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Thread: On the anniversary of Kind of Blue - essential Jazz albums?

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    Senior Member Bwv 1080's Avatar
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    Default On the anniversary of Kind of Blue - essential Jazz albums?

    Touted as the one Jazz album everyone should own, assuming this is in the top 5 -what are the other four essential discs:

    mine:

    Louis Armstrong: Hot 5s & 7s (swing)
    Monk: Brilliant Corners (bop)
    Miles: Miles in the Sky (but hard to choose among 2nd Quintet, but want a post-bop)
    Miles: Bitches Brew (fusion)


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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    It's impossible to have just five "essential" jazz albums. At this point Kind Of Blue isn't on my list. I've heard it enough. But I'll pick five that are not all 60+ years old.

    Bill Evans - Waltz For Debby
    Thelonious Monk - Monk' Music
    Sonny Rollins - Way Out West
    John Scofield - Time On My Hands
    Kenny Wheeler - Large & Small Ensembles
    Short-term thinkers are rewarded with reelection, while those who dare to take seriously our responsibility to future generations commonly find themselves out of office.

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    Brubeck Quartet - Time Out
    John Coltrane - Blue Train
    Duke Ellington Orchestra - Ellington at Newport
    Sonny Rollins - Saxophone Colossus
    Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz To Come

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bwv 1080 View Post
    Touted as the one Jazz album everyone should own, assuming this is in the top 5 -what are the other four essential discs:

    mine:

    Louis Armstrong: Hot 5s & 7s (swing)
    Monk: Brilliant Corners (bop)
    Miles: Miles in the Sky (but hard to choose among 2nd Quintet, but want a post-bop)
    Miles: Bitches Brew (fusion)

    Love the Armstrong album! I have a lot of Miles Davis, but try as I might, I just can't bring myself to liking the fusion. My interest in him really tapers off after Kind of Blue.

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    Too difficult ... most of the albums mentioned above seem essential.

    The Original James P. Johnson: 1942-1945, Piano Solos ... stride
    Charlie Parker Savoy Studio Sessions ... bebop
    Miles Davis & Gil Evans - Miles Ahead ... big band
    Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette - Still Live ... piano trio

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Miles - Bitches Brew
    Pharoah Sanders - Karma
    Sun Ra ‎– The Futuristic Sounds Of Sun Ra
    Charles Mingus - Let my children hear music

    not sure if they are they the greatest, since my knowledge of jazz is limited compared to rock, but these are some I like most

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    Senior Member Jacck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrMike View Post
    Love the Armstrong album! I have a lot of Miles Davis, but try as I might, I just can't bring myself to liking the fusion. My interest in him really tapers off after Kind of Blue.
    the fusion is difficult. I did with Bitches Brew the same that I did with Schoenberg, ie listened to it repeatedly till I "got" it. It takes some time till your brain picks patterns in the music, because at first it sounds like chaos for sure.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    I can think of more great albums from 1959 alone - it was something of a banner year in my collection! But when it comes to picking four all-time greats to stand alongside Kind of Blue, I honestly don't think I could narrow it down that much.


    Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um
    Charles Mingus - Mingus in Wonderland
    Miles Davis - Porgy & Bess
    Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come
    Duke Ellington - Festival Session
    Dave Brubeck - Time Out
    The Jazz Messengers - Moanin'
    Thelonius Monk - Thelonious Alone in San Francisco
    '...a violator of his word, a libertine over head and ears in debt and disgrace, a despiser of domestic ties, the companion of gamblers and demireps, a man who has just closed half a century without a single claim on the gratitude of his country or the respect of posterity...' - Leigh Hunt on the Prince Regent (later George IV).

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Interesting video, thanks for posting. I don't listen to enough jazz yet to have 5 essential albums. I think my favorite jazz artists at the moment are Duke Ellington and Chick Corea.

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    Senior Member flamencosketches's Avatar
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    As one might have surmised from my username, this is one of my favorite albums. Unfortunately, I did not listen to it on the anniversary, but I'll have to give it a listen later today.

    As for other favorites, these come to mind:

    Oliver Nelson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth
    Charles Mingus: The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
    John Coltrane: My Favorite Things
    Eric Dolphy: Out to Lunch

    I could add another ten Miles albums that I think are just as essential as Kind of Blue, but I have to give the mention to my favorite, In a Silent Way.

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    Senior Member jegreenwood's Avatar
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    Very personal favorites:

    Ellington: "And His Mother Called Him Bill" - that band is cooking
    Coltrane: "My Favorite Things" - my introduction to Coltrane, and a good choice as I grew up listening to the Great American Songbook
    Rollins: "Way Out West" - because a proper (dry) mastering of that recording contains the most natural sounding acoustic instruments in my jazz library
    Modern Jazz Quartet: Not sure which album - can I choose the Mosaic box? - because I love the sound of vibes

    I too could add one of many Miles Davis albums. Let's say "In a Silent Way," although my appreciation for "Bitches Brew" is growing

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    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Off the top of my head:

    Mingus - Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
    Dolphy - Out to Lunch
    Monk - Brilliant Corners
    Adderley - Somethin' Else

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    Senior Member Eva Yojimbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacck View Post
    the fusion is difficult. I did with Bitches Brew the same that I did with Schoenberg, ie listened to it repeatedly till I "got" it. It takes some time till your brain picks patterns in the music, because at first it sounds like chaos for sure.
    I personally don't even think Bitches Brew is the best of Miles's fusion period. I prefer both Jack Johnson and In a Silent Way. Bitches Brew has a lot of interesting stuff but can also sound like a chaotic mess at times. Both Johnson and Silent Way have much more singular, identifiable personalities and focuses.

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    Senior Member Phil loves classical's Avatar
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    Dolphy's Out There
    Dolphy's Iron Man
    Dolphy's Last Date
    Dolphy's Out to Lunch
    Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus
    "Forgive me, Majesty. I'm a vulgar man. But I assure you, my music is not.“ Mozart

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    My jazz interest was heavily informed by my father, who was a huge fan of Dave Brubeck - I grew up listening to Time Out, and my high school jazz band even attempted Take Five (not successfully). Most of the other groups I came to later.

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