In general, I enjoy “Latin Jazz,” and “Cuban Jazz” is no exception. (I probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish “Cuban jazz” from other forms of “Latin Jazz,” though.) I especially love listening to this type of music live. I’m assuming you’re into this, Malik
Btw, I listened through the Slave Riot album on grooveshark. I wasn’t giving it my full attention (I was typing online), but I didn’t hear anything that grabbed me. I’m open to the DJ’s dealing with jazz, but I think the music on this album seemed pretty static and not really grooving. I actually like electro-acoustic improv, which this music sort of reminded me of, but not as good as some other stuff. What, specifically, grabbed you about this particular album?
Yikes! For some reason since this morning I’m not getting any notifications by email for these or other conversations from other sites, ugh…
Guess till I have the energy to find out why, gotta check it all out the old fashioned way…
@Jazzaloha — I live in L.A. Any good places you can recommend here? When I used to live in NYC, it was easy to find jazz…
Ok, here’s a guitar thingy I just heard — Sal Salvador, Autumn in New York. Nice vibes too. Liked this a lot.
I don’t know LA jazz spots at all. Then again, I think the Jazz Bakery or something like that is in the LA area. Sorry.
I never heard of Sal Salvador. I’ll try to check him out.
Have you ever heard Red Norvo (vibes) with Tal Farlow (guitar) and Charles Mingus (bass)? The music swings and there’s some good interplay between the three. I’ve been wanting to pick up cd with this trio for a long time now.
Did you like like the stuff Mingus did with Rahsaan Roland Kirk and George Adams?
Mingus at Carnegie Hall is a gem. Oh, yea, big RRK fan myself. Have collected quite a bit of his muisic over the years. Mezzo has been showing segments from his live concerts on Jazz Icons. Fascinating to watch him play all those horns, shifting from one to the next with all them hanging from his shoulders. Doesn’t get much better than The Inflated Tear. Also, like the stuff he did on Limelight Records, such as I Talk to Spirits. Also like the tribute Eric Burdon and War did for him, Visions of Rahsaan,
Mingus at Carnegie Hall is a gem.
Ha, I was telling JazzAloha this in person today. That is just amazing album, one of my favorite live jazz albums ever.
You asked me about Chet Baker once – this review by Harvey Pekar sounds good:
I’ll try to track down that Carnegie Hall album (although I might have heard it before).
I’ll check out the review, thanks.
Edit: I read the review. The cd set sounds interesting. If his solos are lyrical, I’d like to check him out. My impression was that he sounded too much like Miles, but that was based on very little of his playing. I need to check him out.
Btw, one of the things I really love about the “cool jazz” musicians is there penchant for contrapuntal soloing (two soloists playing melodies at the same time). I just love it! It’s weird that this approach seemed popular among white musicians and not black ones.
Here’s a cool Jazz list from Pierro Scaruffi…Link!
Not represented here (because they lived before the age of “albums”): Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Stan Getz, Fats Waller, Scott Joplin, Louis Armostrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Charlie Parker, Stephane Grappelli, Earl Hines, Woody Herman, Jelly Roll Morton, Tommy Dorsey, Johnny Hodges, Count Basie, Chet Baker, Charlie Christian, Art Tatum, Lester Young, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, King Oliver, Bix Beiderbecke, Kid Ory, Glenn Miller, Bud Powell, Artie Shaw, Jack Teagarden, Joe Venuti, early Duke Ellington, early Coleman Hawkins
The date of a recording is generally the date… of the recording (not the date the album was commercially introduced by a music label). If an album was made in 1954 but not sold until 1993, the date of the recording is 1954.
Personally, I get rather bored listening to the 100th version of a “standard”. Therefore I tend to reward original compositions over covers. A well-played album of covers is… a well-played album of covers. An album of great compositions is… a masterpiece by that composer. (Incidentally, most jazz “standards” are not much better than pop songs, and often they actually “are” pop songs, something that, personally, I don’t find very interesting).
Ditto for live albums. Live albums are usually… bad albums. The improvised format rarely yields good music. A studio album has been made (hopefully) by selecting the best takes of a piece. The odds that a live version is as good as a studio version are rather slim. Which is exactly what I keep finding in live albums: bad versions of studio cuts.
