Pickling just 10 jazz videos of my favorite Hard Bop Performances was hard, there are so many great performances and memories that have been captured. I decided the best way to present the list was to not include any artist more than once.
10. Horace Silver Quintet – Song For My Father
Sometime less is more and nothing shows it more than the Grandpop of Hard Bop Horace Silver . This performance of Song for my Father was recorded in Copenhagen in Apr of 1968. The song was originally released on Blue Note 4 years earlier in 1964.
Fun fact: The iconic album cover art includes a photograph of Horace Silver’s father, John, to whom the Song for my Father was dedicated (source: Wiki )
9. Sonny Rollins – St. Thomas
Just simply an amazing track by Sonny and 10 minutes of pure Hard Bop bliss. Honestly the group is so tight in performance and the Tootie’s drum solo and playing the melody is my favorite of the song. Performed with Sonny on Tenor Sax , Kenny Drew on Piano, Henning Pedersen on Bass and Tootie Heath Drums.
8. Thelonious Monk – Liza (All The Clouds’ll Roll Away)
I could not find a video for a Thelonious performing Liza but it is one of my favorites and no way I could not include it on a list of the best Hard Bop Jazz performances. Please do take a listen to the video of Liza from the Monk Album. Features Thelonious Monk on piano, Larry Gales on Bass, Charlie Rouse on tenor sax and Ben Riley on drums.
7. Cannonball Adderley Sextet – Work Song
The solo still amazes me from this, absolute legend. Performance from ’62 featuring Joe Zawinul : piano, Nat Adderley : cornet, , Louis Hayes : drums and Sam Jones : bass.
6. Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder
One of my all-time favorites. Sit back and listen to this 10 + minutes of pure bliss. Originally recorded in 1963 it features Mr. Morgan on trumpet, Barry Harris on piano, Joe Henderson on tenor sax. The rhythm section is Bob Cranshaw on bass and Billy Higgins on drums.
5. Clifford Brown & Max Roach Quintet – The Blues Walk
Great track from the nearly perfect album from ’55. Includes Clifford Brown on his trumpet along with Richie Powell on piano, Harold Land on tenor sax. Rounding out the quintet are George Morrow on bass and Max Roach on drums.
4. Jackie McLean Quintet – Cool Struttin’
It does not get much better than this for Hard Bop performances. The performance below is from the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival in 86. Features a stellar lineup including Jackie on alto sax along with Buster Williams, Woody Shaw. Cedar Walton and Billy Higgins.
3. John Coltrane – Blue Train
What a groove and what unbelievable talent showcased by John Coltrane. The song originally appeared on the album of the same, Blue Train. On the original recording it featured Coltrane on the tenor sax, Lee Morgan on trumpet, Paul Chambers playing a double bass, Kenny Drew on piano, Jones on drums and Curtis Fuller on trombone.
2. Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers – Moanin’
One of my all-time favorites Hard Bop jazz songs. Below is a rare live performance. Just shows that Art had an unreal ability for recognizing and developing new jazz talent. Take a look at his band from this performance, its like a who’s who of great musicians. The performance features Art on drums, Jymie Merritt on bass, Bobby Timmons on piano, Benny Golson on Tenor saxophone and Lee Morgan on Trumpet.
1. Miles Davis Quintet Walkin’
This is the epitome of Hard Bop Jazz music for me. Just look at the lineup of Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock.