Josh's Jazz

What is this?

What follows are some tracks from some of my jazz CDs. In picking them I tried for two things, mainly: my favorites; and things I thought needed to be accounted for, even if I didn't like them as much. There isn't much of the latter, though in many cases, since I was picking these out in bulk without lots of time to listen and consider, I just picked what sounded good at a moment's listen.

I picked these artists because they're best represented in my jazz collection (a paltry hundred discs or so), and because they seem to be good choices to file under "best and/or most influential jazz." That goal wasn't a very serious one, though, so no carping; for instance, I like Diz and Bird and Duke alright, but not nearly as much, so regardless of whether or not they might be more important, or better, etc., I just didn't have as many samples of them to choose. In favor of offering a somewhat unified picture of what jazz is (and even that's hard, given the diverse careers of the artists I picked), I tried to keep the selection limited.

A note about Miles: though I tried to cover as much of each musician's career as my collection allows me, I stopped just after Miles' fusion work got started. I like it, and I think it's worthwhile, but it begins to be less and less precisely jazz, and more something else entirely ("funk" being the most convenient label, though totally inadequate). Also, a lot of the Star Chamber (for whom I made these selections) has already heard Miles' funkiest, fusion-est stuff.

The idea, after picking, was that I would review each track. I'm behind on my reviewing, but will endeavor to catch up. New reviews will be announced in josh blog. Requests are welcome - otherwise, I'll just pick whatever, whenever.

After I get rolling a bit I may have something more general to say.

The music

These are grouped by album, with the albums listed in order of release, to give some idea of the directions each musician took.

John Coltrane
"Blue Train" - Blue Train
"Giant Steps" - Giant Steps
"Countdown" - Giant Steps
"Syeeda's Song Flute" - Giant Steps
"Naima" - Giant Steps
"My Favorite Things, Part 1" - My Favorite Things
"My Favorite Things, Part 2" - My Favorite Things
"Africa" - The Complete Africa/Brass Sessions
"India" - Live at the Village Vangard: The Master Tapes
"Wise One" - Crescent
"Part 1 - Acknowledgement" - A Love Supreme
"Compassion" - Meditations
"Jupiter" - Interstellar Space
Miles Davis
"Boplicity" - Birth of the Cool
"'Round Midnight" - 'Round About Midnight
"My Funny Valentine" - Cookin'
"Airegin" - Cookin'
"Buzzard Song" - Porgy and Bess
"Gone" - Porgy and Bess
"Summertime" - Porgy and Bess
"Oh Doctor Jesus" - Porgy and Bess
"So What" - Kind of Blue
"Freddie Freeloader" - Kind of Blue
"All Blues" - Kind of Blue
"Flamenco Sketches" - Kind of Blue
"Will O' The Wisp" - Sketches of Spain
"Solea" - Sketches of Spain
"Circle" - Miles Smiles
"Nefertiti" - Nefertiti
"Hand Jive (First Alternate Take)" - Nefertiti
"Spanish Key" - Bitches Brew
"Miles Runs The Voodoo Down" - Bitches Brew
"Right Off" - Jack Johnson
Charles Mingus
"Ysabel's Table Dance" - New Tijuana Moods
"Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" - Blues and Roots
"Cryin' Blues" - Blues and Roots
"Moanin'" - Blues and Roots
"E's Flat Ah's Flat Too" - Blues and Roots
"Better Git It in Your Soul" - Mingus Ah Um
"Goodbye Pork Pie Hat" - Mingus Ah Um
"Boogie Stop Shuffle" - Mingus Ah Um
"Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting" - Mingus at Antibes
"Hog Callin' Blues" - Oh Yeah
"Oh Lord Don't Let Them Drop That Atomic Bomb On Me" - Oh Yeah
"Solo Dancer" - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady
"Group Dancers" - The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady