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Great, but obscure albums to purchase

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Ask for the best 10 or 100 albums of all time and you'll get the usual suspects: Kind of Blue, Saxophone Colossus , Armstrong's Hot Fives and Sevens , Jazz at Massey Hall, etc. Without a doubt, these albums have earned their acclaim and no collection would be satisfying without them. But what about the great, less well-known, even obscure albums? Don't we all have favorite albums that don't ever seem to make the top 100—yet always find their way to our turntables? Let's share our discoveries...

Date: 06-Dec-1998 17:16:43


From: steve bidwell ( [email protected] )
two words: pepper adams. he is the baddest baritone saxophonist you'll ever here. how gerry mulligan gets more recognition is beyond me. i think he did a record of all mingus tunes and it was just fantastic. he also made some records with elvin jones on drums. i just picked up a cd by this group from nyc named Sex Mob. its great.


Date: 08-Dec-1998 00:08:02


From: mjlarkins Sr ( [email protected] )
Kenny G rules? I don't think so!!

For a nice 12-pack, try these tasty treats!

Cannonball Adderly—Mercy Mercy Mercy Larry Coryell—Space Revisited Dizzy Gillespie—Portrait of Jenny Miles Davis—Get up on It Weather Report—Heavy Weather Al Dimeola—Anything by him John Mclaughlin—Guitar Player (this may not be the actual title of the album, it's the one with his busines card on it like he does weddings and Bar Mitvahs) Tom Waits—Closing Time (listen to the melodies behind the singing) Chick Corea & Gary Burton—(I don't remember the name of this album either) Pat Metheny—American Garage Anything by Coltrane Anything by Billy Cobham

Please note the keyboard has been drinking, not I. The content is correct, but the spelling has been seen at the corner bar doing 12-ounce curls

Later




Date: 08-Dec-1998 09:55:14
From: John Basile ( [email protected] )


Some additions to the fine but obscure jazz album list.

1)Art Farmer, "Sing me Softly of the Blues." Quiet, understated music for the most part, but with a progressive edge.

2) Gerry Mulligan, "What Is There To Say?." A late 50s pianoless quartet featuring Art Farmer. Like Mulligan's earlier quartet records with Chet Baker, this one features intricate baritone/trumpet lines supported by a solid rhythm section.

3)Friedrich Gulda, "Piano and Big Band." Very obscure early 60s recording. German pianist Gulda leads a big band through three classically-influenced compositions.

4)Stan Getz, "Sweet Rain." There are dozens of discs available under Getz' name and this one is often overlooked. The band features Chick Corea on piano and Getz plays at his usual high level.


Date: 08-Dec-1998 15:38:12
From: Randy Slack ( [email protected] )
McCoy Tyner—Echoes of a Friend. I believe this album was recorded in Japan. Strictly unaccompanied piano solos. His rendition of Naima is unbelievable—haunting.


Date: 08-Dec-1998 21:54:20
From: The Mule
I scrolled through this entire list and there is not one mention of the late, great Don Ellis. While Blue Note recently reissued his "Live At Monterey" album—and it's excellent—even better is his album "Live In 3 and 2/3 Over 4 Time" which has never been released on cd. Scour the used vinyl stores for this one.

Also, vibraphonist Teddy Charles' "Tentet" album on Atlantic is well worth searching for.


Date: 09-Dec-1998 05:51:56
From: José Domingos Raffaelli ( [email protected] )
Jonathan Kranz,

Finally I have the information for the Donald Byrd TCB record. Matter of fact, originally it was released by Warwick label in the name of Pepper Adams and its title was OUT OF THIS WORLD.

Out of This World—Warwick 2041

Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Donald Byrd (trumpet), Herbie Hancock (piano), Laymon Jackson (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums).

- Out of This World - Curro's - It's a Beautiful Evening (x) - Mr. Lucky Theme - Bird House - Day Dream

(x) according to Leonard Feather's review, on this track a certain Jinx Jingles plays vibes. Probably it is a pseudonym of a well known musician.




Date: 14-Dec-1998 20:35:04
From: Gary Rees ( [email protected] )
Check these favorites of mine: Earl Anderza, Outa Sight—hard edged alto with great Jack Wilson piano. Pacific Jazz LP just re-issued on CD.

John Handy, In the Vernacular—Some of the best John Handy during his Mingus era. Lovely melodies and out-side glimpses ahead of time.

