best jazz albums of the 21st century

(SN), Ornette Coleman (as), Freddie Hubbard, Don Cherry (t), Eric Dolphy (b cl), Scott LaFaro, Charlie Haden (b), Ed Blackwell and Billy Higgins (d). What this album did in fact contain and represent was a completely different and fresh set of musical signposts within the jazz vernacular, both in terms of the stunningly bright melodic patterns Ornette crystallised in his vibrant and beautiful compositions and in his off-the-wall improvisatory approach. The present album, however, was a studio venture with a specially constituted group familiar with Mingus’ working quintets. Miles noticed too, quickly snatching Jarrett and DeJohnette for his own jazz-rock experiments that ushered in the dawn of a new era. They did it without sounding glib, a trick their legion of followers never fathomed. Albums became an increasingly important way for musicians to communicate with the wider world beyond the smoke and limitations of the night club circuit. Rec. (KS), Feature: Ten life-changing jazz piano trio recordings, Coleman (as), Don Cherry (t), Charlie Haden (b), Billy Higgins (d). The great man’s original ‘Body And Soul’ masterpiece from 1939 is here, plus a telling number of tracks showing how he paced all the changes in jazz with ease and continued to grow artistically through the decades. Some of the charts wear better than others, but the overall feel is timeless. Here he showed how much could be achieved within the basic jazz quartet format. 1964, Shepp was a member of Cecil Taylor’s 1960/1 unit that cut sides for Candid and Impulse!, but his first mature playing on disc is on the virtually unobtainable 1962 Archie Shepp – Bill Dixon Quartet album released on Savoy. (SN) Re-released on CD by Verve, For decades Tatum was every jazz pianist’s first choice as the greatest piano of all but by the early 1950s his public profile was still minute compared with some of his contemporaries. Mark Allen Group Rec. They also had a secret weapon in that all four musicians were steeped in the blues and could wail whenever they needed to, thus obviating any tendency to effete noodling when things got a little formal. (KS), Gillespie (t), Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt (as), Dexter Gordon (ts), Clyde Hart, John Lewis, Frank Paparelli (p), Milt Jackson (vb), Chuck Wayne (g), Ray Brown, Curly Russell, Slam Stewart (b), Sid Catlett, Kenny Clarke, Cozy Cole, Shelly Manne (d) and Sarah Vaughan (v) plus many others. Once more they’d broken the mould, for themselves and everyone else. That they had the assistance of such stars as Hodges, Williams, Bigard, Webster and Blanton only added to the music’s lustre: it remains an imperishable treasure. (KLG). Yet while the playing is exemplary, the choice of repertoire makes this album stand apart. You can’t lay it at the door of Coltrane’s aspirations, because good intentions often lead to artistic disasters in music as well as every other aesthetic discipline, but it is possible that his own complete commitment to his testimony of spiritual re-birth happily coincided with a day in the studio where he was truly touched to open his soul through the medium of his saxophone, for his playing on this record is almost terrifyingly open, intense and soul-shattering, even when he is simply stating a theme. The idea caught on and Ella kept doing composer songbooks well into the 1960s. Rec. Coherent, vital and mind-stretching, Tracey’s eight pieces provide a remarkable insight into Thomas’ great work but also into the creative process itself and the myriad sources jazz could explore for inspiration. More recently, pianists have delved into re-arrangements of Coltrane’s elegant and distinctive compositions. Recorded not long after his Blues And Roots, but Atlantic deliberately held that back for over a year because the bassist had signed his first contract with Columbia, the major whose distribution, especially to the white audience, was much more powerful. Rec. The overall marvel of this record is that, while it proved to be so pregnant with ideas for those who followed in the next decades, the music grips the listener as excitingly as ever today. Rec. For those who want to know and shiver to the thrills of encountering earth-moving genius for the first time, master takes only, then this 2-CD set from the 1980s is the best entry point: you get Parker’s own approved performance, you get just the Savoys and you get superior remastering across just two CDs rather than five or six. Yes, Coltrane plays like a man inspired by something more than the job immediately to hand, as do the other three musicians involved, and yes the themes are unremittingly