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Post-bop is a genre of small-combo jazz that evolved in the early to mid-1960s.


Post-bop is jazz from the mid-1960s onward that assimilates hard bop, modal jazz, avant-garde and free jazz without necessarily being immediately identifiable as any of the above.[citation needed] Post-bop can refer to a variety of Jazz music that is post-bebop chronologically but in the common understanding post-bop music reflects these influences: the more open approach to the jazz ensemble crystallized by the second Miles Davis quintet, and the modal intensity of that group as well as of the classic John Coltrane Quartet

According to musicologist Jeremy Yudkin, post-bop does not follow "the conventions of bop or the apparently formless freedom of the new jazz".[1] He wrote in his definition of the subgenre:

Forms, tempos, and meters are freer, all the compositions are new, and the band members themselves are featured composers.... [A]n approach that is abstract and intense in the extreme, with space created for rhythmic and coloristic independence of the drummer. Drummers gained the opportunity to move in and out of the basic swing rhythm and approach that incorporated much more complex style, modal and chordal harmonies, flexible form, structured choruses, melodic variation, and free improvisation."[1]


Miles Davis' second quintet was active during 1965 to 1968 and featured pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and drummer Tony Williams. They recorded six studio albums that, according to All About Jazz's C. Michael Bailey, introduced post-bop: E.S.P. (1965), Miles Smiles (1967), Sorcerer (1967), Nefertiti (1968), Miles in the Sky (1968), and Filles de Kilimanjaro (1968).[1]

Much "post-bop" was recorded on Blue Note Records.

By the early seventies, most of the major post-bop artists had moved on to jazz fusion of one form or another.[citation needed]


Due to the abstractness and the free form of post bop music it influenced Fusion music in the 1970s. It transformed Jazz music to another level that incorporates much more creative freedom and playing. The form free, harmonically free, and abstract post bop had influenced artists to move away from the diatonic approaches and opened up the creative aspects of Jazz music. According to the book Miles Davis, Miles Smiles, and the Invention of Post Bop. The book states that, “Miles Davis is really the one who started Post Bop and continued on the legacy of his own creation towards fusion and hard bop.

Key Albums[edit]

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme

The Miles Davis Quintet - Nefertiti and Sorcerer

Miles Davis - Miles Smiles

Herbie Hancock - Speak Like a Child

Wynton Marsalis - Black Codes (From the Underground)

Key albums include Speak No Evil by Wayne Shorter; The Real McCoy by McCoy Tyner; Out to Lunch by Eric Dolphy; Miles Smiles by Miles Davis; Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock; and Search for the New Land by Lee Morgan (an artist not typically associated with the post-bop genre). Most post-bop artists worked in other genres as well, with a particularly strong overlap with earlier hard bop.

Associated musicians[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Bailey, C. Michael (April 11, 2008). "Miles Davis, Miles Smiles, and the Invention of Post Bop". All About Jazz. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 

External links[edit]