Early Jazz

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THELONIOUS MONK Monk's Music Album Cover Monk's Music
THELONIOUS MONK
4.85 | 15 ratings
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THELONIOUS MONK With John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall Album Cover With John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall
THELONIOUS MONK
4.91 | 8 ratings
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CAB CALLOWAY Hi De Hi De Ho Album Cover Hi De Hi De Ho
CAB CALLOWAY
5.00 | 4 ratings
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LOUIS ARMSTRONG Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy Album Cover Louis Armstrong Plays W.C. Handy
LOUIS ARMSTRONG
4.91 | 5 ratings
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THELONIOUS MONK Misterioso Album Cover Misterioso
THELONIOUS MONK
4.88 | 5 ratings
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BUDDY RICH Rich in London (aka Very Alive at Ronnie Scott's aka At Ronnie Scotts) Album Cover Rich in London (aka Very Alive at Ronnie Scott's aka At Ronnie Scotts)
BUDDY RICH
5.00 | 3 ratings
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FRANK SINATRA Watertown Album Cover Watertown
FRANK SINATRA
4.77 | 5 ratings
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DOC CHEATHAM Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton Album Cover Doc Cheatham & Nicholas Payton
DOC CHEATHAM
5.00 | 2 ratings
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BEN WEBSTER The Consummate Artistry of Ben Webster (aka King Of The Tenors) Album Cover The Consummate Artistry of Ben Webster (aka King Of The Tenors)
BEN WEBSTER
5.00 | 2 ratings
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PINETOP SMITH Pine Top Smith Boogie Woogie Piano Album Cover Pine Top Smith Boogie Woogie Piano
PINETOP SMITH
5.00 | 2 ratings
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BUDDY RICH No Funny Hats Album Cover No Funny Hats
BUDDY RICH
5.00 | 2 ratings
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STAN KENTON Standards in Silhouette Album Cover Standards in Silhouette
STAN KENTON
5.00 | 2 ratings
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early jazz online videos

Les chevaux du ciel
Les chevaux du ciel
MÉLANIE DAHAN
snobb
Movement V: The Three-Headed Serpent
Movement V: The Three-Headed Serpent
THE JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA / LINCOLN CENTER JAZZ ORCHESTRA
js

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early jazz New Releases

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Something
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ANNE DUCROS
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Live at Jazz Standard
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DUCHESS
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Le Chant Des Possibles
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MÉLANIE DAHAN
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Secrets Are The Best Stories
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KURT ELLING
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The Women Who Raised Me
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KANDACE SPRINGS
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Jazzing 9 - Vol.2
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SANT ANDREU JAZZ BAND
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Concert Impressions
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STAN KENTON LEGACY ORCHESTRA
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All Rise
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GREGORY PORTER
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Billy Taylor Quartet And Trio : Good Groove
Boxset / Compilation
BILLY TAYLOR
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Precious
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CHIARA PANCALDI
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Up & Coming 2019
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BOHUSLÄN BIG BAND
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early jazz Music Reviews

DIZZY GILLESPIE The Small Groups 1945-1946 Original Recordings

Boxset / Compilation · 1970 · Bop
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js
If you are looking for that unmistakable sound of early bebop on vinyl and don’t want to spend a bundle, then you might want to keep an eye out for, “Dizzy Gillespie: The Small Groups {1945 - 1946}”, on the Phoenix label. This is an excellent compilation that came out in the 70s and shows up in used stores and the internet for very reasonable prices. The music on here comes from five different recording sessions, every track features Dizzy, while other tracks feature varying bebop greats such as Charlie Parker, Al Haig, Sonny Stitt, Curly Russell and more.

Side one opens with a band that is more in a pre-bop swing style, but when we hit track five, Sonny Stitt and Al Haig have stepped in to push things in a more modern direction. The big revelation all through this side is Chuck Wayne’s jaggedy swinging guitar lines. Alice Roberts guests to sing a bluesy “A Handfulla of Gimmie”, and “Blue ‘N’ Boogie” features a young Dexter Gordon on tenor sax. Side two features Charlie Parker and starts off with a band that is competent, but not quite up to what Bird n Diz are capable of. For the second half of this side, Al Haig takes the piano chair and Curly Russell picks up the bass and now we are in abstract cubist bebop heaven. The recorded sound on “Salt Peanuts” is perfect for this era, unfortunately, the next three tracks fall off a bit in the high end department, but are still enjoyable and musically superb, the best tracks on the record.

