Early Jazz

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THELONIOUS MONK Monk's Music Album Cover Monk's Music
THELONIOUS MONK
4.86 | 16 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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DIANA KRALL The Girl in the Other Room Album Cover The Girl in the Other Room
DIANA KRALL
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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BUDDY RICH No Funny Hats Album Cover No Funny Hats
BUDDY RICH
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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SONNY STITT Tune-Up! Album Cover Tune-Up!
SONNY STITT
5.00 | 2 ratings
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Songbook Session
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LAUREN HENDERSON
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Choices
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JOAN WATSON-JONES
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New York - Copenhagen
EP
METTE JUUL
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Manouche Moderne
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ALEXANDRE CAVALIERE
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Skin in The Game
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DAVID LINX
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Parisienne
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SARAH LANCMAN
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Integrity
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IAN SHAW
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Aurex Jazz Festival in Tokyo 1982
Boxset / Compilation
JACO PASTORIUS
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Dressed in a Song
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J. D. WALTER
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Something
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ANNE DUCROS
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Live at Jazz Standard
Live album
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
Live album
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

CHARLIE PARKER The Magnificent Charlie Parker (aka The Genius Of Charlie Parker #8: Swedish Schnapps)

Album · 1955 · Bop
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js
God bless Record Store Day, not only does it help support one of civilization’s finest institutions, ie your local record store, but it has also been encouraging labels to re-release classic vinyl albums that many of us thought would be forever unattainable. If you had told me a few years ago that I would soon be able to buy pristine copies of Charlie Parker LPs, I would have thought you plumb crazy, but then, here we are with another outstanding Record Store Day release in the form of “The Magnificent Charlie Parker”. This album was originally released in the mid-50s on the Clef album and it contains much of Clef’s Parker singles from 1951 when Bird was playing at his best. It’s a wonderful collection of singles all arranged in logical succession with no weird volume or sound quality leaps as you go track to track. Those who are familiar with some Parker CD collections will know what I mean by incongruent track succession.

Side one opens with four tracks that feature a young Miles on trumpet, as well as Max Roach on drums. Miles’ playing at that time was very clean and precise, revealing the influence of Clifford Brown, as well as Miles’ classical background. All of these tracks are great, with “She Rote” being the ultimate in bebop styled abstraction and modernity. The last two cuts on this side are exotica pop numbers with a vocal choir and small orchestra arrangement. by Gil Evans. Side two features Red Rodney on trumpet, possibly Parker’s most cohesive and inspiring sideman outside of Dizzy Gillespie. This group also features a young John Lewis on piano before he became known as a purveyor of 3rd stream chamber jazz.

Every track on here is excellent and its nice that the song choices lean away from show tunes and more towards bebop originals that really bring out the witty urban flavor of one of jazz’s most creative eras. I think there are only about 3000 copies of this available, so grab it while you can.

DEODATO Artistry

Live album · 1974 · Big Band
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dreadpirateroberts
On ‘Artisry’ Deodato’s arrangements of classical covers (and his Latin, smooth jazz pieces too) are fleshed out by an orchestra and it’s great to hear them with extra depth compared to the studio recordings.

The sound is maybe a bit ‘warmer’ in a live setting and the band seem to be having a good time too, which I noticed on “St. Louis Blues” and “Superstrut” – especially John Tropea on guitar. Maybe the set list draws a little too heavily from ‘Deodato 2’ compared to what I’d hoped for but if you want a more comprehensive collection of live songs you might have to look to the latter stages of his discography.

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.

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
JOHN COLTRANE
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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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Georgian Microjamz World Fusion
GIORGI MIKADZE
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Pannonica Progressive Big Band
GINA SCHWARZ
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Kosmonauts Fusion
WAKKI
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Songbook Session Vocal Jazz
LAUREN HENDERSON
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