Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Rock Lovers Guide to Jazz (1): Five Great Albums


Do you love rock but are pretty new to jazz ? Want to know a few places to start ? Which albums represent the different styles of jazz ? Here's Rock Revival's attempt, with special recommendations of some of the really great jazz albums

1. Cool Jazz: Dave Brubeck and Paul Desmond, '1975: The Duets'


Cool jazz is exactly how it sounds, laid back, crisp, cool with a capital 'C'. Miles Davis, Chet Baker and the man who wrote 'Take Five' Dave Brubeck.

This album is something very special, the production is amazing, you can hear Paul Desmond breath thru the sax, it's fresh and beautiful, delicate even. One of the least recognised masterpieces in cool jazz

2. Hard-Bop: Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, 'Indestructable'

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Hard-bop is a combination of rhythm and blues, gospel and blues, a product of Charlie Parker's Be-bop but jazz that swings, although certainly not in a Glenn Miller fashion. Art Blakey is the master of hard-bop drumming, this album really grooves.

3. Free Jazz: Ornett Coleman The Shape of Things to Come

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Free jazz abandons the normal chord structure of jazz and the security of a stable bass line. This album, from 1959, was the first, shocking at the time but still enjoyable. Eric Dolphy's Last Date or At the 5 Spot are also brilliant, flirting with free but still centred on hard-bop, incredible bass clarinet sound

4. Jazz Vocal: Kurt Elling The Messenger


Kurt is probably the best jazz vocalist around; sings like Sinatra, scats like Ella Fitzgerald, actually writes lyrics to famous wild sax solos, Nature Boy off this album gives you chills everytime. Anthony Bey, another contemporary jazz singer is also great.

5. Jazz Fusion: Jean Luc Ponty Live


Fusion is not all Kenny G and Earl Klugh but started with Miles and forms an important ingredient in prog still today. Ponty worked with Zappa and specialises in electric violin. This album proves that a fusion player can be like rock star live; he kicks arse on this album and the crowd agrees.

1 comment:

Stratoz said...

nice suggestions. Kurt Elling is an aquired taste but has become a favorite of mine.