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January 14, 2005

Comments

Johnathan Pearce

Frank, excellent choices all. I recently bought a "Best of Miles Davis" double CD and have been driving my missus nuts ever since.

From the Samizdata posse,
JP

Michael Turley

You've missed Wes Montgomery - one of the finest proponents of jazz guitar ever. A fantastically talented natural musician. You might have added Django Reinhardt as well.

Frank McGahon

..or Gabor Szabo while we're talking about jazz guitar.

No, I left out way more than just those guys, off the top of my head I can see several more grevious omissions: No Mizzell brothers productions, no (solo) female artists (Vicky Hamilton is part of a duet), no Bossa Nova, no John Coltrane...

But, I did say it wasn't definitive, just a small sampling of tracks which sprung to mind.

Frank McGahon

I should clarify that Curtain Call, You Gotta Have Freedom, Theme de Yo Yo and Mother of the Future all feature female vocals. In referring to the omission of female artists, I had in mind great solo jazz singers such as Lorez Alexandria or Dee Dee Bridgewater.

J.Cassian

Jazz? Niiiiiiiiice!!! Grrrrrrrrrrreat!!!!!!

Sorry, I just needed to get that out of my system. Any slap bass on those tracks?

Frank McGahon

I think I'm correct in stating that Mark-King-from-Level42-style slap bass is absent from all tracks!

Peter Nolan

Grrrrroooovvvvyyyy!

I suspect that jazz is for those who possess a more mellow or less uptight temprament than I do, which would explain why I prefer metal or electronic music or some of the classical composers like Strauss, Wagner or Bach. Maybe, in the words of the old quip about the Germans, I don't like music, I just love the noise it makes.

Frank McGahon

I suspect that your suspicion is wrong!

Seriously, what I'm trying to demonstrate is that jazz isn't just "smooth jazz". Listen to a few of the tracks, you mightn't like any, but jazz isn't just for "mellow" people. Jazz-dance, in particular, can be frantic: Theme de Yo Yo for example.

Peter Nolan

Is this just some desperate effort to sell CDs so you can buy the new Harry Potter book on Amazon?

Seán Mac Cann

know little about it other than Grappelli (and F Zappa who remarked that "jazz isn't dead, it just smells funny"); but seems to me there are two broad types:

wank-jazz: posers doing the jazz equivalent of half-hour guitar solos
jazz with soul: jazz often pilloried as lacking soul, but some of it is in fact the kind of great music that follows traumatic events, instead of being a live commentary on them. so you get this ironic, reflective, knowing quality mixed in, which is every bit as intense as anything that you'll find in the classical idion, just without the latter's occasional bombast

Neil

You forgot squonk-jazz, to wit, the sound of a bag of trombones being thrown down the stairs. 'New Forms' by Arif Mardin being a key example of this.

Frank McGahon

I suppose that definition might cover Dick Hyman's bonkers cover version of James Brown's "Give It Up, Turn It Loose"...

Frank McGahon

Neil, I tried to email you but your mailbox is full..

Neil

Sorry, Frank, the O2 email is used for registration purposes only. The only 'working' email address I have just now is my work one. Is there any way of passing this along to you discreetly?

Frank McGahon

You could try emailing me at internetcommentator@eircom.net...

Neil

Will do, daddy-o, out of sight etc.

Fans and foes of fusion - and lo, they are numerous - should check out the strange BBC3 comedy show 'The Mighty Boosh'. Slap bass, body popping and fear of jazz play a central role.

J.Cassian

That's where I got the slap bass reference (I prefer Gary Numan myself...)

paul

For a bit more of a contemporary East Coast edge to your jazz, Guru, formerly of Gang Starr, rocks left and right...
For some old skool pee-an-o, Keith Jarrett is yer only man.

Neil

Worry not, Paolo, I've been all over the GURU for years...Jazzmatazz 2: A New Reality is probably a career high for him, but all those, ah, 'joints' are good.

tinwhisle

Frank, what about some male vocalists like Kurt Elling.

Frank McGahon

Again, it's not meant to be definitive just a few pieces, but you're right, I do have Leon Thomas there but not many great male solo vocalists, there's no Jon Lucien or Andy Bey. As it happens I'm not familiar with Kurt Elling

tinwhistle

You are right about there not being many male solo vocalists. Kevin Mahogany and Mark Murphy are also worth a mention.
I like the jazz connection here!!

tinwhistle

You should be able to listen to Kurt Elling here: Live concert at the Kennedy Center
http://www.kennedy-center.org/programs/millennium/artist_detail.cfm?artist_id=ELLINGKURT

Neil

Mark Murphy is what is known in borstal parlance as 'the daddy'...because of the length and varied nature of his career, it's all but impossible to acquire a definitive collection but 'Who Can I Turn To?' is a great album of pop standards that he recorded for Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label in the mid-1960s.

tinwhistle

Neil I agree Mark Murphy is certainly in good form there on 'Who Can I Turn To?' but the songs are a bit too tacky for me.
My two favourites are:
Mark Murphy Sings (1975)
Bop for Kerouac (1981)

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