Jazz for aficionados

Jazz for aficionados

I'm going to review records in my collection, and you'll be able to decide if they're worthy of your collection. These records are what I consider "must haves" for any jazz aficionado, and would be found in their collections. I wont review any record that's not on CD, nor will I review any record if the CD is markedly inferior. Fortunately, I only found 1 case where the CD was markedly inferior to the record.

Our first album is "Moanin" by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. We have Lee Morgan , trumpet; Benney Golson, tenor sax; Bobby Timmons, piano; Jymie merrit, bass; Art Blakey, drums.

The title tune "Moanin" is by Bobby Timmons, it conveys the emotion of the title like no other tune I've ever heard, even better than any words could ever convey. This music pictures a person whose down to his last nickel, and all he can do is "moan".

"Along Came Betty" is a tune by Benny Golson, it reminds me of a Betty I once knew. She was gorgeous with a jazzy personality, and she moved smooth and easy, just like this tune. Somebody find me a time machine! Maybe you knew a Betty.

While the rest of the music is just fine, those are my favorite tunes. Why don't you share your, "must have" jazz albums with us.

Enjoy the music.
Here's some of mine, in roughly alphabetical order:

Louis Armstrong - Hot Five, Hot Seven
John Coltrane - Giant Steps, Blue Train
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue, Birth of the Cool
Bill Evans - Waltz for Debby, Sunday at the Village Vanguard
Ella Fitzgerald - Ella in Rome: The Birthday Concert, also all the songbooks
Wynton Marsalis - Majesty of the Blues, also the Standard Time series
Oscar Peterson - Peterson 6 at Montreux, We Take Requests

The 40th birthday concert of Ellas's in Rome is one of her lesser known albums, but if you don't know it, I urge you to find it. She is absolutely fantastic on it, and Oscar Peterson sits in near the end as well. I list the Peterson 6 at Montreux album for the incredible miking on it. If your system images well and has a good soundstage, this album will really show that off. It was a Pablo release. Another group I would suggest for those who like fusion music would be Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Fleck of course is the master of the banjo, and his bass player, Victor Wooten, is out of this world. Their debut album, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, is probably still my favorite.
I am glad you started this thread. My collection runs from Adams, Pepper to Young, Lester. So I will have to give it some thought. Of course I think they are all 'must have'

I did listen to the MOANIN" cd tonight. We tend to remember the 'hits' from these CDs and tend to not remember the other tunes, or the inner work going on within the 'hits'. 'Sidewinder' and 'Song for my Father', are other examples. The soloing on Moanin' by Morgan and Timmons is just awesome! Those are the details we tend to forget. Morgan is one of my favorite trumpet players. I love the way he bends notes. My next favorite was Blues Walk.

Will submit my 'Must Haves' later.

So many. Off the top of my head:

Oliver Nelson,"Blues And The Abstract Truth"
Eric Dolphy, "Out To Lunch"
Sarah Vaughn, "Live In Japan"
Clifford Brown, "With Strings"
John Coltrane, "Ballads"
Nancy Wilson, "With Cannonball Adderly"
Wayne Shorter, "Speak No Evil"
Shirley Horne, "Here's To Life"
Sonny Rollins, "Way Out West"
Joe Henderson, "Inner Urge"
Benny Goodman, "Sextet"
Cannonball Adderley, "With The Bossa Rio Sextet"
Miles, "Birth Of The Cool"

Gotta get to bed.
Now enjoying every and every tune of Espie Spalding. FINALLY true maestro gets Grammy!
Along the way I'm into fusion and free jazz:
Carla Bley, BrandX, Percy Jones, Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, David Torn, Pekka Pohjola, John McLaughlin, Trilok Gurtu...
My favorites:
"Jazz at the Pawnshop"
Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio "Midnight Sugar"
Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio "Autumn in Seattle"
Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio "Misty"
Tsuyoshi Yamamoto Trio "What a Wonderful Trio"
Grover Washington, Jr. "Prime Cuts"
Stanley Turrentine "The Story of Jazz"
Sarah Vaughan "Sarah+2"
Sarah Vaughan "After Hours"
Sarah Vaughan "How Long Has This Been Going On"
Sarah Vaughan "Crazy and Mixed Up"
Anything by Patricia Barber
Being the Gentleman that I am, ladies First.

