help me find quality classic jazz?

I am looking for early jazz recordings (1930 to 1950 I imagine). I like the standards done right or any obscure, quiet, simple jazz featuring guitar, piano, saxaphone (not fast saxaphone but slow, breathy and intimate) drums etc.

I think you get the idea, I like the old stuff but not interested in Swing or Big Band type of music but more like Billy Holiday or Charlie Christian

Any and all recommendations appreciated

for convienience I prefer CD but vinyl is fine too just often costly to find new.

thanks everyone

Anything by Ben Webster. Soulville would be right up your alley. I have the LP. I can't speak for the CD. One of the best sounding recordings I have.

lester young
I second Ben Webster, he played on many recordings with Billy Holiday, since you are a Holiday fan. One of my favorite recordings of Ben is "Time after Time" on the "Ben and Associates" CD. If you like Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins and Gene Ammons may be up your alley as well.
BTW Phil, Webster, Young, Hawkins, and Ammons are all Tenor Sax players.
Hmmm. You want jazz made between 1930 and 1950, but you don't want Swing, Big Band, or Bebop. What's left?

Seriously, the suggestions above are good ones. I'd encourage you to push the envelope a little. Try some small-group swing, like Benny Goodman's quartet and sextet recordings, or "Great Ellington Units"--subsets of the 40s Ellington band.

And push into the 50s as well. Early Bill Evans and Ahmad Jamal trios, while informed by bop, still have a quite traditional feel.

I can't guarantee you'll like all of this, but it's always good to try something new. Ya never know.
Not much of a jazz afficionado myself, but I do like Paul Desmond/Gerry Mulligan's "Two of a Mind" ... alto and baritone saxes - each soloing, and then weaving together in contrapuntal harmony, unobtrusive backbeat, string bass.

1962 performance; on the Victor Jazz label (digital remaster)

- All The Things You Are - Kern/Hammerstein
- Stardust - Carmichael/Parrish
- Two of a Mind - Desmond
- Blight of the Fumblebee - Mulligan
- The Way You Look Tonight - Fields/Kern
- Out of Nowhere - Heyman/Green
Thanks guys,

I find it hard to express exactly what I am looking for having never found it. Putting the years down was a bad idea, I do not care what year but like simple classic mellow sounds that have a jazz type quality. I am not especially big into the blues or big band etc...

I do have Blues and the Abstract Truth by Lester Young and it is very good but a little faster and more upbeat than my current tastes.

Thank you Rob and Tubemeiser for the Ben Webster recommendations I will go listen if I can find them.

Bomarc What Evans do you recommend? Again I like slow, most of his stuff is faster if I am right in my memory banks :)

all the best,

Gee, when I think Evans, I don't think fast at all. My favorite is Waltz for Debbie.

Another idea: Ketih Jarrett, The Melody At Night With You. It's second-tier Jarrett if you're a Jarrett fan, but might be right up your alley.
I have given this some thought over a nice glass of wine. I did limit myself to the year criteria, but I submit for your consideration:

Gene Ammons: Boss Tenor (1960) (possibly an exact match for what you are looking for)

Gerry Mulligan: Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster (1959) (highly acclaimed session, lots of great relaxed sax, including baritone)

Duke Ellington: Duke Ellington & John Coltrane (1962) (not big band, just sax, piano, bass, and drums. beautifully introspective)

Zoot Sims: Blues for Two with Joe Pass (no drums but a lot relaxed breathy sax and guitar interplay) (1982)

Dexter Gordon: Ballads (1960s)

These are slightly more uptempo:

Paul Desmond: Two Of A Mind (with Gerry Mulligan and Jim Hall)

Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus (1950s) (a classic and very tuneful)

Stan Getz: Jazz Samba (great sax, and with Charlie Byrd on Guitar I dont think you can go wrong).

Have Fun!
Bomarc I am sure you are right and I just do not know the artists well enough.

Hifive, I should have mentioned Charlie Byrd as he is one of my favorites and so is Stan Getz, Jazz Samba sounds like a winner! I will carefully consider your list as I think you have your finger on some nice choices.

come to think of it...
maybe I should have named this thread something like 'your favorite slow jazz choices' so more people would be interested in contributing (not that I am ungrateful, quite the contrary) it is just that it would then be about music and not me.

thanks to everyone, I look forward to some quality music, btw if you have not discovered do yourself a favor and save some money as they have good prices and do not charge shipping, though somewhat of a limited selection I have bought much there.

all the best

I ordered these CDs and will report back...


I love Charlie Byrd even though he does not especially fit into this thread..

BTW Bomarc I will look into Benny Goodman too. I recently bought a Time/Life sampler CD set (100 songs for $12 a pretty good collection too) and there was some swing and I agree it can be very nice.

Regiolanthe, a very thoughtful reply, I will look into 'Two of a Mind' as well.

all the best

Lester Young, Ben Webster, and Coleman Hawkins seem to be what you're looking for. All old, mellow, breathy and intimate. I'm actually listening as I type to a Lester Young recording with the Oscar Peterson Trio. Any one, actually all three, are well worth looking into. The sound quality of the recordings for Webster and Hawkins are quite good. If you can find re-issues for Young's, the sound is cleaned up considerably. Some of his older recordings are scratchy and as good as he is, tough for me to listen through. Have fun.
Miles Davis - "Kind of Blue" it maybe a little too new (early 60's I think) alto sax - Julian "Canonball" Adderley, tenor sax - John Coltrane with Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, James Cobb and Paul Chambers - GOOD STUFF! Before Miles got crazy with things like Witches Brew ;-)
I heartily recommend:
Kenny Burrell's "Soul Call"
(McCoy)"Tyner Plays Ellington"
Newborn/Haynes/Chambers "We Three"
Getz with Guest Artist Laurindo Almeida
"Idle Moments" by Grant Green or
"Scott Hamilton is a good wind who is blowing us no ill."
(*according to Leonard Feather)
best friends are...guitarists - newer, but older players with excellent sounds and songs
I goofed - It is Ray Brown trio - some of my Best Friends are guitarists including Kenny Burrel. Has some excellent standards like Tangerine, Fly Me to the Moon and My Funny Valentine. Lot's of good guitar work. Not old, but in that vein.
Dont stop at 1950 but go thru to the 1960's at least....If your into sax and want to stay with the more traditional consider , GENE AMMONS, some LOCKJAW DAVIS, COLEMAN HAWKINS, ZOOT SIMS, PAUL QUINCHETTE, WARDELL GRAY ,BENNY GOLSON, SHIT...I COULD GO ON FOREVER......