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 ( sbidwell@wvu.edu )
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 ( mjlsr1@wans.net )
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


Date: 08-Dec-1998 09:55:14
From: John Basile ( jbasile@cnc.com )

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 ( mslack@marshill.com )
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 ( jdr@musicshop.com.br )
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 ( guru@loop.com )
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. ( soks823@aol.com )
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...



Date: 17-Dec-1998 15:07:37
From: Henry Koch ( hkoch@coqui.net )
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:


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