Professor Emmett Goods spoke about and sampled music from the unique jazz genre known as hard bop as part of his thesis research presentation on Thursday, Nov. 7 in the Fine Arts Center. 

Hard bop is a style of music that became prominent in the 50s and takes heavy influence from jazz. Goods explained through playing different pieces falling into the hard bop category that hard bop is unique because its sound can be produced from a wide variety of instruments, including the piano, guitar, drums, trombone, trumpet and organ.

“[Hard bop] is one of the ultimate fusions mixing jazz, gospel and blues styles,” Goods said.

 To show the many different ways a hard bop song can be played, Goods played the audience three versions of the song “Surrey with the Fringe on Top.” One of the versions was by the Miles Davis Quintet, a famous hard bop group. Miles Davis was one of the most influential musicians in the hard bop category and was a talented trumpeter. Davis not only composed lots of famous hard bop pieces, but founded another famous hard bopper, John Coltrane, the man who popularized the use of block chords, which are still used in music written of all categories today. 

“Sweaty, sweet and spicy” are the three words Goods would use to describe hard bop’s feel. He said you can find the influences of hard bop today in songs that contain Latin and African rhythms, as well as through the use of block chords and shuffle beats in modern-day music. 

Hard bop not only encompasses a catchy swing-like sound, but it was also used in a very important way. Goods explained that back in hard bop’s heyday during the 60s, Charles Mingus wrote a song called “Fables of Faubus;” a protest song defending the Little Rock Nine, who were nine African-American students sent to Little Rock High School in 1957 and severely mistreated. The song defends the students and spreads a message of equality. 

Even though Goods has been studying jazz music since the 90s, he says it is important for him to review all his knowledge before a lecture recital to be sure he can convey the best lesson he can. 

“It gives our students a chance to see us discuss things we’ve researched and studied more in-depth than during rehearsal and presents an opportunity to hear what can’t be said,” Goods said. “It reaffirms historical and cultural context.”

Not only did the lecture help music students understand their topics’ applications in the real world, but it also helps students studying in fields outside of music to support the arts department and to broaden their knowledge of music and music’s historical importance. 

In addition to URI, Goods has taught multiple music classes at other institutions, such as Benedict College, Goodwin College and Springfield College.