Jazz for aficionados

Jazz for aficionados

I'm going to review records in my collection, and you'll be able to decide if they're worthy of your collection. These records are what I consider "must haves" for any jazz aficionado, and would be found in their collections. I wont review any record that's not on CD, nor will I review any record if the CD is markedly inferior. Fortunately, I only found 1 case where the CD was markedly inferior to the record.

Our first album is "Moanin" by Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers. We have Lee Morgan , trumpet; Benney Golson, tenor sax; Bobby Timmons, piano; Jymie merrit, bass; Art Blakey, drums.

The title tune "Moanin" is by Bobby Timmons, it conveys the emotion of the title like no other tune I've ever heard, even better than any words could ever convey. This music pictures a person whose down to his last nickel, and all he can do is "moan".

"Along Came Betty" is a tune by Benny Golson, it reminds me of a Betty I once knew. She was gorgeous with a jazzy personality, and she moved smooth and easy, just like this tune. Somebody find me a time machine! Maybe you knew a Betty.

While the rest of the music is just fine, those are my favorite tunes. Why don't you share your, "must have" jazz albums with us.

Enjoy the music.
alex I liked that song "Dulcinea Blue" of Evans’ Quintessence album so much that I listened to a few more songs off it on You Tube then ordered the album. The 3 men playing along with Evans on it, Harold Land, Kenny Burrell, and Ray Brown are giants of jazz.

I received the album "Continuo" by Avishai Cohen and gave it a thorough listen. Great album.

Still waiting for your review of the Cohen concert. A simple short answer will suffice if you are short on time.

"Continuo" full album:


Very nice Harold Land clips. Thanks all!

Great improviser. That record with Bill Evans was the first Harold Land recording that I acquired after having heard him live in a tiny club in the middle of nowhere in Kentucky while traveling. How much could that tiny club have been paying a great artist like Land? Not much. A sign of the times for traditionalist Jazz before the uptick in popularity with the arrival of the heralded “Young Lions”. I confess that I have always found something in his tone, a dryness, that I find grating although it never detracted from my appreciation of his improvising genius.

Speaking of Bill Evans. No dig on Monk. I like them both. “Apples and oranges” doesn’t begin to describe the differences; more like apples and pizza 😊. I love bass players and Scott La Faro is a favorite  Before La Faro gained well deserved notoriety with Bill Evans, he was recording with Harold Land. This was the second recording that I purchased with Land on it. Highly recommended...if you can find it:


frogman thanks for the links to the Hawes album which I have already ordered. BTW La Faro is a superb bass player. Its a shame he was killed like Clifford Brown, both in their primes, in an automobile accident.

Speaking of Monk and Evans - "Everybody digs Bill Evans" (I do have that album). I like the unconventional manner in which Monk plays and the beautiful music he creates in this manner. Monk is the only piano player that I regularly listen to his solo sessions.

How much more do I like Monk then Evans - about a 1/4 of an inch between the tip of my thumb and index finger.

Classic Monk:


Classic Evans:


frogman, what is the best solo session on record by Evans? Your opinions go a long way with me and I do need an Evans solo session in my collection.

pjw, one of the many interesting things about Bill Evans and his playing is that he, by his own admission, didn’t feel as comfortable in a solo piano setting as he did in a trio or other setting. If one thinks about it, it is not really that surprising given his overall personality and shy demeanor. However, his solo recordings are great also; even if generally not as highly regarded as his trio recordings. I have never heard a performance by Evans that I didn’t like, but I admit my very favorites are those with Scott La Faro and Paul Motian.

I have all his solo recordings and enjoy them all. My very favorite is the 1963 recording “Solo Sessions, Vol. 2”. There is something intensely personal about the playing on this record. He was struggling with his drug addiction during this time and I find something very poignant in his playing’s attitude. The usual beauty and gentleness is there, and more; even if there are moments when he doesn’t seem as focused. For something unusual, and technically “solo”, you can try “Conversations With Myself” on which he overdubs and has....conversations with himself. It may sound gimmicky, but it’s pretty brilliant. Not quite “solo”, but if you don’t know it, check out his duo recording with Jim Hall, “Undercurrent”. Fantastic record.

Cohen concert....

I can speak only about my feelings and thoughts while listening to him and his music and while doing so, I remebered some of discussions that were written on these pages as well.

Its Frogman that often spoke about 'leaving yor comfort zone' when we had themes and arguings here about 'old' vs 'new' jazz...

So, when I heard that concert I often thought how his music does not sond like anything I am used to listen.
Yes, its a trio and yes, they play tight, very controlled, almost immaculate,with great skill, nothing can be said there.Even their improvisations seemed to be very much rehersaled before, there is not a hint to any hesitation in execution.

The music that they play does not reach to blues or soul idiom, it is of different origin as well as his phrasing.

However, all that got me thinking about that (mine) 'comfort zone'. Or better, can we define why we like something or not? We can certainly define what we like and decribe it, but why, it just might be little harder.