Billie Holiday -- Songs for Distingue Lovers
Harry 'sweets' Edison / Ben Webster
Her voice is beginning to go. BUT, Billie on her worst day is better than 99% on their best day. I visualize her looking me right in eyes as she forms the words. Moonlight in Vermont. WOW!

Sarah Vaughan -- How Long has this Been Going on
Oscar Peterson quartet (louie bellson)
She just puts on a display of what she can do with her voice, which is anything she wants to. I like the title track most. Member of the Top Three. More mellow / laid back than Ella.

Ella Fitzgerald -- A Perfect Match
Count Basie Orch
I love it when she says 'thank you, thank you, between numbers. She sounds just like a little girl. I just don't have the words to do her justice. If you don't smile when she is singing, you have a problem. The perfect voice. And she loves to sing!

Dee Dee Bridgewater -- Love and Peace
Horace Silver / Jimmy Smith
This is what you call a Tour de Force. Brilliant Jazz vocals to go with brilliant Jazz music! What they call cooking or smoking Jazz.

Listening to all this wonderful music leaves me sort of sad. We will never see / hear the likes of them again.


4 down, 996 to go. just kidding hahahah
With the 60's and earlier days covered so well, I'd like to make a few suggestions, mostly in a 70's/80's vein, and heavy on guitar influence:

any of the albums by Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass--there are a handful of them, and they shouldn't be hard to find.

John McLaughlin: The Inner Mounting Flame (Mahavishnu Orch.)
My Goal's Beyond (side 2--the first side will not be everyone's cup or tea, but the rest will make it worth your while)
Live at Royal Festival Hall (with trio)

Jim Hall: Jim Hall Live! (with trio)

Gary Burton and
Chick Corea: Crystal Silence
Although being mired in the past is not atypical of jazz heads, I offer some current faves: Brad Mehldau kills me, as well as Bill Charlap's trio (I mixed one of their live shows recently)...John Scofield, Frisell's "Beautiful Dreamers" band are one of the most movingly soul stirring live acts on the planet...Jeremy Pelt...etc.

Wolf_garcia, I'm glad you brought that up. Music can not be created in a vacuum, the musician must have something to inspire him, he has to feed on the broader society and other musicians, creativity does not come out of thin air, as so many people believe.

The overall quality of life outside of your perfect listening room, in this country, has been deteriorating for years, and that's reflected in the creativity of the musicians, or more specifically the "music". In the past, there was so much more to feed the musicians creative muse, as well as many more creative musicians. This is reflected in today's music. While the musicians today, might be as good as the musicians of yesterday, the music just ain't there. No one has searched harder for new music than me. Every year I'm left with the option of something new and boring, or going back to the past.

Brad Mehldau is very good, but his music just doesn't convey the living emotion of jazz musicians in the past. I would love to spend an evening out listening to his music live, but in my listening room, I could do so much better, that it's doubtful Brad would get much play.

Even the best musicians who are still alive from better times in the past, don't seem to do much better than Brad Mehldau; consequently my search for the best music always takes me back to the past in hopes of finding something I haven't heard before. Although I'm in what's called a "phase lock loop", I will give every musician you mentioned a thorough listen.
While I would have said it without the slightly condescending edge, I agree with Wolf's basic premise; if not all his choices. I chose my must-have list using two criteria: a bow to what I know of Orpheus' preferred style, and because, for me, a must-have is a recording that has stood the test of time; it is something truly special in the scheme of one's understanding of the music. I love Scofield. But, a must-have? Maybe for guitar heads (sorry for not practicing what I preach) maybe. Frissel is a different story; a brilliant player who will certainly be put on the highest pedestal in the future; IMO. Speaking of Frissel, a player who has played with Frissel often and who has usually left me shaking my head over the adulation that he receives is Joe Lovano; until very recently. He is developing into a true giant.

I don't subscribe to the idea that the best jazz has already happened; or rather, that no new jazz will ever equal that of the past. The music is too vibrant and deep for that. I just don't think that the more contemporary jazz has yet been put in the proper context. Additionally, I don't think it is fair to judge it (from the standpoint of it's value in the overall history of the music) while taking our own individual cultural, age, and even more personal biases out of the equation.
Some folks think Jazz is just any improvised music. Jazz is rooted in the BLUES. That's the part that the current crop of Jazz folks don't get. Louis Armstrong put it this way: If you can't dance to it, it ain't Jazz.

