Reminiscing in Tempo: Memories and Opinion/Volume Eleven: What were five of your favorite record albums (or CD’s) when you were twenty years old, and what are five of your favorite CD’s today?

March 5th, 2008

 

 

Reminiscing in Tempo

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Memories and Opinion

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“Reminiscing in Tempo” is part of a continuing effort to provide Jerry Jazz Musician readers with unique forms of “edu-tainment.” As often as possible, Jerry Jazz Musician poses one question via e mail to a small number of prominent and diverse people. The question is designed to provoke a lively response that will potentially include the memories and/or opinion of those solicited.

Since it is not possible to know who will answer the question, the diversity of the participants will often depend on factors beyond the control of the publisher. The responses from the people who chose to participate in this edition are published below with only minor stylistic editing. No follow-up questions take place.

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What were five of your favorite record albums (or CD’s) when you were twenty years old, and what are five of your favorite CD’s today?

Originally published March, 2008

 


Let’s see …when I was 20 years old (a scant 3 decades ago), I was busy touring with the Stan Kenton big band. There was plenty of opportunity to listen to albums during those long bus rides; I’m afraid that those listening sessions involved cassette tapes, however. Any break in the band’s touring schedule would allow me to go home with LPs I had purchased during my travels and dub those records onto cassette. In any event, if memory serves correct, these were 5 artists/albums that I recall listening to a lot in hotel rooms and while traversing the USA’s Interstate system as a passenger on the Kenton bus …

1. Weather Report “Mysterious Traveler”

2. Keith Jarrett “Expectations” and “Facing You”

3. Aretha Franklin “Young, Gifted & Black”

4. Claude Debussy piano music (a 5 album compilation on the Vox label, played by pianist Peter Frankl)

5. John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” and “Kulu Se Mama”

I also listened quite a bit to Chick Corea’s “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs” and ECM piano improvisation albums, plus the big band albums of Thad & Mel, Dizzy Gillespie (“New Continent” composed & arranged by Lalo Schifrin, w/ Mel Lewis on drums), Stan’s “Cuban Fire” album (again, with Mel), The Kenny Clarke/Francy Boland album “Latin Kaleidoscope” (featuring a wonderful suite written by Gary McFarland), Miles Davis’ “Live/Evil,” Sergio Mendes “Primal Roots” and the Mahavishnu Orchestra album “Birds of Fire,” Billy Cobham’s “Spectrum” and “Crosswinds” albums, Herbie Hancock’s “Crossings” plus Jerry Goldsmith’s “Planet of the Apes” soundtrack score!

Favorite CDs today? I could still include “Mysterious Traveler” and “A Love Supreme” as well as “Cuban Fire.” Other candidates, according to my iPod, are Count Basie’s “Breakfast Dance and Barbecue,” Glenn Gould’s second “Goldberg Variations” recording, and several of Mahler’s symphonies. I must also mention the Mosaic compilation of Elvin Jones’ Blue Note recordings!

 

 

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THEN

EDDIE HARRIS — “THE IN SOUND”

THE THREE SOUNDS — “THE BLUE HOUR”

MITCHELL /RUFF DUO — “LITTLE GIRL BLUE”

OSCAR PETERSON TRIO — “AFFINITY”

MILES DAVIS — “WALKIN'”

TODAY

JIM MCNEELY/SWISS JAZZ ORCHESTRA — “PAUL KLEE”

BELÅ BARTOK — “THE WOODEN PRINCE”

MARIA SCHNEIDER — “ALLEGRESSE”

OLIVIER MESSIAEN — “TURANGALILA SYMPHONIE”

MILES DAVIS — “PLUGGED NICKEL” (BOX SET)

 

 


I can honestly say that several of my favorite albums when I was 20 remain embedded as favorites of mine today. Eric Dolphy’s “Out To Lunch,” Miles’ “In A Silent Way,” John Coltrane and Don Cherry’s “The Avant Garde” and Cherry’s “Symphony for Improvisers” are on both lists. I think at 20 I was enamored of Jefferson Airplane’s “After Bathing At Baxter’s”; less so today, though it still gives me chills. But today I would add Cecil Taylor’s “Air Above Mountains” among my five favorites. Or Wes Montgomery “Live at the Half Note.”