Freddy Redd/Jackie McLean, The Connection—power packed bop with well crafted compositions. Top rated.

Miles Davis, Circle in the Round—especially the track with the sitar and tabla. Fusion? You bet.

Lou Blackburn, One Note Samba—with Horace Tapscott. Weel worth searching for but hard to find—he's even unlisted in the catalogues. Two albums came out on Imperial.

Mingus at Monterrey—Mingus' own favorite.

Lee Morgan everything but especially with Art Blakey at the Jazz Corner of the World, Moanin,' Big Beat, and his own Candy and City of Lights.

John Mclaughlin Shakti—first album

Ram Narayan—recordings on Nonesuch, Amigo, and EMI-India

Arunachalam—nadaswaram(double reed-South Indian horn)If you can find anything by this guy, it rivals Coltrane—believe it! Coltrane's India


Date: 14-Dec-1998 23:40:00
From: Peter S. ( [email protected] )
After reviewing other people's choices I thought I may have a few CD's that meant a lot to me that nobody else picked up on. 1. Lee Morgan Live At The Lighthouse (Blue Note)—This 3 CD set should have put the saxophonist Bennie Maupin right up there with Coltrane or Joe Henderson. There is non-stop blowing from beginning to end, and you can find everything from ballads to blast offs from this quintet. I'm a big fan of Lee Morgan and love all his hard bop, but this goes one step further. 2. Bobby Hutcherson Live at Montreaux (Blue Note)— It has the unusual front line of vibes and trumpet (Woody Shaw), but blows hard continuously. This is one of Mr. Hutcherson's best albums, which is something to say considering his previous 60's Blue Note LP's. 3. Phil Woods and the European Jazz Machine at the Frankfurt Jazz Festival (Atlantic)— I got this one for 25 cents used and it is worth 100x that. Phil takes off and gets as "out" as you will ever hear him. This is one tight unit. 4. Joe Henderson—Inner Urge (Blue Note) 5. McCoy Tyner—The Real McCoy (Blue Note) Both of these CD's utilize almost the same line-up but show the different writing styles of the two leaders. McCoy is more modal and Joe is darker, and playing never gets better than this. 6. Cannonball Adderly-Somethin' Else (Blue Note) This is a Miles Davis LP masquerading itself as a Cannonball LP. If you liked "Kind of Blue" then go right out and get this one, because they are like bookends. Here you don't get Coltrane, but so what? (no pun intended). The playing is phenomenal and there was nobody on the planet before or since who sounds like Miles. 7. Wayne Shorter—"Etc" (Blue Note) All of Wayne Shorter's 60's albums are great, but this one is certainly less well known (probably owing to the fact that it was released in 1980, 15 years after being recorded). I dare you to find a group that played tighter than this one on any jazz LP. It has a rythym section of Herbie Hancock, Cecil McBee, and the under-rated Joe Chambers. 8. Ralph Peterson—"Introduces the Fo'tet" or "Art" (Blue Note)—This is one incredible drummer and composer, and any of his CD's are worth picking up for the compositions and the group interplay. 9. Bill Stewart—"Telepathy" (Blue Note) Exactly what the title says; the group moves as one unit throughout the twists and turns of the leader's pieces. And as an added bonus you have Bill's drumming, which is to the 90's what Tony Williams was to the 60's. 10. Craig Handy—"3 for All + 1" (Arabesque) This is mostly a trio album with the tenor and Charles Fambrough and Ralph Peterson, and it is an amazing cooker. It is jazz and funk and avant-garde all rolled into one, and definitely one of the best sax/bass/drums albums since Sonny Rollins at the Village Vanguard.


Date: 17-Dec-1998 07:18:47
From: couw
hey, nice listing above! I do not have much to add I guess...

Good to see a lot of LEE MORGAN. I would add his "Search for the new land" as an absolutely brilliant obscurity with an impressive list of players: Lee Morgan (tp), Wayne Shorter (ts), Herbie Hancock (p), Grant Green (g), Reggie Workman (b), Billy Higgins (ds). The title theme gives me shivers...

I miss RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK. The few entries in the list above are far from sufficient in relating his brilliancy (and obscurity). Albums like "We Free Kings," "Domino," "Reeds and Deeds," "Kirk In Copenhagen," "Rip, Rig, and Panic," "The Inflated Tear," and more 'straight' stuff deserve much more credit IMO. But also his 'weird' stuff ("3 sided Dream in Audio Color," "Prepare Thyself...," "Root strata") is among the absolute best. The box-set "Does Your House Have Lions" gives a very good introduction to the man and his music.

Then I would like to add FRANK ZAPPA to the list. The man made some weird stuff, amongst which some brilliant jazz. Most people know his album "Hot Rats," but there's also "Hot Rats 2: Waka Jawaka," the title song of which makes me cry everytime I hear it. Further jazz albums would be "The Grand Wazoo" and "Sleep Dirt" (the vinyl version w/o vocals.) All of them highly recommended!

Last but not least I would add SFeQ, a dutch modern day jazz band (talk about obscure...) that prefers weird rythms and catchy beats, combined with cool tunes and some rap like singsong. Their latest two albums "SFeQ Utd. Vols. 1 & 2" I can especially recommend. For those who like Dolphy's bas-clarinet on 'trane's Village Vanguard recordings: SFeQ has one too... most impressive. Also a Green-like guitar on some tracks. A bit of a Courtney Pine (Modern Day Jazz Stories, Underground) feeling, but maybe more 'modern day.'

OK, I lied. I did have something to add. This was my first posting on this forum, I hope to join you again...

greetings,

—couw


Date: 17-Dec-1998 15:07:37
From: Henry Koch ( [email protected] )
Here are three recordings which may not be timeless "greats," but neither do they deserve to be out of print.

1) Charles Lloyd Quartet: Of Course, Of Course

Lloyd's second record for Columbia made in the mid 60's. A tight, working quartet including Ron Carter, Tony Williams, and Hungarian Gabor Szabo on guitar. All originals.

2) Don Pullen/George Adams Quartet: Song Everlasting

This is my favorite recording by this band and I can't understand why Blue Note dropped it from the catalog. I've been trying to find their first Blue Note "BreakThrough" which has been widely reccommended and haven't located it.

Joe Turner/Count Basie: The Bosses

A very good time was had by all including a Norman Granz all star sextet with Harry Edison, Zoot Sims, Ray Brown and Eddie Davis. Joe Turner in fine shouting form. Don't know if this is out of print, but I never see it mentioned anywhere and it is really a good time record.


Date: 17-Dec-1998 21:41:36
From: John MacLeod
Here are some that *I* think are relatively obscure [no Bird, Monk, Miles, Billie, Duke, Trane, Metheny, etc.] but I keep returning to them over and over:

- TOSHIKO MARIANO QUARTET: a very young Toshiko Akiyoshi on piano and then-husband Charlie Mariano on alto. Brilliant playing, excellent songwriting, a flawless album. - FAREWELL TO MINGUS [Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band]: some of my favorite compositions, arrangements, and performances on any TA/LT album, and that's saying a lot. If you haven't heard Toshiko's arrangements here, you simply have not heard what a big band can do. - JAZZ FOR MODERNS [Duane Tatro]: very harmonically advanced and structurally unusual, like Bob Graettinger or Boyd Raeburn, but this nonet also swings hard and memorably. I believe this is Tatro's only album, which is a shame cuz he's a fascinating composer. Also check out Art Pepper's SMACK UP for a Tatro cover that's simply gorgeous. - SPIRIT IN THE AIR [Sonny Greenwich]: combines the spirituality and adventure of Trane with the linear intensity and approachability of Grant Green. - LIVE AT BOURBON ST. [Lenny Breau]: if Art Tatum at his prettiest and most accomplished knew how to play guitar, he'd be Lenny. - BRIDGES [John Hart]: intriguing compositions, interesting angular playing, and Chris Potter! - UNSPOKEN [Chris Potter]: see above. - PURE DESMOND [Paul Desmond]: or any other album Desmond recorded with Ed Bickert, yet another Canadian who plays guitar like God.... - SEEKING [New Art Jazz Ensemble]: free, beautiful, breathtaking technique. The equal of classic Ornette. - URBAN BUSHMEN [Art Ensemble of Chicago]: the AEC run the gamut of musical sound and human feeling, in dazzling audio fidelity. - PLAYS J. WYZUTY [Paul Pacanowski & R.S.P. Jazz Quartet]: Pacanowski lives in my region and released this CD himself—great sound, excellent musicians, and his mentor Wyzuty's compositions are uncommon and haunting. And one of them ["I Love Your Smile"] is a certifiable classic on a par with "Funny Valentine." - LET'S EAT HOME [Dave Frishberg]: Frishberg's combination of vulnerability, humanity, romanticism, and worldly-wise wit are unique. He also writes a mean tune and plays a mean 88. - V.S.O.P., THE QUINTET: Miles' classic mid-60s quintet, with Freddie Hubbard subbing for Miles, playing live in the late 70s. They didn't get older, they got better. A peak for all involved. - REDISCOVERIES [Art Pepper]: quartet and quintet dates from the early 50s, with some of Art's best compositions. He burns throughout. - TIME WARP COLLECTION: 15-year retrospective of Toronto quartet Time Warp, as eclectic and rooted as Mingus. - GETTING PERSONAL [Nelson Symonds]: Montreal guitarist waited nearly 40 years to lead a date. An injustice, but possibly worth the wait. - LYLE MAYS: first solo outing is wide-ranging, daring, and unfailingly beautiful. Sometimes I put the CD on repeat and leave it there all evening.... - SCOTT HAMILTON WITH STRINGS: Scott's tone is perfect here, his solos are meaty, and Alan Broadbent's string arrangements are the best ever heard on a jazz date, intelligent and inventive. (A close second is Robert Farnon's arrangements for J.J. Johnson's TANGENCE, another frequent guest in my stereo.) - AFTER THE RAIN [Terje Rypdal]: between his early free-jazz and later trance-drones, Terje created some breathtakingly exquisite melodies and harmonies, exemplified in this beautiful masterwork. - PLAYING [Old and New Dreams]: Ornette-style music played live with ECM sonic perfection. And the divine rhythm team of Charlie Haden and the late, more-than-great Ed Blackwell. - THE GUITAR MASTERY OF ED BICKERT: like it sez. - BALLADYNA [Tomasz Stanko]: criminally underrated, Ornette-style European freedom. Other Stanko albums also rule. - CERBERUS [Om]: free quartet from Germany, every musician kills!


Date: 19-Dec-1998 03:27:56
From: Reid ( [email protected] )
I second Scott's recommendation of John Mclaughlin's Extrapolation. The music is really hard to classify, but it swings hard, and the tunes flow nicely together. This is one of my all-time favorites, and I'm not a big Mclaughlin fan.

I also second Bern Nix's Alarms and Excursions. Nix was Ornette's guitarist in the Prime Time band, but don't let the title mislead you. We're not talking distorted guitar here. The album how melodic and grooving "free jazz" can be.

Here are some albums that show how good mainstream jazz can be when it's mixed wiht fusion influences:

Michael Brecker's self-titled for Impulse! Rick Margitza's Hope Steve Masakowski What It Was

Some favorite post-70's fusion:

Wayne Shorter's stuff: Atlantis, Phantom Navigator and High Life. He's still writing great tunes.

Wayne Krantz—Two Drink Minimum. A guitarist who eschews distortion, but combines rock power with story-telling approach to solos

For a more straight-ahead approach: Bobby Watson and Horizon- on bluenote or his live album for Columbia, Midwest Shuffle Andrew Hill—he takes what Monk did, and does his own thing with it


Date: 19-Dec-1998 03:30:39
From: Reid ( [email protected] )
I second Scott's recommendation of John Mclaughlin's Extrapolation. The music is really hard to classify, but it swings hard, and the tunes flow nicely together. This is one of my all-time favorites, and I'm not a big Mclaughlin fan.

I also second Bern Nix's Alarms and Excursions. Nix was Ornette's guitarist in the Prime Time band, but don't let the title mislead you. We're not talking distorted guitar here. The album how melodic and grooving "free jazz" can be.

Here are some albums that show how good mainstream jazz can be when it's mixed wiht fusion influences:

Michael Brecker's self-titled for Impulse! Rick Margitza's Hope Steve Masakowski What It Was

Some favorite post-70's fusion:

Wayne Shorter's stuff: Atlantis, Phantom Navigator and High Life. He's still writing great tunes.

Wayne Krantz—Two Drink Minimum. A guitarist who eschews distortion, but combines rock power with story-telling approach to solos

For a more straight-ahead approach: Bobby Watson and Horizon- on bluenote or his live album for Columbia, Midwest Shuffle Andrew Hill—he takes what Monk did, and does his own thing with it


Date: 19-Dec-1998 08:51:52
From: Peter S. ( [email protected] )
Wayne Krantz "2 Drink Minimum" is a phenomenal album! I'm glad somebody out there recognized it and wrote in. And while we're on the subject of John McLaughlin, what about "Birds of Fire" by the Mahavishnu Orchestra? This is tops as far as jazz-fusion, and where else do you get to hear songs in 15/16 time?


