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.
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
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.
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
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

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.