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.
Well, I probably would not buy a recording of Zimmy singing “Something”, but I actually liked the way he sang the song. It’s a rock ballad and that is a lot closer to home for Dylan than for Vaughn. Just as John Lennon would probably not be able to pull off “Lush Life”, Sarah is out of her stylistic comfort zone. The song works best with a certain feel that is decidedly not “jazzy”. It almost makes one cringe to hear Sarah swing some of the phrases. Sometimes we think that someone as great as Sarah would be able to sing anything. It’s not so. Listeners can always benefit by being more genre neutral, imo. Same thing for singers/players. Not all can hide their musical “accent”. Like an American actor speaking with a British accent, but it’s obvious that it is not his native accent.  Some artists cultivate and use that kind of flexibility in their style while others don’t or can’t.
Live version of Sugar, which is on the remastered recording. Actually may be better than the smoking original. Adds Airto, Billy Cobham, Hubert Laws, and Johnny Hammond. 

The Philadelphia Expeiment featuring Christian McBride. You old heads need to give it up for these cats. A great tribute to Mr. Grover Washington Jr.


The original “Sugar” IS smoking. One of my favorites in the CTI catalog. I haven’t always been a fan of CTI’s sometimes overproduced studio sound, but that one is a classic. Here’s one by some young guys with a couple of the “old heads” onboard. Bobby Malach has one of the nicest modern tenor sounds of all the young (ish) post-Coltrane tenor guys, but for me it’s trumpeter Brian Lynch that really tears it up on this one:


bluesy, I liked the Philadelphia Project clip, especially “Just The Two Of Us”; McBride sounds great. Had a little trouble finding the magic in “Mr. Magic”. Nice, but for me “Mr. Magic” is so much about the rhythmic groove of the original that the tune kinda gets lost when playing with in such loose way; I kept thinking it was a very long introduction to the tune that never came. Boy does this bring back memories for this old head:


Grover was an underrated saxophone player, imo.  Often lumped in with the “smooth jazz” saxophone crowd who typically don’t get much respect as “serious” players, he was actually a really good player who could play very sensitively and delicately when he needed to; unlike a lot of the obnoxious (to me) sounding smooth jazz saxophone guys.  This is a beautiful and interesting record.  His take on some of the most beautiful operatic songs or arias ever written.  Very sweet soprano saxophone sound: