East Bay View (a blog about several things)

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Monday, August 18, 2008

In lieu of actual content: 25 favourite jazz albums since 1970

Year given is year of recording. Compilations are kosher if they're entirely recorded since 1970.
  1. James Carter, Chasin' the Gypsy (2000)
  2. Miles Davis, A Tribute to Jack Johnson (1970)
  3. Sonny Rollins, Silver City (1972-95)
  4. Sonny Rollins Plays G-Man (1986)
  5. David Murray, Long Goodbye: A Tribute to Don Pullen (1996)
  6. Irene Schwèizer, Portrait (1984-2004)
  7. The Don Pullen-George Adams Quartet, Breakthrough (1986)
  8. James Carter, The Real Quietstorm (1995)
  9. William Parker, Raining on the Moon (2001)
  10. Sonny Rollins, This Is What I Do (2000)
  11. William Parker, Double Sunrise Over Neptune (2007)
  12. Vandermark 5, Target or Flag (1997)
  13. Pat Metheny & Ornette Coleman, Song X (1985)
  14. David Murray, Like a Kiss That Never Ends (2001)
  15. Art Pepper, Winter Moon (1980)
  16. David Murray, Shakill's Warrior (1991)
  17. Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, MTO Vol. 1 (2005)
  18. Ornette Coleman, Dancing in Your Head (1973)
  19. Pharoah Sanders, Welcome to Love (1990)
  20. William Parker, Scrapbook (2002)
  21. Nils Petter Molvaer, Solid Ether (1999)
  22. Keith Jarrett, The Köln Concert (1975)
  23. Mahavishnu Orchestra, The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
  24. Jewels and Binoculars, Ships with Tattooed Sails (2006)
  25. Patricia Barber, Modern Cool (1998)
  • Just about all the picks are on Tom Hull's Jazz A List, not surprising because most of the post-1970 jazz I've listened to was picked because it was on that list (apart from more recently when I've listened more widely).
  • I've only been listening to contemporary jazz for about five years, which isn't really enough time to catch up. Of David Murray's 150 albums, are the three I picked (out of six I've heard) really the best? Probably not. And I've never heard anything by Jan Garbarek or Billy Jenkins or George Coleman. So these are definitely the picks of a dilettante.
  • There's a bias against music predating 1990 because it's less likely to have been released digitally. I stream most of my music though Rhapsody these days; for jazz, this is supplemented by downloads from my on-again/off-again eMusic membership. If unavailable through these channels, sometimes I'll track down a physical copy and buy it (or, in the case of the well-worn tape of Breakthrough I periodically check out from the Berkeley Public Library, borrow it); more often I'll give up and listen to something easier to find. There's probably also a bias towards the last five years because I've heard more jazz from this era.
  • Double Sunrise Over Neptune just came out last week, so I'm still digesting it. But it's a contender for the best Parker album I've heard (even though he's the best bassist on the inner planets and he doesn't play bass on it), which makes it a contender for the best avant-whatever record since whatever Ornette album you think should've won the Pulitzer. (Which might be Sound Grammar.) In general, though, the list favours the "progressive" over the "emergent".
  • Rollins, Murray and Parker each lead three list entries. (Ornette should probably have three as well.) Clifton Anderson and Bob Cranshaw play on G-Man, This Is What I Do and much of Silver City. Hamid Drake drums on all the Parker albums. Don Pullen kind of shows up three times: co-leader on Breakthrough, featured player on Shakill's Warrior; mourned and celebrated on The Long Goodbye.
  • #25 is a slightly tokenistic pick to show that vocal jazz didn't die with Jimmy Rushing. Since 1970 there have also been first rate vocal records from Helen Humes, Diana Krall, uh, the new Cassandra Wilson is quite good, um, ... Dying, maybe, but not dead.



  • At 2:41 PM, Blogger Wallofsound said…

    I think you've selected three excellent David Murray LPs, even if they're all from the same era. I had Long Goodbye in my Top 5 [http://5alist.com/profiles/33-wall-of-sound/fives/62-david-murray-records].

    For more information on Murray than anyone could possibly need see: http://wallofsound.wordpress.com/david-murray/

  • At 2:53 PM, Blogger bradluen said…

    I defer to possibly the only person to listen to every Murray-led record (perhaps including Murray himself).

  • At 8:04 PM, Anonymous A Rippy Chap said…

    is there any way in this ol' beautiful world you could link a rip of DOUBLE SUNRISE OVER NEPTUNE??????????

    I really, really need to listen fully. I will buy, oh of course. Cash ain't fast, but eventually. But In the Meantime. An Ol' Favour? from what I read it's just beautiful. and I loooove Parker.


  • At 2:44 AM, Blogger bradluen said…

    Maybe! We shall see!

  • At 8:19 AM, Anonymous A Rippy Chap said…

    you honestly don't know how much that'd mean to me and probably a lot of others. thanks!


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