Author Topic: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations (and jazz in general)  (Read 56403 times)

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Heather Harrison

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Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations (and jazz in general)
« on: August 23, 2007, 06:02:50 PM »
My collection of recordings includes a substantial quantity of jazz and its predecessors (i.e. ragtime), dating from about 1890-1950.  For some reason, I have never expanded much beyond 1950.  A few recent acquisitions have greatly increased my interest in post-1950 jazz and I am now actively acquiring CDs.  To make things easier, I'm focusing on the 1950-1970 period right now (but I'm not averse to considering something outside of that timeframe).

Since there seem to be a few jazz fans here, I'll pose this question to you:  What recordings would you consider essential (or at least among the best) from this period?  I'm posing this question here because I would guess that classical music fans who are also drawn to jazz might have similar taste to mine.  (If this really turns into an obsession, I'll likely check out a jazz forum.)

I have acquired a few recordings by Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Dave Brubeck, Mel Torme, Anita O'Day, and Ella Fitzgerald (including collaborations with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington).  Of course, I want more, and I would really like to eventually have a good comprehensive sampling of the different styles of jazz popular during this time.  (Then, I'll likely move into the post-1970 era.)

Heather
« Last Edit: September 15, 2007, 02:39:13 PM by Heather Harrison »

Scriptavolant

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 06:17:06 PM »
What recordings would you consider essential (or at least among the best) from this period?

First that pop into my mind are John Coltrane's "A love supreme", Bill Evans's, "Conversations with myself", and Erroll Garner's "Concert by the sea". These are quite popular too, and there's a lot more.

dtwilbanks

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2007, 04:13:41 AM »
See the sidebar at this site for some good lists...

http://home.austarnet.com.au/petersykes/jazz100/jazzlinks.html

Robert

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2007, 07:42:09 AM »
See the sidebar at this site for some good lists...

http://home.austarnet.com.au/petersykes/jazz100/jazzlinks.html
I don't believe she wants lists. I think she wants recommendations from forum members.

dtwilbanks

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2007, 07:44:47 AM »

Drasko

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2007, 08:23:21 AM »
 

Robert

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2007, 09:14:04 AM »

Captain Dave,

I think that many links would only confuse her....Now why don't you just send her your own list....thats what she wants....I am giving it some serious thought....

Robert

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2007, 10:19:16 AM »
Heather,
Here are a few discs you might consider. Its only a very small list of what I believe to be essential. On the names you listed I believe Ornette would be a little off the mainstream. I think  you need some lighter things before you get to Ornette....This is just a small easy list...Please PM me if you want to discuss this any further....
Charles Lloyd  Forest Flower
Coltrane My Favorite Things.......Ole'
Art Blakey  Moanin
Miles Kind of Blue (a no brainer ), Round about Midnight
Herbie Hancock  Maiden Voyage
Bill Evans  Sunday at the Village Vanguard, undercurrent
Oliver Nelson. Blues in the abstract truth  (another no brainer)
Dave Brubeck  Time out
Lee Morgan Sidewinder
Charlie Parker Yardbird Suite
Cannonball Adderley Something Else (another no brainer)
Joe Pass Virtuoso 
Horace Silver  Songs for my Father
Tony Bennett/Bill Evans  album
Abbey Lincoln  Abbey is Blue
Shirley Horn You Won't Forget Me
Eric Dolphy At the Five Spot
Charles Mingus Town Hall Concert
Sonny Rollins  Saxophone Colossus
Count Basie The complete Atomic Basie, April in Paris
Stan Getz Focus
Greatest Jazz Concert Ever, you get Dizzy Gillespie, Mingus, Parker, Powell & Roach on one disc....

This is only a small sampling....not to difficult, Its basically Mainstream stuff.....

Offline toledobass

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2007, 10:28:07 AM »
It's very hard for me to narrow it down but things that have come to mind are:

Any of the live Blakey and the Jazz Messengers from that time period.  If you like that stuff you could follow up on each band member's solo releases.

For Miles I think the Workin',  Steamin', Relaxin' & Cookin' albums would be great to get.  Many of the tunes serve as the basis of his repertoire around that time so as you get into the 2nd quintet you get to hear the transformation of the bands and style of playing.  Again you could seek solo efforts by the other members of the band and come up with some great stuff.