Date: 22-Dec-1998 02:06:41
From: Peter Kenyon ( [email protected] )
Hmm, difficult, but here goes. These end often up in my CD player, but they are not household albums: Blue Mitchell: Down With It Donald Byrd: Mustang Lee Morgan: Cornbread, Search for the New Land, Candy; Herbie Hancock: The Prisoner Jackie McLean, New Soil, Destination Out; Joe Henderson: Page One Manhattan Jazz Quartet: Funk Strut ... gosh there are lots, not the least a lot of local Aussie jazz which is released on small or independent labels, but which never get to the major markets. Any one want to hear about some of this? Peter


Date: 22-Dec-1998 21:00:59
From: fred stark
I wanted to add to the discussion. No one has mentioned three albums that are truly great.

"Members Don't Get Weary" by Max Roach on Atlantic (currently out of print) "Live at Slugs" by Music Inc. (Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell) on Strata East "Song for Biko" by the late, great bassist Johnny Dyani on SteepleChase


Date: 26-Dec-1998 12:40:17
From: rob d steel ( [email protected] )
Here's one that haunts me from 40 years ago.Odds against tomorrow by M.J.Q.I only have it on video soundtrack-poor quality and incomplete.Can anyone help me locate a copy cd or vinyl new or used,I'm in the U.K.and all doors seem to be closed.Help, I really have to get this album,you know how it is,don't you?Thanks Rob.


Date: 29-Dec-1998 07:34:27
From: Wolfgang Kuhnle ( [email protected] )
Kenny Wheeler: Angel Music is the top choice, and Charlie Haden & Keny Barron: Night and the City is in the same vein, smooth jazz, but you never get the feeling that you have wasted your money buying these specific records. For more comments, go to my web site http://www.geocities.com/BourbonStreet/Delta/3254 and then click on the link "Recent Acquisitions."




Date: 30-Dec-1998 06:38:39
From: estefania ( [email protected] )
Hey thanks to all of you. I have read all the comments and i found out a lot of interesting things about jazz and its so great to find all of you who have a pasion for jazz. I will go out and look for lee morgan's "cornbread" and "candY." I will also search for cannonball adderley's "country preacher" which sounds like something i'd like, chick corea's "now he sings, now he sobs" and lucky thompson's "lucky strikes." I appreciate all of the knowledge that I found here. I'll be back thanks to all


Date: 03-Jan-1999 08:49:33
From: Israel Waldrop ( [email protected] )
There are several great LP's that Dizzy Gillespie recorded for Verve and Philips in the early 60's which are very underated due to the fact that they have'nt been reissued on CD. These include: An Electifying Evening with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet (which I miraculously found at a used record shop for $3!!), Dizzy on the French Riviera, and New Wave.

Here's what Scott Yanow of the *All Music Guide to Jazz* has to say about New Wave: "it is such a pity that Dizzy Gillespie Philip's LPs have yet to be reissued on CD, for the trumpeter (45 at the time of this recording)was at the peak of his powers in the early 60's."

As we all know, Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most beloved jazz musicians/personalities and one of America's most renowned artists. If only those big record labels would take a hint and take on the project of reissuing these LP's they would not only realize how satisfied jazz enthusiasts would be but also make huge profits.

(If you are a true jazz enthusiast and a serious LP and CD collector and do not own a copy of the *All Music Guide to Jazz*, I strongly suggest that you go out and buy this book—look for the 3rd edition. Also, do any of you subscribe to Cadance magazine? If so, please let me know how you like it!




Date: 03-Jan-1999 08:56:53
From: Israel Waldrop ( [email protected] )
There are several great LP's that Dizzy Gillespie recorded for Verve and Philips in the early 60's which are very underated due to the fact that they have'nt been reissued on CD. These include: An Electifying Evening with the Dizzy Gillespie Quintet (which I miraculously found at a used record shop for $3!!), Dizzy on the French Riviera, and New Wave.

Here's what Scott Yanow of the *All Music Guide to Jazz* has to say about New Wave: "it is such a pity that Dizzy Gillespie Philip's LPs have yet to be reissued on CD, for the trumpeter (45 at the time of this recording)was at the peak of his powers in the early 60's."

