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22

Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums

Read "John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums" reviewed by Chris May


This article is a companion piece to John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums, which listed ten albums widely regarded as essential items in John Coltrane's discography and discussed another ten of comparable importance. John Coltrane: Top Ten Live Albums narrows the focus to club and concert recordings. Coltrane's live performances had a ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Instrumental Duos

Read "Instrumental Duos" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The early days of jazz were not always harmonious. Converted dance orchestras often sounded like unbalanced acoustic junkyards; a single violin, cornet, trombone, clarinet, tuba, drums, banjo, and piano, all fighting for attention. The piano was meant to be the glue holding the shrill and boisterous elements together. In 1921 a prodigy pianist named Zez Confrey ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "John Coltrane: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said that you could recite the history of jazz in just four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. To that you need to add two more: John Coltrane. A giant during his lifetime, Coltrane continues to shape jazz and inspire musicians decades after he passed. No other player has come remotely close to eclipsing ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus

Read "Eddie Sauter: A Wider Focus" reviewed by Chris May


For many people, composer and arranger Eddie Sauter's reputation begins and ends with Stan Getz's Focus (Verve, 1962). The album is, indeed, a masterpiece. But it is only one of the pinnacles of Sauter's career, which started during the swing era. Nor is Focus Sauter's only collaboration with Getz. The partnership continued with the less widely ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Zakir Hussain: The Best Jazz / Crossover Albums

Read "Zakir Hussain: The Best  Jazz / Crossover Albums" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Zakir Hussain turned 70 on March 9th. In an unparalleled career, which began in earnest aged 7, the man widely acclaimed as the world's greatest tabla player has played with the giants of both Indian classical music and jazz. It is hard to think of another musician who has straddled both worlds to such a prominent ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Saxophone Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums

Read "Saxophone  Colossi: An Alternative Top Ten Banging Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Miles Davis once said you could tell the history of jazz in four words: Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker. You might want to add John Coltrane, you might even want to add Davis. But however you cut it, saxophones and trumpets have been the flag bearers of the music. Trumpets got things rolling and saxophones came into ...

394

Article: Building a Jazz Library

Chick Corea

Read "Chick Corea" reviewed by Mark Sabbatini


In memory of NEA Jazz Master Chick Corea: 1941-2021. This article was first published at All About Jazz in 2004. Pianist Chick Corea is one of the major pioneers of fusion, with his influence since the 1960s also extending to post-bop, Latin, free-form and avant-garde jazz. He is a rarity in his proficiency and ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums

Read "Guitar Gods & Goddesses: An Alternative Top Ten Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Although it has been present in jazz since the 1920s, when it was routinely used in rhythm sections, as a solo instrument the guitar struggled to make itself heard--literally--until the second half of the 1930s, when reliable pick-ups and portable amplifiers became available. Foremost among the pioneers of the electrified instrument was Charlie Christian, a member ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Solo Recordings for Non-Traditionalists

Read "Solo Recordings for Non-Traditionalists" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


On January 24, 1975, a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand piano was to be wheeled onto the stage of the Cologne Opera House. Instead, a rehearsal piano, smaller, beaten-up, and out of tune, was the only instrument available to then twenty-nine-year-old piano prodigy Keith Jarrett. The pianist was not in much better shape than the piano. ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Ten Tiptop Albums Which Include Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best’s Totally Rocking “Bemsha Swing”

Read "Ten Tiptop Albums Which Include Thelonious Monk & Denzil Best’s Totally Rocking “Bemsha Swing”" reviewed by Chris May


That was the opinion expressed in Inside Jazz by its author, Leonard Feather, who, on the front cover of the book's first edition in 1949 was described as “America's No.1 Authority On Be-Bop." Well, at least Feather was half right about the attractive tunes. In fact, Monk is known to have written at least eighty of ...


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