Frank Hewitt (October 23, 1935 – September 5, 2002) was an American hard bop jazz pianist.
Born in Queens, New York, Hewitt lived most of his life in Harlem. His mother was a church pianist, and he initially studied classical and gospel music, but switched to jazz after hearing a Charlie Parker record. He took the bop pianists Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell and Elmo Hope as his role models. In the 1950s and 1960s, he worked with Howard McGhee, Cecil Payne, John Coltrane, Dinah Washington and Billie Holiday, among others; in 1961, he also participated in the Living Theater's production of Jack Gelber's The Connection . He became a regular figure in the circle of the pianist Barry Harris. In the 1990s, Hewitt became a central figure at New York's Smalls Jazz Club; aside from playing there several nights a week, he sometimes also ended up using the walk-in refrigerator as a place to bunk when times were rough.
During his lifetime only one track of Hewitt's playing was released, a version of the Kenny Dorham tune "Prince Albert" on the compilation Jazz Underground: Live at Smalls (Impulse, 1998). After Hewitt's death, however, recordings made by Luke Kaven began to surface on Kaven's Smalls Records label: the trio discs We Loved You, Not Afraid to Live, Fresh from the Cooler, and Out of the Clear Black Sky, and the quintet date Four Hundred Saturdays. His reputation as a neglected jazz master has steadily grown among fans of bebop piano.
Earl Rudolph "Bud" Powell was an American jazz pianist and composer. Along with Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Kenny Clarke and Dizzy Gillespie, Powell was a leading figure in the development of modern jazz. His virtuosity led many to call him the Charlie Parker of the piano. Powell was also a composer, and many jazz critics credit his works and his playing as having "greatly extended the range of jazz harmony".
John Lenwood "Jackie" McLean was an American jazz alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and educator, and is one of the few musicians to be elected to the DownBeat Hall of Fame in the year of their death.
Hard bop is a subgenre of jazz that is an extension of bebop music. Journalists and record companies began using the term in the mid-1950s to describe a new current within jazz that incorporated influences from rhythm and blues, gospel music, and blues, especially in saxophone and piano playing.
Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, particularly in the hard bop style that he helped pioneer in the 1950s.
Frederick Dewayne Hubbard was an American jazz trumpeter. He played bebop, hard bop, and post-bop styles from the early 1960s onwards. His unmistakable and influential tone contributed to new perspectives for modern jazz and bebop.
Henry "Hank" Mobley was an American hard bop and soul jazz tenor saxophonist and composer. Mobley was described by Leonard Feather as the "middleweight champion of the tenor saxophone", a metaphor used to describe his tone, that was neither as aggressive as John Coltrane nor as mellow as Stan Getz, and his style that was laid-back, subtle and melodic, especially in contrast with players like Coltrane and Sonny Rollins. The critic Stacia Proefrock claimed him "one of the most underrated musicians of the bop era." Mobley's compositions included "Double Exposure," "Soul Station", and "Dig Dis," among others.
Andrew Hill was an American jazz pianist and composer.
Elvin Ray Jones was an American jazz drummer of the post-bop era.
St. Elmo Sylvester Hope was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger, chiefly in the bebop and hard bop genres. He grew up playing and listening to jazz and classical music with Bud Powell, and both were close friends of another influential pianist, Thelonious Monk.
Malcolm Earl "Mal" Waldron was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. He started playing professionally in New York in 1950, after graduating from college. In the following dozen years or so Waldron led his own bands and played for those led by Charles Mingus, Jackie McLean, John Coltrane, and Eric Dolphy, among others. During Waldron's period as house pianist for Prestige Records in the late 1950s, he appeared on dozens of albums and composed for many of them, including writing his most famous song, "Soul Eyes", for Coltrane. Waldron was often an accompanist for vocalists, and was Billie Holiday's regular accompanist from April 1957 until her death in July 1959.
Nathaniel Carlyle Adderley was an American jazz trumpeter. He was the younger brother of saxophonist Julian "Cannonball" Adderley, whom he supported and played with for many years.
Mulgrew Miller was an American jazz pianist, composer, and educator. As a child he played in churches and was influenced on piano by Ramsey Lewis and then Oscar Peterson. Aspects of their styles remained in his playing, but he added the greater harmonic freedom of McCoy Tyner and others in developing as a hard bop player and then in creating his own style, which influenced others from the 1980s on.
Johnny O'Neal is an American neo-bop jazz pianist and vocalist. His playing ranges from the technically virtuosic to the tenderest of ballad interpretations. Though unique in style, he is influenced by many jazz elders, including Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. He has led many recording dates with musicians such as Russell Malone and many others. He was a 1997 inductee of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame.
Straight-ahead jazz is a genre of jazz that developed in the 1960s, with roots in the prior two decades. It omits the rock music and free jazz influences that began to appear in jazz during this period, instead preferring acoustic instruments, conventional piano comping, walking bass patterns, and swing- and bop-based drum rhythms.
Babs Gonzales, born Lee Brown, was an American bebop vocalist, poet, and self-published author. His books portrayed the jazz world that many black musicians struggled in, portraying disk jockeys, club owners, liquor, drugs, and racism. "There are jazz people whose influence can be described as minor," wrote Val Wilmer, "yet who are well-known to musicians and listeners alike ... You'd have to be hard-pressed to ignore the wealth of legend that surrounds Babs Gonzales." Jazz writer Jack Cooke explained that Gonzales "assumed the role of spokesman for the whole hipster world... [becoming] something more than just a good and original jazz entertainer: the incarnation of a whole social group."
Clifton Arnold, better known as Cliff Smalls, was an American jazz trombonist, pianist, conductor and arranger who worked in the jazz, soul and rhythm & blues genres.
Smalls Jazz Club is a jazz club at 183 West 10th Street, Greenwich Village, New York City. Established in 1994, it earned a reputation in the 1990s as a "hotbed for New York's jazz talent" with a "well-deserved reputation as one of the best places in the city to see rising talent in the New York jazz scene". Its jazz musicians are noted for being "talented, though largely unknown" while its music is characterized as "modern versions of bebop and hard bop". The club's main room is in a basement with a capacity of 50 people that expanded to 60 people. Smalls Jazz Club should not be confused with Smalls Paradise in Harlem, which was founded in 1925 by Ed Smalls and closed in the 1950s.
Omer Avital is an Israeli-American jazz bassist, composer and bandleader.
Ehud Asherie is a jazz pianist and organist.
Sacha Perry is an American jazz pianist, composer and pedagogue.