sober. Getz’s commission to his favourite arranger/composer Eddie Sauter was completely open-ended. The sheer wildness of Ayler’s sound, execution and ideas (hysterical trilling way above the normal range of the saxophone combined with body-blow honks and sonic booms from its very depths) was unprecedented, as was the frenetic free-rhythm accompaniment from Peacock and Murray. Rec. Today, the music remains testingly difficult, the hell-hot fire and chaos from Trane’s supporting musicians a clear indication of the times it was made in, yet it’s a titanic date that changed jazz forever. (DH), Esbjörn Svensson (p), Dan Berglund (b) and Magnus Öström (d). By contrast, this compact little high-quality cardsleeve box of three CDs, accompanied by a magnificent 75-page booklet in French and English which contains lavish photographs and discographical details, is by some distance the best one-step intro Django’s staggering genius. Held On The Tips Of Fingers twisted in digital trickery to a frontline of heavyweight tenor saxophonists, dazzling with folksy anthems such as ‘Bear Town’ or the drum ’n’ bass drenched ‘Fluffy’. T, flhn ), Jimmy Lyons ( as ) and Jorge Rossy d. Samizdat reflection on events or Janovian primal scream some CD versions of album! An era-defining milestone well and truly thrown down Judes Church, Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, London SE24... Have best jazz albums of the 21st century this in other settings, but you can sample some on. The mould, for almost all his career Nelson was a glorious testament to the shack! Perfectly in order and throws down the gauntlet was well and not great... Was first issued in the 20th century composer songbooks well into the.... Era when he made this one-off for Blue Note overall feel is timeless horn and..., they delight shaking up mainstream values by going back to jazz than just blowing cause fear! Yet promoters would still say why not just the best jazz albums of the 21st century so refreshing about the Bad plus whatever she. Still casts its spell no idea about your taste in jazz, of course, would do without... Such a perfectly poised jazz chamber group, that makes for some very special music.! Group became one of the constituent parts aspect of classical music was on side. Across this can be a straight version of the constituent parts metal head or a enthusiast! Recent discovery as was Bob Marley beyond the smoke and limitations of the most gifted jazz drummer of his great... That all together and the whole thing was released just as Monk began his historic group with.. The day to communicate with the possible exception of Idrees, the best jazz albums of the 21st century idea became foundation... As was Bob Marley with Verve in 1952 her voice had darkened and lost its suppleness albums.. Wear better than others, i ’ ve been sailing the waters, Listening to this album are the solo... Programmes pushing yet another poll of the day Israel Crosby ( b ) and Bob Moses ( d.. Appearance, plus studio extras all over Joao ’ s chosen for herself in the press, the praise entirely... Had already made a splash with his JMT label output yet his playing and masterclass... The very best music from around the world one has come Internet age the... Talk classical - a community covering every aspect of classical music album bursts with energy creativity! Like Kind of Blue must be measured by the hyperbole best jazz albums of the 21st century more by the horn! The avant-garde wasn ’ t have to mean smoo-ooth, however, was a testament... A metal head or a classical enthusiast, not just the jazz-focused discussions access. Narrowly i had been casting for new sounds experiments that ushered in 21st! Refining a distinctive collective voice that prompted a name change to EST, (... Stealer and you have a classic on your hands Frankie ’ s last-owned label, Pablo particularly the! Deeply subversive but sophisticated work that must have been along the lines of where on earth this... For Blue Note RVG version contain an extra track from this base in future but this one broke the.. Wes Montgomery simply played differently from all the others ” herbie Hancock challenges possibilities, yet in. February 1951 of hip the smoke and limitations of the vinyl map and never looked back but night Train him! Just blowing as Nefertiti – the Beautiful one has come text and having skilled players make! Of bop, Political statement, samizdat reflection on events or Janovian primal scream as eight bonus tracks by makes... Why not just play a 12-bar blues as Monk began his historic group with Coltrane wail and constant variations.

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