I am not too interested in the instrumental technique. I am more interested in emotion than in technique. Traditionally, jazz has been associated with technique (an odd mis-interpretation of the original spirit of Afro-american music by white intellectuals). I do not enjoy listening to music for the sake of a brilliant solo. That solo has to deliver emotion. If it is technically breathtaking but does not deliver any emotion, that musician is not very interesting to me. There is a difference, in my opinion, between a juggler and an artist. If the playing is barely passable, but it delivers a lot of emotion, that musician is a genius.
I listed very few albums of the 1990s because I still need to do some research. It takes many years to find out about “obscure” recordings which are not necessarily less significant than the famous ones.
This list is a meant as a sort of “history of jazz”, not as a “recommended discography”. For example, it does not include anthologies/compilations. If I had to recommend a discography, in many cases I would recommend an anthology over three/four of the original albums. Jazz musicians tend to record too many albums on the fly, rather than stop, think, rehearse and then record. This results in very poor quality compared with, say, classical music.
It’s pretty interesting to see a list I like so much and at the same disagree so wholeheartedly with much of what the “list maker” says about the music he’s listing…
“If the playing is barely passable, but it delivers a lot of emotion, that musician is a genius.”
This logic can be used to justify the assertion that McFly are musical geniuses. Also, I have serious reservations about that list. I can’t be the only one who thinks that The Shape of Jazz to Come is one of Ornette’s most overrated albums? It doesn’t come near Change of the Century or Dancing in Your Head or In All Languages or Song X …
Yeah, I really love his ranking of The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, A Love Supreme, Spiritual Unity, and Unit Structures. Those are pretty similar to my own ranking (if I were to rank), but his criteria seems rather absurd… especially given his love for “avant,” “free” Jazz…. which is almost always about the technically proficiency of the player (would Spiritual Unity have 1/1000 of its impact if Ayler weren’t able to explore every single possible sound his instrument could make? I doubt it).
And yeah… he doesn’t like live albums? Or standards? Part of what makes a jazz musician a genius is his or her ability to take what isn’t theirs and make it their own on the spot… of you don’t like either live albums or standards you really don’t like jazz.
And to be perfectly honest I much prefer Coleman’s work on trumpet for Jackie McLean’s New and Old Gospel (who is oddly totally excluded from this list as a leader… as is Lee Morgan… why don’t they ever get the respect they deserve as leaders?) than on any of the five albums I’ve heard him as a leader.
Oh, and he also lists Out to Lunch from Dolphy (the only album from Dolphy (as a leader), I believe)… I much prefer Iron Man, even Out There, and especially Live at the Five Spot, but…
Overall, though, I thought it was an interesting list just for how deep he goes into avant realms of music (always an interest of mine), and it’s always cool to see a list in which you’ve only heard a handful of the albums mentioned (a reminder to me to get deeper into Charlie Haden, Lennie Tristano, and Anthony Braxton, among others).
Saw Charlie Haden with Kenny Barron. A great show.
I’m not familiar with Scaruffi, but he sounds like he’s more of a classical music critic (or at least a non-jazz one). Then again, perhaps, this is a translation of what he wrote? For example, when he says, “This list is a meant as a sort of “history of jazz”, not as a “recommended discography”.” I don’t see how you could give a list of albums representing the history of jazz without musicians like Ellington(!), Lester Young, et. al.
Clearly, Scaruffi’s preferences lean towards the avant-garde side of things, but even then, I find some curious choices (Tim Berne’s Fractured Fairy Tales at #21?) I haven’t heard all the albums on his list, however.
One other comment: I know people love Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, but I don’t think it’s as great as some of his other recordings. The fact that it’s a suite is cool, but the his playing on it doesn’t blow me away. (Indeed, there are some live recordings of his that sound better.)
You mean, video? (Please don’t tell me they were on O’ahu.)
