The incomparable Miles Davis is there anyone else when starting a discussion of jazz?.. well Coltrane, Miles and Coltrane now that
I spent all of yesterday - while working on the Stereophile site relaunch - listening to the Mobile Fidelity SACDs of John Coltrane's Soultrane, Miles Davis' Steamin', and Sonny Rollins' Plus 4. All totally awesome.
btw - I've found that the Sony International remastered version of Kind of Blue from Japan (May 24, 2000 remaster) is IMHO the best remastered version hands-down.
Interesting question. Everyone focuses on KOB, but there were a slew of terrific albums in the same genre being made at the same time.
I'll just throw in Bags Groove on OJC and XRCD. Listen to this lineup: Miles, Sonny, Milt, Thelonious, Horace Silver, Percy Heath, Kenny Clarke... how could that be anything less than deeee-vine.
I'd also suggest Stairway (Lift) to the Scaffold, or Ascenseur pour l'echafaud. It has the sexiest picture of Jeanne Moreau taking it in the ear with Miles' trumpet. 1957 and I wish I'd been there. Moody, moody, moody...
And while you're at it, don't forget Green Dolphin Street (Philly Joe Jones and Bill Evans), Ellington's Such Sweet Thunder... I got a million of'em.
Best Regards and good luck moderating the forums!
If, like me, you're really drawn to jazz trumpet (with or without accompanying sax ,etc)... and if you're also drawn to the incredible beauty of slow, blues-inflected, jazz ballads (as well as faster bop), I would suggest the following artists:
1) Chet Baker: Chet and The Art Of The Ballad.
2) Freddie Hubbard: Sweet Return; Goin' Up and many other Freddie Hubbard albums;
3) Dexter Gordon: One Flight Up; Ballads ; Doin' Allright ; 'Round Midnight (movie soundtrack);
4) Various albums by Sonny Clark; Lee Morgan; Kenny Dorham; Art Farmer; Blue Mitchell; Donald Byrd; Cannonball Adderly; Oliver Nelson (e.g., Blues And The Abstract Truth ); Tina Brooks; Hank Mobley; Woody Shaw; John Coltrane; Gerry Mulligan; Art Blakey; Charles Mingus (e.g. Ah Um ); and many other jazz artists;
5) Tomasz Stanko: Suspended Nights. This is an exquisite jazz album (from the venerable ECM record label) that is hauntingly beautiful, brooding, contemplative, ethereal, surprising, and enchanting. This gorgeous album is one to savor and enjoy especially during late-night listening sessions, when your audio system (and house power) often sound best, and you don't have to get up early or be at work the next day! Not to be missed.
6) Female jazz oriented vocalists: Joni Mitchell; Patricia Barber (e.g., Cafe Blue); Laurel Masse (Alone Together); Jane Monheit; Linda Ronstadt/Nelson Riddle ( What's New); Karrin Allyson; Flora Purim; Annie Ross; Anita O'Day; Cassandra Wilson; and many other artists;
7) Other contemporary, jazz-oriented artists: Chris Botti (trumpet); Johnny A. (guitar); Pat Metheny
(e.g., Bright Size Life and Offramp); Tom Scott (e.g., Intimate Stangers); and many others.
8) Recommended readings: Miles (The Autobiography) by Miles Davis, with Quincy Troupe. The first 2/3rds of this book is like a time-machine which powerfully transports the reader back into the fascinating but often harrowing and seedy underworld that was the crucible of bebop, hard-bop, modal jazz, and "cool jazz", as well as the early roots of electronic fusion jazz, and so forth. Miles is a book that tells a true, voyeuristic and brutally honest (sometimes inappropriately honest?) first-person chronicle of not only the spectacular musical creativity and musical ingenuity of this musical era; it also gives a detailed description of the rampant debauchery, chemical dependency (e.g., heroin, alcohol, cocaine, etc.), mental illness (e.g., manic-depressive or bipolar disorder) misogyny, brutality, and racial prejudices-- all of which helped to shape this most creative era of American music.
with the gil evans orch is another must have.
start there, listen and learn. THEN when you hear something that intrigues you, click on:
which is their playlist and you can see exactly what was played and when. it is also linked to itunes so you can download the music you liked.
you can be listening while hammering on the comp and pick up a great jazz education at the same time. its public funded so you should join if you like it.
Great post. Lots of new records to look for!
Couple of weeks ago, I bought a cd in Stockholm; Avishai Cohen - At Home. If you have
I see a lot of great jazz written about here, but I'm surprised to see that nobody has mentioned Kenny Burrell. If you can get your hands on a mint copy of "Blues the Common Ground" on vinyl, this is a wonderful recording, and of course there is "Midnight Blue" that everyone seems to love, which is a great record also. I don't know of too many people who haven't enjoyed these when they have heard them
Kenny Burrell is one of my favorites (check out Blue Bash in addition to the two recommendations here!), as is Wes Montgomery (Full House and Live at the Half Note are great). I'm also a big fan of Jimmy Smith, legendary Hammond B-3 player who did a lot of work with both of these guitarists. Check out The Sermon and The Dynamic Duo (and Root Down, if you want to try something a little more funk)
1. Bags' Groove (Take 1)
2. Bags' Groove (Take 2)
5. But Not For Me (Take 2)
7. But Not For Me (Take 1)
this should be a good start..
Man, a question with an endless answer.
I would suggest:
Start with one disc. Kind of Blue is fine, but it could be almost any disc.
