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Old 02-17-2009, 08:02 PM   #76
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

currently taking a history of jazz class that i had to take to fulfill a requirement. i fear that jazz is wasted on me, as i don't really enjoy it much (and rarely go to class)
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:13 AM   #77
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Originally Posted by Zeno

I received all the above two days ago. I listened to Time Out three times in a row yesterday and the pleasure increased each time. The first cut, Blue Rondo a La Turk, I like the off-syncopation and change in rhythms and the transitions to the smooth driving beat. The famous Take Five cut has symmetry reminiscent of pop tunes that probably accounts for its wide popularity. Personally I enjoyed Three to Get Ready much more that the Take Five cut. Three To Get Ready has a building theme on a simple structure, and more excellent feedback and interplay among the musicians. Kathy’s Waltz was special also and had a shadow of ragtime intermixed with the main theme that really adds a kick. Everything seemed to ‘fit’ and this was a most enjoyable album. Perfect for a Sunday Morning.


Mingus AH UM. Flat out wonderful. I wrote down some pithy comments for a few of the tracks:

Better Get It In Your Soul – Just plain fun
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat – Soulful
Boogie Stop Shuffle – Rat-a-tat-tat
Open Letter to Duke - Flats and Sharps
Jelly Roll - YAZ and STOMP

There are three extra tracks on the re-mastered CD and all are great also. I think this album is somewhat better than Take Five only in that takes more chances and dives down more alleys, all to the good. Perfect for a Saturday Evening.

John Coltrane, Giant Steps. The interplay of all the musicians is masterful and held together wonderfully by John’s saxophone work. In the cut Spiral I especially enjoyed the bass and piano duo. My simple comment on the track Countdown is – ZAP. This re-mastered CD also had alternate takes on some of the tracks but I haven’t listen enough to parse out any great differences. But listening to this album makes me want to get out my Charlie Parker Millennium edition CD and compare these two great saxophone artists.

Have yet to crack open the Miles Davis Kind of Blue or A Love Supreme by John Coltrane. I'm at present relistening to the above three CDs again, they are so enjoyable. I'll post a review on the above two, soon.

-Zeno
Excellent dead-on reviews. Mingus definitely dives down some alleys. Anxious to hear your feelings on the other two, but I dig the fact that you're re-listening. I meant to post earlier that I read an interview with Wynton Marsalis, years ago, where he stated that he felt like part of the reason jazz was so under appreciated was that it was music that had to be listened to more than once or twice, that it should be lived in and explored.
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Old 02-18-2009, 09:49 AM   #78
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Originally Posted by kudzudemon View Post
I meant to post earlier that I read an interview with Wynton Marsalis, years ago, where he stated that he felt like part of the reason jazz was so under appreciated was that it was music that had to be listened to more than once or twice, that it should be lived in and explored.
Interesting that you bring this up in the context of Mingus. I'll never be able to get my hands on the source - probably liner notes - but I know I've seen Mingus discuss how universal he considered jazz. This was in the context of performances he was giving in the streets of Harlem in the 60s or maybe the 70s. He maintained that the kids got the music immediately. I'm sure all of that was meant as a criticism of the radio stations and record companies.

On the other hand, Mingus is somewhat of a special case, as his music is particularly grounded in gospel and blues (even while edging "outside" often).

On the third hand, it's entirely possible my memory is off and it was another musician altogether who made this claim.

Mingus also stands in stark contrast to Wynton Marsalis, who has often been slammed for his lack of emotion.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:14 AM   #79
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Ya, those were cool. Good links!!!
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:36 AM   #80
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Interesting that you bring this up in the context of Mingus. I'll never be able to get my hands on the source - probably liner notes - but I know I've seen Mingus discuss how universal he considered jazz. This was in the context of performances he was giving in the streets of Harlem in the 60s or maybe the 70s. He maintained that the kids got the music immediately. I'm sure all of that was meant as a criticism of the radio stations and record companies.

On the other hand, Mingus is somewhat of a special case, as his music is particularly grounded in gospel and blues (even while edging "outside" often).

On the third hand, it's entirely possible my memory is off and it was another musician altogether who made this claim.