As we all know, Dizzy Gillespie was one of the most beloved jazz musicians/personalities and one of America's most renowned artists. If only those big record labels would take a hint and take on the project of reissuing these LP's they would not only realize how satisfied jazz enthusiasts would be but also make huge profits.

(If you are a true jazz enthusiast and a serious LP and CD collector and do not own a copy of the *All Music Guide to Jazz*, I strongly suggest that you go out and buy this book—look for the 3rd edition. Also, do any of you subscribe to Cadance magazine? If so, please let me know how you like it!




Date: 06-Jan-1999 04:09:50
From: Gnecco
Thanks to Larkin for including Tom Waits. The Ellington/Armstrong sessions is magic, top to bottom. (anyone know how to get it on vinyl?)

Check out Scofield's "Grace Under Pressure" with Bill frisell, charlie haden, and joey baron. It's some straight ahead bop and some pretty stuff on two guitars. Frisell's playing is tasteful and sensitive-a nice change from his out there solo stuff.

Joey Baron's band Baron Down, the album "Tongue in Groove" This is the coolest drummer playing, with a trombone and a sax. It's playful and exhuberant.

Anything from John Zorn's Masada. The albums are numbered 1 -13, I think. Its Zorn, Baron, Greg Cohen on Bass, and Dave Douglass on Trumpet. It mixes frenetic bop playing from contemporary masters, in the context of traditional Klezmer.

Zorn's Spy vs. Spy album is an intense rendition of Ornette's stuff played on two alto saxophones, two drum kits and a bass. It's like being in traffic on speed.

Something about Mike Stern's rendition of "Like Someone in Love" on his "Standards" album has stuck with me every day, even though I lost the cd years ago. It has become definitive of the tune for me.

Indeed, the early Benson is marvelous.


Date: 09-Jan-1999 11:31:54
From: Peter Schellenberg ( [email protected] )
WHITE JAZZ Casa Loma Band JUMPIN'PUNKINS Ellington (Webster/Blanton) JOHN KIRBY SEXTET 1940 JAZZ OF TWO CITIES Warne Marsh/Ted Brown AMBASSADOR SATCH /WESTEND BLUES Louis Armstrong THE WORLD OF CECIL TAYLOR STUDY IN BROWN Clifford Brown OUT TO LUNCH Eric Dolphy KIND OF BLUE Miles Davis LES JAZZ MODES Julius Watkins / Charlie Rouse


Date: 14-Jan-1999 00:05:08
From: Garry E.
Bill Barron/Booker Ervin—"The Hot Line": Interesting contrast of two excellent saxophonists (the late Bill is Kenny's brother), and some of this just burns! Reissued on Savoy about 10 years ago.

Bob Brookmeyer and Friends: A nice Columbia LP from, I believe, the early '60's, with Stan Getz and Elvin Jones among others.

Don Cherry—"Complete Communion": Fascinating music, Cherry's first (and in my opinion best) Blue Note with Gato Barbieri occupying the chair later taken by Pharaoh Sanders. Gato was more "out" at this point (mid '60's) than he later became, but was not nearly the screecher that Sanders then was. Cherry's "Art Deco" on A&M from the late '80's is also a very tasty straight jazz set—something of a surprise from this late lamented master of world music.

Stanley Cowell—"Brilliant Circles": Excellent, especially the title track. Cowell, I believe, is a very underrated and versatile pianist. On his late '70's Galaxy solo LP "Waiting for the Moment" he shows just HOW versatile he is: the album apparently aspires to be a history of jazz piano to that point, beginning with ragtime and ending with electric piano/fusion material. Though this arguably gives the sequence of songs too rigid a "timeline" kind of feeling, it's still both impressive and enjoyable.

Ron Crotty/Jerry Dodgion/Vince Guaraldi—"Modern Music from San Francisco": This is great, if you can find it. Three different leaders split the album, which may be why (as far as I know) it's never been on CD. Actually, even though he's only a sideman here, I think Sonny Clark's piano steals the show when he gets a chance at the spotlight.

Art Farmer—"Manhattan": I had to put something by the wonderfully mellow Art Farmer in here, and this mid-'80's recording for Soul Note seems somewhat obscure at this point.

