Nothing But Jazz January
Day 2: Free Jazz Friday?
What are you listening to today?
How is it?
What do you have planned for the rest of the month?
Plus any other jazz related discussion.
Jesus Christ this was bad
I came so close to turning it off after 15 minutes
I kept thinking it had to get better
It never did
most overrated jazz albums I'd say defnitely this one.
It's actually a decent album. Just nowhere near one of the greatest ever.
I figured I'd share a few absolute essential albums as a starter kit for people doing NBJJ but who don't know that much jazz and for the sake of having a big collection of essentials in a pastebin which I'm making presently and adding some shares from last night into. If you don't have any of these: download them.
Alot of these are already in the archive but some aren't.
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue
>modal jazz / Cool Jazz
>the most recommended jazz album for beginners. Very chill and accessible music that encapsulates what people generally think of when they think of jazz. Just get it, there are a few albums that every person who has more than a passing interest in music should hear and this is one of them. Davis’ tone is light and airy and his melodies are interesting on KoB but he’s also a master of silences. His solos are never overwhelming and prefer minimalism in a way that most jazz musicians can’t seem to do and the effect is that one can easily be lost in these really fluid and pleasant atmosphere.
John Coltrane – A love Supreme
>Modal jazz / Post-bop
>The second most recommended jazz album for beginners. A bit less accessible than Kind of Blue but if you’re browsing /mu/ it’s not to the point where it’ll turn you off. A Love Supreme is a really intense and spiritual album with volumes of acclaim. The music is maximalist, and Coltrane’s playing is incredibly note-dense but through very complicated playing, he never becomes dispassionate in favour of being intellectual. Get this one too. Even if you don’t like jazz, it’s just essential listening.
Here are a few personal Free Jazz favourites for anyone who doesn't know what to listen to:
>Albert Ayler Trio - Spiritual Unity
>Alexander von Schlippenbach - Pakistani Pomade
>Ornette Coleman - Free Jazz
>Sun Ra - Space Is the Place
>The Peter Brötzmann Octet - Machine Gun
Louis Armstrong – Complete Hot Fives and Sevens
>Dixieland / hot jazz
>Louis Armstrong completely changed the jazz landscape and invented a lot of the language and quirks that jazz has. He brought emphasis away from group improve and shifted attention to one soloist. He popularised scat singing, he brought jazz to mainstream attention in a way it had never seen before and inspired generations of jazz performers. His importance to jazz, music and popular culture in general cannot be overstated and he does not get anywhere near the attention on /mu/ he deserves. The stuff on this compilation is well before the familiar tracks like What a Wonderful World. Before he became a pop icon Louis had already revolutionised jazz music with his virtuosic playing, incredible sense of harmony, rhythm and catchy melodies and his formidable personality. Not every track on here is fantastic but it’s well worth listening to this stuff because these recordings were the blueprint and genesis of all jazz to come and the origins of one of music’s most iconic figures. All hail Satchmo.
Just Jazz January?
I know it's the album everyone loves,
but Joe Pass doing For Django. woke up to night and day and I'm feeling it.
>completely different topic, any recs on free jazz? I need some for philosophy of noise studies
Duke Ellington – Masterpieces (1926-1949)
>Big Band / Swing
>Duke Ellington and his orchestra are another one of these groups that just had immense influence. The music on this compilation covers the most important recording of Ellington’s early career and contains some of the catchiest and best written pop songs ever written. He brought jazz to another plane of popularity and this is the stuff that people think about when they think of people in the 1930s and 1940s dancing in clubs to swing music. The orchestra’s innovative instrumentation, phrasing, unique melodies and cohesive and inspired improvising make these recordings absolutely essential listening.
You know, Scaruffi is an idiot but there is some truth to his Beatles Essay where he claims that Jazz critics know what they're talking about because they've got a bit of perspective on jazz history. Generally the best stuff with music as old and older than jazz is the acclaimed and popular stuff.
Charles Mingus – Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
>post-bop / Third Stream
>This one is a little odd. /mu/ pretends it’s part of a holy trinity with Kind of Blue and A love supreme but if it weren't for Scaruffi /mu/ wouldn't have latched onto it as much. It’s an incredible album and still an absolute essential for jazz but not to the same extent as the other two previously mentioned. It’s a really chaotic album with huge soaring crescendos, loud and sporadic instruments mixed in with passionate solos that incorporate a huge breadth of influences.