For Trane,  I like Crescent.  I also think the coltrane and Hartman album is fantastic for balads.  A lot of hard core Trane heads put down the album due because it was the record companies insistance that he record something "lighter" but I think it's great music.  Love Supreme is one to own.

Ellington has a ton of music that is worth having. For starters How bout Such Sweet Thunder and for a rocking good time get The Far East Suite.  Opposite of what I've been saying, if you  followed up on finding solo releases by members of the band,  you'd get some good music but nothing as great as when they were under Ellington....IMO of course :o

I'll try and give it some more thought and put up a few more,  hope this helps in the meantime.  

Allan

Offline beclemund

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2007, 10:35:21 AM »
I have acquired a few recordings by Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Dave Brubeck, Mel Torme, Anita O'Day, and Ella Fitzgerald (including collaborations with Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington).  Of course, I want more, and I would really like to eventually have a good comprehensive sampling of the different styles of jazz popular during this time.  (Then, I'll likely move into the post-1970 era.)

I am assuming when you mention the names Miles, Ornette and 'Trane that you have, Kind of Blue, Shape of Jazz to Come, and Love Supreme... each of those albums signify tectonic shifts in the landscape of jazz, or the apex of a given style. They may give you some gauge of what to look for in terms of others within those same spheres, here are a few other records that I would not want to neglect for very similar reasons:



Herbie Hancock's Headhunters puts the fusion movement on the map. Along with Mile's Bitch's Brew... If fusion is not your thing, the hard-bop heavy Takin' Off really swings and represents Hancock's beginning as a leader. Among the great many of session groups formed, there are not many to boast as many so fine as this one. I would go with both as you get the brilliant Watermellon Man in two very different forms on the pair.

And many will tell you about the virtues of the Evans/Davis collaboration beyond Kind of Blue, but it would be a mistake to forget Cannonball Adderly. On his Somethin' Else session we get a return favor from Davis and a collection of very disparate participants make for beautiful results.



On drums in that session is Art Blakey whose run as leader of the Jazz Messengers produced some fantastic records. My favorites being A Night in Tunisia and Moanin'



His drum solo on the title track of the first is mind boggling. And Lee Morgan on horn is quite an experience. For more of him, check out 'Trane's Blue Train and his own session lead on Sidewinder.



There is sooo much more too. I have not even begun on Andrew Hill. Grass Roots was recently re-issued after seemingly forever OOP, Booker Ervin's Freedom Book and the rest of his "book" trilogy are fantastic, Mingus Ah um is a hard-bop required listen... I could go on, but I will stop for now.

"A guilty conscience needs to confess. A work of art is a confession." -- Albert Camus

Offline Bogey

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2007, 04:15:32 PM »
There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

dtwilbanks

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2007, 04:19:49 PM »
Gotta grab me this one.

You sure do! ;)

Offline Bogey

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2007, 04:38:19 PM »
Some live albums, that may not be considered cornerstones, that I would add.  They get a lot of play time at this end:



And if you can nail this one for under 100 bones (OOP and contains 8 discs) at a used shop:



and this 4 disc set I enjoy as well on rainy and cold days:




There will never be another era like the Golden Age of Hollywood.  We didn't know how to blow up buildings then so we had no choice but to tell great stories with great characters.-Ben Mankiewicz

Offline oyasumi

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #13 on: August 24, 2007, 05:01:54 PM »
Sun Ra

Heather Harrison

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2007, 05:21:28 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations so far; there is a lot here to consider.  I definitely see a purchase of Harry-like proportions coming up in this area.  My recent shopping trip (which I still need to post) has only served to increase my interest.  I'll probably post my first impressions of these purchases in this thread, rather than the "purchases today" thread like I usually do, because it seems more pertinent here.

Speaking of Ornette Coleman, the CD I got was "Free Jazz".  I loved it immediately.  I suspect that it appealed to my interest in the post-war avant-garde, which I have explored a lot in the area of classical music.  I'll post more thoughts on this later (when my brain is working a bit better).  It only seems natural that I would find the parallel movement in jazz interesting.  His "Shape of Jazz to Come" is high on my list and I will probably buy it next time I see it in a store.

Dave Brubeck (who appears in the recommendations here) is interesting to me.  I have had "Time Out" for a long time, and I just bought (but haven't listened to yet) "Time Further Out".  I also like his classical music.