Jimmy Giuffre—"Dragonfly" : Another mid-'80's Soul Note release. I know Giuffre's early trio sides with Paul Bley and Steve Swallow are both interesting and significant, but to be honest I play this and his other Soul Notes more often. They're sort of like Jimmy Giuffre does Weather Report—all good, but this one's my favorite because of "Moonlight," a feature for bass flute that makes me think of Snoopy sneaking across the World War II front at night in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."

Grant Green—anything, really. "Iron City," say, if you want nice simple tuneful funk, or the 2 CD "Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark" if you want something a little more ambitious that's still fun.

Tubby Hayes—"The New York Sessions": Clark Terry on trumpet, the great Horace Parlan on piano. The Columbia CD (now unfortunately out of print) has several good previously unreleased tracks.

ANDREW HILL, ANDREW HILL, ANDREW HILL—I love this guy! He has this cerebral way of circling around a melody on the piano, but he is definitely NOT some cold technician. Like no one else. Though his "Point of Departure" is rightfully viewed as a masterpiece, I would not start with that if you're unfamiliar with Hill—it's not his most accessible work. Start with "Shades," an excellent mid-'80's Soul Note with Clifford Jordan on sax (the first Hill album I bought), or his solo "Verona Rag" on the same label, or his late '80's return to Blue Note, "Eternal Spirit." All of these show a mature Hill who, while not compromising his musical vision at all, has still mellowed a little with age. A word also for "Dance with Death," recorded for Blue Note in 1968 but not released until 10 years later; despite the offputting title (the reason, I would guess, that this album is not better known) this is tuneful, fun, intelligent music.

Bobby Hutcherson—"Medina": Like (and in some cases with) Hill, Hutcherson (THE jazz vibraphonist in my book) recorded several brilliant albums for Blue Note in the mid-'60's. This representative work has just been rereleased on a CD that also includes most of "Spiral," another goodie.

J.J. Johnson—"The Complete Columbia J.J. Johnson Small Group Sessions": This 7 CD set from Mosaic Records won't come cheap but virtually everything on it is great! I'm sure many of these sets from the late '50's and early '60's by Johnson, trombonist/arranger extraordinaire, would have languished in Columbia's vaults for years to come were it not for wonderful Mosaic. (If you don't know about Mosaic, their sets are limited editions that are available only by mail. I think their web site is www.mosaicrecords.com. They save lots of wonderful music from unjustified obscurity—look 'em up!)

Elvin Jones—"Illumination": Way too much Elvin Jones awaits reissue on CD, but this excellent Impulse is now available. If you can find it, I think "Puttin' It Together" on Blue Note is even better. Elvin plays so much music on his drums that Joe Farrell on reeds and Jimmy Garrison on bass (both great) are all the support he needs.

Duke Jordan—"Duke Jordan": This Savoy reissue, which I think is also known as "Trio and Quintet," is my favorite Jordan (though his "Flight to Jordan," a 1960 Blue Note with Dizzy Reece on trumpet, is great too), if only for his lovely solo piano rendition of "Summertime."

Pete LaRoca—"Turkish Women at the Bath": Recently reissued on CD by 32 Jazz, this 1967 session with Chick Corea, as its title might suggest, interestingly evokes other cultures without straying far from mainstream jazz. Very creative.

George Lewis—"Homage to Charles Parker": I don't know if this qualifies as obscure given the almost unheard-of 5-star rating it receives in The Penguin Guide to Jazz, but it's a great combination of Lewis' trombone, interesting electronics, etc. Fascinating.

John Lewis—"The Wonderful World of Jazz": Much of this is fun for both established jazz fans and those looking for an introduction to jazz. Even my wife, not the dyed-in-the-wool fan I am, loves the opening 15-minute "Body and Soul" with the great Paul Gonsalves on sax.

Harold Mabern—"Straight Street": A solid piano trio that covers everything from lesser known Coltrane tunes ("Straight Street," "Crescent") to Stevie Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing." This is the only date under Mabern's leadership I own, but I'm convinced I must buy more.

Gil Melle—"The Complete Blue Note Fifties Sessions": Melle's music on this 2 CD set is decidedly unusual given most of it is from the 10" LP era: abstract enough to be interesting without becoming offputtingly diffuse. Serious demerits, though, for Melle's own largely irrelevant and self-inflating liner notes, which indicate among other things that he practically invented electronic music (which, in any event, this is not) as we know it today!

Blue Mitchell—"Blue Soul," "Step Lightly": Excellent, tuneful. If you like Blue's work with Horace Silver, these are for you.

Lee Morgan—"Sonic Boom": Lee Morgan recorded so much great music that some of it just had to fall through the cracks. This Blue Note LP combines Morgan's magical trumpet with David "Fathead" Newman's chugging sax; it's great fun if you can find it.

Herbie Nichols—anything. Like Thelonious Monk and Andrew Hill, an original. Grab his complete Blue Note recordings if you can.

Horace Parlan—"Happy Frame of Mind": An excellent Blue Note with a title that tells you what his music will probably put you in. I love his song "Wailin,'" available in trio format on "Us Three" and with the Turrentine brothers on trumpet and tenor sax on "Headin' South."

Oscar Pettiford—"The New Oscar Pettiford Sextet": If you can find this, originally recorded for Charles Mingus' Debut label and reissued 5 or 10 years ago on Original Jazz Classics (LP only), grab it. Pettiford plays cello with Mingus on bass on some cuts.

Ike Quebec—"Heavy Soul": Ike Quebec's warm tenor sax was just made for late night city barroom jukeboxes. This CD has a great version of "The Man I Love" that changes tempo from sleepy-slow to finger-snapping, and later back again, without missing a beat.

Dizzy Reece—anything: a sadly neglected trumpet player who last recorded, to my knowledge, with Clifford Jordan's big band on the late '80's "Down Through the Years." His Blue Notes ("Blues in Trinity," "Star Bright," "Soundin' Off") are all good straight-ahead jazz; the U.S. CD reissue of "Blues in Trinity" adds several unreleased tracks. His sole OJC, "Asia Minor," while not completely of a piece with his earlier work, is also very good.

Woody Shaw—"Setting Standards": Glad to see Woody Shaw, another sorely underrated trumpeter, has already been mentioned several times on this site. This is a lovely '80's session for Muse, which, while mostly (naturally) standards, includes a fun version of the theme from TV's "Spiderman"!! Shaw's "Imagination," recently reissued by 32 Jazz, is another excellent set similar to this one.

Gabor Szabo—"Bacchanal": A guilty pleasure. Szabo is a very "sixties" guitarist in my opinion (his "The Sorcerer" on Impulse almost makes me feel like I was a college student smoking dope in Haight-Ashbury at the time instead of an elementary school kid in Indiana), but dated doesn't have to mean boring: I think the way he constantly speeds up the tempo in the last minute of the title track is amazing.

Henry Threadgill—"Too Much Sugar for a Dime": Not for the faint-hearted perhaps, and I have no idea what most of his song titles mean, but Threadgill's is exhilirating, adventurous music.

The Three Sounds—"Babe's Blues" "Introducing the Three Sounds" "Standards": Or, probably, anything else by this consistently entertaining group. It seems the Three Sounds took some critical bashing when (and probably, because) they were popular, back in the early '60's. A piano trio that swings? What's wrong with that?

McCoy Tyner—"Sahara": Tyner has released many excellent albums over the years. This one features everything from a solo piano song for his family to cuts featuring the Japanese koto—which I believe is what he's holding in the striking cover photograph (which, like so many good old album covers, is greatly diminished by its condensation for CD).

Randy Weston—"Little Niles": This Blue Note double LP, a 1979 reissue of most of three late '50's sessions, is excellent. Look also for Weston's recent Verve release of Ellington numbers, "Caravan"; I love to play the opening drum sequence on the title track really loud as I drive home from work on Fridays. Weston's integrations of African musics and jazz are always great.

Gerald Wilson—"Theme for Monterey": Among many highlights, Wilson's big band does a great reworking of "Summertime" with lots of crisp guitar.

Jack Wilson—"Ramblin,'" "Something Personal": A cool California pianist with bass, drums and Roy Ayers on vibes tackles Ornette Coleman, Lee Morgan's "The Sidewinder," Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" and other interesting choices. These make great late night music.

Larry Young—"The Complete Blue Note Recordings of Larry Young": Another Mosaic set, 6 great CDs, but sadly out of print. The early sets with Grant Green are great organ/guitar combo jazz, but the later ones are even more interesting, like no other jazz organist's work, forward-looking without becoming inaccessible or amelodic. Blue Note has reissued some of these as single CDs, including Young's "Unity" with Woody Shaw.

Whew!! Thanks, this was fun!


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