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Top Ten List

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music

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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

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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”)

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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

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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 ...

TOP TEN LIST

Denny Tedesco's Top Ten Wrecking Crew Songs

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In his All About Jazz interview, documentary filmmaker Denny Tedesco mentioned he had acquired the rights to over one hundred songs to use in his documentary film The Wrecking Crew. The film deals with the history of the studio and session musicians in '60s Los Angeles. After the interview we asked him to do the near impossible and come up with a Top Ten list for us. Denny obliged... 1. Nancy Sinatra: “These Boots Are ...

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Top Ten Jazz Songs of My Childhood, Thus Far

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For some reason, listening to the Great American Songbook was a big part of my Italian immigrant-boomer generation's experience. We learned the values, the rules, the moves and the customs of the folks we wanted to be like. And added a couple of distinctive touches of our own. We liked big bands too. But it wasn't All Frank, All the Time... well, not quite. 1. Maynard Ferguson: “Come Blow Your Horn" From Come Blow ...

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Top Ten Jazz Songs To Listen To While Watching Basketball

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Don't let the annoying jibber-jabber of announcers or a deluge of car commercials wreck your game. Turn the sound down and listen to these ten great jazz tracks as you watch your favorite NBA or college team keep the ball alive, jump on the fast break and drive it to the hoop. Basketball was made for jazz, and vice-versa! 1. Herbie Hancock: “Watermelon Man" From Takin' Off (Blue Note, 1962) This immortal, ...

TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Christmas Jazz Recordings Of All-Time

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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 at the All About Jazz Forum. I will save a special lump of coal ...


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