The Review Revue- ‘Six Pieces of Silver’ by the Horace Silver Quintet

Pianist Horace Silver was born in Connecticut in 1928. His father was from Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa, and as such the young Silver grew up speaking Portuguese fluently- a fact he kept quiet from his colleagues for the first two decades of his career.

After moving to New York in 1951 he worked at the famous jazz club Birdland on Broadway, played piano for such luminaries as Miles Davis and Coleman Hawkins, and formed the soon-to-be-successful Jazz Messengers with drummer Art Blakey.

In 1956 after several years with the Messengers, Silver released his first recording under his own band name, ‘Six Pieces of Silver’. Issued by Blue Note, ‘Six Pieces’ features four-fifths of that era’s Jazz Messengers line-up – 19 year old Louis Hayes replaces Art Blakey on drums (if Louis Hayes sounds familiar, this may jog your memory), while trumpeter Donald Byrd teams up with tenor man Hank Mobley and bass player Doug Watkins on a solid offering of straight-up hard bop. Continue reading


Rebirth Brass Band- Australian tour

7.30pm 14 March 2011 at the Dallas Brooks Centre, East Melbourne

A Reserve- $130.00 / B Reserve- $85.00

Formed in 1982, the Rebirth Brass Band is a Louisiana institution. Almost 30 years later, their presence on the New Orleans scene is not only still relevant, but more importantly, still fun. Thanks to HBO’s wonderful TV series Trem­é, Rebirth have been introduced to a whole new audience whose ears may never have been graced by the get-yo-ass-off-that-seat tunes which blow proudly from their horns.

And now, they’re coming to Melbourne.

Expect Rebirth to dazzle with good old-fashioned rhythm and blues, funk and soul while giving nods to modern styles like hip hop to get you dancing down the aisles, clapping your hands and singing to the roof tops.

This is an opportunity you shouldn’t miss- come and experience your own piece of the Big Easy right here in Melbourne at the Dallas Brooks Centre on 14 March 2011, with tickets through Ticketek.

Sebastien de Robillard

The Review Revue- Uptown Jazz Café

Uptown Jazz Café

177 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy

The Uptown Jazz Café is a fine establishment just north of the Melbourne CBD. Surrounded by pubs and boutique shops, it is a little hard to find- a small white sign next to an open doorway is the sole visual cue- but the sound of jazz pouring down the stairwell is a giveaway.

Climbing the stairs you enter the bar and are immediately taken to another time and place. The décor is warm and inviting, candles cast a red glow over the tables, and a wall-length mirror gives a feeling of space.

The staff are friendly and the bar is stocked with the usual array of spirits and bottled beer. Peckish patrons can also order Japanese snacks and meals at the bar, with Uptown billing the traditional flavours of the fare ‘Tokyo style’. Continue reading

The Review Revue- ‘Jazz for Dummies’ by Dirk Sutro

‘Jazz for Dummies’ is part of the widely popular ‘… for Dummies’ series and bills itself as “Your swingin’ guide to America’s greatest music”. Like most of the Dummies canon, it is written in a friendly ‘conversational’ style with asides and anecdotes sprinkled throughout.

The author, music journalist Dirk Sutro, takes the reader on a chronological journey through the development of jazz but also covers the theoretical side of the music and offers advice on jazz appreciation and forming your own jazz combo.

Sutro guides the reader through the development of jazz from traditional and Dixieland styles to swing, bebop, soul jazz and more recent developments like free and electric jazz. His anecdotal writing here is particularly compelling, full of quirky stories of eccentric bandleaders and tragic lives. He also devotes a chapter to the technical side of jazz which requires a basic knowledge of music theory but is easy to understand. Continue reading

A Cannonball’s on the telly

Here is Julian ‘Cannonball’ Adderley, one of the great alto sax players, jamming out with his band on British television in the early 1960s. Adderley was born in Florida in 1928 but relocated to New York in the 1950s, playing in bands with his cornetist brother Nate before being called up for seminal jazz albums ‘Milestones’ and ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis. ‘Somethin’ Else’, released by Adderley in 1958, also features Art Blakey and Miles himself, and is an essential album for anyone interested in the hard bop era.

Take note of Cannonball’s facial expression as he solos, and the incredible drumming by Louis Hayes from 1:42 on, especially at around 4:00 as he switches between his snare and tom-tom.


Hello and welcome to Bop Hard. If you’re interested in jazz, just beginning your love affair, or looking to widen your scope past ‘Kind of Blue’, you’ve come to the right place.

Bop Hard will feature anecdotes, images, reviews, and most importantly, a taste of different jazz styles. We will also look at the venues and artists around Melbourne to help you stay on the pulse in the city’s scene. Best of all, you the readers can contribute too- and anything you want, as long as it’s jazz-related.

Simply, our aim is to promote this special music in this great ‘ole town and to help you navigate the sometimes infuriating and occasionally confusing, but ultimately rewarding, world of jazz.

Luke James