I wish I could like the current stuff. The technology is better. That should result in better recordings. But what's missing is the essence of Jazz music. They improvise, but they are not improvising over the blues. They are trying to be too 'cerebral' or 'intellectual' too 'deep'. It's a happy party time music. Played is speak easys and cat houses. It's about women and love and sex. The boys from New Orleans would not even recognize this current day stuff as Jazz.

Amnother factor is the people who determine the path that the arts take. SOMEONE has to record these people, give them awards and sing their praises, they decide what popular music is and will be. I just got a CD yesterday from Amazon. As good as anything out of Blue Note back in the day. I never heard of them. I don't even remember why I bought it. No reviews on Amazon. Totally ignored by the media and the trend setters and opinion makers. But they can play! I will 'review' the CD tomorrow.

One man's opinion

Everyone always pines for the good old days, looking back with a selective memory. Now I like the jazz masters as much as anyone can, I don't canonize their music as perfection. Some was masterful, others, well. Parker was a genius but some of his stuff was heroin induced drivel. Coltrane was an absolute mofo on some and then on say Ascension, I simply had a hard time with it. The good old days were some good and some not so good. You talk about the blues.....heck, they were LIVING the blues. They couldn't eat or drink in alot of the venues they played...a sad time but I'm sure it inspired the music we all love today.

To Art Blakey.....saw him about 30 years ago in NYC with Donald Harrison and Terrence Blanchard. Lets get one thing straight....he was an old man then and he could play with a power and drive that you had to see it to believe it. I saw Buddy Rich in his prime and he played powerfully (think channel one suite) but Blakey was like a piledriver, simply amazing.

I look forward to following this thread as I appreciate the interplay but let's all admit that the good old days were never as good as people remember them to be. To say that the record companies are screwing it up today is to ignore that a group can record AND distribute their own music today from a laptop and the internet and bypass the record company. The good old days of music to which so many of us refer was inspired by the social change that was going on at the time. That was true for the great jazz (breaking down alot of barriers) and the great rock and roll (anti war, etc). Orpheus what's next? I'll vote for Charlie Mingus"Mingus Ah Hum".

" but let's all admit that the good old days were never as good as people remember them to be."

Can't do that. They were the good old days as far as music is concerned. You seem to think that Jazz started in the mid fifties. Try New Orleans, way back before any social change was on the horizon.

Doing your own thing and putting it on the internet is not much of a business model. Maybe for the boys that play in a garage, but not for mainstream America and the rest of the world.

You are cherry picking to talk about late coltrane. He did a lot before Ascension.

What's missing is creativity. Any compenent band can play music written down on sheet music. It's the creative part that they can't do.

The blues is a form of music started in the Mississippi Delta. It was not all about racial segregation. A lot of it was just people entertaining other people. Same as bluegrass. It was not solely about social conditions. To say otherwise is to say the players could only react to injustice. And most of the blues is about Women and sex, not injustice. Some people just don't understand the lingo of the blues. The creativity continued in Memphis, Chicago and many other places.

A few classics to consider:

Cannonball Adderley,Somethin' Else
Dave Brubeck Quartet, Take Five
Lee Morgan, Sidewinder
Stan Getz and Jao Gilberto, Getz/Gilberto
Kenny Dorham, Quiet Kenny
Stan Getz, Anniversary, Serenity, People Time
Chet Baker, The Last Concert, Live in Tokyo
Sonny Rollins, Saxaphone Colosus, The Bridge

No offense intended but your version of history is unfortunately incomplete. To say the blues was about some people entertaining others is to ignore its genesis from slavery forward. Reconstruction for many was actually worse for a large portion of the populace. The delta changed very slowly following emancipation and so much of the blues was from juke joint to juke joint. To say it was about entertainment is to ignore the downtrodden, sharecropper who worked 6 hard days tending his crops and the outlet that a Saturday night at the crossroads was for his sanity.

Louis Armstong and King Oliver would tell you today that New Orleans wasnt all that much fun for the African American/Creole of south Louisiana....which is why when given the opportunity to make some money while cruising the riverboats northward they jumped at it. Arriving in South Chicago and east St Louis along the way was pretty important as well where a young Miles Davis may have been inspired. As far as Coltrane is concerned, please dont mistake my admiration for him with my commentary on Ascension....rarely has a week gone by when I havent listened to some Coltrane.

