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Jazz Primer

Great, but obscure albums to purchase

By Published: December 9, 2004
(Vinyl) Basie and Duke's First Time! Battle Royal. For some reason, my country-lovin' family had this in the basement. I have no idea who owned it before me, but I quickly claimed it. A happy, swingin,' playful album. (Cassette)Ellington, 16 Most Requested Songs. This is what started me on the jazz/swing/blues road. It has most of his classics. I play this on those occasions when I find myself in a funk. Ivie Anderson torchin' out 'Sophisticated Lady' is incredible. I sing myself, and she leaves me green with envy in this rendition. (Cassette)Louis Armstrong's All Time Greatest Hits. Yes, I went the easy way and started with 'greatest hits' compilations. I find him charming and entertaining. 'Skokiaan'—what fun! (Cassette) Harry Connick Jr. 20 and Star Turtle. Some of you will want to shoot me for this one, I know. But the way I see it, all this music is related. Plus, I love it all... and Harry's a babe. So there. (Cassette) Miles & Coltrane. Bought this one because it had two guys I knew I wanted to investigate. It paid off. It's fast, furious virtuosos playing and working side by side. (Cassette) Ellington: The Duke's Men: Small Groups, Vol. 1. Will I ever find vol. 2? Probably not. But this wide variety of stuff is pleasing and jumping. (Cassette) Jason & the G-men: "G" as in Men and Walkin' the Beat. A Christian jazz group. You've never heard church music like this. (CD)Jazz Cafe. A grab bag of artists available at Borders. It was a buck... and I'm the bargain princess... and it has 'Pennsylvania 6-5000.' (Cassette)Mingus Big Band, Que Viva Mingus! Shh... dubbed this from a library copy. It's what I found while I was searching for... (CD) Charles Mingus, Live at the Bohemia. In my creative writing class last semester, we brought in music and played it all period long. Some guy played 'Jump Monk.' I found it arousing... that's not weird, right? ;P (CD)Vince Guaraldi Trio, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Of course I bought it after seeing the TV special every Christmas. Didn't you? It's good music. (CD) Kurt Elling, Close Your Eyes. He's from Rockford, IL, which is where I work. Saw him last spring in concert—had never heard of him, really, before I won tickets for the show from the local NPR station. What a voice! Only once before have I heard a singer (well, a quartet) use their voice in such *odd* ways. (Cassette) The "Swingers" soundtrack. I have the movie, too, and a poster. Great movie, great soundtrack. Put together well. (CD) Miles Davis, Birth of the Cool. Just bought this last week. I'm really diggin' it.

As you can probably see, I'm very new to jazz. I'm trying to utilize my local library's collection, because I'm too darn poor to buy all the music I'd like to have! (And isn't that why we work in the *first* place?) My next purchases will probably be Elling's other two albums, The Messenger and This Time It's Love; and Davis' Bitches Brew. All I can say is, I love my local NPR station, WNIJ. They help plant seeds in my musical garden.

Kathy

p.s. What did I listen to before jazz? I had a brief affair with top 40 and country a long time ago; I'm glad to say we've parted non-amicably. I still listen to classic rock, classical, barbershop, Johnny Cash, and Patsy Cline. I'm also investigating funk, reggae, blues, and ska. That about covers it, right?


Date: 25-Feb-1999 23:41:55
From: Mark John Larkins Sr ( mjlsr1@wans.net )
I forgot (but I still remember those 12-oz curls) Joe Pass Great guitarist Papa John Creach (it may not be jazz in the strictist sense) Dave Brubeck is good, but I don't know if he's obscure

I'll have more later!


Date: 27-Feb-1999 20:59:10
From: Harry Onickel ( honickel@aol.com )
Rahsaan Roland Kirk-Bright Moments Charles Mingus-the Candid recordings with Eric Dolphy John Coltrane-Afro Blue Impressions Sun Ra-Atlantis (not for the beginner!) Charlie Haden/Hampton Hawes-As Long As There's Music Joe Henderson-The State of the Tenor Dexter Gordon-Homecoming Ellington/Mingus/Roach-Money Jungle Frank Morgan-You Must Believe in Spring Why these? Listen and find out, especially to Frank Morgan who seems to be one of the great unknowns, really unknown.


Date: 05-Mar-1999 15:36:13
From: ADR ( ADRobin@aol.com )
I was beaten to some of my selections. Most of these titles are Blue Notes from the 60's, which is mostly what I own. I think these titles are all excellent, distinctive, and yet somewhat obscure (some of the Blue Notes are obscure merely because they are out of print).


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