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Jazz Primer

More Obscure Favorites

By Published: December 9, 2004
Flim & the BBs, "Big Notes" (DMP)—Recorded live in the studio (no overdubs), direct to digital tape. It's creative, playful and spontaneous, with phenomenal musicianship. This band has a style and personality all its own. Their "Tunnel" album runs a close second.

Manteca, "Extra Extra" (Nova)—This is a compilation disc from one of jazz's most exciting and underrated bands. The Toronto-based band consists of two trumpets, two saxophones, two percussionists, drums, keys, bass. Nova is out of business now, so this CD may be difficult to find. Their newest, a live album called "No Net" (Justin Time) is still available and is also good.

Othello Molineaux, "It's About Time" (Big World)—Andy Narell isn't the only master of the steel drums. Othello has numerous sideman credits, but this is his only headliner effort I'm aware of. Lots of musical ground covered here, and lots of great guest musicians.

Matt Catingub, "I'm Getting Cement All Over Ewe" (Seabreeze)—Actually, any of his big band CDs are great, including his new "Gershwin 100." Humorous arranging and incredible musicianship.

Finally, two "L.A. meets Brasil" efforts; probably difficult to find but worth the effort: "Velas" (Voss)—John Pisano (guitar) and Jose Marino (bass) are the headliners, and Yutaka produces. A cast of mostly L.A. studio pros, plus Dori Caymmi, Justo Almario, and Kevyn Lettau (vocals).

L.A. Transit, "De Novo" (Denon)—Half L.A., half Brasilian, all excellent.


Date: 25-Nov-1998 14:30:05
From: jack hollfelder ( )
Three quick choices (because these are in my desk drawer) and have access to here at work. Wynton Kelly Trio & Sextet ---- Kelly Blue Duke Ellington ---- The Afro-Eurasian Eclipse Tina Brooks ---- True Blue

Date: 02-Dec-1998 18:53:50
From: Craig Pinson ( )
As my tastes in Jazz evolves it has become apparent that there is no one style I prefer over another.After all, Duke Ellington said it best. There are two kinds of music, GOOD music, and the rest. I guess I`m just saying it`s all good My selections for the moment are: 1}The Complete Bitches Brew Sessions-Miles Davis. It`s Beautiful, Frightening, Complex, and Bluesy all at once, but it`s also Miles at his best. 2}Complete Jazz at the Philharmonic-Various Artists. Thanks to Verve for letting me feel like I was at the the Greatest Jam Sessions ever. 3} La Scala-Keith Jarrett. Incredible piano from one it`s masters. 4} Jazz at Oberlin-Dave Brubeck. The best Paul Desmond ever recorded. A daring move at the time, but proved Jazz wasan incredible art form. 5} Complete Duke Ellington & Ella Fitzgerald at Cote de Azur. Once again, thanks to Verve. An incredible collection. 6} Turn Out the Stars-Bill Evans. He makes you feel every emotion with his playing. A true genius. 7} Giant Steps- John Coletrane. To listen is to hear spirituality as art. 8} Habana-Roy Hargrove. Keep it low or your speakers will burn.

That`s only a partial list. Sorry for the inclusion of so many Box sets, but they are like finding gold. P.S. I almost forgot. The Complete Quintet Recordings 1965-1968- Miles Davis. The talent in this group is still breath taking.

Date: 03-Dec-1998 15:08:02
From: John ( )
Hello everyone...

I just stumbled across this website today and thoroughly enjoyed reading the posts on this topic. Like most, I'm a big fan of "the usual suspects" when it comes to Monk, Miles, Dizzy, 'Trane, etc, but here are a few of my lesser known must haves:

Clifford Jordan (SPELLBOUND)—A straight-ahead post-bop 1960 quartet recording with Jordan's tenor out front. Available on OJC/Riverside. Upbeat Jordan originals led by the outstanding "Toy" and a couple of standards including a waltzy verson of "Lush Life."

Anthony Braxton—Any of his recordings devoted to another artist's material. I've yet to truly grasp Braxton playing Braxton, but I couldn't do without SIX MONK'S COMPOSITIONS (1987) on Black Saint, EIGHT (+3) TRISTANO COMPOSITIONS 1989 FOR WARNE MARSH and CHARLIE PARKER PROJECT 1993, both on Hat. Braxton's main horn is alto and the three above titles are quartet, quintet and sextet, respectively. The Parker double-CD is somewhat more creative/out than the others, but I find all of them to be fairly accessible and very passionate.

Buell Neidlinger (BLUE CHOPSTICKS)—A quintet recording of Herbie Nichols' compositions featuring nothing but horns and strings, with bassist Neidlinger sticking to cello. An acquired taste, but truly beautiful if you find it to your liking. And the digipak packaging is to die for...why aren't all CDs packaged this well?!

Without going into detail, I also enjoy John Zorn's Masada albums (the studio ones), everything I've heard featuring Bill Holman's arrangements and Phineas Newborn Jr's trio recordings on OJC/Contemporary...including A WORLD OF PIANO, mentioned in a couple of previous posts.

Thanks for letting me chip in my thoughts.

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