Top Ten List

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

TOP TEN LIST

B.B. King: Through the Years

Read "B.B. King: Through the Years" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Sixty-six years passed from the time in 1948 when Riley King auditioned for a spot on Sonny Boy Williamson's radio program, until his final performance at the House of Blues on October 3, 2014 in Chicago. His life was a remarkable odyssey from a sharecropper's cabin to the pinnacle of success. We'll never know how many millions of miles he logged on his tour bus in the 50s and 60s —he and his band essentially lived on the road in ...

TOP TEN LIST

Filmmaker Joerg Steineck's Top Ten John Scofield Albums

Read "Filmmaker Joerg Steineck's Top Ten John Scofield Albums" reviewed by Michael Ricci

In his All About Jazz interview, Berlin-based filmmaker Joerg Steineck discusses the making of his documentary Inside Scofield. As the title suggests, the film takes a look at guitar icon John Scofield's career and life on (and off) the road as a touring jazz musician. After the interview we asked Joerg to identify his favorite “Sco" records. Interviewer Mike Jacobs also chimed in with a half dozen of his own. 1. A Go Go (Verve, ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Horizontal Guitar Players

Read "Top Ten Horizontal Guitar Players" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Who could have imagined that a few serendipitous events on a remote Pacific island in the 19th century would fundamentally change American music. In 1832 Hawaii's king brought Mexican cowboys to the Big Island to teach native Hawaiians how gain control of their rapidly increasing cattle population. As luck would have it, some of these cowboys brought along their Spanish guitars. Around 1880 Portuguese sailors and workers from Madeira introduced the steel string guitar to the islands. Gradually ...

TOP TEN LIST

The Book of Neil (Young): How the Godfather of Grunge Became an Influencer of Jazz

Read "The Book of Neil (Young): How the Godfather of Grunge Became an Influencer of Jazz" reviewed by Kelley Suttenfield

As a child of the '70s, Neil Young's music was some of the first I heard played on the radio. Heart of Gold must have been piped into every café, truck stop, and grocery store in Central Virginia, where I spent my formative years. And if you were taking a road trip, scanning the stations meant you could easily hear it multiple times in one afternoon. Astonishingly, it remains his only number #1 hit to this day. Out of such ...

TOP TEN LIST

The Top Ten Christmas Jazz Albums Of All Time

Read "The Top Ten Christmas Jazz Albums Of All Time" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes

As temperatures drop and days grow short, Winter is once again upon us. For those looking to listen to the sounds of the season without resorting to December's relentless slew of glossy, generic cash-grabs, jazz can be a breath of fresh, wintry air. You won't find (many) singers on this list, since most people already know and have records by Frank, Dean, Ella, Karen, and more. Instead, I've put together jazz's greatest Christmas albums from the golden age to today. ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Christmas Jazz Recordings Of All-Time

Read "Top Ten Christmas Jazz Recordings Of All-Time" reviewed by Ken Hohman

While moldy Christmas songs and great jazz seem as compatible as egg nog and Tanqueray, there have been instances where the planets have aligned to create songs that display the best of both genres. Ten instances, to be exact, and you'll find them below. Do you agree? Then post your holiday toast to my list. Don't agree? Post the all-time Christmas jazz song of your choice in the comments section below. I will save a special lump of coal just ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music

Read "Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music" reviewed by Alan Bryson

The notion of jazz as surf music seems absurd at first blush, but it can work surprisingly well. Some time ago I learned this by happenstance while listening to an album by fusion guitarist Alex Machacek as I watched surf videos on YouTube. It was a true “ah ha" moment. Compared to the original soundtrack, Alex's music was much better suited to the surfers' incredible aesthetics, athletics, and the resulting excitement. It struck me that it might be ...


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