Archive | September, 2009

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (161-180)

26 Sep

Here is another 20 to add to the list.

Remember that there is no ranking system here, and if you don’t see your favorite jazz album yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up.

Every week I will offer up twenty more, in no particular order and with no ranking system or common theme (other than jazz of course).

Hopefully these lists will inspire you to seek some of these albums out that perhaps you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums. Either way, let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 161 through 180.

161. tuesday wonderlandTuesday Wonderland – Esbjorn Svensson Trio (Act, 2006)

162. bitches brewBitches Brew – Miles Davis (Columbia/Legacy, 1969)

163. native dancerNative Dancer – Wayne Shorter (Columbia/Legacy, 1974)

164. A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem for Katrina)A Tale of God’s Will (A Requiem for Katrina) – Terence Blanchard (Angel, 2007)

165. paris blues 1962Paris Blues, 1962 – Horace Silver (Pablo, 1962)

166. freedom riderThe Freedom Rider – Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers (Blue Note, 1961)

167. as time goes byAs Time Goes By – Lionel Hampton (Sonet, 1978)

168. nostalgiaNostalgia – Fats Navarro (Savoy, 1947)

169. our man in parisOur Man in Paris - Dexter Gordon (Blue Note, 1963)

170. bottoms upBottoms Up – Illinois Jacquet (Prestige/OJC, 1968)

171. from the plantation to the penitentiaryFrom the Plantation to the Penitentiary – Wynton Marsalis (Blue Note, 2007)

172. Blue TrainBlue Train - John Coltrane (Blue Note, 1957)

173. drum songsDrum Songs – Philly Joe Jones (Galaxy, 1978)

174. eastern rebellion, vol 1Eastern Rebellion, Vol. 1 – Cedar Walton (Timeless, 1975)

175. b.g. in hi-fiB.G. in Hi-Fi – Benny Goodman (Blue Note, 1954)

176. little girl blueLittle Girl Blue – Nina Simone (Bethlehem, 1957)

177. puente in lovePuente in Love – Tito Puente (Tico, 1959)

178. chasing shadowsChasing Shadows – Pearl Django (Modern Hot, 2005)

179. lullabies of birdlandLullabies of Birdland – Ella Fitzgerald (Decca, 1954)

180. crystal silenceCrystal Silence – Gary Burton and Chick Corea (ECM, 1972)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (141-160)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (121-140)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (101-120)

Random Flip Through the Quincy Jones “Quictionary” #3

15 Sep

quincy jonesOn quincyjones.com, Quincy has what he calls a Quictionary – described as “a glossary of people, places and things associated with Quincy.” We all know that Q has had a busy career, but there are a variety of things that you may have never known about him, or projects he was related to until you saw it on the Quictionary. Periodically I will pull a random entry from the Quictionary and post it. Here are a few randomly pulled entries:

C

Count Basie - One of Quincy’s idols and the best bandleader of the swing era. Quincy arranged his landmark collaboration with Ella Fitzgerald, Ella and Basie in 1963.

J

Joseph Powe – Quincy babysat his children when he was 11 so he could study his music books on scoring and arranging. Powe was a military officer and directed the vocal group Wings Over Jordan. He recruited young Quincy to join an a cappella group called the Challengers.

W

“We Are the World” - The landmark 1985 single produced and arranged by Quincy to aid famine-relief efforts in Ethiopia.  The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie and performed by an all-star cast following the American Music Awards.

Random Flip Through the Quincy Jones “Quictionary” #2

Random Flip Through the Quincy Jones “Quictionary” #1


1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (141-160)

12 Sep

Here is another twenty to add to the list.

Remember that there is no ranking system here, and if you don’t see your favorite jazz album yet, it doesn’t mean it won’t show up.

Every week I will offer up twenty more, in no particular order and with no ranking system or common theme (other than jazz of course).

Hopefully these lists will inspire you to seek some of these albums out that perhaps you haven’t heard before, or revisit an old favorite. And as always, we want your thoughts on any or all of these albums. Either way, let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 141 through 160.