Mingus also stands in stark contrast to Wynton Marsalis, who has often been slammed for his lack of emotion.
The tendency to intellectualize the listening process is one of the reasons some got turned off bebop in the first place. But I don't think that's what Marsalis (hereafter to be referred to as the "Third Wynton", in deference to you and Mr. Kelly) was speaking about.

I think he was speaking in the context of "pop" music fans who often got put off when they didn't "get it" immediately, or went from one faddish song (or movement) to another, as you implied. Also, jazz enthusiasts who worshiped quantity over quality, or cheated themselves by cursory listening rather than immersion.

Incidentally, I think Third Wynton was a shade academic early in his career, but has been far less so in the ensuing years (although I doubt he'll ever completely shed his formalism). Watching his evolution has been pretty enjoyable. Also, speaking of Mingus (which I could do all day, I think), he took grief early in his career (as a bandleader and composer) for not "swinging" enough, which sounds ludicrous in hindsight. But his early recordings show a far more "staid" artist. Even Pithecanthropus Erectus, considered his breakthrough album, is noted for texture and color, not rhythmic wallop and spontaneity. I have read early reviews that called his early original music "rooted in jazz tradition", implying a certain reference to the form rather than a full saturation in it. It was in mid-career when Mingus embraced his blues and gospel roots more fully. For which I think we can all be thankful.
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Old 02-18-2009, 10:50 AM   #81
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Incidentally, I think Third Wynton was a shade academic early in his career, but has been far less so in the ensuing years (although I doubt he'll ever completely shed his formalism). Watching his evolution has been pretty enjoyable.
I'll use this as an opportunity to clarify that I chose my screen name in deference to the pianist, not the Third Wynton (who was also named after the pianist).

The Third Wynton has gone through some evolution. I saw him when he first broke out, with the Art Blakey band. He was a sheer joy back then, though he did not yet have his own voice. Blakey had a way of bringing out the emotional side of everyone. Unfortunately, the recordings of this band - in my view - do not do justice to the live performances. In fact, I could say this about Marsalis' later years too. I've seen him lead a couple of bands, and each time was pleasantly surprised about how "fresh" he sounded.

I am not a big fan of his recordings, though.

Quote:
Also, speaking of Mingus (which I could do all day, I think), he took grief early in his career (as a bandleader and composer) for not "swinging" enough, which sounds ludicrous in hindsight. But his early recordings show a far more "staid" artist. Even Pithecanthropus Erectus, considered his breakthrough album, is noted for texture and color, not rhythmic wallop and spontaneity. I have read early reviews that called his early original music "rooted in jazz tradition", implying a certain reference to the form rather than a full saturation in it. It was in mid-career when Mingus embraced his blues and gospel roots more fully. For which I think we can all be thankful.
I agree with this, but again will qualify that in his REAL early career, when he played as a sideman with Bird and Max Roach, no one questioned that he swung hard.
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:12 AM   #82
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Originally Posted by kudzudemon View Post
Also, speaking of Mingus (which I could do all day, I think), he took grief early in his career (as a bandleader and composer) for not "swinging" enough, which sounds ludicrous in hindsight. But his early recordings show a far more "staid" artist. Even Pithecanthropus Erectus, considered his breakthrough album, is noted for texture and color, not rhythmic wallop and spontaneity. I have read early reviews that called his early original music "rooted in jazz tradition", implying a certain reference to the form rather than a full saturation in it. It was in mid-career when Mingus embraced his blues and gospel roots more fully. For which I think we can all be thankful.
Mingus as a player could swing. Where he gets tagged as not swinging I think is as a composer and bandleader.

Much of Mingus' work as a composer has what appears to be more structure and doesn't sound as improvisational as much of the bop recordings of the day. I often felt that in an earlier time Mingus could have been a classical composer.
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Old 02-18-2009, 04:09 PM   #83
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

Wynton and Max-
Oh, yeah...as a player, Mingus swung hard from day one. Without sacrificing his melodic approach.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:54 AM   #84
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

Today's birthday wishes go to the ever-controversial David Murray.

Murray with the excellent trio of Ed Blackwell (drums), John Hicks (piano), Fred Hopkins (bass).

Murray and the World Saxophone Quartet performing Hendrix's Foxy Lady
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:14 AM   #85
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

I'm just starting to get into jazz.