Again, your understanding of a proper music business model notwithstanding, the music business prior to 1980 was horrific for all but the biggest stars. Any smart minded musician today can control their own destiny, unlike in the good old days.
Mingus- New Tijuana Moods
Coltrane- Cresent
Garland- Groovy
Ellington / Hodges- Back to Back

I will add one more. At a time ,about 15 years ago, when I thought Jazz had said all it could, I heard Chicago Underground Duo's " 12 degree of freedom". For some reason this record opened, no, reopened my eyes to what Jazz can be and still is. I hope you all get your eyes and mind opened regularly.
"Reconstruction for many was actually worse for a large portion of the populace. The delta changed very slowly following emancipation and so much of the blues was from juke joint to juke joint. To say it was about entertainment is to ignore the downtrodden, sharecropper who worked 6 hard days tending his crops and the outlet that a Saturday night at the crossroads was for his sanity."

This may be true, but I am failing to see your point. Times were hard and people went out to juke joints to drink and try to get lucky and be ENTERTAINED. Other people during these same hard times, went to other places to be entertained. Maybe by country bands, bluegrass, fife and drum or to watch MGM musicals. People have always sought escapist entertainment. Even to this day. The blues was / is not protest music.

It is very disrepectful of the blues players talent and creativity, to say that some how he would not have been able to do it without slavery. That's absurd. Esp when it comes to African-Americans, who are some of the most creative folks on the planet.

I got off the Coltrane train after, A Love Supreme. Or there abouts. Miles left me after Bitches Brew.

I guess we can't like it all.
Great Post.


Ok rok, you are taking some historical observations and trying to twist my words. Please dont. The history of the blues is easy to trace but difficult to categorize. There can be little objective doubt that the blues was a manifestation of the unique circumstances of the artists when combined with their environment. I certainly intended no offense to African Americans as you allude to, which was unwelcome amd unfair.

I was basically trying to point out that most important musical innovations were heavily influenced by the social environment of the times, positive or negative.
Post removed 
I don't know if this one is jazz but 'The Complete Bessie Smith Recordings'
The 'Louis Armstrong plays W.C. Handy' Remaster
The Japanese remaster of 'Introducing Lee Morgan'
Dave Douglas 'Soul on Soul'
Hugh Ragin 'An Afternoon In Harlem'
Paul Bley 'Not Two Not One'
Bill Evans 'Waltz for Debbie"
Shirley Horn with Strings 'Here's To Life'
Keith Jarrett 'Inside Out'
Keith Jarrett 'The Köln Concert' (though my attention span isn't what it once was)
Modern Jazz Quartet 'Dedicated to Connie'
John Lewis 'Evolution II'
Sweet Emma (the bell gal) and Her Preservation Hall Jazz Band

OK, How Do I Choose from the Duke Ellington raisonne'?
Regarding why I think the way I do: I've been a professional musician since the late 60s (only mentioned for historical perspective). I've actually seen Monk (opening for Peter Paul and Mary at the Hollywood Bowl...I was maybe 12!)...and Joe Lovano was in John Scofield's band when I first saw Scofield...saw "Us 5" last year...I'm wonderful! (according to my daughter and my girlfriend, but that's about it) I'm a guitar player but not a jazz player particularly (because I'm also not very smart), and listen to Mehldau right along with Bill Evans, although not simultaneously, as that would be disturbing. I'm at the point in my geezerdom that I don't care much about what people DON'T like unless they agree with me 100%, but I absolutely, positively, know that there are musicians playing now that are as great as anybody ever was. Not the same people...but so what? That's how art works. Is Peter Washington better than Scott LaFaro? I happen to enjoy both. I spent a recent 9 years straight doing live sound (still do that here and there) mixing/recording for a couple of different "Coffee House" concert series and was humbled, enthralled, and blown away by some people in that "unpopular music business" who most will never hear. The best of those, along with the best of the rest, are timeless world class musicians. I'm also lucky.
In respnse to that last asshat post...oh...wait...that was me...anyway...after working on an amazing concert by the Jeremy Pelt Quintet (man...) recently, a well regarded veteran jazz pro sax player I know said after the show, "Miles was better." Utterly meaningless and classic...I love that stuff.

Before I go to another record, I want everyone to know how much I've been enjoying listening to the music from their lists.

When we put that record on the TT or that CD in the player, we're in the present, not in the past. At this moment, "Lee Morgan" is in the house, and "Search For The New Land" is on the TT. Lee Morgan, trumpet; Wayne Shorter, tenor sax; Grant Green, guitar; Herbie Hancock, piano; Reggie Workman, bass; Billie Higgins, drums.

