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#21 DanBuck

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:25 AM

QUOTE(Hugues @ Sep 26 2006, 12:07 PM) View Post

QUOTE(DanBuck @ Sep 26 2006, 05:33 PM) View Post

May I add Nina Simone and Nat King Cole to the list of nice gateway drugs to Jazz.


Perfect! I purchased Nina's Anthology two weeks ago (recommended by Thom Jurek on AMG). smile.gif

Nina Simone is really unique.



And Before Sunset made me love her even more.

#22 Hugues

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 11:36 AM

Ooooh by the way: I forgot to say I actually own an amazing reissue of Peggy Lee's Black Coffee, SUPERB packaging work from Verve, released in 2004! I adore Peggy Lee, I discovered her with the Best Of (with bonus DVD) two years ago. This Black Coffee is probably the most beautiful reissue of my CDs collection, and the music is just sublime. To me, Peggy Lee is one of the most fascinating singers of the 20th century. She was eclectic, and she was pop. "Is That All There Is?" (Leiber & Stoller) is a great song.

#23 Christian

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 01:15 PM

Nardis knows a lot more about Brazilian music than I do, but if it’s bossa nova you’re interested in, I would recommend the music of Stan Getz. Even if bossa nova isn’t your thing, Getz is still a great, great “entryway” jazz musician. I don’t have Getz/Gilberto but you’ve expressed interest in Gilberto’s music, so that might be the place to start. I do love the fairly recent Bossas and Ballads, but might suggest the broad overview of Getz’s music contained on The Artistry of Stan Getz Vol. 1, and on Vol. 2.

Tying together Sarah Vaughan and Brazilian music, check out this recent NPR entry of Vaughan’s “shadow classic”. Listening to the sample tracks, I’m afraid I’m unconvinced. But to each his or her own.


#24 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 05:13 PM

QUOTE(Andy Whitman @ Sep 26 2006, 10:41 AM) View Post
Christian's recommendation of the Sarah Vaughan/Clifford Brown sessions is right on the money.

I'd also recommend Sarah Vaughan Sings George Gershwin. Sarah Vaughan is my favorite jazz singer (yes, as blasphemous as it might sound, I prefer her to Billie Holiday), and it doesn't get any better than her interpretations of these Tin Pan Alley standards. Her version of "Someone to Watch Over Me" is a desert island song for me; that is, if I'm allowed to bring individual songs instead of albums to this mythical desert isle. Thank God for iPods.


Andy, you are a genius. Jazz vocals don't get better than Sarah Vaughn. I would say that IMO her best work is from the mid fifties to early seventies from a vocal and mature sound POV. I cannot address the issue of recordings.

Hugues, you are getting a ridiculous amount of advice here. Remember that Andy and nardis have much critical experience and coltrane has a broad performance history. Other than that, Gerschwin, Gerschwin, Gerschwin. He's like Shakespeare in that you have to try real hard to mess up his music. It translates almost universally. You catch the name of a particular artist, or become introduced by this thread? If you can find that or those artists performing Gerschwin, all of a sudden you have a critical plateau on which you can work some critical comparisons. Everybody has sung or performed Gerschwin, even many who compose their own music. Jump in and enjoy the water, so to speak.

Edited by Rich Kennedy, 26 September 2006 - 05:15 PM.


#25 Christian

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Posted 26 September 2006 - 06:16 PM

QUOTE(Rich Kennedy @ Sep 26 2006, 06:13 PM) View Post

Hugues, you are getting a ridiculous amount of advice here. Remember that Andy and nardis have much critical experience and coltrane has a broad performance history. Other than that, Gerschwin, Gerschwin, Gerschwin. He's like Shakespeare in that you have to try real hard to mess up his music. It translates almost universally. You catch the name of a particular artist, or become introduced by this thread? If you can find that or those artists performing Gerschwin, all of a sudden you have a critical plateau on which you can work some critical comparisons. Everybody has sung or performed Gerschwin, even many who compose their own music. Jump in and enjoy the water, so to speak.


Which reminds me that I came to know many of Gershwin's songs through a sampler my wife had, and which I'd never heard, but which has become a favorite: It's a Verve compilation titled S'wonderful, and if it's your first introduction to Gershwin's tunes, you may find that, like me, several of these renditions become the renditions by which all other performances of these same songs are judged.

#26 Hugues

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:28 AM

To answer everybody at once, I'm glad I asked! smile.gif

So: I purchased that Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown CD, the 2000 Verve reissue you posted the image above.