Find what you liked about it - the bass line, the trumpet, the quality of the recording, etc...
For each thing you liked, take that one step further. If you dug one of the player's sound, then search out information about that player and what discs he's on. Track the engineer and see who else he worked with.
Make it a personal journey, taking each step based on what you like about the first disc.
Then, if you do the same with the other discs that will lead you to, you will have a fine grasp of the canon based on what sounds have moved you. With the interrelattedness of jazz, you'll lead yourself everywhere you will ever need to go.
I find that kind of music hunting to be far superior to merely finding out the names of the "best" discs by various artists and just buying those by reputation.
you are assuming people have alot of time. Also are they listening or hearing...big difference. Most people just want to hear. They know what they like without knowing anything about the quality of the music....I believe these forums are great in offering people different ideas about jazz. I can only suggest things I dig. If you like what I suggest you ask me for more suggestions etc....same with music critics y ou find one that is on your wave length and you go with it. I gained alot of information from downbeat and other assorted periodicals....saved me alot of time.....
What else to start with? How about starting with where it really started. Miles and Coltrane - uniquely great though they were - came pretty late in the game and were the beneficiaries of those who came before them. Sample, however you can, some of these folks: Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Noone, Bix Beiderbeck, Sydney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, Coleman Hawkins, Bessie Smith, Earl Hines, Jack Teagarten, Billie Holiday, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Zoot Sims, Johnny Hodges..... I could go on, but you get the picture. Having collected jazz since before the stereo era, I'm lucky. I can enjoy the earlier stuff any time I like. You might find it fun and get some insight into the jumping off point for guys like Miles and Coltrane too.
What else to start with? How about starting with where it really started. Miles and Coltrane - uniquely great though they were - came pretty late in the game and were the beneficiaries of those who came before them. Sample, however you can, some of these folks: Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Noone, Bix Beiderbeck, Sydney Bechet, Johnny Dodds, Coleman Hawkins, Bessie Smith, Earl Hines, Jack Teagarten, Billie Holiday, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Zoot Sims, Johnny Hodges..... I could go on, but you get the picture.
I have to agree with Clay on this one, "what else to start with?" Huh? Hot Five and Sevens, Duke with Blanton, Lady Day with Prez, or Dizzy with Bird to name just a few of those who came before Miles and Coltrane, as great and important as Miles and Coltrane were, are and will continue to be in the world of jazz and music.
But then my actions do not match my words, since I already started a discussion on this jazz forum about the avant-garde before having even addressed the great Louis Armstrong. Shame on me, especially after the great harm which fell upon the Birth Place of Jazz these past several weeks. So as a way of hoping to right a wrong, I still believe that Clay is correct and one needs get a good understanding of the history of the music. I not saying that one has to love all the older music but at least listen to it enough to learn to respect it for what it is and what it means. And let's not forget that "Kind of Blue" is almost 50 years old itself.
Anyway, how could anyone not love Louie Armstrong? The man was just so incredible. From the his earliest recording with Johnny Dodds and then the unbelievable Hot Five and Seven groups through his 1930 and 40's big band, his post WWII small group recordings and even those 1960's commercial hit records Louie was always on top of his game, always gave the customer everything they paid for, a true and complete professional. Satchmo on bad day was better than most on their best day and Satchmo rarely had a bad day. And while it may be true that Louie was kind of on cruise control through a lot of his later career, during his early days he changed the face of jazz forever and just in case that wasn't enough to ensure his place in musical history, he also proceeded to reinvent pop singing. So I can forgive the man a little cruise control, heck, he could have had an automatic pilot and a gps as far as I'm concerned, he earned them.
What I'm really trying to say is that jazz's past is filled with beautiful music and wonderful characters and I enjoy listening to it, exploring it and learning from it.
For those who only spin little silver discs, I recommend a four disc set released by Columbia Legacy and the Smithsonian entitled Louis Armstrong - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man 1923-1934.
As an english ex-pat in the netherlands who once worked in the states I miss the great variety of Jazz I found on shleves in the US of A. So much so that when I get over there on business trips I go mad and buy "everything" I can get my hands on.
Great places to roam are Borders & Barnes & Noble. If you are lucky they will have "the latest & greatest" on display above the racks and there will be headphone listening posts where you can "try before commit".
As for stuff that I love the most here are some to hunt down.
Julian Cannonball Adderly / Miles Davis "Somethin Else"
Dexter Gordon "Go"
Horace Silver "Song for my Father"
Duke Ellington / Johnny Hodges "Back to Back"
Ben Webster "Soulville"
Oscar Peterson Vol 1 to V a set of SACD/CD Hybrid releases on MPS/Verve which he describes as "the way I really play"
This is all really accessible stuff. If you want a bit more of challenge check out any by
If you want easier listening but great mood stuff, modern artist who play what I call "dinner jazz" are such as
Watch out for your credit card
How about Arne Domnerus? We like him here in the states. Is his stuff passe in Sweden?
I've only recently begun my journey into Jazz and am quite thrilled with what I am finding. So far, i'm really enjoying Bill Evans and Shelly Manne.
I've always loved Blues and have been listening to Otis Spann's "Good Morning Mr. Blues" and perhaps the only version of "Hear My Train A Comin'" that does justice to Hendrix' original...Jimmy D. Lane's "Long Gone."
A couple of 'must haves'
Dave Brubeck - Time Out
Sonny Rollins - The Bridge
Gene Ammons - Boss Tenor