On most of my records, it's the aggregate contributions of the individuals that make the whole album. That's true on this record as well, except on the cut "Search For The New Land", it, the composition takes center stage, and the musicians become actors playing their parts in a play. This music was way ahead of it's time.

It opens with Wayne Shorter's deep tenor sax, evoking for me, a vision of choreographed dancers searching for the new land. They're taking long steps to the beat of Reggie Workman bass, and Billie Higgins drums, using their hands for visors as they search. They continue moving in rhythm to Workmans pounding bass, as Lee's piercing staccato trumpet joins in momentarily, drums and pounding bass set the steady pace, while Grant Green's sinuous guitar joins in. Workmans bass keep the dancers moving as Herbie's piano comes in providing an exotic setting.

When you have musicians as fantastic as these together, all of the music has to be equally fantastic, but after a composition like "Search For The New Land"; as exceptional as the rest of the music is, it's anticlimactic. This is one album no serious collector should be without.

We're blessed to be audiophiles and have this caliber of music in our collections. Few people can derive the pleasure from music that we do.

Enjoy the music.
I think the sax is tawdry, and leads to unwanted pregnancies. This is why I currently prefer piano trios.
I refreshed my memory of 'Search for a New Land' this morning. You are right about the visual images of looking or searching for something. I am always amazed how groups as small as Jazz quartets or quintets can paint such vivid mental pictures with so few people. Reminds of what Churchhill said about the RAF.

My Playlist for Today:

Buena Vista Social Club
Afro-Cuban Jazz. I think there was a documentary done about this group on American TV. Great music and singing (ibrahim ferrer) Some repetitive background vocals, as in all latin Jazz, but not overdone. The first track Chan Chan is the highlight, but all are excellent. Great sound also. All in Spanish, but with music this great, it is really the international language!

Art Pepper meets The Rhythm Section
The title refers to the Miles Davis rhythm section: Red garland, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones(the coolest moniker in Jazz)
After reading the premiss of this session, I thought they could have named it Custer meets Sitting Bull and friends. But Pepper held his ground and then some. A great CD. Not a weak track. I thought 'straight life' was the highlight, but 'imagination' was up there also. Pepper had a very tough life. A great sax player. Died too young. They met each other for the first time the same day they recorded this CD. No rehearsal. Amazing!

Patience Higgins' Sugar Hill Quartet -- Live in Harlem
This is the Cd I spoke of earlier. Never heard of these guys. Only this CD shows on Amazon. No reviews. So I wondered why I bought it in the first place. Turns out I read a review in BBC Music Magazine. A British classical music Magazine! What a sign of the times! Wanna find the gems in American music, check out Classical music mags from England.

This is a Mapleshade recording. 1998. It sounds REAL. Not perfect, but Real. It's like you are there in person. You hear it all, warts and all. My only complaint is that the bass player is too subduded. It was recorded in a place called ST. Nick's in harlem. Very tiny. Rowdy. If you youtube these guys and listen to 'isn't she lovely' it will look like chaos, but it is really the type of enviroment that great Jazz springs from.
Anyway, they can play. This is real Jazz. The guys are older, if they had been young I would have said 'THE FUTURE'! Some female sings 'Route 66', no ella or billie, but she is REAL. Check it out!

The CD sounds much better than the stuff on youtube. Better music selection also.


I recall reading about the day he met the rhythm section in his autobiography. Since I can't talk too much about Art Pepper without getting sad, I won't, but that's a real nice CD.

Buena Vista Social Club, goes all the way back to "Cubano Bop", which is what Diz called it when he had Chano Pozo with him on "Manteca". That jazz was so far ahead of it's time that it took the rest of world 20 years to catch up.

Today, I've been on two tracks; first I want to give those who want new music, Pat Metheney & Anna Maria Jopek; "Are you going with me?" This can be seen on "You tube". Although it won't meet the definition of "classic jazz" for some aficionados, it's the best new music I've heard this year, and I'll have to let everyone else classify and define it.

The second track is for classic jazz aficionados, it consists of two different sides of Wes Montgomery. Before he became famous, his music was introspective and in a deep jazz groove. The Wes Montgomery Trio, Round Midnight, is an example of that phase of Wes's career. This warm intimate version of "Round Midnight" is my favorite.

"Bumpin On Sunset", exemplifies the other phase of his career after he became famous. This can also be found on "You tube". Music is synonymous with my memories, while I wasn't "Bumpin On Sunset", I was bumpin everywhere else at that time. "Why is youth wasted on the young?".

