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Recommendations: Jazz


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It's recently come to my attention that there's a gaping hole in my music collection where jazz is concerned. I feel I need to rectify that. So I'm asking for your recommendations.

 

The jazz I have in my collection right now is pretty much limited to the following:

 

* Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

* Bitches Brew by Miles Davis

* My Favorite Things by John Coltrane 

* The Definitive Collection by Chick Corea & Return to Forever 

* A big chunk of Al Di Meola's discography

* A couple of albums by Candy Dulfer

* A Charlie Parker anthology 

 

So, what do I still need?

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I admit I have a bias against vocals, so nearly all these are instrumental.  If you generally like vocals, there are legendary names to pursue: Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Nat King Cole, and so on.

 

Things I have in my CD collection:

  • The eponymous first album by Pat Metheny Group, and other stuff that came later
  • Chuck Mangione's Feels So Good  (which came out the spring/summer I graduated from college; aside from the weird and small Doctor Demento concert in '76, that was the first popular concert I went to), and earlier stuff (Land of Make Believe, Chase the Clouds Away)
  • John Klemmer's Touch
  • A Glenn Miller collection (there are several now which benefit from digital processing of the old 1940s recordings); I would consider him a gateway drug to other Big Band music, but other huge names include Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and a number of others.  
  • My father was a Stan Kenton fan, but he doesn't do a lot for me

 

See if you can find recordings or archives from the old KUOW radio broadcast series "The Swing Years And Beyond".  Amanda Wilde ran that program, and she spanned an immense amount of stuff in that long, long run.

 

Henry Mancini composed some dazzling stuff, some of which counts as jazz, and a big bunch of movie and TV music.  "Baby Elephant Walk", the Pink Panther theme, the Peter Gunn theme, "Moon River".  Some of it is out of this genre, and I don't know where to start on the pick-and-choose that is likely to be needed.

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 Finally something I know something about!     Start with....

Bill Evans—Sunday at the Village Vanguard

Diana Krall—Live in Paris

Miles Davis—Kind of Blue  or  Sketches of Spain

Dizzy Gillespie & Charlie Parker—A Night in Tunisia

Try anything by any of the Marsalis family

A lot of these guys were mix & match in different combos so try a lot of different groups during different eras.  
Also YouTube has a surprising number of wonderful albums on tap.  Give a listen to a bunch of stuff and you’ll find some new favorites to go out and purchase.


 P.S.  HOW DID I FORGET!!!  The soundtrack for the Ken Burns series Jazz!!  From early Dixieland to Modern Fusion you’ll find a taste of it here.  

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Any discussion of the best Jazz artists would have to include Karl Malone and John Stockton as I'm sure you're aware.  So I'm going to look past the obvious choices and recommend you take a look at the careers of Jeff Hornacek, Pete Maravich, Adrian Dantley and Donovan Mitchell.  Mark Eaton is also niche suggestion - he really only did one thing, but he did it very well.

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IMO putting Norah Jones in the jazz bin is a stretch.  She's a torch singer, and by its nature torch singing can be done in almost any genre, depending on what musical accompaniment is present.  So yes, some of her stuff goes in the jazz category, but I think it would be a mistake to label her a jazz musician, much like it would be a mistake to label Barbra Streisand as a jazz musician.

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1 hour ago, Cancer said:

IMO putting Norah Jones in the jazz bin is a stretch.  She's a torch singer, and by its nature torch singing can be done in almost any genre, depending on what musical accompaniment is present.  So yes, some of her stuff goes in the jazz category, but I think it would be a mistake to label her a jazz musician, much like it would be a mistake to label Barbra Streisand as a jazz musician.


  In that vein I’ll include Morgan James.  You all must check YouTube for her acoustic version of Queen’s “Who wants to live forever”.  The long harp solo at the beginning is worth it.

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