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.
Good article on Nubya Garcia and some of the various albums of other artists that she plays on

Nubya Garcia: Source Album Review | Pitchfork
mary_jo that Desmond Baker track is great. I just picked up a new Chet Baker album titled "Chet is Back". It is a great album with not one "dud" on it. Chet also sings on a couple.

Chet Baker - Chet Is Back - Amazon.com Music

Amazon BLURB:

UK reissue. Chet Baker made almost as many headlines for his drug habit as he did for his musical abilities, being sentenced to several spells in prison for various drug charges. In the summer of 1960 he was imprisoned for eighteen months in Italy, but on his release found the local RCA label was willing to get him back into a studio as quickly as possible! Assembling a number of up and coming musicians from Europe, including Amadeo Tommasi (piano), Rene Thomas (guitar), Benoit Quersin (bass), Daniel Humair (drums) and Bobby Jaspar (tenor saxophone and flute), CHET IS BACK was a more Bop orientated album than his earlier efforts. It has been suggested that Chet's drug addiction and with it the almost constant need for cash led him to accepting many recording offers that he might otherwise have been better off avoiding. Certainly, the sheer abundance of material he recorded is of varying quality, as one might expect. Fortunately, CHET IS BACK is one of the better albums he recorded, fully justifying the moniker 'overlooked Baker classic' it has been dubbed.

Here is another band Nubya Garcia played with before her solo debut

Sons Of Kemet - My Queen Is Ada Eastman (Audio) ft. Joshua Idehen - YouTube
O10 here is another new "London Scene" jazz musician  Shabaka Hutchings a saxophone player and leader of the group " Shabaka and the Ancestors"

Shabaka And The Ancestors - The Coming Of The Strange Ones (Visualizer) - YouTube

Some of the bickering here on what should be called jazz is apparently an ongoing theme of everyone interested in "our music" as can be seen reading the 2 following reviews of "Shabaka And The Ancestors" which represent both sides of the same coin.

2.0 out of 5 stars This may be good music of some sort, but it's not good jazzReviewed in the United States on June 18, 2020Verified PurchaseI suppose it's my fault for expecting something else. It's on Impulse, and I saw it topping a "Best Jazz of the Year So Far" list, so I had my hopes up. But the leader, Shabaka Hutchings, a tenor saxophonist, is not an accomplished player. The songs he wrote are not really songs, just slightly varying funk grooves.

The band is from South Africa, which is where it was recorded -- if you expect South African music with lots of drums, you are less likely to be disappointed than if you expect a good jazz album. There is a strong influence of late Sixties Impulse jazz, especially Pharoah Sanders, as well as Sun Ra, but this is not nearly as good. The influence was clear to whoever it was who signed the band to the Impulse label.

The singer, Siyabonga Mthembu, wrote the lyrics, and all the songs have vocals. The lyrics are printed in the insert, and it all seems to be one text, with the heading: "Music is the seed from which new worlds must grow." Part of my interest in the album, despite my misgivings about the music, was that I read that it is about climate change, seeing the collapse of our destructive way of life through ecocide, and then surviving to create another society -- well, Africans surviving in any event. That may well be what it is about, but it's too oblique to send a clear, strong message.

I hate to be a naysayer when I really support the apocalyptic verdict on our ecocidal "civilization." But the vehicle for the message is music, and it's not music I find enjoyable.

I recommend John Coltrane's "Meditations" (1965) and Miles Davis's "Pangaea" (1975) if you are looking for some wild, apocalyptic jazz.


5.0 out of 5 stars EXCITING MUSIC FROM AN EXCITING NEW GROUPReviewed in the United States on May 27, 2020Shabaka Hutchings, sxes, clarinet; Siyabonga Mthembu, voc; Mandal Mlangeni, tpt; Mthunzu Myubutu, alto sx; Ndudouzo Makhatini, Thandi Ntuli, p; Ariel Zaminsky, b; Gontse Makhene, Tumi Mogorisi, perc. others.

If you have listened to the songs from Hutchings’s previous album with this group, his 2016 Wisdom of Elders, you know what to expect. But this album is even better than the last, and almost as good as 2018’s Your Queen Is a Reptile, with his drums and tuba driven group, Sons of Kemet. Ancestors offers a headier mix of sounds than Kemet, with a second saxophone and the option of sax duets, a trumpet, and piano/keyboard, but it’s the same basic sound for both groups: percussion driven, drums and electric bass driven, music building out of riffs more than flowing melody lines, the judicious use of voices singing, chanting and reciting, and over it all Hutchings’s exciting horn –here, clarinet as well as tenor sax. It may be just because I was listening for it but in this album, I heard more echoes –built on, not aped—than in the other albums: of the rhythm and horn mix on side one of Carlos Santana’s and Buddy Miles’s 1970 New Year’s Eve concert (side two is a mess but side one is glorious), the multi-horn back and forth of the first Mahavishnu Orchestra Birds of Fire and Between Nothingness and Eternity, and the blending of jazz and African roots in albums by Dollar Brand/Ibrahim Abdullah and Randy Weston. This is a very good album and refreshing sign of how talented young musicians can incorporate the lessons of their elders in new and vibrant ways.

Of course here in the states we have many of these types of "jazz musicians" playing albums with an underlying theme, whatever it may be, and the questions about what genre to call this music still remains and will be debated ad nauseum. I look at it this way. If you dig the music who cares what label they stick on it.

Ambrose Akinmusire is a good example:

Ambrose Akinmusire - Tide of Hyacinth - YouTube