It feels SO unfair to name only five. At 20 I also was crazy about Cherry’s “Complete Communion,” “Eddie Palmieri Live at Sing Sing,” Tony Williams’ Lifetime “(Emergency!),” John McLaughlin’s “Devotion,” Chick Corea’s “Now He Sings Now He Sobs,” “Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus” and “Mingus Presents Mingus,” “Unit Structures “and “Conquistador,” Coltrane’s “Impressions” (with Dolphy), “Rip Rig & Panic “(Roland Kirk, pre-Rahsaan days), Joseph Jarman’s “Song For,” Miles Davis Quartet “In The Beginning, “Speckled Red’s “The Dirty Dozens,” Junior Wells’ “Hoodoo Man Blues,” Sam Rivers’ “Contours,” “This Is Jeremy Steig,” “Monk’s Music” (with Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Ray Copeland), Roscoe Mitchell’s “Numbers One and Two,” and “Maiden Voyage.”

Today I would add Jelly Roll Morton’s “Red Hot Peppers,” “Inside Betty Carter,” “Solo Monk,” “Science Fiction” and “Of Human Feelings,” “The Best of Little Walter,” “The David Murray Big Band Live at Sweet Basil Vol. 1,” any collection of solo James P. Johnson, Fats Waller and Donald Lambert, Herbie Nichols’ trios on Blue Note, “Electric Ladyland,” The Meters and The Wild Tchipitoulas, Anthony Braxton’s “Three Compositions of the New Jazz,” Professor Longhair “New Orleans Piano” (on Atlantic), Dewey Redman’s “Ear of the Behearer,” Olivier Messiaen’s “Turangalîla Symphony,” King Sunny Ade’s “Syncro System,” “On The Corner” and “Bitches Brew,” James Newton’s “African Flower” . . . I know these seem decades old, mostly, and I DO listen to music that’s come out more recently but fewer of those lodge into “favorites” status — maybe those places are already taken. Ah, I know two: Herbie Hancock’s “Gershwin’s World” and “River: The Joni Letters, “which just won a Grammy. Maybe it will lose its luster, but it sounds quite good to me currently.

 

 

 

 

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Then…

Miles’ “Four and More”

Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”

Joan Armatrading — “Secet Secrets”

Joni Mitchell — “Wild Things Run Fast”

Sweet Honey In The Rock — “The Other Side”

And now…

Maxwell — “Now”

Rachelle Ferell — “Individuality”

Missy Elliot — “Miss E So Addictive”

Shirley Horn — “Here’s to Life”

Meshell Ndegeocello– “Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape”

 

 

 

 

 


At 20:

1) Wayne Shorter — Atlantis

2) Miles Davis Quintet — E.S.P.

3) Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers — Caravan

4) Bob Marley & the Wailers — Rastaman Vibration

5) Wynton Marsalis — Black Codes from the Underground

These days:

1) Shirley Horn — You Won’t Forget Me

2) Sonny Rollins — The Bridge

3) Astor Piazzola — Anos De Soledad (Boxed Set)

4) Lester Young — The Complete Lester Young Studio Sessions on Verve

5) Bob Marley & the Wailers — Exodus

 

 

I was 20 years old in 1974 and just beginning to crossover from pop and rock into jazz. Having a keen interest in guitar, I was transitioning at that point from players like Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, Johnny Winter, Harvey Mandel, B.B. King, Freddie King and Albert King into bona fide jazz guitarists. Oscar Peterson¹s “The Trio,” with Joe Pass and Neils Henning Orsted Pederson, had made a huge impact on me the previous year, so I naturally took great interest in Joe¹s 1974 two brilliant recordings on Pablo — “Virtuoso” and “Portraits Of Duke Ellington” — along with “Guitar Guitars” featuring Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel and Charlie Byrd. But looking back on it, my record listening from 1974 was dominated by fusion bands at the time. And ironically, Return To Forever, which was my favorite band at the time, is mounting a reunion for this summer with the original outfit that appeared on their 1974 recording. So things have come full circle for me 34 years later. Here¹s five records that got heavy rotation on my turntable that year (remember vinyl?):

Return To Forever, “Where Have I Known You Before “(Polydor) — debut of the RTF unit with guitarist Al Di Meola, who also turned 20 in 1974.

Stanley Clarke, “Stanley Clarke” (Nemperor) — RTF bassist with an off-shoot solo project featuring former RTF guitarist Bill Connors along with Tony Williams on drums and former Mahavishnu Orchestra member Jan Hammer on synth.

Herbie Hancock, “Thrust” (Columbia) — Great followup to debut with his Headhunters band, featuring the incredibly intricate and flexible rhythm tandem of drummer Mike Clark and bassist Paul Jackson along with percussionist Bill Summers and saxophonist Bennie Maupin.

