T Nation

Jazz Recommendations?


#1

Anyone into jazz around here? Any recommendations for nice jazz albums in the vein of Charlie Parker's Funky Blues and Ellington w/Coltrane? Bop in a small setting, basically.

Thanks.


#2
  • Well, I'm an old fart, and a long time jazz lover. I've recently discovered Rhapsody's subscription music service, and I am in Jazz heaven.
    Great way to explore a bunch of music, for one set price, and then buy only what you really like...

Now, for recommendations. You mentioned Coltrane - look for "A love Supreme" I really like Miles Davis stuff from the 50's and 60's. Look for "kind of Blue." I'm a guitar player who dabbles in jazz. I love Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burell ( who did some great recordings with Coltrane), Grant Green, and Joe Pass.

A great unknown piano player named Cedar Walton. His recordings from the 70's/ 80's are great. Look for one called "the pentagon." Art Pepper - terrific sax player. Anything from Thelonious Monk. Anything from Charles Mingus. Anything from Dave Brubeck.

Finally, some recent stuff under the "acid jazz" style is great. The James Taylor group (no, not that one) is really cool.
There's more, but real work is calling . . .


#3

CONRAD HERWIG!!! He's the most phenomanal trombone player ever, his virtuosity, in my opinion, makes all others look silly. Umm, you already mentioned Coltrane. I like Charlie Christian, he's a bob innovater, a guitar player. I tend to stick to the big names, Parker, Trane, Dizzy, Rollins, Davis etc. I of course have to reccomend the king, Louis Armstrong. I've analyzed some of his solos and they are far ahead of the time he played in.


#4

i'm certainly no expert (hey, i'm still in my 20's) or jazz purist, but I've been buying tons of jazz cd's lately. The more mellow, laid-back, the better. (Yes, I know...I'm not a real jazz fan.) I listen to them late at night when I'm doing schoolwork or driving home from the gym.

Some good ones I've gotten recently:

John Coltrane with Johnny Hartman
Dexter Gordon - Go
Dexter Gordon - Ballads
Oscar Peterson - Night Train
Duke Ellington - Masterpieces by DE
Gerry Mulligan - Night Lights


#5

John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
Dave Brubeck - Take 5

The first two are, in my opinion, the two best jazz albums ever recorded. Take 5 is great also.


#6

I have to say the best jazz album ever (IMHO) is Ornette Coleman's "Shape of Jazz to Come."

I agree with the Coltrane suggestions, and would also recommend "Giant Steps" and "Dakar." Mingus is also phenomenal.

Another lesser known but influential guy was Albert Ayler. He really pushed the envelope towards the more avant-garde jazz.


#7

Anything by the Dave Brubeck quartet.


#8

Agree with that.

Would also recommend recording with Monk and Coltrane together.


#9

Miles Davis - Kinda Blue
Miles Davis - Birth of the Cool
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messangers
John Coltrane - Live at Birdland
John Coltrane - Giant Steps
Buddy Rich Big Band - anything live is fantastic

Just a few of my personal favorites. I played drums for years so I tend to lean towards stuff with impressive drumming, rich, getz, blakey, jones, etc... But in my opinion great drummers make for great jazz.

If you're looking for something a little differen or are feeling experimental, check out the Mahavishnu Orchestra (Inner Mounting Flame's a great album) it's more fusion jazz but will blow your mind once you get past the uncomfortable feeling you get from the odd keys and time signatures.

Enjoy,
Jay


#10

Hah, fusion is interesting, I know those guys, McLaughlin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Bitch's Brew.

Thanks for the recording suggestions. What about the best bop recordings? I tend to lean towards those more than any other type of jazz.


#11

John Coltrane -- Giant Steps


#12

Amen!


#13

For jazz in a smaller setting, I don't know that it gets any better than the Bill Evans Trio "Sunday at the Village Vanguard." Perfection.

For a larger ensemble, I love all of Mingus's Atlantic recordings, especially "The Clown." Haitian Fight Song is one of my all time favorites.


#14

Coltrane is my favourite; a love supreme is one of the most important things in my life; my favourite things, live at birdland, crescent, 1960s european stuff etc. is all also incredible. all the guys being mentioned are great; my one blog entry has the stuff i like but i'll throw out a few lesser known/not mentioned guys
old ( mostly Dead): joe henderson, hank mobley, lee morgan, art blakey, lee konitz, ron carter, jaco pastorius, mccoy tyner
i dont know if anyone mentioned bird (charlie parker) or dizzy gillespie, and also bud powell are essentials
newer guys: joshua redman, christian mcbride, nicholas payton, roy hargrove, mingus big band (incredible! if you are ever in new york on a tuesday, DO NOT MISS), danilo perez, cyrus chestnut if you like latin poncho sanchez, david sanchez, miguel zenon, arturo sandoval, paquito d'rivera are all hip as shit.
and the fact that no one has mentioned herbie hancock or wayne shorter is scary. two of the greatest and still rocking and rolling.
one method ive heard is to buy a bunch of miles albums and buy the sidemen's stuff and buy their sidemen's stuff etc. because miles was so versatile and lived for so long you might hit almost everyone in jazz (except for the ellington/armstrong era, that might be tough, although doable)
also if you live in/near a major ish city, check out the summer jazz festival they are sure to have; usually some pretty heavy guys are at almost any reasonably sized festival.
good listening


#15

Benny Carter - I'm in the Mood for Swing

As the title says, it's swing, not bop, but these quartet and quintet arrangements will chill you out nicely after a rough day.


#16

Kid Ory's Creole Jazz Band is one of my favs. Listen to St. James Infirmary, because I'm sure you've heard it before. Fats Waller is good, too. Jelly Roll Morton. These are just some examples that are different from the obviously Davis, Coltrane, Parker (I love Parker) suggestions.

Although those three are among the best.