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struts
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Looking for recommendations

I was wondering, audiophile siblings, if you could help me out with some jazz recommendations.

Thing is, I have been listening to a lot of jazz recently, but while there is lots I have found I like (I am really getting into Sonny Rollins, Canonball Adderley, Ben Webster, Dexter Gordon for instance) nothing I have heard yet comes close to my two favourite works which are - GROAN! - Kind of Blue and A Love Supreme. What I love about these sets in particular is the way the albums just flow and the tracks are interrelated by common musical themes, in fact ALS seems more like a symphony to me! You pretty much have to play the whole album or you're missing the point. This is what distances them in my mind from other albums whose music I also love such as Somethin' Else or Saxophone Colossus but which play to my ears at least more like just collections of great tunes. Here I feel you could cherry-pick tracks without losing out in the same way.

Am I making sense? If so could any of you good folks help me out with some recommendations of similarly great works exhibiting this particular quality?

dcstep
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Re: Looking for recommendations

Miles with Gil Evans had several "thematic" albums. Have you tried "Sketches of Spain" or "Porgy & Bess"? Duke also had a couple, that I don't own, but I listened to on the radio. Somebody help me, wasn't one "Black, Brown and Tan" or something like that and there was another one or two.

Most of the later Coltrane was closer to what you like. Have you got "My Favorite Things"?

On the "modern" side of things, seems like a couple of Italian trumpeter Enrico Ravi's stuff is more thematic. I'll need to go home and pull out the CDs to remember the names, unless someone helps me first.

struts
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Re: Looking for recommendations

Thanks Dave. I have Sketches but the music just doesn't grab me in the way Kind of Blue does; haven't heard Porgy & Bess.

I have My Favourite Things on order. I have probably heard it before but can't place it.

Very interested in others.

dcstep
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Re: Looking for recommendations

Have you listened to much Keith Jarrett? He's done many standards where he can stay pretty close to the melody, but he has some freer stuff that has very extended solos on very simple themes.

smejias
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Re: Looking for recommendations


Quote:
What I love about these sets in particular is the way the albums just flow and the tracks are interrelated by common musical themes, in fact ALS seems more like a symphony to me!

Have you heard Miles' In A Silent Way? John DeVore recommended that one to me, and I love it. And along those same lines (to me, at least), Michael Lavorgna has got me interested in Sonny Rollins' Freedom Suite.

dbowker
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Re: Looking for recommendations

I also love "Porgy & Bess" for many reasons and it's fits your thematic yearning. Try Wynton Marsalis' "Marciac Suite". Also, although maybe not as thematic, most of Miles Davis' albums in the "Walkin'" or "Relaxin'" or "Workin'" series all were recorded in a day or so and the set list is extremely tight. Truly for a Davis fan, maybe even as a jazz education, these are must-haves. Most of Bill Evans (no relation to Gil) albums seem to be tightly constructed and are just great all around. "Way Out West" by Rollins is a sonic must-have, and a thematic gem to boot. I need to go listen to it right now...

Hope that helps!

andy_c
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Re: Looking for recommendations

Struts,

You might try Ellington Indigos. While it is certainly not monolithic as A Love Supreme is, it hangs together at least as well as Kind of Blue does IMHO. I'm actually a bit baffled by the perceived similarities between Kind of Blue and A Love Supreme that you express, and suspect they may be unique to you, making it difficult to extend the idea to a recommendation.

On the plus side, Ellington Indigos is a very safe bet even if it doesn't fit your "hangs together" criterion. One female reviewer on Amazon even claimed that it was almost like an aphrodisiac . It uses distant miking, so many audiophiles will like the sound quality. The distant miking makes for a natural sound, as it picks up a lot of the ambience of the recording venue (some might say too much).

jazzfan
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Thematic Jazz Recordings

Here's a quick list of some thematic jazz recordings.

Duke Ellington:

1) ...And His Mother Called Him Bill - Ellington's tribute to his long time collaborator and friend, Billy Strayhorn, recorded shortly after Strayhorn's untimely passing. A stunning recording with an absolutely incredible performance by Johnny Hodges on "Blood Count". Pick up the 2002 reissue since the first CD release was a hatchet job.

2) Latin American Suite

3) New Orleans Suite

4) The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse

5) The Far East Suite

6) Any of the Sacred Concert recordings

John Coltrane:

1) Meditations

2) First Meditations (for Quartet)

Charles Mingus:

1) Tijuana Moods

2) The Black Saint and Sinner Lady

3) Cumbia & Jazz Fusion

Abdullah Ibraham:

1) African Dawn

2) The African Suite

John Carter:

1 thru 5) Roots and Folklore: Episodes in the Development of American Folk Music which consists of the thsse five recordings: Dauwhe (on Black Saint), Castles of Ghana, Dance of the Love Ghosts, Fields and Shadows on a Wall (all on Gramavision)

Randy Sandke and the Metatonal Big Band - The Subway Ballet

Vienna Art Orchestra:

1) Suite For the Green Eighties

2) The Minimalism of Erik Satie

The Mary Lou Williams Collective - Zodiac Suite: Revisitied

Uri Caine:

1) Urlicht/Primal Light

2) Wagner e Venezia [live]

3) The Sidewalks of New York: Tin Pan Alley

4) I Went Out This Morning Over the Countryside

5) The Goldberg Variations

6) Love Fugue

7) Diabelli Variations

8) The Classical Variations

That should be enough to keep you busy for a while.

DraganH
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Re: Thematic Jazz Recordings

Another one to consider is the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. Albums such as 'The Soul Of Things ' and 'Suspended Night' are two of his more recent excellent works and both have that thematic variation at its core. They're on the ECM label, are very accesible and the sound quality is also first class.

struts
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Re: Thematic Jazz Recordings

Thanks for the suggestions everybody; what an overwhelming response!

I have ordered the first 'batch' of discs and there are already enough suggestions here to keep me going for a year or more. Now my only limiting factor is time to listen to it all...

jazzfan
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Re: Thematic Jazz Recordings


Quote:
Another one to consider is the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. Albums such as 'The Soul Of Things ' and 'Suspended Night' are two of his more recent excellent works and both have that thematic variation at its core. They're on the ECM label, are very accesible and the sound quality is also first class.

I second that recommendation. Along similar lines I would also recommend the French reed player Louis Sclavis' "Napoli's Walls", also on ECM.

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