Sun Ra also sounds interesting; I have been reading about him, and I'll probably check out some of his recordings soon.

I also find the list that Dave posted useful; I have been looking through that.

Thanks again.  I'll keep watching this thread, and I'll post my first impressions here.  I had a feeling that at least some classical music fans would also be into jazz.  There is a lot of interesting music to check out.

Heather

Robert

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2007, 06:15:53 PM »
Thanks for the recommendations so far; there is a lot here to consider.  I definitely see a purchase of Harry-like proportions coming up in this area.  My recent shopping trip (which I still need to post) has only served to increase my interest.  I'll probably post my first impressions of these purchases in this thread, rather than the "purchases today" thread like I usually do, because it seems more pertinent here.

Speaking of Ornette Coleman, the CD I got was "Free Jazz".  I loved it immediately.  I suspect that it appealed to my interest in the post-war avant-garde, which I have explored a lot in the area of classical music.  I'll post more thoughts on this later (when my brain is working a bit better).  It only seems natural that I would find the parallel movement in jazz interesting.  His "Shape of Jazz to Come" is high on my list and I will probably buy it next time I see it in a store.

Dave Brubeck (who appears in the recommendations here) is interesting to me.  I have had "Time Out" for a long time, and I just bought (but haven't listened to yet) "Time Further Out".  I also like his classical music.

Sun Ra also sounds interesting; I have been reading about him, and I'll probably check out some of his recordings soon.

I also find the list that Dave posted useful; I have been looking through that.

Thanks again.  I'll keep watching this thread, and I'll post my first impressions here.  I had a feeling that at least some classical music fans would also be into jazz.  There is a lot of interesting music to check out.

Heather
Well thats a different ball of wax..If thats the case here are a few Ornettes for you to consider..
Beauty is a rare thing
Change of the Century
At the Golden Circle, vol 1 and 2
This should give you a good taste along with the two you mentioned....Ill have go a few notches higher....

Heather Harrison

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #16 on: August 24, 2007, 07:00:40 PM »
My brain is working better now, so I'll post the ones I have acquired recently.  I'll start off with the instrumentals, and to keep the length of the post reasonable, I'll post the jazz singers separately later.



I posted my impressions about "Kind of Blue" and "Sketches of Spain" in the "Purchases Today" thread.  Both are wonderful, mellow albums that are great for evening listening.  "In a Silent Way" features electric keyboards and is a definite move in the direction of fusion.  I like the variety of sounds that the keyboards add to the mix, and Miles' playing is gorgeous as usual.  Like the other two, this is a wonderful mellow album.  I haven't listened to "Bitches Brew" yet (but I will as soon as I can); I'll post my impressions of it later.  It does sound like an interesting concept, and from what I have read it is quite a change from Miles' earlier material.



This is a great follow-up to "Time Out", which I have had in my collection for a long time.  Everything flows nicely, and the unusual time signatures really make things interesting.  Paul Desmond's sax solos are beautiful, and Brubeck is in top form.  Joe Morello gives a great drum solo in "Far More Drums" in 5/4 time.  Sequels don't always work out, but in this case the sequel is at least as good as the original.



This one captured my attention from the very start, with its dissonant beginning.  A collective improvisation that lasts 37 minutes must have been quite unusual at that time.  Despite its great length, I never found it boring; there is enough unpredictability to keep things interesting, while it does have enough of a structure to keep it from sounding like pure chaos.  The use of two jazz quartets was a great idea; the interplay between them is fascinating.  It is interesting to hear how the two rhythm sections interact.  The mood of the improvisation ranges widely; sometimes a very serious-sounding portion will be interrupted by humorous sounds from Eric Dolphy's bass clarinet.  Tonality can be hard to pin down at times; there are sections of highly tonal, melodic improvisation, while sometimes there are highly dissonant harmonies which seem distant from any tonal center.  After 37 minutes, I was hungry for more.  I'm glad they included the shorter rehearsal as a bonus track.  That increases the time to 54 minutes of endlessly fascinating controlled chaos.  This sort of music might not be to everyone's taste, but it works well for me.  Since I have a strong interest in avant-garde classical music, it does not come as a surprise that I would like this.  After all, if I can get great listening pleasure out of Stockhausen, Cage, Xenakis, and the like, this isn't much of a stretch.  Perhaps that is one advantage to coming at jazz after gaining a lot of experience with 20th Century classical music; I can jump right into the most complex and difficult music and enjoy it from the start.

