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.


You mentioned Jan Johansson.  I agree he is under rated.  My favorite album of his might be his Folkvisor, Jazz Pa Svenska album. It is just a piano and an upright bass.  It is very well recorded and it is on my “test track” list. Really great decays and presence.

Good choice indeed and good ears...😊😉

It is one of the best three among the 12 albums i listened to ...


You mentioned Jan Johansson. I agree he is under rated. My favorite album of his might be his Folkvisor, Jazz Pa Svenska album. It is just a piano and an upright bass. It is very well recorded and it is on my “test track” list. Really great decays and presence.

I focussed my attention on a drummer these days ... It is not often the case ... Sometimes in the past  i did it as for Paul Motian for example or Elvin Jones  ...

Manu Katché is very interesting ...

I am interested by albums created around him ...I listen to 9 of them now ...

He did never take the stage and serve the music so well we forget him but his work is so minimalistically musically good ... Colored me impressed ...



@stuartk , with respect (sincerely!), I think that you are “viewing” the process of the evolution of Jazz with “markers” that are too broad. I never said that the sound of the “second great quintet” was Fusion-like. I wrote:

*** A stylistic period of Miles’ that clearly showed him headed toward a Fusion/Rock sensibility ***.

“…headed toward…”. Now, obviously, to identify why it can be said that it is “headed toward” there must be some characteristics in the style of the compositions and the style of how they are played that points to a change and a departure from the then current general Jazz sensibility. That departure/change had begun a few years earlier still.

The reason KOB is such a landmark recording is that it changed everything. It ushered in modal Jazz. Most of the tunes on KOB have very simple chord progressions and those are based on “modes”. While standard Jazz tunes written up to the time of KOB might have up to two or three different chord changes in each and every measure of a thirty two measure chorus, in modal Jazz you might have one single chord change every eight measures. It was Miles’s way of freeing up the soloists from the harmonic constraints of complex chord changes. Well, what is one of the main identifying traits of Fusion (as being discussed here)? Very simple chord progressions and the use of modes. Sheer coincidence? It’s part of the continuum that is the evolution of the music and those changes happen over time in much finer increments than we often consider.

Then there is the change in the general approach to rhythm. By the late ‘50’s Jazz starts becoming less “swingy”. Less of a triplet feeling and closer (ultimately almost entirely) to a straight, more even, feel. This is reflected in the way that the players play. As always, what drives these changes has a lot to do with societal sensibilities as a whole. Artists are people too and they express what’s happening at the time. Tony Williams was a young Jazz drummer living in a time when R&R was taking off. A music with very even rhythmic feel, zero swing of the usual type. And he goes on to record projects that had very strong Rock elements. Is it any surprise that Williams would have a certain sensibility in his playing that was what Miles was looking for as he moved his music forward stylistically? I don’t think so. Herbie Hancock. Herbie went on to record a great deal in a funk/fusion/electronic groove. Wayne Shorter. Shorter went on to co-found probably the biggest name in Fusion, Weather Report. More coincidences??? No way! It had all been set in motion by the time that the music became overtly and obviously “FUSION”. Miles chose those particular players for a reason.

That is what I mean when I say Miles was “clearly headed toward a Fusion/Rock sensibility”. That’s the way it always works. Doesn’t matter the time period. In many general ways the same things can be said of the the evolution of Jazz from traditional/Dixieland to Swing, to Bebop, to the present.

Miles was a great musical genius. He was obviously the main driving force in his bands regardless of time period, but he chose players that played in a way that supported his broader musical vision at any point in his career.

Thanks for the dialogue. I enjoy your commentary,

Btw, perhaps I don’t understand this part of your question about Tony Williams’ first two Blue Notes. To me, “Lifetime” is full fledged Fusion by then.