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.


Thanks. I have "Ming’s Samba" but none of the others on your list. Will check them out.

I have "Ballads" and "Lovers" as well. These are probably fairly conservative, for him. I used to favor more atonality but as I’ve aged, my taste for it has definitely waned. For example, I can’t listen to Eric Dolphy anymore -- it just sounds out of tune to me.

BTW, I was fortunate to see D. Murray in the eighties with a stellar group: John Hicks, Reggie Workman and Ed Blackwell.




Jeff Darrohn,   T-Bird ‘60.   

Well recorded.  A lot of depth and separation.


I would say that lots of my jazz records that I bought first were from 70’s jazz, music that somewhat sounded (to me anyway at the time) like ’rock’ music of that era. As I have continued to listen jazz, I started more and more to appreciate ’older’ stuff, first from 60’s and than to 50’s and still I have not returned to that 70’s jazz sound.


I have a different experience.

I also came to jazz through the fusion of the 70’s (Mahavishnu, RtF, Iceberg, Gong, etc, etc), and then began to appreciate jazz from the 60’s. But not too much from the 50’s. Post-bop. modal, avant-garde are my main interests in pre 70’s jazz.

But most of my taste in jazz, is from the 70’s forward, up through the present. So many contemporary jazz musicians suffer in relative obscurity, that IMO, rival some of the best from the past. And there is plenty of world class contemporary fusion, too.

I also still listen to prog. There is plenty of great, contemporary prog, much of which, is not trying to copy the sound of prog of the 70’s. But even a lot of the contemporary prog, that does have a bit of a retro feel, is still done so well, that it is still well worth listening to.


Re: Atonal

Atonality can vary in its presentation from minor to complete dissonance.

That being said Eric Dolphy has just as many recordings with minor dissonance, and mostly so, then he has with complete dissonance (I call it chaos)....

Archie Shepp is another example of this


The Shadow Of Your Smile - YouTube

Minor Chaos

Archie Shepp - Yasmina, A Black Woman - YouTube

The term "free jazz" can vary in its definition. Did it not start with Ornette Coleman

Major Chaos 

Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz (1961) (Full Album) - YouTube




tonality can vary in its presentation from minor to complete dissonance.

Yes -- this is indisputable.

And you are correct -- Eric Dolphy does not engage in "chaos". Nevertheless, I find I do not enjoy his playing, at this point. When Jazz soloing is mostly consonant -- that is to say, when most pitches are targeted straight on-- I can enjoy touches of dissonance. I have plenty of Post-Bop recordings of sax players employing over-blowing and other extended techniques but Dolphy tends to not hit many pitches straight on -- his sound is quite "wobbly" in terms of intonation, overall, and this I do not enjoy.

I don’t know what qualifies as the earliest Free Jazz recording. Coleman’s Free Jazz isn’t a favorite but I do enjoy his "classic" quartet albums.

Are you familiar with Sam Rivers’ "Contours" ? I love Freddie Hubbard’s playing on that but Rivers is just too outside for my tastes. To use the analogy of a coloring book, Hubbard’s playing goes back and forth between staying "within the lines" and crossing over them -- he weaves back and forth and makes a point of maintaining a connection with consonance while Rivers, to my ear, is not nearly as concerned about this connection. Consistent with your assertion that I highlighted, It’s a matter of degree, not an either/or polarity.