So far, it seems that I like the lighter mainstream jazz a lot, but I also like the music that is more "out there".  I don't have a particular favorite out of these; so far, I love them all.

I will begin making a list from the recommendations here, and probably before long I will go out on a shopping trip and come home with a lot of them.  I'll post my thoughts in this thread.

Thanks again for the recommendations.

Heather

Robert

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #17 on: August 24, 2007, 07:16:21 PM »
My brain is working better now, so I'll post the ones I have acquired recently.  I'll start off with the instrumentals, and to keep the length of the post reasonable, I'll post the jazz singers separately later.



I posted my impressions about "Kind of Blue" and "Sketches of Spain" in the "Purchases Today" thread.  Both are wonderful, mellow albums that are great for evening listening.  "In a Silent Way" features electric keyboards and is a definite move in the direction of fusion.  I like the variety of sounds that the keyboards add to the mix, and Miles' playing is gorgeous as usual.  Like the other two, this is a wonderful mellow album.  I haven't listened to "Bitches Brew" yet (but I will as soon as I can); I'll post my impressions of it later.  It does sound like an interesting concept, and from what I have read it is quite a change from Miles' earlier material.



This is a great follow-up to "Time Out", which I have had in my collection for a long time.  Everything flows nicely, and the unusual time signatures really make things interesting.  Paul Desmond's sax solos are beautiful, and Brubeck is in top form.  Joe Morello gives a great drum solo in "Far More Drums" in 5/4 time.  Sequels don't always work out, but in this case the sequel is at least as good as the original.



This one captured my attention from the very start, with its dissonant beginning.  A collective improvisation that lasts 37 minutes must have been quite unusual at that time.  Despite its great length, I never found it boring; there is enough unpredictability to keep things interesting, while it does have enough of a structure to keep it from sounding like pure chaos.  The use of two jazz quartets was a great idea; the interplay between them is fascinating.  It is interesting to hear how the two rhythm sections interact.  The mood of the improvisation ranges widely; sometimes a very serious-sounding portion will be interrupted by humorous sounds from Eric Dolphy's bass clarinet.  Tonality can be hard to pin down at times; there are sections of highly tonal, melodic improvisation, while sometimes there are highly dissonant harmonies which seem distant from any tonal center.  After 37 minutes, I was hungry for more.  I'm glad they included the shorter rehearsal as a bonus track.  That increases the time to 54 minutes of endlessly fascinating controlled chaos.  This sort of music might not be to everyone's taste, but it works well for me.  Since I have a strong interest in avant-garde classical music, it does not come as a surprise that I would like this.  After all, if I can get great listening pleasure out of Stockhausen, Cage, Xenakis, and the like, this isn't much of a stretch.  Perhaps that is one advantage to coming at jazz after gaining a lot of experience with 20th Century classical music; I can jump right into the most complex and difficult music and enjoy it from the start.

So far, it seems that I like the lighter mainstream jazz a lot, but I also like the music that is more "out there".  I don't have a particular favorite out of these; so far, I love them all.

I will begin making a list from the recommendations here, and probably before long I will go out on a shopping trip and come home with a lot of them.  I'll post my thoughts in this thread.

Thanks again for the recommendations.

Heather
Bitches Brew started this whole fusion thing...John Mclaughlin a big factor in the sound on this album, went on to form Mahavishnu Orch which was a great major fusion band...In a Silent Way was just a long loop that went on and on....very addicting.....These two were the beginning of the fusion  movement....

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #18 on: August 24, 2007, 07:21:32 PM »
Trios:



Ahmad Jamal




Bud Powell Vol.2



For exquisite, half-lit trumpet:





Burning sax:





Colorful sax:





Large group:





And when springing for a box, make this Mingus/Complete Atlantic (smaller group) a priority:




Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach

Offline Dancing Divertimentian

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Re: Jazz, c. 1950-1970: Recommendations
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2007, 07:25:59 PM »
And for some free jazz:






Veit Bach-a baker who found his greatest pleasure in a little cittern which he took with him even into the mill and played while the grinding was going on. In this way he had a chance to have the rhythm drilled into him. And this was the beginning of a musical inclination in his descendants. JS Bach