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.
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I love Eddie Harris. I put Harris in the same very broad category of tenor players as Grover Washington Jr......only much better and far more interesting. No dig on Grover; I like his playing. Their playing shines on funky, groove based tunes and both have a softer edged tone concept than the Coltrane influenced approach of most post-50’s tenor players. No “Giant Steps” for either player, but Harris sounded much more credible improvising on tunes with complex harmonies as opposed to the repetitive vamps of most funk tunes.

Speaking of Harris and of Miles, Harris’ best known composition was popularized by Miles:


The original:


That unique tone which on ballads sometimes sounds to me like Paul Desmond on tenor:


Plays standards (great rhythm section):


His comfort zone:


In an art form that's as abstract and varied as modern jazz, "better" is rarely an appropriate word; "different", maybe. Just say you prefer Eddie Harris over Grover.

In regard to "Better", Wynton Marsalis is recognized as one of the worlds best trumpet players, but he's one of my lesser favorite jazz musicians because of his lack of imagination. He's just fine when playing someone else's music, but when given a blank musical sheet of paper, he's unable to fill it with the best jazz.

I prefer to listen to Eddie Harris, or Grover Washington based on my mood and thoughts at that particular time, or which memories I want to enhance.

If I want to enhance these memories, which are self explanatory, I prefer Grover Washington;




I listen to such a varied list of musicians, that when the one I started with comes back up, he sounds new. One of the musicians that's rarely come up here is "John Handy". He was born in Dallas Texas and he's still around.


One thing is for certain about John is that he's never "stereotypical" he covers an extremely wide range of music; he's never in a rut.

This is for my "meditation" mood;