Grover Washington Jr. is currently my favorite jazz artist. I can listen to him all day but other jazz has bored me so far. I haven't seen Grover mentioned in this thread or other jazz threads on the net. Is there a reason for this? Mister Magic is just an unreal album imo.

Could anyone recommend me some similar artists to Grover?
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:42 AM   #86
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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I'm just starting to get into jazz.

Grover Washington Jr. is currently my favorite jazz artist. I can listen to him all day but other jazz has bored me so far. I haven't seen Grover mentioned in this thread or other jazz threads on the net. Is there a reason for this? Mister Magic is just an unreal album imo.

Could anyone recommend me some similar artists to Grover?
I can't suggest much when it comes to Grover Washington. I bought "Mister Magic" in the 70s, and at the time, thought it was one of the better albums of that genre. But I moved on pretty quickly.

Only names that come to my mind as pretty similar would be Spiro Gyra and David Sanborn.

But I do recommend that you try some fusion with a little harder edge, such as the Brecker Brothers and Billy Cobham, and from there, Return to Forever, Weather Report and Mahivishnu Orchestra.

My recollection is that Grover Washington has more of an r & b groove, but perhaps you'd enjoy something a little more fiery.
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Old 02-19-2009, 06:41 PM   #87
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

Anyone like baritone sax?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COH28H1aqvs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Wzi5gfc_Jg
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:59 PM   #88
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Originally Posted by Colombo View Post
I'm just starting to get into jazz.

Grover Washington Jr. is currently my favorite jazz artist. I can listen to him all day but other jazz has bored me so far. I haven't seen Grover mentioned in this thread or other jazz threads on the net. Is there a reason for this? Mister Magic is just an unreal album imo.

Could anyone recommend me some similar artists to Grover?
Wynton's suggestions are very good, especially the Brecker Brothers.

Also, some of the Crusaders seventies and eighties work. Weather Report is really the only band of that stripe I still listen to, and then only rarely, although I am a Jaco disciple. Still, exposure to Wayne Shorter is never a bad thing.
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:06 AM   #89
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Damn. That second link is one of my favorite Mingus line-ups, and I had not seen this clip. Should be required viewing.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:45 AM   #90
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

Happy Birthday Nancy Wilson! (with the Hank Jones trio)
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Old 02-20-2009, 12:33 PM   #91
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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I love the bari sax, although admittedly Harry Carney or Ronnie Cuber (third sax solo on here) are more my style (Imeem links so I can link to the exact tracks I want you to hear).
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Old 02-20-2009, 01:05 PM   #92
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

Pepper Adams with the Mel Lewis-Thad Jones big band

Pepper's solo begins around the 4 minute mark.

And here with the Barry Harris Sextet
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Old 02-22-2009, 07:14 PM   #93
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

We have criminally neglected to mention Clifford Brown.

This is not a great clip, but it's the only one I could find of him performing. I recommend picking up those great albums he did with Max Roach. Clifford was more of a classicist than a revolutionary, but who knows where he would have gone had he not died so young?
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:08 AM   #94
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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We have criminally neglected to mention Clifford Brown.

This is not a great clip, but it's the only one I could find of him performing. I recommend picking up those great albums he did with Max Roach. Clifford was more of a classicist than a revolutionary, but who knows where he would have gone had he not died so young?
I had seen this video before and it always makes me sad at the end when Soupy brings up the birth of his son. From all accounts Clifford seemed like a very kind, decent man.

My earliest trumpet teacher introduced me to Clifford Brown. "A Study In Brown" with Max Roach is a classic. His work with Art Blakey on the live Birdland CD is impressive as well.
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Old 02-26-2009, 12:25 AM   #95
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

Just curious as to people's thoughts on this list of albums:

http://rateyourmusic.com/customchart...one&countries=

It's the top user rated jazz albums from Rate Your Music.

