The StLJN jazz site of the week is Hard Bop Homepage, which, as the name implies, covers the swinging, soulful yet complex jazz style that first became popular in the 1950s and continues to be an important influence on many contemporary musicians. Though the site still retains a bit of that late-1990s early-WWW look, the content is extensive - there are critical appreciations and mini-biographies of key musicians, lists of important recordings from the hard bop canon, a links page, a blog (that, alas, seems to be updated very sporadically), and more.
As a primer on the genre, the HBHP is a useful reference - for example, if you're a jazz novice who has found yourself getting into the music of, say, Horace Silver or Art Blakey, and would like to find out more about others who have done similar work, the HBHP is definitely worth a look. And even veteran jazz fans will find food for thought and, perhaps, argument, in site creator Eric B. Olson's opinions of hard bop music and musicians both familiar and relatively obscure. If you want to know more about this important period in the ongoing evolution of jazz, check out the Hard Bop Homepage.
Mardi Grass Jazzola
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