Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes

Cedar Walton’s “Eastern Rebellion” and what is Post Bop

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This album was recorded in 1975 and is actually known as “Volume One” of the Eastern Rebellion recordings. There was a Volume Two which was released in 1977 has the same musicians except for Bob Berg replacing George Coleman and the addition of Curtis Fuller. This album is considered to be a Post-Bop but I categorize it as Hard Bop, this needs to be clarified for the listeners of Jazz Con Class Radio that do not know the exact definition of this added jazz genre.

Post-Bop Jazz (Definition/Explanation):

AllMusic.com: It has become increasingly difficult to categorize modern jazz. A large segment of the music does not fit into any historical style; it is not as rock-oriented as fusion or as free as avant garde. Starting with the rise of Wynton Marsalis in 1979, a whole generation of younger players chose to play an updated variety of hard bop that was also influenced by the mid-’60s’ Miles Davis Quintet and aspects of free jazz. Since this music (which often features complex chordal improvisation) has become the norm for jazz in the 1990s, the terms modern mainstream or Post-Bop are used for everything from Wallace Roney to John Scofield, and symbolize the eclectic scene as jazz enters its second century.

On Jeremy Yudkin (Via J.B Spins jazz blog) and his interpretation of Post-Bop and the “Miles Smiles” album:
Of all the various styles of jazz, “post bop” has been the slipperiest to define for my SCPS classes. I have often heard the term used in context with bop-based musicians of the late twentieth century, who have been largely inspired by the second great Miles Davis Quintet (1965-1968). Jeremy Yudkin offers a somewhat different definition of the sub-genre, but identifies Miles Davis as its originator in Miles Davis, Miles Smiles, and the Invention of Post Bop.

Yudkin in effect argues post bop is something of a hybrid between hard bop and avant-garde free jazz, identifying MilesSmiles as its inaugural recording. He sums up post bop in the following terms:

“an approach that incorporated modal and chordal harmonies, flexible form, structured choruses, melodic variation, and free improvisation. It was freedom anchored in form. We can call it post bop.” (p. 123)

I have not read this book but from the examples brought up on this blog post, concerning Mr. Yudkin’s in-depth explanation on the “Miles Smiles” album, I feel the genre Post-Bop is well represented. These are just a few excerpts from a book that totally dedicates itself on the concepts of Post-Bop jazz and acknowledges Miles Davis as being the creator of this jazz genre. I have a different opinion concerning the the post-bop genre and seemingly disagree with the the creation of this genre. I am not a musician but I have another interpretation concerning the “Mile Smiles” album and which I think many of the Jazz Con Class Radio listener will agree on. more to come…….

To return back to this album and to classify “Eastern Rebellion” as a post-Bop jazz style, would be wrong,  in my mind. I say it is border Hard Bop and Avant-Garde, very close. I will get to the bottom of this Post-Bop Jazz concept in the near future, so keep checking back. This particular album is great one, get it and enjoy!

About the album (Very general and brief, from AllMusic.com):

This CD reissue brings back a classic set featuring four giants of the modern mainstream: pianist/leader Cedar Walton, tenor-saxophonist George Coleman, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Billy Higgins. All five performances are noteworthy, particularly a definitive version of Walton’s most famous composition “Bolivia,” Coleman’s tricky “5/4 Thing” and Jones’s boppish “Bittersweet.” The veteran musicians all sound quite inspired on this advanced straightahead set. A gem.

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