1 Kind of Blue
Miles Davis

2 A Love Supreme
John Coltrane

3 The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
Charles Mingus

4 In a Silent Way
Miles Davis

5 Mingus Ah Um
Charles Mingus
Mingus Ah Um (1959)

6 Giant Steps
John Coltrane

7 My Favorite Things
John Coltrane

8 Bitches Brew
Miles Davis
Bitches Brew (1970)

9 Hot Rats
Frank Zappa
Hot Rats (1969)

10 Blues & Roots
Charles Mingus
Blues & Roots (1960)

11 Out to Lunch!
Eric Dolphy

12 Saxophone Colossus
Sonny Rollins
Saxophone Colossus (1957)

13 Blue Train
John Coltrane

14 Getz/Gilberto [featuring Antônio Carlos Jobim]
Stan Getz & João Gilberto

15 Song for My Father
Horace Silver

16 A Charlie Brown Christmas
Vince Guaraldi

17 Somethin' Else
Cannonball Adderley
Somethin' Else (1958)

18 The Shape of Jazz to Come
Ornette Coleman

19 Olé Coltrane
John Coltrane
Olé Coltrane (1962)

20 Jack Johnson
Miles Davis

21 The Blues and the Abstract Truth
Oliver Nelson
The Blues and the Abstract Truth (1961)

22 Time Out
Dave Brubeck Quartet
Time Out (1959)

23 Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers [Moanin']
Art Blakey

24 Monk's Music
Thelonious Monk

25 Far East Suite
Duke Ellington

26 Brilliant Corners
Thelonious Monk

27 Karma
Pharoah Sanders

28 Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Cole Porter Songbook
Ella Fitzgerald

29 Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
Charles Mingus
Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus (1964)

30 Monk's Dream
Thelonious Monk

My thoughts:

* I need to get me some Mingus. I have over half the albums on this chart, but none of the Mingus ones.

* Biggest surprise: In a Silent Way. I think it's one of Miles Davis's worst electric albums.

* Second biggest: Hot Rats. I actually have this, but have never listened to it. So I've loaded it into my iPod (along with the rest of the top 30 that I have)
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Old 02-26-2009, 03:06 AM   #96
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
Just curious as to people's thoughts on this list of albums:

http://rateyourmusic.com/customchart...one&countries=
Interesting list, and I would recommend going through the whole thing. I haven't really looked closely, and will do so later, but my first reactions are

1) I'm a Zappa fan, and a lot of jazz fans like him, but I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that Hot Rats is a jazz album. First of all, most of Zappa's work (especially around this period) was meticulously crafted, with little room for improvisational dialogue or exploration, confined almost entirely to the bridge solos. Only Gumbo Variations, on HR, seems to encourage the kind of instantaneous expression that the best jazz inspires.

In a recent Nat Hentoff column in JazzTimes, MJQ leader John Lewis is quoted as defining jazz: "It has to swing, or appear to. It has to contain an element of surprise, and it has to embody the eternal search for the blues."

Hot Rats does swing, if often in less stylistically familiar form. Especially "Peaches en Regalia" and the previously cited "Gumbo Variations". And his music almost always has an element of surprise. But Zappa is far too skeptical and self-aware to "embody an eternal search for the blues", even in an ironic fashion, and even when the lyrics are not weighting it down with satire.

2) Saxophone Colossus belongs higher. In retrospect, I think I should have put it on my initial five essential albums.

3) Thirty albums and no Bill Evans, but Vince Guaraldi at number 16?

Blasphemy.

4)Pharoah Sanders up here is a surprise, although a nice one.

5) Horace Silver. Damn straight.


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Originally Posted by gusmahler View Post
My thoughts:

* I need to get me some Mingus. I have over half the albums on this chart, but none of the Mingus ones.
Yes, you do. I always enjoy your posts, gus, and find them enlightening. After finding this out, however, I now have to wonder about you.

Right this wrong, immediately, good sir.

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* Biggest surprise: In a Silent Way. I think it's one of Miles Davis's worst electric albums.
I agree, but for some reason, it seems to retain a popular following. I certainly don't think it is the fourth best jazz album of all time, that's for sure. And ahead of Jack Johnson, and Bitches Brew? Nah.
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Old 02-26-2009, 08:37 AM   #97
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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Especially "Peaches en Regalia" and the previously cited "Gumbo Variations".

2) Saxophone Colossus belongs higher. In retrospect, I think I should have put it on my initial five essential albums.
The "Peaches en Regalia" reference takes me back in time. I don't think I have heard that song in over 30 years. Zappa defies categorization. He left few stones unturned as far as musical styles.

Saxophone Colossus-Coltrane is the name that many casual or non jazz fans know when saxophone is mentioned. It is truly an injustice that Sonny Rollins does not get at least equal billing.