I'll buy that Getz/Gilberto CD, and will read about Gershwin to see if I'm interested. I just know his big classics, you know, like everybody. wink.gif



#27 Christian

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 08:36 AM

Let us know what you think of all the new music, Hugues. Enjoy!

#28 Hugues

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE(Christian @ Sep 27 2006, 03:36 PM) View Post

Let us know what you think of all the new music, Hugues. Enjoy!


I'll gladly share my impressions! Today I made some search for "corner stone" records, reading a dictionary of jazz I have (Le Jazz dans tous ses états, par Frank Bergerot, aux éditions Larousse) and AMG discographies and picks.

some stuff I already have (more or less connected to jazz):

The Boswell Sisters: Shout, Sister, Shout! (1931-1936)

It's a record I bought several months ago, as I really love those early kind of vocals - what caugth me first on the radio was an Andrew Sisters song ("Rhum & Coca-Cola"), but after I read AMG I decided to choose a collection of the Boswell Sisters, as I read Connee was an influence on Ella Fitzgerald (and I had been caught by an Ella song on the radio, too). I'm not disappointed: it's fantastic.

Peggy Lee:

Peggy Lee & Benny Goodman: The Complete Recordings (1941-1946)
The Best of Miss Peggy Lee (1945-1969 - with bonus DVD)
Black Coffee (1953 & 56)
Dream Street (1957)

Frank Sinatra:

In the Wee Small Hours (1954)
Where Are You? (1957)

Nina Simone: Anthology (1957-1993)

Mose Allison: Your Mind is on Vacation (1976)

I bought this CD because I'm a fan of his daughter Amy Allison (who makes country and pop music). I like it.
I also have Allison Wonderland, that covers most of his career.

What I have on order:

Louis Armstrong : The Best of the Hot Five & Seven Recordings (1926-1928)
Ella Fitzgerald : Something to Live for (1935-1966)
Billie Holiday : Gold (1935-1957)
Dinah Washington : The Definitive Dinah Washington (1943-1962)

I read she influenced singers like Dionne Warwick and Diana Ross, and I really love their voices.

Nat King Cole : The World of Nat King Cole
Cole Porter : The Very Best of Cole Porter (1952-2003 - Hip-O)

Sounds great: he's covered by singers like Peggy Lee, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong... (if I remember well what I've read)

Sarah Vaughan with Clifford Brown (1954)
John Coltrane : Blue Train (1957)
Anita O’Day : Anita Sings the Most (1957)

sometime read her name here and there but have no idea how she sounds like

Miles Davis : Kind of Blue (1959)
Charles Mingus : Mingus Ah Um (1959)
Stan Getz : Getz/Gilberto (1963)

A list of important/interesting/attractive CDs I made today :

Ethel Waters : An Introduction to Ethel Waters : Her Best Recordings (1921-1940)

Ethel influenced both Connee Boswell and Ella Fitzgerald...

Charlie Parker : Yardbird Suite : the Ultimate Collection (1945-1952)
Thelonious Monk : Brilliant Corners (1956)
Sonny Rollins : Saxophone Colossus (1956)
Mel Tormé : Lulu’s Back in Town (1956)

hey Christian, do you know that one? smile.gif

Dave Brubeck Quartet : Time Out (1959)
Ornette Coleman : The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
Bill Evans : Sunday Evening at the Village Vanguard (1961)
Albert Ayler : Spiritual Unity (1964) or Live in Greenwich Village : The Complete Impulse Sessions (1965-1967)
Eric Dolphy : Out to Lunch (1964)
Archie Shepp : Four for Trane (1964)
Wayne Shorter : Speak No Evil (1964)
Herbie Hancock : Maiden Voyage (1965)
Pharoah Sanders : Karma (1969)
Mahavishnu Orchestra : The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
Weather Report : Weather Report (1971)
Chick Corea : Return to Forever (1972)
Keith Jarrett : The Köln Concert (1975)

Any thoughts?? smile.gif

#29 Tony Watkins

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 02:48 PM

Having mentioned BBC Radio Three's weekly Jazz Recods Request a day or two ago, it was great to hear the great Dutch conductor Bernard Haitink say on Radio 3 this morning that whenever he's in the UK he always makes a point of listening to it as it has been such a great source of pleasure to him over the years.

