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, no big deal, just FYI.
Its Bille Holiday album, live in Cologne (Koeln) Germany, from 1954, plus some other recordings from Us.

Thanks for the info.  With Billie, and a few more, like Bird, it's all about the sound quality.   This seems to be a good one.  Cheap also.

Today’s Listen:

Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington -- ELLA AT DUKE’S PLACE

Recorded in 1965. CD reissue in 1996. Reissue notes by Keith Shadwick. Mr Shadwick made the following critical comments about the recording.

"on the up-tempo selections such as "Duke’s Place" and "CottonTail" there is an uncharacteristically awkward straining for effect from Fitzgerald. In fact "CottonTail", the album’s closer, finds the band unable to settle into a smooth delivery of its section work due to an improbably fast rhythm from the bass and drums."

Judge for yourselves.


duke's place


passion flower

One of the best things about albums like this, when the sax or trumpet is playing, you know who is doing the playing.


The notes also mention the DOWNBEAT reader’s poll for 1966, the year of the release.

"Ellington won in the big band category by polling more than twice as many votes as Count Basie, who was No. 2, and in the composer category by four times as many votes as the runner-up there, Thelonious Monk. Fitzgerald of course, won the female vocal vote comfortably over Nancy Wilson and Carmen McRae, with Nina Simone a distant fourth."
Where’s Sassy? We always give reader’s poll all the respect they deserve..

Mississippi Truth Tellers:

as true in the 21st as it was in the 20th


might be the devil or it might be 1st Cav

say it, say it, say it !!

I think you are mellowing with age 😊. Surprised that you are not raking the reviewer over the coals for daring to say anything negative about icons like Duke and Ella. IMO, the reviewer is only half correct and is conflating a couple of different issues. I agree with him that “the band (is) unable to settle into a smooth delivery of its section work due to an improbably fast rhythm from the bass and drums." On “Cottontail” the saxes sound a little ragged and the trombones get very behind the beat at one point. However, it really wasn’t all that bad and why is he suggesting that Ella is the culprit in any way? She swings her as& off. In fact it is Paul Gonsalves who almost can’t keep up with her amazing scatting. Only singer who I can enjoy listening to scatting for an extended period.

**** Where’s Sassy? We always give reader’s poll all the respect they deserve..****

Easy one, but takes a little digging.

Nominations and winners of DB’s readers poll are, if not entirely, mostly influenced by the artists’ recent work.
The year is 1966.


- In 1965 Ella released “Ella At Duke’s Place (With Duke Ellington)“
Remember, not only is Duke king, he was slated to win in the big band category with twice as many votes as Basie.

- In 1966 itself she released “Whisper Not”. One of her most popular and a record of mostly Jazz standards.

Nancy Wilson:

- Between 1964 and 1966 Nancy Wilson released eight (!!!) records including some of her most popular. All in her stylistic “comfort zone”.


- In 1964 she released “Lonely Hours” and “Vaughn With Voices”

- In 1965 she released “Viva! Vaughn” and “The Mancini Songbook”

- In 1966 she released “The Pop Artistry of Sarah Vaughn” and “The New Scene”

None of them were exactly serious swinging Jazz records. Even our beloved Sassy had her forays into “Lite” fare and Pop land.