BIG BEAT Sounds Good. Feels Good

Album · 2019 · Big Band
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js
Big Beat is a new big band originating from William Patterson University in New Jersey that also doubles as a hot horn driven RnB outfit with Allison McKenzie on vocals, plus when they break it down to the rhythm section, they are also an intense fusion combo that is not afraid to take things on an ‘outside’ trip. There is a lot of versatility at work here as each song on “Sounds Good Feels Good” displays a different side of the group. Although this is very much a modern ensemble, there is a healthy 70s style looseness to the group, as well as a similar open-minded approach to eclectic material.. It’s no surprise then that their playing often recalls other 70s big band leaders such as Thad Jones, Don Ellis and Gil Evans who embraced, fusion, RnB and experimentalism in wide open anything goes arrangements.

Allison McKenzie sings lead on seven of the nine tracks and she has the sort of range and versatility that should make her well known with or without her fellow band members. Her style easily shifts from jazz to RnB, making her the perfect vocal front person for this versatile group. Her solo voice is good enough, but occasionally she double tracks her voice into some very interesting harmonies and vocal arrangements. The two instrumental numbers give the band a chance to get crazy. On “Just Too Much”, Will Dougherty’s electric piano solo pushes drummer Joe Spinelli into some free form mayhem, and on “A Penny for Your Thoughts”, the band peaks with an aggressive hard rock drive topped with an equally intense electric trombone solo.

Four of the vocal numbers are McKenzie originals, and they hold up well against some classic covers composed by Stevie Wonder, Jill Scott and the Jackson 5. This band is just getting started, and if they can keep this together the future looks very bright as they hit a good balance between bring the party energy and complicated and challenging arrangements. I would imagine that this is a band best enjoyed in a live situation.

LYN STANLEY London Calling -A Toast To Julie London

Album · 2018 · Vocal Jazz
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kev rowland
The complete album title, ‘London Calling: A Toast To Julie London’, shows what this release is all about, which is Stanley taking songs recorded by Julie London (plus a couple she feels she would have if she had still been musically active when they were written) and providing her own tribute. The production is superb, with great space and ambience, and there is certainly a live feel to the album. Stanley also hasn’t been afraid to bring in Latin influences where she feels that would add to the arrangements as she is strong that this is a tribute as opposed to her attempting to re-record note for note what Julie had already achieved.

The booklet contains very good notes on the history of each song, as well as who played what, plus a new photo of Stanley on each page. So overall the release has been incredibly well handled. That Stanley has a wonderful voice is never in doubt.

WILLIAM PARKER Voices Fall From The Sky

Album · 2018 · Vocal Jazz
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snobb
"Voices Fall From The Sky" is an unusual album even for bassist and composer William Parker who's music is always way unpredictable. And not because it is a massive three-CD set - Parker often uses similar format for his releases in new millennium. Simply, it is a vocal album. Parker often uses vocalists for some his projects, but songs with vocal usually take smaller part of the album, if at all. And here we have three-CD set exclusively dedicated to vocalists!

Not all music here is jazz and far not all material is new as well. First disc in a set, titled same as whole release - "Voices Fall From The Sky" - is a new recording with only a short opener coming from Parker's 2006 album "Long Hidden: The Olmec Series". It contains predominantly duos or small combos playing avant-garde ballads (jazz and non-jazz) sung by ten different female and male singers, one or two per piece). It works quite well and recalls Ran Blake recordings with Jeannie Lee."We Often Danced" with Fay Victor is a peak. On this part, Parker himself plays on five songs only (all but one - bass, and ngoni on "Airlift").

Disc 2 titled simply "Songs" contains lot of previously released material. Only four songs have been previously unreleased and are material from the vault (recorded in 1991 and 1993). All them are minimalist duets of William Parker on bass or Japanese pianist Yuko Fujiyama with singers Lisa Sokolov or Ellen Christi. All but one rest songs on this CD are duets as well, piano or bass plus singer, all comes from already released albums. Parker is an only bassist, but we can hear two more pianist - another Japanese Eri Yamamoto and Parker's regular collaborator Cooper-Moore changing each other. Well known from other Parker projects singer Leena Conquest is added on the vocalists list (beside of lesser known Senegalese Mola Sylla). Predominantly dark bare-naked minimalist ballads continue the spirit and atmosphere of the first set's CD. Part are jazzy, others - more camber/non-jazz avant-garde.

