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.
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.
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 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.