Saturday, 9 June 2018

Jazz - This time it's personal

So far on the Jazz journey I have suggested some labels to start with, and talked about the current state of things. What I haven't done is tell you what's on my iPod. Of 1200 odd albums 267 are jazz, with Jazz Rock, Jazz Funk and other variations on top of that. Here's this weeks top picks, but ask me tomorrow and it will all be different.

Sonny Clark - Cool Struttin'
Clark. like Hank Mobley below was "forgotten" for a long time, but has been found again and is getting his due of praise. This is what Soul Jazz should sound like. Great band with Clark and Jackie McLean particularly bluesey. One of Miles best rhythm sections, Paul Chambers on bass and Philly Joe Jones on drums and Art Farmer on trumpet. 
Duke Ellington - At Newport
Ellington was truly the greatest american composer of the 20th Century, and also the best band leader. Paul Gonsalves performance on Diminuendo In Blue And Crescendo In Blue is rightly highlighted as one of the outstanding Jazz solos

Kamasi Washington - The Epic
When a Jazz artist gets a write up in Mojo you know he's made it. Ok there's really nothing that Miles or Coltrane didn't originate but the dense arrangements, including voices, strings and stream of consciousness soloing mean you get swept up in it and suddenly 3 hours have gone by. Epic oh yes. Get it you won't regret it

Weather Report - Mr Gone
Notoriously got a 1 star review in Downbeat, don't know why it has always been my favourite Weather report album. Anything with Jaco on it is ok by me. The Legendary Live tapes album includes material recorded at the same time, and is the best bet for live WR.

Herbie Hancock - Manchild
Better more developed ideas than Headhunters for me. Jazz you can dance to.

Sun Ra - Somewhere Else
Jazz from Saturn. You have to work at "getting" the Arkestra but once you do avoid the "easy" compilations and go for this or Space Is The Place and blast off from there

Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Art Blakey and John Coltrane all get regular play across lots of albums, and if you want to try them you are on safe ground with most of there albums. Maybe try Blue Train or Giant Steps as a route into Coltrane.

And that's Jazz. I promise not to mention it for a bit now so it's safe to come out...

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