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.
Jazz At The Philharmonic: Best Of The 1940's Concerts

well, lets see, we have: Lester Young, Buck Clayton, Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, Charlie Parker, Willie Smith, Roy Eldridge, Hank Jones, Ray Brown, Buddy Rich, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat 'King' Cole, Les Paul, Gene Krupa, Jo Jones, Billie Holiday, and company.

Why can one possibly say? The sound quality was very good, all things considered. It being live and the 40's.

Most of the soloing was great, and I felt like an 'Ellington/Gonsalves at Newport' moment would break out at any minute.

Ella was awesome and never sang one word of English or any other language. She is like another instrument in the band.

Billie was as good as any singer not named Ella ccould be.

The liner notes of this CD are very interesting. There seems to have been a little controversy surrounding the entire JATP thingy. Two excerpts from the liner notes:

"great storytelling is a matter of mastering structure and pacing, not divine intervention. In bringing the Jam Session to a mass audience, Granz robbed it of it's mystery, and some critics never forgave him for it."

"If people liked it, it wasn't Jazz. Jazz has a cult mentality and Cannot deal with mass acceptance without feeling like a whore."

I must do some research into the whole JATP thing.
Comments on the two quotes are welcomed.


Jazz is not a single dish, it's a banquet, and I'm going to give you a sampling of some other treats in this same time frame, and genre.

Although everyone knows "Stan Getz", not everyone knows all the facets of Mr. Getz. "Focus" is his most unique album in my opinion. It just flows from one cut to the next. That continuity gives the complete album a certain "unity" as opposed to an album consisting of separate cuts. This is my favorite album by Mr. Getz, and I give you "I'm late, I'm late" from "Focus"


While Mr. Yusef Lateef could play "stereotypical" jazz on the tenor sax as well as any man alive, his personal musical tastes were not at all "stereotypical"; he always gave jazz a different twist. Although Lateef's main instruments are the tenor saxophone and flute, he also plays oboe and bassoon, both rare in jazz, and also uses a number of world music instruments, notably the bamboo flute, shanai, shofar, Xun, arghul, sarewa, and koto. He is known for his innovative blending of jazz with "Eastern" music. This is from one of my favorite albums by Yusef Lateef, "The Blue Yusef Lateef".


Next is "Ahmad Jamal", he influenced Miles; I don't think you can get a recommendation higher than that. Miles liked his use of space, he was never in a hurry. I liked the way he did standards, regardless how many times you heard one of these tunes, it always sounded new and fresh when Ahmad Jamal did it. First I give you "Moonlight in Vermont" followed by "Ahmads Blues".



I hope you've enjoyed my presentations, and I'm looking forward to yours.

Enjoy the music.
I don't think i would characterize Norman Granz as a "robber"...stealing the "mystery" of the jam session, and exposing it to the public? In reality, few were privy to the "Jam Session" as it was the musicians domain,lets say the hunting grounds for the lions and tigers of the late night,feasting on the young and unproven musician who had to prove they could stand next to the kings of the Jungle.This is one thing that eventually eroded Jazz was the lack of public humiliation to make youyrself a better player.How do you think the young Bopper's matured so quickly?...they played.played,played! Thank goodness for the Harlem spots like Minton's Playhouse and Clark Monroe's uptown house, where nighly jams brought the older players to joust with the youngsters,albeit the Boppers were working on their own" alchemy" of variations on the "changes".The question became what older established players would get with the new and adapt, and forge, the way to the new music.Such is the way in the veldt...eat or be eaten.The "Jam Session" was a proving ground....the story aboput Bird being gonged off the stage by a cymbal being thrown....over ten years later a similar humiliation would be suffered by Ornette Coleman in Los Angeles.
What Granz did,among MANY things,was bring the excitement of this competion to the public with a new found dignity,a showcase for the myriad of talents within the music..Bird,Prez,Ella,Tatum...he took the greats of the music and brought them to your town.
An amazing look at the reclusive and innovative Norman Granz is ..."Norman Granz....The man who used Jazz for Justice" University of California Press 2011.Author Tad Hershorn spent years just getting the interviews with Granz and finally suceeded and opened the mysterious world of this man.Hershorn is a member of the Rutgers based Institute of Jazz studies,his is a multi-layered,scholary approach.The evolution of the "JATP" concept is a major part of this book,the tours,players,recordings and the fight for the dignity of the musicians of "color",not always easy in the 1950's.He shares the details of Granz' musical adventures with an ease and a flow that make this great reading.You will come away with a respect for the man who realized that Art Tatum needed to sit in the studio and record over one hundred solo performances.He was among the very first who listened to the artist and gave them freedom.You will lament the unfulfilled sessions (Lester Young with strings and Charlie Parker and Art Tatum duets)You will be amazed at what one man accomplished for Jazz.

A very interesting and informative post. I don't agree with the following statement:

"This is one thing that eventually eroded Jazz was the lack of public humiliation to make youyrself a better player"

I don't think the 'public' was / is qualified to pass judgement on the players we are talking about. The Jazz players excelled in spite of the public, not because of it. And if the current public taste is any indication, it was a good thing. I think Jazz was 'eroded' by social change. (progress) Same thing that killed Boxing.

I did order the book about Ganz. It seems like it would be a good read. Thanks for the tip.

One of the JATP concerts was performed and recorded at the SYRIA MOSQUE. I could not believe it! Then I learned it was just a venue at which everyone from Sousa to Dylan to the Pittsburgh symphony had performed. Torn down and is now a parking lot on the Univerity of Pittsburgh campus. Never did get the name.


BTW, I have all of Tatum's solos. Thank you Ganz. I think? :)

Lee Morgan, is one of the greatest "modern jazz" trumpet players ever in history. This is the consensus I've gotten after a lifetime of talking to other jazz aficionados. He was chosen when I picked Clifford Brown. I'll give you two of the many reasons why Lee Morgan has been chosen by consensus of many jazz aficionados: "A Night in Tunisia" and "Since I Fell For You".


Lenny Welch's "Since I Fell for You," reached number 4 on U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in 1963. That certainly ranks his version as one of the best. Lee Morgan's trumpet sings this song even better than Lenny Welch.