Top Ten List

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

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 ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Musicians Who Embody Cool

Read "Top Ten Musicians Who Embody Cool" reviewed by Alan Bryson

America has produced some very cool things: jazz, rock, blues, country, hot rods, Hammond organs, and electric guitars. Another one of the coolest things is the language itself, brewed in the melting pot that is America. Like jazz, blues, and rock, American English itself can't be imagined without the influence of African Americans. “Hep," “hip," “funky," “groovin,'" and “cool" are words I had assumed were coined by the early jazz musicians; however, as I dug a little deeper it seems ...

TOP TEN LIST

John Coltrane: My Favorite Things (Not Including “My Favorite Things”)

Read "John Coltrane: My Favorite Things (Not Including “My Favorite Things”)" reviewed by Matt J. Popham

John Coltrane died on July 17, 1967 at the age of forty. Had he lived, he would have turned 90 on September 23rd of this year. When one considers the profound effect he had—not just on jazz, but on music as a whole—in the brief two decades of his career, it's not only daunting, but depressing, to try and imagine what he might have done with four or five more. Initially a gifted Hard Bop player, his own musical and ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Guitarists Who Left Us Too Soon

Read "Top Ten Guitarists Who Left Us Too Soon" reviewed by Alan Bryson

Ranking musicians is a hopelessly flawed endeavor. It's about as meaningful as having a list of the top ten best tasting foods. Taste is highly individualized, influenced by mood, familiarity, and the way in which multiple variables interact. One person's escargot is someone else's slice of Chicago style pizza. I just took a break and searched the web for the top ten best tasting foods, and of course CNN has tackled this difficult issue. Potato chips, Peking Duck, and buttered ...


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