CD 3 opens with live big-band version of "The Essence Of Ellington" with Ernie Odoom on vocals, recorded live in Italy in 2012 and already released on Parker's "Essence Of Ellington" same year. It continues with "Lights Of Lake George" sung by Indian classical vocalist Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay and supported by same Parker's Orchestra (already released in 2008 on "Double Sunrise Over Neptune"). Deep sultry Leena Conquest voice is easy recognizable on perfect but already heard "For Fannie Lou Hamer"(from "For Those Who Are, Still",2015). "Deep Flower" is groovy composition with recitative vocals coming from obscure "Wood Flute Songs. Anthology / Live 2006-2012"(2013).

What comes after is probably a biggest surprise of whole release. Parker's composed four-part avant-garde jazz suite of sort, performed by trio of already mentioned above Japanese pianist Eri Yamamoto,Estonian drummer Leonid Galaganov and Afro-American mezzo-soprano AnnMarie Sandy combines avant-garde minimalist piano-drums duo with operatic vocals. It is a new material, released for the first time here, it not always works but at the same time it is the music which attracts the attention for sure.

Whole set closes with beautiful "Natasha's Theme" from "Alphaville Suite, Music Inspired By The Jean Luc Godard Film", a Parker's album released in 2007 on French Rogueart Jazz label.

A mixed bag, this album contains a lot of great music and some interesting music, but cleaned from reissues and edited till more listenable size of single CD, it could be an another Parker's strong release. Still worth listening for sure, at least for recordings one can't find on any other Parker's album.

SIMONE KOPMAJER Spotlight On Jazz

Album · 2018 · Vocal Jazz
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kev rowland
Simone is back with her thirteenth album as band leader, and for me in many ways it is full of surprises. The first of these is that Simone is Austrian, as she sings in pure unaccented English, and if someone had asked me to place her origin I would have probably guessed New York. The album itself is a mix of standards and songs she has written herself, and it is impossible to identify which is which unless the song is already known. With a wonderful supporting quintet, led by Tommy Dorsey Orchestra leader, saxophonist Terry Myers, the delicate support is absolutely perfect for her softly sung and emotional vocals.

She opens with an original, “Spotlights”, and immediately one is brought into a world of swing which is surely immediate post war as opposed to a brand-new release. The photo on the cover shows a coy Simone looking away from a very old-fashioned microphone, and in many ways, this typifies what is a truly gorgeous album from start to end. The musicians behind her are all masters, and they allow themselves to prove that here and there, but for the most part they rein themselves in and ensure they Simone is always front and centre. It is a relaxing, easy to listen to album, comforting and warm. Whether she is singing gently, or throwing vocal gymnastics as she skats, she is always in total control. This is an album for an intimate jazz club as opposed to a massive venue, dark with the spotlight just on her.

An album which has come through the time warp, sounding as if it is at least sixty years old and from an era long gone, this is a delight from start to end.

early jazz movie reviews

JONI MITCHELL Shadows And Light

Movie · 1980 · Vocal Jazz
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Slartibartfast
Joni Mitchell meets The Pat Metheny Group.

What can I say? This was my real introduction into the music of Joni and what a place to start! She had really entered a new phase and the tracks offered span from Court And Spark up to Mingus (and of course, the song Shadows And Light, exclusive to the live album).

The concert was an outdoors affair at the Santa Barbara County Bowl. The liner notes say that "this concert catches Joni at the height of her artistic excellence." Having explored her albums after and before this era, I can wholeheartedly agree with that. Jaco Pastorius, who had a reputation at that point of being erratic in live situations, seems to be in a good mode. The camera work is good and the concert is now available on DVD with 5.1 Dolby Digital Audio all of which make for a show worthy of revisiting from time to time.

Artists with Early Jazz release(s)

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
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A Love Supreme Post Bop
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The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
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My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
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