JTG has done some jazz listen alongs in the past. If he shows up we should ask him to do it.
Dizzy Gillespie – The Complete RCA Victor Recordings
>Dizzy Gillespie, along with his partner Charlie Parker are usually credited with inventing the style of jazz that became known as bebop. They are the link between the likes of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. They took swing jazz and upped it’s tempo, took simple melodies and turned them into sprawling lines dense with notes, ornamentation and ultimately changed the direction and purpose of jazz as catchy pop music. This is a comp of early stuff and is a fantastic collection. Gillsepie is a phenomenal trumpet player and song writer. He is energetic, technically skilled and only second to Louis Armstrong for most charismatic jazz trumpeter.
Charlie Parker – Yardbird Suite
>Charlie Parker, along with his partner Dizzy Gillespie are usually credited with inventing the style of jazz that became known as bebop. They are the link between the likes of Duke Ellington and Miles Davis. They took swing jazz and upped it’s tempo, took simple melodies and turned them into sprawling lines dense with notes, ornamentation and ultimately changed the direction and purpose of jazz as catchy pop music. The Yardbird Suite is a collection of studio recordings from Parker that show the genesis of bebop and some of the best jazz music ever made form one of the most talented sax players ever. One of the most technically skilled, innovative and influential jazz musicians of all time: if you have even a passing interest in jazz this is a must have.
Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
>Something a bit less traditional. At the end of the 1960s and start of the 1970s, Miles Davis was changing style and created one of the most groundbreaking albums ever made. Mixing jazz instrumentation, styles and tendencies with then emerging styles in rock and funk, Davis modernised jazz and broke ground by bridging the gap between the stuff he was playing and the stuff people like Jimmy Hendrix was playing. The compositions are sprawling, psychedelic and not for the faint of heart. This is a nice one for newcomers (who are /mu/tants) because it is both historically significant and takes cues from rock music. GOAT album cover too, pic is my wallpaper.
Ornette Coleman – The Shape of jazz to come
>Free jazz / post-bop
>The title of this album is very apt. It represents a shift in jazz. Where bebop was an abstraction away from mainstream and post-bop a further abstraction, free jazz was the next step in jazz moving away from it’s roots as pop music. Coleman was at the beginning of this new movement in jazz and on this album presents an abandonment of traditional chord changes and harmony in favour of sporadic rhythms and sprawling melodies with no instruments in place to keep a structure for the solos. His tone is harsh and the music isn’t as accessible as some other essentials but it’s not yet at the level of insanity that later free jazz reached but it’s a huge step in that direction and is a very important album to jazz music’s evolution.
Miles Davis – Birth of the cool
>Another very aptly titled album, this album is one of the founding records in a style that became known as cool jazz. This is kind of the jazz antithesis to bebop and emerged a little bit after bebop. Where bebop is full of fast tempos and “hot”, exciting songs, cool jazz is very downtempo and relaxed. The music is still quite complex but is far more laid back and close to how Miles Davis played on Kind of Blue but the presence of the large horn section makes this record feel more "populated". The style of playing on this has been copied too many times to count and established how the genre of cool jazz is “supposed” to sound.
Will have to look through these. I listened to fuck all current albums last year. Thanks anon.
It's pretty great though anon.
Art Blakey and the jazz messengers– Moanin’
> Hard bop came about around the same time Cool jazz did but instead of altering rhythmic language, the harmonic structure of the music changed. Chord changes were made simpler and bluesy while the playing styles still resembled bebop. Moanin’ is one of the most popular jazz albums of all time and encapsulates what hard bop is. Blakey is a fantastic drummer (though he doesn’t take the spotlight on the sample, you can listen to his drum thunder suite on this album to get an idea) and the musicians he took on board were always top notch. His jazz messengers group often worked as a training ground and spring board for the biggest up and coming names in jazz.
John Coltrane – My favourite things
>John Coltrane’s first concrete step into modal jazz and one of the most popular jazz albums of all time (the most commercial of Coltrane’s career but ALS has probably since outsold it). Modal jazz often forsakes traditional chord changes for the use of modes as the harmonic framework of the pieces. Here Coltrane takes pop standards like the title track here form the Sound of Music and uses their melodies as framework for modal improvisation with fantastic results. Some passionate and catchy playing with really interesting takes on the songs.