Sharing music like this is almost like a social visit.

Enjoy the music.

Wolf_garcia: "a tawdry sax that leads to unwanted pregnancies" proves the boys ain't shooting blanks. Please list some of the bands that you have recorded and a blog or website where we can purchase the music.
For baritone sax Gerry Mulligan Sextet "Legends Live" is a concert recorded in Germany that includes Dave Samuels (vibes), Thomas Fay (piano), Mike Santiago( guitar), George Duvivier (bass), and Bobby Rosengarden (drum). All musicians hand picked by Gerry for the show recorded in 1977. Makes one feel that your're in the club.

I appreciate everyone's effort to stick within the confines of "classic jazz". I've been down this road before, and the conversation falls apart as soon as we get outside of well known parameters. I consider this conversation highly beneficial when something new is added to my rotating play list, it's almost like an equipment upgrade.

Believe it or not, occasionally someone introduces me to a new artist within the confines of "classic jazz"; for example I had never heard of "Ahmed Abdul-Malik, who played jazz double bass and oud. There are still new discoveries to be made within these parameters, and there is always music by your favorite old artists that you haven't heard. I know I'm going to be doing my best to help broaden your collection.

Enjoy the music.
a label to look for is the nagel heyer lable from Germany --- no name players (generally) but just great album after grat album.
Rok, I wracked my brain (not hard to do) and I don't recall you mentioning Carmen McRae. I know that's got to be wrong; just checking.
I consider the Pat Metheney thingy to be mood music or sound effect music. Sounds like a lot of European Pop did back in the day. It also reminded me of the blue alien singer on the space ship in the movie 'the fifth element'. No offense, I thought she / it was great. Wes was playing Jazz. They even DRESSED as if they were Jazz players. Ever notice how real Jazz players wear suit and tie. They do that because it shows respect for the music. Pat and his type don't do it because they don't respect the music. Because they may not understand the music. Like I have said many times, they think Jazz is whatever they want it to be. I wish I could bang tin cans together, call it my First symphony and have it sold in stores right next to Mozart and company. It just don't work like that! Metheney, good sound? Yes. Jazz? No. Of corse let me quickly add, IMHO. Don't wanna come under elitists gasbag attack. :)


Learsfool, "Blue Train" is my number one train, along with my 101 train. I like your list, and most of those CD's are in my collection.

Frogman, New York Voices do a real nice vocal of "Stolen Moments" from "Blues And The Abstract Truth". I go to sleep on "Clifford Brown With Strings", and dream about Nancy Wilson With Cannonball Adderly. Anything on your list that I don't have, I will certainly give it a listen.

Rok, Dee Dee Bridgewater is truly smokin on that CD, her voice becomes another jazz musical instrument.

Gz3827, "Prime Cuts" is a CD that had been hiding in my collection until just recently, it's fantastic.

Acman3, New Tijuana Moods is an old favorite of mine. I've been a Mingus fan since "Mingus Ah Um". I was attracted to the album cover.

Pnmeyer, I have 5 of the CD's on your list, and it's for sure I'll give the ones I don't have a listen.

Enjoy the music.
My most recent live jazz mixing gigs (didn't record 'em)were the Jeremy Pelt Quintet and Bill Charlap's trio. Both amazing, plenty of info online. The other "coffee house" stuff wasn't jazz so that's for some other thread.
A lot lot of the obvious ones have been mentioned, but I want to give a shout out for some of those

Sonny Rollins Way Out West, Saxophone Colossus, Tenor Madness
Bill Evans Waltz for Debbie, Sunday at the Village Vanguard
John Coltrane Ballads
Miles Davis Kind of Blue (Kind of a Given)

and some less obvious ones

The Poll Winners Shelley Manne, Ray Brown, Barney Kesel
Paul Motion I Have A Room Above Her
Sonny Rollins Without a Song
Jelly Roll Morton Birth of the Hot - Red Hot Peppers
Art Pepper + Eleven
Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
Kid Ory Anything you can find - I only have vinyl
Art Blakey The Jazz Messengers
Oscar Petterson Night Train ( and so many more)
Jazz at Massey Hall Bud Powell, Dizzie Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Max Roach
O-10: I mentioned Carmen several threads ago. I have 5 or 6 of her CDs. One with duets with Betty Carter. Great voice. What are her somecomings? Not a thing!! Except having the same profession as Ella, Billie and Sarah. :( I have a CD of her's entitled 'Carmen Sings Monk'. Most folks can't even play Monk (including his band) and she SINGS him. She is great on the Monk CD. Top 5 for that alone. :) All the divas are just treasures. I love them all.

