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.

I did listen to Chucho valdes today. His 'Live at the Village Vanguard'. This guy is a monster on the Keyboard!! He is brilliant! The question is whether or not the music grabs you. I will leave that up to you. I like Jazz with a beginning, middle and end. His sister sings on one of the tunes. One reviewer said: "valdes' command of the keyboard is so technically staggering as to be stupefying". hahahaha That sounds a little scary! Check it out on youtube if it's there. It's a keeper for sure. "Must Have'? That's a different question. Overall it came across as too much of an 'exhibition'. A few horns would have helped. This may have been a case of just too much piano. The percussion only got a chance to solo on one track.

Danilo Perez -- PanaMonk

This Cd was much more to my liking. Perez' take on Monk. I didn't hear much Monk, but the tunes were familiar, so maybe that's why they sounded so good. He is a great Piano player also.

Irakere -- The Best Of Irakere

I am not sure what to make of this. Some great music for dancing. And some Jazz. But sometimes I got the feeling I was listening to someone trying to play like WAR or Santana or EW&F. I think everyone was trying to 'out-play' everyone else in the band. The Mozart thingy, by Paquito, was very cute. 'Xiomara' was my favorite.

Mario Bauza & his Afro-Cuban Jazz Orch -- My Time is Now

A very important founding figure in the whole Afro-Cuban Jazz scene. And there is one thing we can say about this CD. The name of the group states very clearly what type music is being played. Good stuff.

I didn't get a chance to play Mongo. Will save him for another day. He was my first introduction to afro-cuban Jazz back in the day.

One other thing. Read the liner notes on all of this music. It's fascinating! Read them and then say there is not a battle going on for the soul of Jazz.

FROGMAN: Do you write liner notes? I read some stuff thst sounds just like you. :)

****FROGMAN: Do you write liner notes? I read some stuff thst sounds just like you. :)****

I am a patient man, Rok; and I feel strongly enough about music and the promotion of factual appreciation of it to be willing to take another shot at trying to have a dialogue with you about this in the hope that you, a person who in spite of your sometimes incongruous views and plain bad form, do show a love for music; on your level, anyway. So, is your question an honest one? Or is it sarcasm with some underlying agenda? If it is honest, I would be glad to answer it. If it is the latter, then go ahead and hurl one more incongrous comment, or simply, don't respond at all. Either way is fine, but I am done with the bickering.

However, I will offer this little nugget; and one that I offered once before in this thread: Don't rely on liner notes; they usually only scratch the surface. Liner notes are like Cliff Notes (remember those?). Relying on liner notes is like giving more credence to the technical commentary in an audio magazine review than listening to what someone like Ralph Karsten, or a Jonathan Carr has to say about the same subject; or doing more extensive reading of authoritative musicological writings on your own.

So, which is it? Honest, or not?
Actually, I have written liner notes for a handful of recordings; but, not for records discussed here, nor are they in this genre.

What I find most frustrating about discussion of music in audiophile circles is that, more times than not, the subjects are discussed at a very superficial level; reliance on liner notes as the "end-all". This stuff, it's history and it's truly proper place in the larger scheme of the art world, runs very very deep. But, there really is very little mystery. It's all pretty well documented; we just have to be willing to do more than cursory reading, and dig a little deeper. It's kind of like audiophiles talking about accuracy in music reproduction when they never go hear live music. Huh?

I don't like to, nor feel the need to, "kick my credentials" (to use your phrase); nor even feel the need to rely on "credentials". But, if you must know, my humble credentials are simply being a professional musician for my entire working life (35 years), attending music conservatory and studying jazz music history (among many other subjects; of course), playing in Latin bands for many years before moving to a totally different genre and segment of the music industry. The education that I got playing with and listening to these Latin players, especially the old-timers, was invaluable. I played in Mario Bauza's last band in the mid-eighties, which coincided with my transitioning away from Latin music performance, and more into the classical music arena. It was there that, ironically, I had the opportunity to work with Paquito D'Rivera and premiered a couple of his classical chamber works.

I will stop before I feel the need to delete this.