#30 Christian

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 02:52 PM

Haven’t heard that Torme album, Hugues, but my overriding thoughts are these:

1. Be careful with collections. These can be choppy, reflecting a grab-bag of songs from the recordings made for a particular label. The collections still can be pleasing, but more often they give a disjointed, overly narrow sense of an artist’s output.

2. The list you made today has some good titles on it, but my first thought, upon seeing it, was: Don’t O.D. There’s a lot of music there, comprising numerous jazz styles. Better, maybe, to savor a couple of discs and figure out what you like, what you don’t, then proceed from there.

For instance, I learned early in my jazz schooling that I lean heavily toward “hard bop,” a specific type of jazz. That doesn’t mean I don’t care for other jazz approaches, only that it took some time to figure out that preference, then explore it. These days, my jazz tastes are far more free-ranging, or maybe just a lot less discriminating; you get to a certain place in life, and the phrase “beggars can’t be choosers” takes on new meaning in areas where the earlier approach was one of gluttony.


#31 Andy Whitman

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 02:52 PM

QUOTE(Hugues @ Sep 28 2006, 03:09 PM) View Post

Dave Brubeck Quartet : Time Out (1959)
Ornette Coleman : The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
Bill Evans : Sunday Evening at the Village Vanguard (1961)
Albert Ayler : Spiritual Unity (1964) or Live in Greenwich Village : The Complete Impulse Sessions (1965-1967)
Eric Dolphy : Out to Lunch (1964)
Archie Shepp : Four for Trane (1964)
Wayne Shorter : Speak No Evil (1964)
Herbie Hancock : Maiden Voyage (1965)
Pharoah Sanders : Karma (1969)
Mahavishnu Orchestra : The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
Weather Report : Weather Report (1971)
Chick Corea : Return to Forever (1972)
Keith Jarrett : The Köln Concert (1975)

Any thoughts?? smile.gif

Much snipped.

That's a great list, Hugues. I admire your taste, and your entertainment budget. smile.gif

I'll be curious to hear what you think of the Ayler, Dolphy, Shepp, and Sanders albums. That's some pretty heavy going, there, and is about as far from mainstream as you can get. Welcome to the world of atonal squonking and the sound of elephants in heat. I find that I admire this music more in theory than in reality, and that a little bit goes a long way.

#32 Christian

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:04 PM

QUOTE(Andy Whitman @ Sep 28 2006, 03:52 PM) View Post

I find that I admire this music more in theory than in reality, and that a little bit goes a long way.


I didn't want to scare Hugues off, but yeah, I agree. Dolphy's "Out to Lunch" was a real doozy for me the first time I listened to it (and I'd bought the CD without ever hearing anything off it). I've since warmed to it, but given the choice, I'll almost always pull out Evans' Sunday at the Village Vanguard, or any of the other Evans titles in my collection, before I pull out the Dolphy.

There are exceptions to this, but those are exceptions, not the general rule.

#33 Greg P

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:21 PM

Get back to us next year and let us know how it's comin'. laugh.gif

QUOTE
Louis Armstrong : The Best of the Hot Five & Seven Recordings (1926-1928)
If you were forced to scratch everything else off the list and keep just one, this would be your best bet. It dont get anymore essential than this IMO.

#34 Hugues

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:38 PM

QUOTE(Andy Whitman @ Sep 28 2006, 09:52 PM) View Post

QUOTE(Hugues @ Sep 28 2006, 03:09 PM) View Post

Dave Brubeck Quartet : Time Out (1959)
Ornette Coleman : The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959)
Bill Evans : Sunday Evening at the Village Vanguard (1961)
Albert Ayler : Spiritual Unity (1964) or Live in Greenwich Village : The Complete Impulse Sessions (1965-1967)
Eric Dolphy : Out to Lunch (1964)
Archie Shepp : Four for Trane (1964)
Wayne Shorter : Speak No Evil (1964)
Herbie Hancock : Maiden Voyage (1965)
Pharoah Sanders : Karma (1969)
Mahavishnu Orchestra : The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
Weather Report : Weather Report (1971)
Chick Corea : Return to Forever (1972)
Keith Jarrett : The Köln Concert (1975)

Any thoughts?? smile.gif

Much snipped.

That's a great list, Hugues. I admire your taste, and your entertainment budget. smile.gif

I'll be curious to hear what you think of the Ayler, Dolphy, Shepp, and Sanders albums. That's some pretty heavy going, there, and is about as far from mainstream as you can get. Welcome to the world of atonal squonking and the sound of elephants in heat. I find that I admire this music more in theory than in reality, and that a little bit goes a long way.


