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.

When I saw Eddie Fisher live, and he mentioned the guys he was working with had only heard the jam that morning, it made me think about my "jazz friend"; the people he worked with had only one hour to get ready for show time.

What I will never be able to understand, is how can these guys who barely met one another, play together so coherently?

I recall one hour before "show time" when my friend was staying at my apartment, these musicians who he just met, on the bandstand talking musician talk, (Greek to me). Ain't no way this can work, I thought, but it always did.

I have no idea who you call, or what you ask for when you want musicians to work with you; there has to be a special way to do this.

That was one fun Summer. I was on sick leave, and bored out of my mind when my friend came to my apartment. I could see that he had something heavy on his mind, but I didn't ask any questions. The way I saw it, I had two jobs; one was not to ask too many questions, and the other was to keep him from thinking about what ever was troubling him so. No, I never knew what it was, nor did I ever ask him; he seemed happiest telling me about his life as a professional jazz musician, and I was happiest listening to his almost unbelievable life. If you read Anita O Days autobiography, or Art Peppers, or one of the many other "professional jazz musicians" autobiography's, you know how eventful their lives are.

I had been an ardent fan of his music for six years, consequently I was familiar with it; but I was floored every time he got on the bandstand, because I hadn't heard this music before. Since I'm not a musician, he certainly couldn't explain to me what was so different, and he never tried.

After the performance, my job was getting us to the best bowl of chili. There were two places in St. Louis where the chili was world famous, now there's no place to get a good bowl of chili. Only a connoisseur knows what a good bowl of chili tastes like; he was a connoisseur.

After two bowls of chili with spaghetti for me, and one for him, time to go home. Neither one of us needed a lot of sleep, and I was on sick leave at that time. Symbiosis is defined as a mutually beneficial relationship between two people. He enjoyed telling me about his life as a professional jazz musician, and I enjoyed listening; that was the fundamental basis of our relationship.

He was the only jazz musician who I was ever close to, consequently I can make no comparisons; but he was exactly what I expected a jazz musician would be; the way he dressed, talked and even walked. He was cool and hip, without for one instant, ever trying to be either one. Although he made sure his clothes were pressed, and clean, he never made any effort to dress; he just put on some clothes every day. "That sure is hip", I thought, what ever he was wearing.

I had read about Django Reinhardt, and saw pictures of him dressed casually, and that's as close as I can come to my friend; Django always looked hip to me, and my friend had a Gypsy personality. One day I went to my car, and he was in the drivers seat; "Just what do you think you're going to do"?

"What does it look like"?

"But you ain't got no keys, and no car", I responded; he just sat there. "People from New York don't know how to drive, and you been in New York too long for me". After a long hesitation, I handed him the keys, and we went cruising. I took a picture of him in my mind; "Gangster lean, hat cocked ace deuce; he looked the part of a big city driver anyway."

Enjoy the music.

Since you folks insist on leaving the Jazz reservation, why not go here.  Gotta listen at volume!  A lot going on here.



Rok, I can leave the reservation any time for music like that. Late night and a glass of wine (or whatever), and the volume up a notch.

Here's another one from the same album; it's instrumental, closer to the jazz reservation. This music is also well recorded.


Enjoy the music.

Rok, when I was in LA sometime ago, there was a car in front of "Dino's" that looked like that, two tone and all. I could not name one single car parked in front of "Dino's". I asked the guy showing me around LA, if we should stop at "Dino's" and have a drink. Those cars parked out front told us the answer to that question, he just smiled.

Enjoy the music.