I think A Love Supreme is incredible. Maybe Coltrane’s playing isn’t perfect on it (I don’t agree with that point, but for the sake of argument…), but if only for Jones’ playing alone it’s one of the greatest albums ever made. While McCoy and Garrison sit in the back propelling the entire album forward (much, much harder than it sounds on an album like this) Coltrane and Jones battle for the lead; other than Davis’ albums in the late 60’s with Williams I’ve never heard a rhythm section (or even a single musician in the rhythm section) command so much attention and never hurt the recording itself. That, to me, puts A Love Supreme among the great recordings of all time (though I may even rank Meditations, My Favourite Things and/or Giant Steps above it).
I think the Tyner/Garrsion/Jones (especially Jones) is a killer rhythm section, but I’ve heard what you’re describing on other albums as well, and I’m not sure this album displays their skills at their best. In terms of feeling and fire, albums like Transition and Sunship or even live albums (Coltrane at Birdland, Live at the Village Vanguard or the live recordings on Pablo) Might be a better showcase for the type of thing you’re describing.
Oh! I forgot Live at the Village Vanguard! I’m also pretty big on Henderson’s Inner Urge, and Tyner’s The Real McCoy (and especially Shorter’s Juju, and Speak No Evil… really pretty much all of Jones’ recordings, but especially those… but all of those seem to suggest it was more than just Coltrane’s genius on those albums).
But there is something about A Love Supreme, I don’t know if I can adequately explain it, but Jones steps it up. He pushes Coltrane as Coltrane pushes him (and Tyner and Garrison push both of them), and it’s still the only time I’ve heard a drummer push a leader (soloist) as far as I have on that album. A single drummer forcing a saxophonist into new territory (a saxophonist that had seemingly, at least according to critics, explored as much as the instrument would allow), but still not forcing the album to sound as if it revolves around him. It also seems no coincidence that after this album Coltrane found it necessary to add a second drummer, sometimes extra percussion, and even a second bassist on other albums… because he felt Jones had pushed him as far as he could (as far as they both could) with the simpler set-up he(they) had at that time. Expansion was necessary to find new sounds.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………….(Scaruffi does include two albums by Ellington, by the way, I think, but yeah… it’s hard to justify a list that has as much missing as his does)
Elvin Jones is definitely a very “talkative” drummer who likes to converse with the soloist quite a bit, and, again, I’m not sure if his playing on Love Supreme surpasses the other albums he has recorded with Trane. Maybe we’re thinking of the phrase, “pushing a soloist” in a different way, though. For me, a lot of jazz drummers especially, starting at the time of be-bop started using their drums as a way to converse, push and prod a soloist and the other instruments. Elvin Jones, with Trane, had a different style in that he may not have been as propulsive as Tony Williams or Philly Joe, but he was more “swirling”—like the diference between a fast-flowing river versus a slow swirling hurricane (think of the eye of the hurricane with the storm swirling around it). I don’t know many other drummers who could play like this. The great thing is that there is so musicality to his playing; he’s drumming with musical sensibility and taste.
If you like that sort of think, check out Jack DeJohnette (See Michael Brecker’s album eponymous album; there’s one track in particular that I can’t remember the name of) or Roy Haynes (Pat Metheny’s Question and Answer is a nice exhibition of this type of drumming).
Of the younger jazz drummers that do this, I would choose Brian Blade (See his album Perceptual) or Billy Kison with the Dave Holland Quintet.
These musicians I’m mentioning don’t play in the same style as Jones, but they push the music and the soloists.
What I adore so much about Jones is no matter how ‘talkative’ he is he’s always there on beat. Even on Coltrane’s (or whosoever) most avant recordings, even on Ascension and beyond, Jones is always right there on beat. That’s truly how a drummer pushes a soloist; not by playing all over (like Williams’ work on Davis’ late 60’s work; the ‘soloists’ actually play a secondary role to the rhythm section as opposed to Williams sitting in the background and “pushing”), but by playing around a beat but never outside of it.
