit into the "hard" Jazz genre that Ryan mentioned-

    1)Jackie McLean-VERTIGO
    ...bad recording that I missed out on all these years(from '62-'63). Supposedly, this is Tony Williams' FIRST record date. Herbie Hancock, Donald Byrd, Butch Warren are involved. The bonus cuts include Kenny Dorham, Sonny Clark, & Billy Higgins. Ass kickin' swing in a post-bop vibe...Ed?

    2)Ornette Coleman-DANCING IN YOUR HEAD
    ...circa '73; again, I never had this recording before.
    I'm checking out the 1st tune right now...Ornette's been soloing "freely" over some funk vamp for about 10 minutes now. Jamaaladeen Tacuma is on bass W/ Ronald Shannon Jackson(drums)& Bern Nix(guitar). Silmiliar to the Blood Ulmer stuff I previously mentioned.

    3)Ornette Coleman-BODY META
    ...I haven't got to this one, yet. Supposedly, it's the first Prime Time recording.

    If interested, check out Columbia House(if you're a memeber, you can pick them up cheap!).
  14. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    If you have cable, I suggest you check out BET on JAZZ, not to be confused with BET. They are owned by the same company, but one station is exclusively jazz. There are often bands that fit your description to one degree or another. There are some downsides to BET on JAZZ, however. They frequently break into a wonderful song for an ad! That drives me nuts. Also, they repeat the same shows over and over for weeks, but that can be seen as advantage if you miss something you enjoy or if you want to see it again (and again and again.) But they do present a wide range of jazz styles and have interesting interviews with jazz musicians, too. Also, they have a lot of Latino jazz, that is very challenging and does not fit the description of smooth jazz either.

    Jason Oldsted
  15. You guys are forgetting one of the most important albums in the history of jazz, and of the biggest sellers too. Miles Davis - Bitches Brew. Great guitar (John McLaughlin), not one but TWO bass players, all improvised, and Miles Davis getting it on with his bad self. I would consider that heavier jazz, it makes you go crazy if you listen to it.
  16. ryan morris

    ryan morris Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    you guys are great. thanks for sending me your comments. i will be swinging by a local used music store tomorrow to check out some of these cd's. i know they have a nice sized jazz section, i just never looked in it. again thanks. and if you have more ideas keep 'em rolin' on in.
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    In addition to BITCHES BREW, I'd add Miles' JACK JOHNSON album & maybe LIVE/EVIL. Both of those continue in the BB vibe.
    ...ON THE CORNER, for some reason or another, didn't do it for me.
  18. When I read this I immediately thought of John Scofield. He's a guitarist that is very influenced by Ornette Coleman, a sax player. Check out Scofield's disc's "Still Warm", "Meant to Be", "Groove Elation", or "A Go Go".

    For Hard Bop (which I love), in addition to the others mentioned, try The Cannonball Adderley Quintet's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy". Every cut is hot.
  19. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    Man, I was gonna say Miles Davis... Oh well. Lotsa good recommendations here. My tastes stop a little short of Ornette Coleman - I like to hear at least a suggestion of melody or chords, or something... ;) . Like my mother-in-law once said, "You know, it's not something you can hum." I recommend Dann Glenn. His music has the elements you mentioned, including the bass mixed so you can hear it (go figure). You can hear two of his albums complete at http://www.globalbass.com . You can hear samples of others at his website and at amazon.com. I strongly agree with the Return to Forever and Weather Report recommendations. There is also some really listenable stuff available that IMO has teeth, George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, stuff like that. Totally different category than Kenny G./Chuck Mangione/Yanni/Barry Manilow (same thing, right?). I haven't heard much of CAB, which is Bunny Brunel, Dennis Chambers, and Tony McAlpine, but that ought to be pretty good. Bunny is a master of the fretless bass, who was doing the "Jaco thing" at about the same time as Jaco. He's no Jaco clone though.

    Guess I rambled a bit. Hope this helps. :)
  20. Acacia


    Apr 26, 2000
    Austin, TX
    Anything by Mahavishnu Orchestra, especially inner mounting flame and birds of fire.

    Al Dimeola-Elegant Gypsy, Casino, Land of the Midnight Sun.

    Some of the most bad ass heavy jazz I have ever heard.