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.
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.
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

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.