Billy Cobham, “Total Eclipse” (Atlantic) — Followup to his 1973 landmark “Spectrum” featuring guitarist John Abercrombie, the Brecker Brothers, bassist Alex Blake, keyboardist Milcho Leviev and trombonist Glenn Ferris.

John Abercrombie, “Timeless” (ECM) — Full-blown fusion outing with the guitar great featuring Jan Hammer on synth and Jack DeJohnette on drums.

On the rock side for 1974 it was: Frank Zappa, “Apostrophe” and “Roxy & Elsewhere”; Stevie Wonder, “Fulfillingness First Finale”; Johnny Winter, “Saints and Sinners”; Freddie King, “Burglar”; Average White Band, “AWB Pieces”; Robin Trower, “Bridge of Sighs”; George Harrrison, “Dark Horse”; Harvey Mandel, “Shangrenade”; Leo Kottke, “Ice Water”; Lou Reed, “Rock N Roll Animal”; Ohio Players, “Fire”; Bob Marley, “Natty Dread.”

Five of my favorite albums that have come out so far in 2008:

Kurt Rosenwinkel, “The Remedy: Live at the Village Vanguard “(Artist Share)

Various Artists, “Miles From India” (Times Square)

Pat Metheny Trio, “Day Trip” (Nonesuch)

Charles Lloyd Quartet, “Rabo De Nube “(ECM)

Conrad Herwig, “Latin Side of Wayne Shorter” (Half Note)

Five all-time favorites:

Anything by Miles Davis

Anything by John Coltrane

Anything by Ornette Coleman

Anything by Thelonious Monk

Anything by Jaco Pastorius

 

 

 


 

Twenty years old, 1988:

Charles Mingus, “Pithecanthropus Erectus”

Black Flag, “My War”

Prince, “Lovesexy”

Stevie Wonder, “Music of My Mind”

Johnny Paycheck, “Johnny Paycheck Sings Jukebox Charlie and Other Songs That Make the Jukebox Play”

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Thirty-nine years old, 2008:

Patato & Totico

John Coltrane, “Crescent”

Dorival Caymmi, “Caymmi e Seu Violão”

Curtis Mayfield, “Curtis/Live!”

“Songs of the Old Regular Baptists: Lined-Out Hymnody from Southeastern Kentucky”

 

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Firstly, when I was 20 years old, it was 1967 and I was attending U.C.L.A! I had only started to play the guitar 1 year earlier, so it was a time of discovery, a great hunger to learn, and the terrifying feeling of trying to catch-up to everyone else! I was gobbling-up LPs and music faster than you can imagine. LPs were only $2 then. $20 went a long way!!! So, it’s almost impossible to limit my choices to five, but that’s what I’ll do.

[1] Miles Davis “Miles Smiles” or “Sorcerer”

[2] Gary Burton Quartet “Duster”

[3] Wes Montgomery “Boss Guitar”

[4] Albert King “Born Under a Bad Sign”

[5] Kenny Burrell/Gil Evans “Guitar Forms”

Today, I am approaching my 61st birthday. It’s hard to believe, at times, hard to accept. I look at recordings rather differently now. But, the five albums I will list have helped to shape my life and my concepts about music-making, which transcends the physical part of playing any instrument.

[1] Miles Davis “Nefertiti” or “Sorcerer”

[2] Larry Young “Unity”

[3] Herbie Hancock “Inventions and Dimensions”

[4] Chick Corea “Now He Sings, Now He Sobs”

[5] McCoy Tyner “Super Trios”

O.K., I can’t do it…..[It’s impossible!]

[6] John Coltrane “Coltrane Plays the Blues”

[7] Paul Desmond-Jim Hall “Complete Quartets”

[8] Bill Evans “Live at the Village Vanguard”

[9] Wayne Shorter “Speak No Evil”

[10] Ralph Towner “Batik”

[11] Keith Jarrett “My Song”

[12] Frank Sinatra “Only the Lonely”

Guitar Forms

 


When I was 20:

“Ugetsu”: Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers

“Transition”: John Coltrane

Jimi Hendrix: “Band of Gypsies”

“Off the Wall”: Michael Jackson

Chaka Kahn: “I Feel for You”

* * * *

Now:

Shirley Horn: “You Won’t Forget Me”

Aretha Franklin: “Live at the Fillmore West”

Prince: “Dirty Mind”

Elvin Jones: “On the Mountain”

“Coltrane’s Sound”: John Coltrane

 

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