This third part of my lists is what I took down today, I haven't bought all that yet. It's a list I keep to remind me of the records to buy if I happen to be suddenly interested by any of those "important" jazz artists. I guess Charlie Parker is something to hear. smile.gif

QUOTE(coltrane @ Sep 28 2006, 10:21 PM) View Post

Get back to us next year and let us know how it's comin'. laugh.gif

QUOTE
Louis Armstrong : The Best of the Hot Five & Seven Recordings (1926-1928)
If you were forced to scratch everything else off the list and keep just one, this would be your best bet. It dont get anymore essential than this IMO.


I'm quite happy to read that opinion, since I ordered it! and it's already one of the oldest recordings I'll get in my collection (right after Bessie Smith).


#35 Rich Kennedy

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 03:40 PM

You betcha, Charlie Parker is something to hear. You bought Anita O'Day on a hunch? Good hunch. She had a uniquely swaggering confidence in her voice and technique. One of the coolest singers ever.

#36 Hugues

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 02:23 AM

QUOTE(nardis @ Sep 29 2006, 01:05 AM) View Post

But if I may make a suggestion: try some European artists! So many of my favorites are from outside the US - and France has historically had a great jazz scene.


The first that comes to my mind is Django Reinhardt. Funnily enough (since I'm French), I don't know more European music than the American one. The fact is the music that does nurse me comes from the records I buy, so that doesn't have to do with the part of the world I live. Now that doesn't explain why I'm more interested in US music than European one - probably a matter of roots? I mean: jazz and blues and country started in America.

My essential French songs culture remains Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, Georges Brassens, Barbara...

I also think there's a natural fascination for foreign musics and cultures, though there must be more people on the Earth sticking with their traditions I suppose.

#37 Hugues

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:06 PM

I've read a so bad review of that Dave Brubeck Quartet's Time Out on amazon.fr that I remain baffled, since it sounds like a big classic from most critics and reviewers. I was wondering what the specialists of this board think of this album? Is it indispensible or overrated? Is there a controverse about it?

#38 Andy Whitman

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:19 PM

QUOTE(Hugues @ Sep 29 2006, 02:06 PM) View Post

I've read a so bad review of that Dave Brubeck Quartet's Time Out on amazon.fr that I remain baffled, since it sounds like a big classic from most critics and reviewers. I was wondering what the specialists of this board think of this album? Is it indispensible or overrated? Is there a controverse about it?

I'd say that album is indispensable. The only criticism I've ever read of Brubeck is that his particular flavor of "cool" jazz lacks some of the fire and swing of the post-bop music that was in vogue at the same time. And while that's probably true, it's also irrelevant. Brubeck was after something different, and the tricky time signatures he employed and the almost telepathic interplay he had with his band, particularly saxophonist Paul Desmond, make Time Out a jazz classic. Brubeck is also a remarkable composer, and pieces such as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk" are deservedly studied as classics of the genre. I don't think you went wrong at all with that purchase, Hugues.

#39 Christian

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:22 PM

Andy mentioned the "tricky time signatures" for which the CD is known. I don't entirely understand that area of music, but the two tracks he mentions are the two best on the CD, and are worth the price of the disc on their own.

The fact that Brubeck continues to make music and tour to rapturous responses across Europe also makes him a rarity: A seminal jazz artist who's still alive.

#40 Greg P

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 01:52 PM

There's no one snootier than the jazz critic. Some nerds back in the day considered Brubeck "lite" at best and inauthentic at worst. I think the general consensus has changed and most critics and musicians hail his early stuff.

The guy is/was a genius and one of the finest jazz composers ever IMO. He had a penchant for writing odd-metered songs that sounded completely effortless and natural . His classic Take Five, for example, is written in 5/4, which is a not a traditonal jazz time signature and one that is pretty challenging to write in. Blue Rondo has sections in 9/8 as I recall and Unsquare Dance has gotta a very tricky thing in 7/4. Now, every music theory student under the sun has experimented with these meters, but Brubeck did it with it unforgettable riffs and melodies. That was the difference. My kids, who are not musically trained, can all hum along with the bass line of Unsquare Dance-- and believe me 7/4 is a bitch! That's part of the beauty of Brubecks music.

And as an incredible bonus you get Paul Desmond's understated alto, which was a magnificent thing of beauty.

Edited by coltrane, 29 September 2006 - 01:55 PM.