Bill Evans – Portrait in jazz
>cool Jazz / piano trio
>Released just after Bill Evan’s phenomenal work on Kind of Blue, Portrait in jazz is another groundbreaking album. Evan’s style of piano has been imitated a lot over the years for good reason. Miles Davis puts it far better than I could: “Bill had this quiet fire that I loved on piano. The way he approached it, the sound he got was like crystal notes or sparkling water cascading down some clear waterfall.” The bass and drums are given far more time than they usually get in larger recordings and play as important a role as Evan’s on piano. The bass is high in the mix and complements Evan’s perfectly while the drums drive the songs forward with a strong sense of swing.
Listened to The Art of War by Ralph Peterson today for criss cross january
Drummer Ralph Peterson is the protégé of Art Blakey, a name synonymous with hard-swinging hard bop. On this quintet date, Peterson channels the energy and drive of Blakey’s bands, and fuses it with the adventurous approach to improvisation of Miles’ second quintet. Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and saxophonist Jimmy Greene deliver historically-informed, yet always envelope-pushing solos, all the while backed by the imaginative comping of Orrin Evans on the piano on this set of ten originals by Peterson and the rest of the band.
Wow. This was really great. Everything that I found bland about the Conrad Herwig album rhythm section was better here. Peterson swings hard but also sometimes just goes crazy. There is major influence from Miles Davis here, especially Miles Smiles and Nefertiti. The trumpet, sax, and piano solos were mostly all really energetic, exciting and crazy. There were a couple ballads that kinda brought the album down but the faster tempo tracks were all really really good. There is even a track that starts out kinda funk-rock soundng that I wasn’t sure about at first but then it got really good in the solos. Would recommend to everybody.
Alex Sipiagin - Destinations Unknown
>The single greatest piece of music ever. Alex Sipiagin is literally the spirit of Jesus, Louis Armstrong, the guy who invented the wheel and M. Night Shyamalan resurrected in Woody Shaw's body which has undergone major plastic surgery to disguise this superhuman as a Russian trumpet player. - direct quote from JTG
Tonewise, one of my favorite tenors.
Checkout the live records he played on with Jimmmy Smith and Kenny Burrell
I would always recommend Mingus Ah Um before jumping into BSATSL. It has more of an inpact if you enjoyed the former
It is. I just remember when JTG literally posted it and Sipiagin every chance he could get. Sipiagin is one of my favourite musicians too but it got ridiculous.
I'd be inclined to agree with you. I'm pretty sure outside of /mu/ that Ah Um is more highly rated than Black Saint. Can't be sure though: it's been so long since I've been outside.
I don't think I've actually heard any Golson outside of Moanin. What other records was he on?
Moanin' is fantastic but between Roots and Herbs, mosaic, a night in Tunisia, Buhainia's delight, Indistructable among others, bar maybe Freddie Bobby Timmons or Lee Morgan I'd call Shorter his best Sideman.
IMHO, Alot of his records with Curtis Fuller are misses. Meet The Jazztet is a good place to branch out or Modern Art by Art Farmer. Mccoy Tyner on piano for Jazztet and Bill Evans on Modern Art
The good old days are yet to come man. These threads are getting more active and I'd like to think that this month will see them grow more.
I happen to adore Mccoy Tyner so I'll probably go for that first. Thanks anon.
Ah Um is too long for its good, Blues & Roots and Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus are more straight to the point while at the same time not consuming an hour of your time. There is a reason why there aren't many long jazz records in the canon.
Either way, Ellington's the key
Once again, nothing against Wayne Shorter.
He's one of my favorites: awesome composer, his acidic tone(probably never cleaned his mouthpiece, and his track record alone.
Glad you liked it. I love the way that group plays together. Orrin Evans is amazing and always adds just the right touches behind the soloists. I think you'll like Insight by Jeremy Pelt a lot too.
also as long as we're on the subject
who is hype?
Ok, I think I've got most of the jazz shares for this month so far in here. I'm gonna try and keep this thing updated throughout the month so we can post it in these threads for people looking for stuff to listen to.
Look at him. If he ran for president of the world, I'd vote for him.
Besides his work with Sun Ra, Andrew Hill, and Art Blakey do you guys have any recommendations for John Gilmore? the only solo session i have with him is his album with Clifford Jordan
I listened to this for the first time a few days back and I really did not care for it. I didn't like the rhythm section on this album. They just felt way to passive to me. It made the entire album have this kind of ethereal vibe, like the solo's were just floating in space and the rhythm section was only there to provide enough context for the soloists to work with. I guess the spacey-ness is part of the appeal.
