"hard bop" jazz heads....

Just getting my feet wet with jazz...looking for great recordings to start my collection....Art Blakey, Dizzy G., etc..any suggestions...I have "Moanin" and Dizzy's 1945-52 best of on Savoy...any others?
Phase, this is a subject I can relate to. Some of the work by the artists I have listed below fall into hard bop category. ALL of these artists have important things to say, but then again, I am a Jazz fan.

Cannonball Adderley
Art Blakey
Clifford Brown
Donald Byrd
John Coltrane
Miles Davis
Lou Donaldson
Bill Evans
Grant Green
Herbie Hancock
Joe Henderson
Freddie Hubbard
Jackie McLean
Hank Mobley
Thelonious Monk
Wes Montgomery
Lee Morgan
Sonny Rollins
Wayne Shorter
Horace Silver

Top Albums, (in my opinion)

A Blowin' Session, Johnny Griffin
Afro-Cuban, Kenny Dorham
Blue Train, John Coltrane
Blues Walk, Lou Donaldson
Brilliant Corners, Thelonious Monk
Byrd in Flight, Donald Byrd
Cookin, Miles Davis
East Broadway Rundown, Sonny Rollins

Much of this is re released on LP (if you like vinyl) if your a CD guy, I'll bet you can find most at Borders.
I'm not a real fan of a lot of jazz/blues.

For example, I have a Patricia Barber cd, a Diane Krall cd, Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, et al, but I still don't get it.

However, lately I've stumbled across and been getting a lot of pleasure from listening to some well-recorded big band jazz on a few Telarc sampler cds.

Albert, no Tina Brooks or Bud Powell or Roland Kirk or Charles Mingus?
Just formulated a list based on "Hard Bop" from memory and what I could see (in the dark) in my LP collection.

I have all four of the excellent musicians you mention. Not as much Roland Kirk but enough Tina Brooks, Bud Powell and Charles Mingus to play non stop for days. I am especially proud of my Mosiac numbered edition sets that are now out of print. Not only is the music exquisite, the images are timeless snippets of that era that I overlooked in my childhood.

No offense, but it sounds like you could use some remedial training and a bit more time.

I am not an expert, but for starters there could be a bit of a problem including Diana Krall Patricia Barber and Miles Davis in the same sentence.

I'll bet if you start with some of the Audiogon recommendations and give this some time, perhaps late at night with your drug of choice (beer or even caffeine fine), you will add more treasure to your collection and listening sessions.
Phase, well to start with, all the artists that Albert mentioned plus : all of Dexter Gordon om Blue Note.the Wardell Gray double album originally on prestige,and one of the Charlie Parker box sets for background in where the style evolved from.
Here,a few personal favorites:

--Sonny Rollins, Horn Culture,Don't Stop the Carnival
--John Coltrane, Giant Steps,My Favorite Things
--Art Blakey,A Night in Tunisia
--Charles Mingus,Let My Children Hear Music,The Jazz Workshop Sessions(with Eric Dolphy)
My favorite "hard bop" is Art Blakey & The Jazz Messangers. To me, they difine this sub category of jazz. Some recording to consider by Art are:
--The Freedom Rider
--Free For All (this is heavy metal jazz!)

You can't go wrong with any of these.
A few pianists that are often overlooked:

Sonny Clark
Mal Waldron
Kenny Drew
Bobby Timmons

Also, check out Jimmy Smith's Blue Note work.
My favourite is The Cannonball Adderley Quartet "Live in San Fran at the Jazz Workshop" and I have a few by everyone AlbertPorter mentions. Nothing grooves live this session.
Download Bluenote radio. Their entire catalouge is online with some sampling tracks available on certain artists. Click the classics section during playback and most of the artists noted above on the blue note label will be on the playlist. Look for the RVG editions..Regards, John