1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (871-880)

Here is another 10 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.

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. Let’s get started with this week, and in no particular order, albums 871 through 880.

871. 1953-1954 (compilations) – Gene Krupa (Classics, 2007 compilation date, 1953-1954 recording dates) CLICK HERE TO BUY

872. Green Chimneys – Kenny Barron (Criss Cross, 1983) CLICK HERE TO BUY

873. Old Man Time – Milt Hinton (Chiaroscuro, 1990) CLICK HERE TO BUY

874. Blues for Bud – Hampton Hawes (1201 Music, 1968) CLICK HERE TO BUY

875. Live! – Jeff Hamilton (Mons, 1996) CLICK HERE TO BUY

876. Vince Guaraldi at Grace Cathedral – Vince Guaraldi (Fantasy, 1965) CLICK HERE TO BUY

877. Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival – John Handy (Koch Jazz, 1965 recording date, 1996 release date) CLICK HERE TO BUY

878. Sweet Rain – Stan Getz (Verve, 1967) CLICK HERE TO BUY

879. Night Train – Jimmy Forrest (Delmark, 1953) CLICK HERE TO BUY

880. In Recital – Dick Hyman (Reference Recordings, 1998) CLICK HERE TO BUY

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die (861-870)

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 750

1,000 Jazz Albums You Should Hear Before You Die – The First 500

Emerging Artist: Grace Kelly

No, not that Grace Kelly.

grace kelly albumI’m torn to define saxophonist, singer, songwriter, composer, and arranger Grace Kelly as “emerging”, considering what she has already accomplished. But as Grace celebrates her 17th birthday next Friday (that’s right, she is just 16), one must assume that there is plenty of opportunity in years to come for this young lady to become a household name in jazz.

On his radio program Jazz After Hours this morning, host Jim Wilke suggested that “young” and “talented” can often go hand in hand, and that no one would argue that both can easily be applied to Grace Kelly. After hearing her wonderful recording of Comes Love, it was easy to agree. And, as her website boasts, I am far from the only person to agree.

Kelly, at age 16, has already performed or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Harry Connick, Jr., Diane Reeves, Phil Woods, Hank Jones, Kenny Barron, Russell Malone, Cedar Walton, Peter Bernstein, and Marian McPartland. That is the very short list. She has also performed at Carnegie Hall, Birdland, and Scullers (another short list), as well as a variety of jazz festivals. She has won numerous young musician and student musician awards, and was named Best Jazz Act in Boston in 2008 by the FNX/Phoenix Best Music Poll. Oh, and she began her first term at Berklee College of Music last fall, on a full ride, again at age 16.

When you hear Grace Kelly play, or listen to one of her arrangements or compositions, you realize that this isn’t one of those situations where a musician will get cut slack simply based on the fact that they are young. Kelly needs no slack to be cut for her, and the attention that she has received and will continue to receive is more than worthy. Her performances and compositions are frighteningly mature and well designed. In fact, the only way you are even aware that the player is a 16 year old is if you are told that.

What is more surprising is that Grace isn’t someone who had a sax shoved in her hands at age two. She, like many of us, took piano lessons as a young kid. She also followed the typical chronological time line that most kids do in school, not really playing the sax until she was ten. Two years later, she was impressing the likes of Ann Hampton Callaway and Victor Lewis.

I am not someone who throws around the word “prodigy”, but there is not much way to avoid associating that word with Grace Kelly. To imagine what she has accomplished in six years is hard enough to believe. To actually hear it is even more unbelievable.

Grace Kelly’s fifth album is now available, titled Mood Changes. Watch Grace play Setting The Bar with Russell Malone below.