As a drummer myself, I really feel A Love Supreme is the epitome of this in Jones’ side work. It can just be as simple as that “chick” from the hi-hat on 2 & 4, but when you really check out what he does around that (even when he’s just using mallets and cymbals rolls on “Psalm”)… it’s astounding… subtle, but insanely difficult to do correctly. There’s maybe only one or two other drummers (that I’ve heard) that could have pulled that album off without it becoming all about them; that’s why it’s a personal favourite. (For Jones’ playing alone…)
Jack DeJohnette is indeed a good example (though I’ve not heard his work with Michael Brecker). I adore Live Evil, First Light, Demon’s Dance, and was just listening to Chick Corea’s Sundance earlier this week. So, yeah… DeJohnette is very high my own list.
I think I’ve only heard Roy Haynes on Outward Bound, and Reaching Fourth, so… Thanks for the suggestions!
I’m not a drummer, but I always thought Elivn played around the beat and not always on it. I’m probably mixing him up with other drummers, though. (It’s been a long time since I’ve really listened really carefully to those old recordings…heck even to newer ones—which is not a good sign.) I’ll definitely try to key in on Joneses’ drumming the next time I listen to ALS.
As a drummer and jazz enthusiast I would say all the big jazz drummers “push” and converse with the soloists, just in different ways according to their own personal style and era. What I love about Elvin is that he feels the triplet under everything, he keeps a rumbling second and third part of the triplet ghosted on his snare almost always. He’s always playing all parts of the triplet, and so when he plays around the time and “out” stuff, he’s still deeply in the time. But he’s like a rock drummer in many ways too, he plays loud and aggressive and straight ahead. But what makes a jazz drummer great, I think, is their ride cymbal—the ability to make simple quarter notes swing hard, have a personality to time-keeping, and Jones has that. Listen to In n’ Out, a Joe Henderson album with Jones, Coltrane, Tyner, and I think Brown on Bass.
Brian Blade is a great suggestion, a sort of combination of Tony Williams and Elvin Jones’ playing. Check him out on anything, but especially Kenny Garrett’s Triology or Joshua Redman’s Live at the Village Vanguard
Have you heard Blade’s Perceptual? One of the reasons I recommended that album, besdies Blades’ tasteful and fiery comping, is the dynamics and the way ebb and flow of the energy on almost every track. The energy of the almost every song gradually builds and then comes back down and Blades playing is a big part of that. I think the compositions and arrangements are solid on that, too. Great interplay from all the musicians and the album also happens to be one of the freshest jazz recordings at that time (‘99)…well, it’s still fresh.
Checking it out now on grooveshark—cheers!
Cool. Let me know what you think. (I don’t know many people who have listened to that album.)
Btw, I think there’s also some live youtube clicks of Brian Blade playing with Wayne Shorter. Danilo Perez on piano and John Patitucci(sp?) on bass round out the rhythm section, and what a rhythm section it is. We were talking about the Tyner/Garrsion/Jones rhythm section and Miles’ rhythm section with Hancock/Carter/Williams. The Perez/Patitucci/Blade section is up there, imo—at least in terms of swing and fire.
is listening to guaraldi’s jazz impressions a boy named charlie brown
My sister and brother really like that album.
@jazzaloha yeah it’s nice
There was a great old LP I grew up listening to- with Sonny Stitt, Sonny Rollins and Dizzy Gillespie. I couldn’t recall the title and can’t find it on CD. Talkin’ about a real fast bop in a speedway!
Are you thinking of Sunny Side of the Street, although I believe this is on cd? There’s a song called, "Eternal Triangle* that is great. Rollins sounds great playing be-bop.
I’ll give that a shot. Now that I think about it, the LP actually had Japanese text on the sleeve, probably my dad brought back from overseas. Thanks!
‘Slave Riot’ reminds me a lot of some mid-tier Sun Ra records, except it’s shorter so I get though tracks faster. On the plus side I don’t have to be ‘in it’ as much because of the length. But on the bad side, I’m not going to ever be ‘in it’ as much because there isn’t enough individual material
It’s funny that you thought of electro-acoustic improv, because another album he released this year was called ‘ACOUSTIC SPACE JAZZ & PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE’. I don’t think either is among his best work, but when you do ~12 albums in one year, in addition to production for other musicians work, quality is going to be all over the place.
His Yesterday’s New Quintet works are better though.