Dtc: I have most of what you listed. All must haves. I have a few of Kid Ory waiting in the Amazon 'save for later' file. I was concerned about the sound quality, But I'll take your word for it. Not having Ory, is almost like not having Armstrong! Charlie Parker played a borrowed plastic sax on the Massey Hall CD. hahahahaha

Just as I was about to anoint Lee Morgan King of Jazz trumpet, I put 'Sketches of Spain' by Miles Davis in the player. Order is now restored. I sat there mesmerized. One of Miles' Best ever.

Mingus at Antibes
I almost called 911. These guys are on fire. I don't think even they could do it again. The perfect storm. Now, this is improvised music at the highest level.
They were really out there, BUT they always had both feet firmly planted in the delta. One foot in a Juke Joint, and the other in a Baptist church! That's the difference between this improvising and this modern free Jazz stuff. The current stuff sounds sterile in comparison. Ain't got it? Git It!

+1 on Monk/Coltrane at Carnegie Hall--and can you believe how good it sounds!? Nice live recording from the 50's.
Rok2id - Glad you concur on these selections. Not all main stream, but great jazz.

I only have Kid Ory on vinyl, so cannot speak to the CDs. But, try 1 or 2 just to see the style. I doubt any of them are up to current recording quality standards but it is worth it anyway. Great, old style jazz. Incidentally, one thing I like about Sonny Rollins Without a Song was the trombone, which was played by his nephew. It was recorded the weekend after 9/11 in Boston. The recording was done from the audience so is not great, but still pretty good.

I played the sax but never came close to these guys, even when they were playing a plastic sax :) As the PGA logo goes, these guys are good.
1959 was a banner year for Jazz;
Miles Davis -Kind of Blue
Dave Brubeck -Time Out
Charles Mingus -Ah Um.

if only Coltrane could have released 'Giant Steps' (1960)
during 1959...
A few thoughts on the Buena Vista sound. If one uses as criteria two of Jazz's essential ingredients,improvisation and roots in African music,it is clearly "jazz"' as Rok points out. But the music heard on most of BVSC's recordings is actually closer to the "guajira" and "son" styles; the "country-music" of Cuba. The repetitive vocal style is the influence of the chants of the music that the West African slaves brought to the mix. It predates the Cubano-bop that came a decade or two later.
Frogman, while I mentioned the BVSC, it was in a musical context, as opposed to a historical context. "Cubano Bop" as the name implies is a combination of "Be Bop" and Cuban music. In no way can "Cubano Bop" be put into some kind of grand historical context.
Frogman: Well done. Thanks for the info. Nice to see that your expertise extends beyond strands of metal. Notice, I did not use the 'W' word. :)

Monk and Coltrane at carnegie Hall. Great music, listening to it now. It also has a very good booklet with pictures and other details. I love the details. The recording is indeed very good. I wonder why so much of the 50's era Jazz sounds so good. A Classical recording from that same era would more than likely sound like crap. Anyone with the answer?
Did you notice the poster in the booklet announcing the concert. It says:
Date and Time and lists as performers, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gilliespie, Ray Charles, Chet Baker with Zoot Sims, Monk and Coltrane, and Sonny Rollins. The price is: $2,$3,$3.50 and $3.95. (tax exempt contributions) Amazing!!

Latest listen.

Side by Side -- Duke Ellington and Johnny Hodges
Another very good recording. Great music also. A rare chance to hear the Duke play extended solos on piano. The liner notes on this cd have to be read using a microscope.

Oh how I long for the days of the LP jacket. I wish that turntable that read LPs with a laser had worked out. That would been the perfect solution. Nice big art and notes.

Jafant: The entire decade was a golden era. I guess all things follow a predictable tracjectory. I feel we are now on the downward slope. :( We can be glad we are living during this time. At least as far as music is concerned.

This thread has caused me to really explore my collection.


Today's CD is "Bean Bags", featuring Milt Jackson and Coleman Hawkins, with Tommy Flanagan, piano; Kenny Burrell, guitar; Eddie Jones, bass; Connie Kay, drums. As "aficionado's" know, "Beans" is Coleman Hawkins, and "Bags" is Milt Jackson; hence the title of the album.

