More Obscure Favorites

AAJ Staff By

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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: 11-Oct-1998 09:34:35
From: Jonathan Kranz ( jonkranz@mediaone.net )

A few favorites of my own: Lucky Thompson, "Lucky Strikes" Bud Freeman and Bucky Pizzarelli, "Buck and Bud" Tommy Flanagan, "Tommy Flanagan Trio Overseas" Gene Ammons and Dodo Marmaroso, "Jugs and Dodo."

Date: 11-Oct-1998 12:15:27
From: Daniel Thouin ( dthouin@hotmail.com )

Ahmad Jamal:"Happy Moods,"Roy Haynes"We Three"(with Phineas Newborn&Paul Chambers),Lee Konitz"Motion,"Miles Davis"Filles de Killimanjaro,"Shirley Horn "Loads of love"&"With Horns," Yannick Rieu"In the myth."Those albums are all great on their own terms and each of thems have an uncommon freshness feeling.

Date: 11-Oct-1998 12:33:04
From: Michael Ricci ( coolcat@visionx.com )

Love this topic Jonathan! This *is* a super way for everyone to get insight into great music we might otherwise have missed.

I find myself coming back to these when I want to kick back and relax:

* Lee Morgan --- "Candy" * Vince Guaraldi --- "Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus" * Cal Tjader --- "Jazz at the Blackhawk" * Paul Desmond --- "Polka Dots and Moonbeams" * Kenny Dorham --- "Quiet Kenny" * Gerry Mulligan --- "Night Lights"

Date: 11-Oct-1998 19:59:20

From: Chris Genzel ( stamil@t-online.de )
Hadley Caliman: "Projecting" (1976) and "Celebration" (1977). Two really beautiful hard bop albums, and I'm not that much into hard bop. Why has Caliman never been released on CD? Julian Priester, "Keep Swingin'" (1960). Again, very beautiful.

Herbie Hancock discography at: http://home.t-online.de/home/stamil/hhdisco.htm

Date: 12-Oct-1998 02:56:50

From: Paul Abella ( Pabella3@aol.com )
How about these?

Eddie Harris: The Electrifying... Lee Morgan: Cornbread Art Blakey: Meet Me At the Jazz Corner of the World anything by Mose Allison Keith Jarrett: Changes Phineas Newborn: A World of Piano Ornette Coleman: Something Else! Cannonball Adderley: Country Preacher Larry Young: Unity Chick Corea: Now He Sings, Now He Sobs

Those are my picks.

Keep Your Ears Open, Paul

Date: 12-Oct-1998 08:59:57
From: Jonathan Kranz ( jonkranz@mediaone.net )
Wow! People are coming up with great stuff! I'd like to add another: Stephane Grapelli, "It's Only a Paper Moon."

Grappelli's "Paper Moon" is one of those budget CDs (I got it for $3.99) that I usually avoid—most of the time, you get what you pay for. But a friend bought a copy, played it, and I was amazed; the playing is fresh, vital and inventive throughout. The two duos with Earl Hines, recorded in 1974, justify rushing to the music store (or CD Now or Tower or whatever); Hines was already an old man when he recorded the tracks, but you'd never know it from the music.

FYI: It's on "Four Star" records, distributed by KEM Enterprises, Inc.

Date: 13-Oct-1998 04:10:28
From: Edwin De Leeuw ( edwin.deleeuw@wkb.be )
Lee Morgan—"The Leeway" Miles Davis—"Volume one" (Blue Note) Miles Davis—"Porgy and Bess" (Best jazz ever) Philip Cath?rine—"Live" (fantastic live album from one of Belgium's most respected jazz guitar players) Weather Report—"Heavy Weather" (of course)

Mind you, it's been only a year or two since I really discovered jazz as a musical style. It's getting better every day !!

CU all ! Ed

Date: 13-Oct-1998 10:47:46
From: Eliot ( esem@dsuper.net )
Hi folks,

Just a message to tell you that you should at least give us some description of the artist/music you are listing... This would help people like me who don`t know much of those names to know if that wold interest us.

Date: 13-Oct-1998 17:43:07
From: Paul ( Pabella3@aol.com )
Elliot— here they are, descriptions of my favorite obscure jazz albums: The Electrifying Eddie Harris: simply one of the most groove heavy but still swingin' jazz albums of the late 60's. If you don't get Eddie you are a no soul fool.

Lee Morgan—Cornbread: Cornbread is one of the hippest Lee Morgan funk tunes, and Our Man Higgins demonstrates once and for all that Billy Higgins is THE most underrated drummer ever.

Art Blakey—Meet me at the Jazz Corner of the World: I just picked this one up and DAMN!!! is it good. Lots of good Blakey-esque soul.

Anything by Mose Allison is worth owning, and my comments for Eddie Harris are relevant here too.

Phineas Newborn—A World of Piano: one of the only "I play jazz therefore I'm smarter than you" styled albums which I like, and Phineas Newborn's playing is why. It's smart and artsy, but funky, too.

Keith Jarrett—Changes: Worth the price of admission for an amazing ballad called Prizm.

Ornette Coleman—Something Else!: Ornette's only album with deliberate chord changes, and it is a great one.

Cannonball Adderley—Country Preacher: One of the funkiest legitimate jazz albums ever. Nuff Said.

Larry Young—Unity: What not to say? Elvin, Joe Henderson, Woody Shaw and Larry. put those in a blender and enjoy. repeat.

Chick Corea—Now He Sings...: Chick's last great album pre RTF. with Roy Haynes and Dave Holland.

I hope that helps.

Keep Your Ears Open, Paul

Date: 13-Oct-1998 21:10:41
From: Jonathan Kranz ( jonkranz@mediaone.net )
Elliot's right: it would be appropriate to include annotation with our choices (as Paul has done). Here goes:

"Lucky Strikes": Lucky Thompson is a tenor and soprano saxophonist who crossed over from heavy-duty, Hawkins-like swing to bebop. (In fact, he was in Charlie Parker's quintet for the 1946 Dial recordings). "Lucky Strikes" comes later in his career, (I'm not sure when. Late '50's? Early '60's?) and features a beautifully balanced mix of originals and standards, all of it understated and sensitive without getting "precious."

"Buck and Bud": A mid-seventies meeting of two greats: the famous Bud Freeman, a renowned tenor often associated with the traditionalist movement; and Bucky Pizzarelli, an underrated guitarist with flying fingers and powerful bebop leanings. This one could have been an odd couple pairing, but they listen to each other well and obviously find inspritation in the match—which they generously share with the audience.


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