This morning (at the time of writing) I spent it by watching the Chasing Trane documentary that my Dad had watched and was really raving about it, telling me that I should “really watch it.” Over a lovely cup of tea and some Shreddies, I sat down to watch it.
Besides this being a review of said documentary, it came up to the point of where it was talking the album A Love Supreme when I paused the documentary and causally asked myself: What Are My Top 5 Favourite Jazz Albums Of All Time? (I often do this when watching a movie/TV show and usually by myself)
It only took about 10 minutes or so, but I had my answers down, locked solid. No, Mr. Tarrant, I do not need to call a friend, ask the audience, or split the answers 50/50; yes, this is my final answer.
Without further ado, let’s begin this!
1. Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue | (1959)
I don’t know that, without this album, I’d ever begin to look into this new thing I discovered called “Jazz” all those years earlier in my teens. My drum teacher sat me down, put on this album, and said over the music: “This man, called Miles Davis, in years gone by, you’ll thank me.” I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to this album – must be somewhere in the millions – and I can even sing the opening motif of opening track “So What?” to you.
2. Roller Trio – Roller Trio | (2012)
I’m the sort of the Jazz fan that sticks to traditional, classic Jazz — it’s very rare I’ll go and look for anything new. There are very few and rare Jazz bands/artists that really do it for me, apart from Roller Trio and a couple of others. I saw them live, with my Dad, along with another young group called GoGo Penguin at the jazz club Ronnie Scott’s in London.It was a brilliant gig. From what I’ve seen, the future of Jazz looks very bright indeed…
3. John Coltrane – A Love Surpeme | (1965)
Stepping out from the shadows of Miles Davis – THE Miles Davis – was never going to be easy. After a string of good albums (great, even) venturing out on his own, I feel that A Love Supreme is Coltrane‘s quintessential body of work. It is as much about the spirituality of belief as well as the spirituality of the music, like both of them going hand-in-hand. Although a four-track, 30-minute album, this definitely could stand alongside many of Miles’ many great (and famous) albums. Highly influenced choice by watching the aforementioned above documentary.
4. Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um | (1959)
There aren’t many – or at least to the best of my knowledge – bass-driven albums which really get my goat up. Or at least, what I mean is, there aren’t many (to the best of my knowledge) any albums or quartets that are fronted by bass players — I would love to be corrected. Heavily rooted in blues, Charles Minugs serves up one hell of an album. Again, this is a classic, ‘old school’ Jazz album, with no bells and frills and whistles, but rather it’s an in-the-pocket Jazz album.
5. The Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out | (1959)
At the eve of the 60’s, the Beatles and music television (long before MTV took over in the 80’s and 90’s) became the dominant force in music. Much like the 90’s and the emergence of grunge and nü metal, where well-known standards became out-dated. Because of this, Jazz slowly, but not immediately, started to fade into the background. Not with a whimper but a loud bang. Dave and his band really drove Jazz along unknowing of what was going on around them. It’s not a traditional album which features a lot of European influence — especially rare Turkish time signatures. It stands out amongst other Jazz albums, but nowhere near as bright as the above four listed. One of the more ‘thinking mans’ Jazz albums.
That’s it. Please let me know if you agree/disagree in the comments (I am always welcome to discussion) and if there any albums you would like for me to check out.