>implying that anything past 1970 is not cringe jazz
That's what's so great about it except I think that "passive" is the exact opposite of what their playing is. The rhythm section is SO dynamic and responsive to what the soloists are doing.
If you've got some time listen again to the first solo section on this track where Sipiagin and Potter trade phrases. There is almost always an implied, underlying three feel but sometimes it is only just barely hinted at or completely abandoned as the rhythm section just goes with what the soloist is playing.
I'm starting to wonder if it really is such a great album to recommend to people. I think it's really hard to catch everything that makes it so great on the first listen.
Yeah Today and Tomorrow and The Artistry of were the ones I was thinking of.. not sure if he plays on any other of their records.
haha yeah I'd actually agree. I liked the pictures of the guys playing better than these pictures of them just striking poses on random NY streets. Now it looks like they're trying to copy the Live at Smoke covers
Why can't they just emulate the ones from the past? Columbia, Impulse, Bluenote, and , to a leaser extent, Prestige had some of the most original albums ever. Is it about artistic essence/ copy rights?
Thought so. I'll have to check them out. I read somewhere the reason why he was so loyal to Sun Ra was because of how ahead of his time he was and how musically gratifying it is as a soloist
There is a lot of stuff going on. I'm not a trained musician but I've played bass for a few years and have basic theory and I find it quite difficult to follow everything. On a purely instinctual level I really enjoy the album though and I like listening to stuff that I feel is way above my comprehension. It's easier for people to appreciate something like >>52561920
which is really exciting in how noisy and cacophonous it is but it's still got the ostinatos and driving rhythm that make it accessible.
The playing on DU is really dynamic. The players are incredibly tight and are all clearly listening to each other and playing off each other but things tend to get very winding with the melodies and harmonic and rhythmic structures because they're all so subject to change and I think that turns people off.
probably because they don't want to just emulate the past, much like with their music. they draw inspiration from and reference the great artists of the past but they don't just want to emulate them and I'd guess they don't want their covers to reflect that either.
Anyway some of the criss cross covers actually come pretty close to emulating Blue Note's anyway.
Yeah I think that's part of what makes it great too. I've listened to it so much but I still hear new interesting things every time I listen.
It really is a lot to take in on first listen. I'm pretty sure that the first time I listened to it I got done and just thought "what the fuck did I just hear?" and listened to it again straight away.
The other thing that's cool about the playing on that album is how much they reference the composed melodies in their solos. Sometimes it's really hard to catch but the more I listen to their solos the more I catch things that come from the melodies.
Binney's solo on that track that I posted is a good example. They introduce a new melodic theme in the middle section of that track that's just this really simple three-note theme. Then Binney solos and his whole solo is really based on just that theme. He starts out just varying it a little bit but gets farther and farther away from it. The solo builds and builds and then right at the high point of that solo he comes back to that theme in a big way.
Excellent album features a young Steve Lacy
Miles fan should enjoy it
hmm you mean as far as the mix of the music is?
I don't know.. I think the mix is pretty good. In fact that's one of the things I love about Criss Cross is how they mix the band.
Blue Note albums sound great for the time but occasionally the bass and piano really get buried in the mix and the horns are too hot.
well kinda, but it seems very intentional on a part of the rhythm section more specifically the pianist. Maybe it's also because he's using keys and not a piano for a lot of the songs. It kinda reminded me Maiden Voyage a lot in the way the piano felt to the rest of the group.
You should do one then.
Yeah the Rhodes doesn't cut through quite as well as the piano I guess. Like you said I think that sort of openness is part of the appeal for me.
Oh well. I can understand that it isn't everybody's thing.
cool to see a lot of people into jazz
now listening to Airto- Free, followed by Les McCann's "Layers"
Woody Shaw is up there. You don't see him mentioned as much recently but there was a phase where he seemed to come up a lot.
Also these two for obvious reasons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZO1uMjz3n3w
Currently Listening to Herbie Nichols Trio
Took me a while to get into. His style reminds me of a Horace Silver Andrew Hill love child
There ARE exceptions. See Paul Motian as one of many examples. His career is fantastic no matter what year you look into.
Also, there was a resurge of quality jazz with the new century.
I started to read this and I was really excited by it because I thought it was gonna be this really cool story that I could follow down on of those wikipedia rabbit holes. Then I reached the end and I realised it was a joke and got really disappointed.