141. infinityInfinity – McCoy Tyner (Impulse!, 1995)

142. jaco pastoriousJaco Pastorious – Jaco Pastorious (Epic/Legacy, 1976)

143. new concepts of artistry in rhythmNew Concepts of Artistry in Rhythm – Stan Kenton (Capitol, 1952)

144. coast to coastCoast to Coast – Red Holloway (Milestone, 2003)

145. speak no evilSpeak No Evil – Wayne Shorter (Blue Note, 1964)

146. dear louisDear Louis – Nicholas Payton (Verve, 2001)

147. papa gatoPapa Gato – Poncho Sanchez (Concord Picante, 1986)

148. JATP in TokyoJ.A.T.P. in Tokyo – Jazz at the Philharmonic (Pablo, 1953)

149. further definitionsFurther Definitions – Benny Carter and His Orchestra (GRP/Impulse!, 1961)

150. blowin' countryBlowin’ Country – Bud Shank (World Pacific, 1956)

151. into somethingInto Something – Yusef Lateef (Prestige/OJC, 1961)

152. in europeIn Europe – Elvin Jones (Enja, 1991)

153. great friendsGreat Friends – Sonny Fortune (Black & Blue, 1986 recording)

154. the blues and the abstract truthThe Blues and the Abstract Truth – Oliver Nelson (Impulse!, 1961)

155. musique du boisMusique Du Bois – Phil Woods (32 Jazz, 1974)

156. back eastBack East – Joshua Redman (Nonesuch, 2007)

157. the lady who swings the bandThe Lady Who Swings the Band – The Dutch Jazz Orchestra (Challenge, 2006)

158. with the tenors of our timeWith the Tenors of Our Time – Roy Hargrove (Verve, 1994)

159. mode for joeMode for Joe – Joe Henderson (Blue Note, 1966)

160. don ellis at filmoreDon Ellis at Filmore - Don Ellis (Columbia, 1970)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (121-140)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (101-120)

Happy Birthday Sonny Rollins…but how old are you?

7 Sep

First of all, a happy birthday today to one of the greatest sax players, Sonny Rollins.

But could someone please confirm the actual year of birth of Sonny for me?

The Smithsonian Jazz website has him born in 1929, making him 80 today. All About Jazz has it at 1930, making him 79.

I decided that allmusic.com would be the tiebreaker for me, but they felt differently. On the left side of his bio page on All Music it lists him being born in 1930, but in his bio right next to that it says he was born in 1929…again, all on the same web page.

Does someone have the right year for me?

Don’t Call 911 to Contact the Jazz Police

5 Sep

Ever since I made a post about receiving an angry email about playing Steely Dan’s Aja on my jazz radio program (see Where is the Fine Line in Jazz?), I have heard more and more references to the “Jazz Police” being notified to enforce the “jazz laws”.

There have been several occasions where I woke up in the middle of the night, terrified that the Jazz Police had conducted a sting operation against me, with a team in full riot gear assembled outside my apartment door ready to kick it in and arrest me for my crimes against jazz humanity.

In addition to playing Aja, I have also been “reported” for several other crimes. I suggested that Roy Hargrove’s Earfood was unfairly left out of the Grammy selections from last year. I suggested albums on a “top 10″ list that several people had never heard of. And most offensive, I suggested that Michael Brecker would play in my imaginary dream big band sax section instead of Wayne Shorter, while Doc Severinsen would conducted the band.

These are just a few of the crimes that were reported to the Jazz Police, causing me to wonder exactly when they would come to collect me and take me to the Jazz Police Station. That of course would be followed by a Jazz Trial in Jazz Court, ultimately resulting in a life sentence to Jazz Prison. Of course I might be able to get out early on good behavior if I can convince the Jazz Parole Board that I am truly sorry and that Kind of Blue is the way and the truth.

And then, I came across this entry on allmusic.com:

“An innovative big band for the ’90s from Seattle, The Jazz Police are fronted by James Rasmussen. This 21-piece ensemble features the charts of the leader, Dan Berry, Doug Rasmussen and Paul Roth, the vocals of Greta Matassa and the electric guitar of Doug Zangar. Formed in 1987 and releasing their first record in 1990, the band offers contemporary big-band music influenced by Stan Kenton and Gil Evans.

the jazz policeThey’re a band! What a relief! The jazz police aren’t some form of law enforcement at all. They are simply a talented big band that has produced some of the best modern big band music to come out of the Northwest.

Can you imagine all of the phone calls they have received over the years from concerned jazz citizens calling in to report jazz crimes? Imagine how frustrating it must be for the band to constantly be mistaken as those out there who constantly dictate what qualifies as good and bad jazz.

Since the Jazz Police big band is the only actual organized group under that name that I could find doing any good in the world, perhaps those impersonating jazz police officers should think before enforcing what they feel is jazz law. And perhaps those who are ready to go to the phone to report a jazz crime to the Jazz Police should think twice before calling and plugging up the band phone line…unless of course you intend to encourage them to record another wonderful album.

To learn more about the real Jazz Police, click here.

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