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.
" 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.

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.

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.
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.
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.