This less than 40 minute album traverses a fairly wide range of styles from calypso, blues, ballads, bop and show tunes.

Max Roach is his customarily crackling self. He drives the opening "St. Thomas from the start. He also has a very memorable solo in the final "Blue 7". His interplay with Sonny on the song is an excellent example of how listening to your bandmates is as important as playing itself.

On "Strode Rode", Sonny, Max and bassist Doug Watkins chug along at a breakneck pace but always seem to be in total control.

Sonny's playing on "You Don't Know What Love Is" has more of a vocal quality than most singers. Many people feel that instrumentals can't convey what a vocalist can with lyrics. When Sonny plays it often seems that he transcends lyrics and that the words somehow seem limited in comparison.

Allow me to go off on a bit of a tangent. The following situation happened to me this weekend when my girlfriend and I were out listening to a 60's and 70's R&B coverband this weekend. We ran into a client of my girlfriend and his wife at the bar. My girlfriend's client mentions that his wife sings in a jazz band. At this point my girlfriend, who is not a jazz fan, mentions that I am and asks what I was playing the night before while cooking dinner. I respond Clifford Brown, Max Roach and Sonny Rollins on Live at Basin Street. The "jazz" singer looks blankly and says that she had never heard of them.

I am shocked! This woman is in her 50's and a jazz singer yet she is unaware of three giants of the form. This is why I know that we are all ultimately doomed. This brilliant music is unlikely to survive outside of an ever shrinking core of musicians.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:18 AM   #98
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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3) Thirty albums and no Bill Evans, but Vince Guaraldi at number 16?
It's what happens when you let people vote, Kudzu. A piano player who was born and raised a few miles from where I worked, Dave McKenna, and played frequently in this area, said his favorite jazz pianist was Nat King Cole. After listening to some of those Nat King Cole Trio albums, I'm not so sure I'd disagree with him.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:31 AM   #99
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

I was going to respond to the list simply by repeating my mantra that I hate all such lists. But in an effort to be just a tiny bit more useful, I'll show that I can quickly rattle off a list of 30 other albums that easily could have "qualified." I am doing this off the top of my head:

1. Miles Davis - Milestones
2. Charlie Parker - Jazz at Massey Hall
3. Bill Evans - Live at the Village Vanguard
4. Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage
5. Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil
6. Clifford Brown/Max Roach at Basin Street
7. John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman
8. Chick Corea - Three Quartets
9. Wes Montgomery - Full House
10. Lee Morgan - Cornbread
11. Duke Ellington and John Coltrane
12. Louis Armstrong - Hot Fives and Sevens
13. John Coltrane - Lush Life
14. Mingus - Nostalgia in Times Square
15. Miles - Birth of the Cool
16. Dizzy with Stan Getz/Sonny Rollins - For Musicians Only
17. The Genius of Bud Powell
18. Ellington at Newport
19. Cannoball Adderly and Bill Evans: Know What I Mean
20. Sonny Rollins w/ Thelonious Monk
21. Hank Mobley - No Room for Squares
22. Wayne Shorter - Schizoprehnia
23. Lee Morgan - The Procrastinator,
24. JJ Johnson - JJ. Inc.
27.Bill Evans - Portrait in Jazz
28. Sonny Rollins - Newk's Time
29. Charlie Parker - Summit Meeting at Birdland
30. Hank Mobley - Soul Station

Any of these albums - in my view - could make it to a top 30 list. In fact, I bet I could come up with another list like that fairly quickly (though I might have to resort to my ipod). I guess my point merely is that narrowing down a "best" list to a small number is invariably arbitrary.
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Old 02-26-2009, 10:34 AM   #100
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Re: Jazz: America's Music

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It's what happens when you let people vote, Kudzu. A piano player who was born and raised a few miles from where I worked, Dave McKenna, and played frequently in this area, said his favorite jazz pianist was Nat King Cole. After listening to some of those Nat King Cole Trio albums, I'm not so sure I'd disagree with him.
A few months ago, I picked up a box set of Nat King Cole recordings at a very good price on ebay. It was something like 10 CDs. There are a number of box sets like this one, that for whatever reason, seem to be readily available on ebay for a decent price.

(Other box sets I purchased this way were Joe Henderson - The Milestone Years, and Ella Fitzgerald's Song Book series.)
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