"Close Your Eyes" is the first cut. Tommy Flanagan's piano opens it with the melody, and next we have interplay between "Beans" deep tenor sax and "Bags" ringing vibes. The notes from those vibes just hang in the air ringing forever, that's why I can tell his vibes from any other vibes. Him and "Beans" deep burley tenor have back and forth interplay, communicating in that musical language that we can only enjoy and admire.

Now, the notes from Kenny Burrell's resonant guitar are leaping out of the left channel, while Tommy Flanagan is "compin" on piano in the right channel with Eddie Jones keeping a steady bass beat in the center. All the while Connie Kay is doing that cool thing with the brushes that he does so well, I'm in heaven.

"Sandra's Blues" is my favorite on this CD. Music can tell stories, and communicate emotions, like no words can even come close to, but I'll try. Sandra is in that deep blue funk which only time can heal. There is nothing anyone can do about the series of tragic events that put her in this state of mind, but "Bean" and the boys are doing their best to tell her story, and soothe Sandra's aching heart with their music. We get to listen to "Sandra's Blues".

Enjoy the music.
One I should have put in my earlier list is the Charlie Byrd Quintet "Du Hot Club De Concord" from 1995 on the Concord label. I just listened to it for the first time in ages. I had forgotten what a terrific CD this is. It's going back on my frequent play list! With a decided Latin flavor, the tunes are mostly reinterpreted standards, but there are also a few Charlie Byrd originals which are exceptional compositions in and of themselves. The five musicians are Charlie Byrd - guitar, Johnny Frigo - violin, Hendrik Meurkens - harmonica, Frank Vignola - rhythm guitar, and Michael Moore - bass. I've never been a harmonica fan, but I have to say the harmonica on this CD is a revelation. Also, the sonic quality of the recordings is top drawer.
Jafant, Another classic from 1959

Ornette Coleman- Change of the Century

Ornette on sax, the master Don Cherry on trumpet, Charlie Haden on bass, and Billy Higgins on the drums.

I say, there is no single way to play Jazz. Some of the comments made about my music make me realize though that modern jazz, once so daring and revolutionary, has become in many respects, a rather settled and conventional thing. The members of my group and I are attempting a breakthrough to a new, freer conception of jazz, one that departs from all that is "standard" and cliche' in modern jazz.

Ornette Colman
" The members of my group and I are attempting a breakthrough to a new, freer conception of jazz, one that departs from all that is "standard" and cliche' in modern jazz."

I guess you could say he has made a lot of noise in this area.

Today's recommendations:

Ain't Misbehavin'
Original Broadway Cast Recording
The Music of Thomas 'Fats' Waller

Wonderful and Funny. The singers and the band are almost as one. very tight! Waller is one of the most prolific Jazz composers ever. You may be surprised at some of his songs. Also a great Pianist. He was very funny, so I don't think he is taken 'serious' today. What with all the 'cerebral' stuff out there now. This stage performance was not video taped, so no DVD. That is criminal. 2CD set.
Nell Carter leads a great cast.

Roland Kirk -- Domino
Surprisingly (to me), very good. Not only can he play several instruments, but plays them very well and all at the same time. '3-in-1 without the oil' is just great. Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Wynton kelly and Roy Haynes provide support. Great feel-good music. I will have to get some more Kirk.

Lambert, Hendricks & Ross -- Sing A Song of Basie

Precursors of groups like Manhattan Transfer, but a little more Jazzy. Backed here by the Basie Band Rhythm section. When it comes to Jazz singers, the backing group is EVERTHING.

'Everyday' and 'Cloudburst' are the highlights. 'Going to Chicago' is not included. :( Nice light fare.

An interesting photo inside the CD case. LH&R gathered around what looks like a kid's toy record player, listening to music on LP. Critical listening. I feel better about my YORX now.

Rahsaan Roland Kirk, one of the great geniuses of the music. If you want to try other recordings of his, start with "The Inflated Tear" and "The Return Of The 5000lb Man". Amazing stuff.
Agree on all points on Mr. Kirk. Adventurous, but always musical and grounded in gospel and blues. Watch out though. It starts with a little Rahsaan, and next thing you know, your listening to Anthony Braxton and your hooked.

Rokid2, I have seen that recording of Fats Waller, but had a Hank Jones recording called " Ain't Misbehavin " which, I would highly recommend , and past on it. I will go ahead and get it next time I see it. Doesn't Hank Jones play on that original Broadway cast recording?